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Are You Helping or Hurting Your Students?

Are You Helping or Hurting Your Students?

When should you let students struggle?

What’s wrong with these kids? Do they really think we’ll hold their hand? This isn’t elementary school! I treat mine all the same. And you know what? It’s sink or swim. How are they going...
Author: Ruby K. Payne
Number of views (24921)/Comments (0)/
Connecting with the Larger World

Connecting with the Larger World

You belong. We do this with you, not in spite of you. You can trust me not to humiliate you and to keep you from humiliating yourself.

These are the messages in action or in word that students want to hear daily from teachers. To promote these themes, we give students positions of responsibility and the know-how to do them: running the daily...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (23251)/Comments (0)/

Weaving STEM, Exploration, and Community Service

There is an epidemic plaguing our country. It's creeping through our communities and into many of our schools. It's not the flu. It's the number of young people who are dropping out of school at alarming rates,...
Author: Alyssa Hawkins and Scott Richardson
Number of views (22439)/Comments (5)/

Welcome to Camp Lightning Thief!

The mother of a seventh grade student at Canonsburg Middle School in Pennsylvania sent the following message to Mrs. Wright, a language arts teacher: Just wanted to let you know how much Alex has been enjoying The...
Author: Greg Taranto, Jeremy Kuharcik, & Mindy Wright
Number of views (22169)/Comments (0)/
The Hidden Curriculum of Middle School

The Hidden Curriculum of Middle School

Two years ago our school underwent a reorganization to create a designated middle school. Previously the school was split into two parts: Lower School which included Montessori sixth grade and Upper School which was...
Author: Tracie Cain
Number of views (21982)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Minds-On, Hands-Off Learning

Minds-On, Hands-Off Learning

Allowing students freedom within boundaries promotes dynamic learning.

Middle school students are growing and developing into actively thinking young adults. To become critical thinkers who take ownership of their work, they need guided autonomy embedded in rich learning experiences....
Author: Alicia A. Cole
Number of views (21798)/Comments (1)/

Student Voice

A secret ingredient in improving student engagement and building a community of learners

Those of us in middle level education know the basics of adolescent psychology. Teens are naturally rebellious. Their state of mind isn’t in a "state" at all; they are out-of-sync, their bodies out of control....
Author: Elyse S. Scott
Number of views (21601)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Necessary Noise: The Importance of Collaborative Learning

Necessary Noise: The Importance of Collaborative Learning

An old-fashioned radio broadcast encourages deeper reading.

Connections between students, connections between texts and students, and connections between texts and the real world are vital to student learning. In classrooms, one way to make connections is by linking people,...
How I Won the Grading Game

How I Won the Grading Game

One single event can change teaching forever.

With more than two decades of experience, I have seen my share of the unusual, but one event in one eighth grade class forever changed the way I think about instruction and grading. It lead me on a personal and...
Author: Theresa Heilsberg
Number of views (19277)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
New Perspectives on Student Engagement

New Perspectives on Student Engagement

Do you remember Judith Viorst's story about Alexander, who had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? For some middle school students, each day of the school year is an Alexander kind of day as defeat after...
Author: James Hall
Number of views (18588)/Comments (0)/
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