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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 (10907)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Authentic Audience, Wonderful Writing

Authentic Audience, Wonderful Writing

A teacher's guide to planning a high-interest, engaging writing project

Three years ago an eighth grade class of mine had a blog project called "Dear Terrorist" where students researched their topics and wrote letters to anyone considering (or participating in) a decision that could harm...
Author: Dominic Carrillo
Number of views (10611)/Comments (1)/
Tinkering to Learn: A Reflection on a Promising Practice

Tinkering to Learn: A Reflection on a Promising Practice

Providing students with opportunities to explore, wonder, and discover.

Mini-Course Day As I began teaching a thoughtfully designed lesson on conductors and insulators, I was met with blank stares and compliant students, patiently waiting me out. If they weren't such compliant young...
Author: Heidi Stark
Number of views (9985)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching

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 (9958)/Comments (0)/
Let It Go

Let It Go

Create an instructional shift by letting go of these dated mentalities

"Student-centered" is just one set of new buzzwords in the education world. I remember sitting in a professional development session watching a video of students conducting the class with very little input from the...
Author: Vanessa Gibson
Number of views (9647)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Young Adolescent Voices

Young Adolescent Voices

Students share valuable insights when we take time to listen.

Middle level educators engage in a variety of professional development experiences in order to continue to learn about effective ways to work with young adolescents as they develop their identities, ideas, and...
Author: Ann K. Yehle, Connor Drevs, Kelly Garrity, McKenzie Larson
Number of views (8566)/Comments (0)/
How Where We're from Colors Our View of the World

How Where We're from Colors Our View of the World

Committing to our students' stories is an investment in their success

I'm a sucker for a good Taylor Swift song. As a 32-year-old middle grades educator I feel confident enough to put that in writing, especially in this venue. The weeks before I began teaching outside of Houston, Texas,...
Author: Matthew Moulton
Number of views (8210)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Culture of the Robotics Class

Culture of the Robotics Class

How an early career teacher created a culture of mutual respect and learning

After teaching sixth grade math and science my first two years, I was extremely nervous and apprehensive to become a robotics teacher. I did not study robotics in college, and I had never, ever pictured myself in this...
Author: Ross Hartley
Number of views (8062)/Comments (1)/
Topics: Teaching
A Community Council Makes Everyone a Champion

A Community Council Makes Everyone a Champion

Empowering students to self-regulate and create a positive classroom community

Growing up in rural Nebraska there were three things I knew I would take away from my upbringing: a tenacious work ethic, a strong sense of community, and an obsessive passion for Nebraska football. Legendary football...
Author: Victoria S. Lentfer
Number of views (7590)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
The Boy in the Middle

The Boy in the Middle

The social, intellectual, emotional, and physical needs of middle schoolers

The Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) emphasizes that attending to the social, intellectual, emotional, and physical needs and assets of middle school children is central to their intellectual development....
Author: Daniel M. Levin, Molly Mee
Number of views (7482)/Comments (1)/
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