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The Life and Times of a Sixth Grade Student

The Life and Times of a Sixth Grade Student

A student's words of encouragement to fifth graders anticipating the start of middle school

One year ago, I was sitting in these bleachers just like you, and just like you, I was excited, worried, sad, happy, terrified and everything in between. Now, I stand here before you, and guess what? I'm okay. These...
Author: Annabelle Kier
Number of views (1620)/Comments (0)/
Making Middle School a National Priority

Making Middle School a National Priority

The latest science tells us why now and even how to do it

Many people have ambivalent to negative memories of their own middle school years, although there are exceptions. One of the authors of this article was in an "experimental cluster" within a traditional junior high,...
Author: Jason Cascarino, Nancy Deutsch, Abby Gillespie
Number of views (1615)/Comments (0)/
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Underpinnings of Literacy … Even in Middle School?

Underpinnings of Literacy … Even in Middle School?

Discovering a more caring approach to reading and writing that meets students where they are

One of the worst assumptions I made as a young classroom teacher was that each and every student in my class would possess a fully developed framework for reading and writing in my class. Maybe this was because I had...
Author: Jason D. DeHart
Number of views (826)/Comments (0)/
Building ELL Literacy through Argument-Driven Activities

Building ELL Literacy through Argument-Driven Activities

Helping students explore their opinions and develop vocabulary

In the Association for Middle Level Education's This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents (NMSA, 2010), there is an expressed commitment to helping young adolescents become successful, responsible, global...
Author: Carl Floyd, Jr.
Number of views (535)/Comments (0)/
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The Dos and Don'ts of Creating Meaningful Assessments

The Dos and Don'ts of Creating Meaningful Assessments

Designing assessments to analyze teaching and learning

One of the most frustrating parts of teaching for me has been assessments. There have been so many times when I've felt success in learning with my students throughout a unit only to realize they haven't learned what...
Author: Shayna Cooke
Number of views (1308)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Assessment
What's Keeping us From Doing PBL?

What's Keeping us From Doing PBL?

Mastering standards at a deeper level with project-based learning

John Dewey (1959), a great philosopher and educational theorist of the 1950s, had already warned us about the importance of an educational focus on the student rather than on the teacher. He argued that classroom...
Author: Isabel Cristina Fernandes Auler
Number of views (549)/Comments (0)/
Panic Anxiety Disorders in Middle School Students

Panic Anxiety Disorders in Middle School Students

Informed educators can have a positive impact on students who are struggling

In her 1994 book of poetry, Something Permanent, writer/poet Cynthia Rylant gets inspiration from the photographs of Walker Evans, a photojournalist who documented rural America during the Great Depression in the...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (6880)/Comments (0)/
Activate the Motivation Molecule

Activate the Motivation Molecule

Using art to boost student motivation and build community

Dopamine is known as the "feel good" neurotransmitter, and we crave it because it lets us know that predicted rewards are coming. That first sip of coffee that signals caffeine will improve your mood and energy level,...
Author: Amber Chandler
Number of views (675)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Six Ways to Help Middle Schoolers Create a Kind, Trusting Culture

Six Ways to Help Middle Schoolers Create a Kind, Trusting Culture

Activities that bring perspective, invite empathy, and build social skills

"I can't believe what happened," Janine* said. Her daughter Greta's best friend overheard two girls calling her a stuck-up loser, so she secretly videotaped their conversation and texted Greta the evidence. Janine was...
Author: Phyllis Fagell
Number of views (5609)/Comments (0)/
Your Students Have Cell Phones

Your Students Have Cell Phones

Let the torture, I mean, texting begin

A rite of passage for many students entering middle school is being handed their own cell phone. Chances are that parents of kids entering fifth, sixth, or seventh grades have discussed cell phones ad nauseum because...
Author: Kathleen McGuiness
Number of views (2769)/Comments (0)/
Tags: Texting
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