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Add a Little Spice

Add a Little Spice

Ideas that energize your lessons and fuel students' desire to learn

The best compliment a teacher can ever receive from a student is when they look at you and say, "Class is over?" These three words let you know loud and clear that they were engaged, focused, and enjoying the lesson...
Author: Kim Campbell
Number of views (4120)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Making Middle School Philosophy Work: Philosophy vs Mindset

Making Middle School Philosophy Work: Philosophy vs Mindset

Educators' mindsets make it possible to move a philosophy forward

What is middle school philosophy and how does it compare with or differ from a middle school mindset? A philosophy can be summarized as a system of principles used to guide one's practices; whereas a mindset can be...
Author: Sandy Cameli
Number of views (4450)/Comments (0)/
Reflections on Teaching and Learning

Reflections on Teaching and Learning

Educators have a responsibility to guide the moral development of youth

For years I have been concerned over what I view as the seriously truncated understanding of what teaching entails that is now commonly held. Taken hold in most peoples' minds, it seems, is a very narrow and limited...
Author: John H. Lounsbury
Number of views (3520)/Comments (0)/
Making it Work, Making it Meaningful

Making it Work, Making it Meaningful

These elements of the middle school concept need attention and commitment

We have heard it talked about for years and years. The middle school concept was implemented in the early 1990s when I was a teacher in an urban middle school. Traditionally, teachers worked in departments and there...
Author: James Davis
Number of views (1520)/Comments (0)/
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From Ideology to Action and From Progressive Pedigrees to Peacemaking

From Ideology to Action and From Progressive Pedigrees to Peacemaking

Making social conscience and democracy come alive

The call came in December 2015. I didn't recognize the voice of Dr. Glenda Mosley. A native of the Baltimore, Maryland, area, Dr. Mosley is a business owner, a concerned citizen, and an entrepreneur. Her passion was...
Author: Tracy W. Smith
Number of views (4424)/Comments (0)/
Planting the Seeds of Innovation

Planting the Seeds of Innovation

Four steps to build capacity for long-term innovation

Innovation has become a widely-used term in education with a variety of interpretations. Generally, innovation implies novelty and inventiveness that leads to improvement and thus, is considered a positive...
Author: David C. Barrett, Christy S. Murray, Veronica L. Miller
Number of views (1259)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Leadership
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Using Graphic Novels to Open the Gateway for Struggling Readers

Using Graphic Novels to Open the Gateway for Struggling Readers

The benefits of using graphic novels in the social studies classroom

The standards in current education reform movements stress the importance of strengthening students' content-area literacy skills. This means that social studies teachers must draw on powerful texts. The problem is...
Author: Jeremiah Clabough
Number of views (4099)/Comments (0)/

Leadership and Organization

There are striking parallels between the work of a middle school leader and a chef. Having done both jobs—though my role was more that of a cook—I can attest to these similarities with firsthand knowledge...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (1101)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Leadership
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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 (3458)/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 (2987)/Comments (0)/
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