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Student Leadership

Minds-On, Hands-Off Learning

Minds-On, Hands-Off Learning

Allowing students freedom within boundaries promotes dynamic learning.

Middle school students are growing and developing into actively thinking young adults. To become critical thinkers who take ownership of their work, they need guided autonomy embedded in rich learning experiences....
Author: Alicia A. Cole
Number of views (22015)/Comments (1)/

Motivation: Understanding and Responding to Individual Differences

Research Summary

A basic educational principle is that no matter how well teachers design their instruction, students who refuse to engage can ensure the teachers' instruction will come to naught. This simple truth leads teachers on a...
Author: Bruce Henderson, David Strahan
Number of views (44322)/Comments (0)/
Portrait of a Teacher Hero

Portrait of a Teacher Hero

What kind of teacher can compel 60 middle school students to read an entire book about salt?

On a snowy Saturday at around 9:00 a.m., a stream of young adolescents straggles into a Barnes & Noble book store. At this early hour, they are the only customers. Some walk in with their parents; others are...
Author: Joanne Kelleher
Number of views (15633)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching

Building Empathy

We all know that late-in-the-day feeling—we’ve taught the same lesson in each of four class periods, and there’s still one more to go. In this 5th period, we’re on automatic pilot, relying on...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (18489)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Welcome to the Genius Hour

Welcome to the Genius Hour

Dedicated time and passion bring out the best in students.

As I drove home one evening after hosting a showcase of student work, attended by the community, all I could think about was how a new project called Genius Hour had transformed my seventh graders over the course of...
Author: Cryslynn Billingsley
Number of views (50739)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
The Day a Seventh Grader Gave Me the Bird

The Day a Seventh Grader Gave Me the Bird

I'll never forget the time a seventh grader gave me the bird. When I caught him and the gesture, it changed me as a middle school teacher. And somehow it reminded me of the middle school characteristic that states,...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (25625)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Inspiration

Student Voice

A secret ingredient in improving student engagement and building a community of learners

Those of us in middle level education know the basics of adolescent psychology. Teens are naturally rebellious. Their state of mind isn’t in a "state" at all; they are out-of-sync, their bodies out of control....
Author: Elyse S. Scott
Number of views (21815)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Lights, Camera, Literacy!

Lights, Camera, Literacy!

A marriage of film and literacy education provides authentic learning opportunities.

As middle school teachers, we strive to inspire our students to achieve. We constantly seek ways to engage, motivate, and challenge every learner in our classrooms. We want to provide those special experiences that...
Nurturing Effective Middle Level Schools

Nurturing Effective Middle Level Schools

Support, passion, and positive relationships are ingredients of an effective middle level school.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” I often share this quote with students who tell me they are not good at this or that subject or...
Author: Ann Edwards
Number of views (29226)/Comments (0)/
Developing Relationships with Difficult Students

Developing Relationships with Difficult Students

Four simple strategies can help forge a positive teacher-student relationship.

As Mary watched Ashleigh get off the bus, she knew it was going to be “that kind” of day. Ashleigh was mad and yelling in the faces of the other children. Mary watched her push her way through the hallway,...
Author: Lori Rakes & Audra Parker
Number of views (72252)/Comments (4)/
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