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Recent Articles

Assessing with Instructional Integrity Before, During and After the Pandemic

Using a simple checklist can help educators design quality assessments When Ken O’Connor’s daughter was in 7th grade, she was given an assignment that included a detailed rubric. He spent time with her unpacking the rubric so that she understood the expectations. After much hard work, she produced what he thought to be an excellent

Digital Wellness in the Classroom: 5 Technology Habits to Support Mental Health

Middle school can be a difficult period for students, especially as they explore social media and the digital world. For children and adults alike, it is so easy to keep our eyes glued to our devices. Before we know it, several hours have passed by while we scrolled through Facebook or Instagram. Using social media

Wayside Teaching Revisited

Revisiting the value of informal teaching beyond planned instruction. Wayside teaching was first introduced in the May 1987 “As I See It” column in the Middle School Journal—30 years ago. Here is a slightly modified version of it, particularly for all those educators who came to the middle school more recently. Formal, organized instruction is

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Taking it Old School: A Screen Time Interruption

For at least a half dozen years I have proudly proclaimed on my website and in webinars that I have a 99% paperless classroom, so you might be surprised to learn that I spent my lunchtime on Friday photocopying packets. My students are fatigued by the thing that used to make my classroom “cool” and

Semester Long Account Reconciliation Project leads to Student Success

We often rolled our eyes (literally) and stomped our feet (figuratively) when we looked at our pacing guide and saw the week that we would spend teaching account reconciliation. We viewed it as a necessary evil of eighth grade math state standards and as a concept that our students rarely see in action at home.

Blogging: Writing in the Real World

Blogging is real-world writing for an authentic audience.