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Scheduling Time for Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Scheduling common planning time is vital to interdisciplinary instruction.

Professional collaboration, an integral part of the middle school concept, is a prerequisite for effective interdisciplinary instruction. When teachers have the opportunity to collaborate during the school day, they...
Author: Elliot Y. Merenbloom, Barbara A. Kalina
Number of views (12197)/Comments (0)/
Common Core Standards & Interdisciplinary Instruction

Common Core Standards & Interdisciplinary Instruction

Do Common Core Standards help or hinder interdisciplinary instruction?

Where do the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) fit into interdisciplinary instruction? Some educators contend that the CCSS encourage interdisciplinary teaching; others argue that the standards are getting in the...
Author: Michelle Schwartze, Douglas Hatch
Number of views (11347)/Comments (0)/
College and Career Ready: What It Means for Middle School Students

College and Career Ready: What It Means for Middle School Students

Helping students develop the skills they know they need to succeed.

College and career ready is the new mantra in education—it's what students must be when they leave our secondary schools. My school district, Dorchester County Public Schools in Maryland, includes the phrase as...
Author: Brian Cook
Number of views (16040)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
A Letter To My Eighth Graders

A Letter To My Eighth Graders

A teacher sends her students to high school with some words of advice.

With only a few days left with my students, I’m thinking how far they have come in their reading and writing skills this year. Their final writing assessment has actually been a pleasure to grade. But now, I...
Author: Judi Holst
Number of views (32388)/Comments (0)/
Finding a Common Language Through Relationships

Finding a Common Language Through Relationships

Establishing supportive relationships helps students truly thrive.

How effectively are we communicating with our middle school students? As a middle school counselor, I often step back and think: Am I speaking to fill the space? Is what I am saying applicable. Most important, do I...
Author: Andrea M. Salvo
Number of views (11975)/Comments (0)/

The Courage It Takes

There’s a great story about General Westmoreland that reminds us what can happen if we are brave with each other. The general was reviewing a line of paratroopers and decided to talk to three of them. "Son,"...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (10952)/Comments (0)/
Closing the  Achievement  Gap in Texas

Closing the Achievement Gap in Texas

A new approach to instruction helped this middle school overcome the odds.

More than 90% of Simon Middle School's 620 students are economically disadvantaged, 95% are minority, 52% are English language learners, and 14% have special needs, so ensuring that all of its students are successful...
Author: Susan Dawson, Christine Moses
Number of views (12218)/Comments (0)/
The Apprenticeship Approach

The Apprenticeship Approach

Tailor-made for the Middle Grades

The middle grades are notoriously challenging for youth. This is the period when some students can start to disengage. Gallup conducts an annual poll of students that measures, as they categorize it, their hope,...
Author: Jason Cascarino
Number of views (11126)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
How to Bribe Your Students

How to Bribe Your Students

Teachers seem to be naturally resistant to rewarding students for doing "what they are supposed to do." Some equate reward with bribery and claim that students will be working only for the points/recognition/reward,...
Author: Kimberly A. Henkle, Benjamin N. Witts
Number of views (11581)/Comments (5)/
Topics: Teaching
Welcoming Students to Middle School

Welcoming Students to Middle School

Pup Camp is a fun way to get kids ready for the transition into middle school.

"What if my child doesn’t know anyone?" "What if he gets lost?" "Who will help her open her locker?" These comments are typical of anxious parents whose child is preparing to transition into middle school. At...
Author: Karla J. Wienhold, Blaire M. White
Number of views (19707)/Comments (3)/
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