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Mitigating Factors: Negative Neighborhoods and Student Learning

Mitigating Factors: Negative Neighborhoods and Student Learning

We can't give up on students who are struggling just to survive.

There probably isn't an educator alive who hasn't heard—or made—comments like these: Too bad his momma is in jail! He never had a chance. If she just wasn't from that neighborhood! Why does he hang...
Author: Ruby K. Payne
Number of views (8642)/Comments (1)/

Respectfully Declining Student Invitations

Question: "I let my students know that I am interested in what they do outside my classroom. Consequently, they often invite me to their non-school-related activities like community-league ball games or community...
Author: Tom Burton
Number of views (8352)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Teaming, CCSS, and Project-Based Learning

Teaming, CCSS, and Project-Based Learning

Middle school is an energetic and dynamic environment. We should know—we spend our days with 100 fifth through eighth graders on a team at Williston Central School in Vermont called Swift House, named for the...
Author: Juliette Longchamp, Deborah Donnelly
Number of views (17197)/Comments (0)/

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 (12613)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Building Teacher Collaboration School-wide

Building Teacher Collaboration School-wide

Models for teacher collaboration are ineffective without true participation.

Teacher collaboration has been a common element of middle grades initiatives for years, typically one or more of these three organizational models: common planning time, professional learning communities, and critical...
Author: Micki M. Caskey, Jan Carpenter
Number of views (31717)/Comments (1)/
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 (33898)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
(Re)Discovering Social Emotional Learning

(Re)Discovering Social Emotional Learning

Others are discovering what middle grades educators knew all along.

At a recent national conference, I happened upon several sessions dedicated to Social Emotional Learning (SEL)—a framework that supports self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills,...
Author: Sandy Cameli
Number of views (11431)/Comments (0)/
Looking Back to Move Forward

Looking Back to Move Forward

As I reflect on my 25-year career as a middle level administrator, one of the high points was the creation of an alternative learning environment for a group of seventh grade students. Realizing a growth bubble was...
Author: Robert Ruder
Number of views (15358)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Leadership
The Importance of Classroom Structure

The Importance of Classroom Structure

Don't let anyone fool you. Don't let anyone tell you differently. To create an "inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive" environment for students, desks matter. I know this fact firsthand, because one day at school...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (81551)/Comments (0)/

Coaching Teacher Dispositions

Research Summary

We know that educators who "value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them" are a key component to middle level students' success (AMLE, 2010, p. 15). Middle level teachers must have the appropriate knowledge,...
Author: Alicia Wenzel, Jennifer Roberts
Number of views (27838)/Comments (0)/

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