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School Culture/Climate

Culture & Community

As I dig my fork into the characteristics in the category of Culture and Community in This We Believe, I am drawn to the one that states "Health and wellness are supported in curricula, school-wide programs, and...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (134)/Comments (0)/
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To Infinity and Beyond

To Infinity and Beyond

Are we asking our students to take risks that we as adults aren't willing to take?

Structure is utilized in the middle school experience to build a safe learning environment for our students. Students are placed on teams where they take classes with the same peer group, increasing their comfort...
Author: Christy Todd
Number of views (3097)/Comments (0)/
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Going "Old School" to End School

Going "Old School" to End School

One middle school gives students a personal send-off

On the last day of school for the past six years, after hiking a small mountain near our school in Vermont, we gather in the shade of venerable maples for a final ceremony with the eighth grade class. After each...
Author: Ryan Becker, Beth Hayslett
Number of views (3254)/Comments (0)/

Moving into Action: Middle Level Learners as Change Agents

Robust learning happens when students have choice and voice in curriculum.

"Students in the middle grades … have the ability to perceive deep truths and are making decisions that will affect the way they live the rest of their lives. This transitional time between childhood and...
Author: Maggie McHugh, Penny Reedy, Ann Yehle
Number of views (2609)/Comments (0)/
If You Take a  Mouse to School…

If You Take a Mouse to School…

Implementing Disney principles in middle schools.

From theme parks to movies, the Walt Disney Company is world-renowned for the high caliber of its customer experience. And, while many perceive how well they do what they do to be Disney "magic," it's not magic at...
Author: Mark Mambretti
Number of views (2534)/Comments (0)/
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Beyond Power Tools: How Maker Learning Can Improve Social Dynamics

Beyond Power Tools: How Maker Learning Can Improve Social Dynamics

In September, my seventh grade students gave me a quick social snapshot of their class. As their new school counselor, I had asked them to submit their thoughts anonymously in a box, and they didn't hold back. Their...
Author: Phyllis Fagell
Number of views (4750)/Comments (0)/
When Every Educator in a Middle School Shadows a Student for a Day

When Every Educator in a Middle School Shadows a Student for a Day

A transformative experience that will inform your approach to teaching

As educators, we take a mental snapshot of our students. We figure the funny seventh grader who goofs off with boys in the hallway has plenty of friends to sit with at lunch. We assume the cynical loner who tries to...
Author: Phyllis Fagell
Number of views (4759)/Comments (0)/
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Providing Leadership and a Structure of Support

Providing Leadership and a Structure of Support

Administrators' advice for districtwide leadership.

When we think of the work that goes into helping schools thrive and be the centers of achievement and support for our students, we often think of the exceptional work of the people with direct, daily contact with...
Author: Derek McCoy, Tina Mashburn
Number of views (3112)/Comments (0)/
Using the Teacher-Based Team Process to Raise Teacher Voice

Using the Teacher-Based Team Process to Raise Teacher Voice

Teacher collaboration and shared decision-making.

In the midst of monumental changes and innovative learning strategies, raising the degree of teacher voice in our schools is needed now more than ever. While many improvement processes and strategies have come on the...
Author: Neil Gupta
Number of views (6115)/Comments (0)/
Creating a Vibrant, Collaborative Vertical Planning Event

Creating a Vibrant, Collaborative Vertical Planning Event

Ideas for creating an environment for elementary and middle school teachers to collaborate

One of the highlights of my first year at West Rowan Middle School was helping organize a collaborative opportunity between our sixth grade teachers and the fifth grade teachers at our feeder schools. This was the...
Author: Derek L. McCoy
Number of views (8418)/Comments (0)/
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