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Laptops: A Tool to Improve Reading Comprehension

Laptops: A Tool to Improve Reading Comprehension

How one South Texas school district is taking middle school reading comprehension to another level

Nearly six million middle school students today are reading below grade level—a shocking number. The National Center for Education Statistics' 2017 report, The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics and Reading...
Author: Maridale Still, Cynthia Cummings, Tilisa Thibodeaux, L. Kay Abernathy
Number of views (6400)/Comments (2)/
Don't Pick Up the Rope

Don't Pick Up the Rope

Why it's not worth getting into a struggle with students

It was the summer of 1998. I lived in a two room apartment with my now husband. The shower was in the kitchen. We drove clunker cars, scrounged change for take-out, and let me tell you, we were living our best life....
Author: Amber Chandler
Number of views (6136)/Comments (0)/
Say "Yes" to Lectures

Say "Yes" to Lectures

The teacher opens an umbrella over his head while standing in the middle of the classroom. He appears not to recognize how unusual this is. Concerned about the teacher's mental health, students lean forward as he...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (5311)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Who Am I

Who Am I

Using young adult literature to explore adolescent identity

Everybody has a story. These stories comprise the events in our lives that intersect in complicated and uniquely beautiful ways to shape our perceptions and general outlook of the world. They demonstrate our strengths...
Author: Vanessa E. Vega
Number of views (5051)/Comments (1)/
Embracing Dialects in Middle School English Class

Embracing Dialects in Middle School English Class

A variety of voices in literature helps students recognize themselves in text and connect with others

I will start with an understatement: Now seems as apt a time as any to begin conversations about multiculturalism and marginalized populations in the classroom. A stance of cultural respect opens opportunities for...
Author: Jason D. DeHart
Number of views (4954)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Creating Safe Spaces—Four Lessons Learned

Creating Safe Spaces—Four Lessons Learned

Taking time to listen to and learn from students makes a difference

Emily, one of my former students, was in seventh-grade when a close friend leaned over to share a secret. "I'm bisexual," Alison* told her. "I like guys and girls" (from Emily's blog at...
Author: Phyllis L. Fagell
Number of views (4888)/Comments (0)/
It's More Than Books

It's More Than Books

Making connections with sports in the middle school classroom

When I taught middle school language arts, one of my students, Matthew, would complain that he was not able to give an explanation about or summarize the poems we were reading in class. However, every Monday he would...
Author: Pamela H. Segal, Montana K. McCormick
Number of views (4564)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Not Just Tweens: Educators Need to Model Risk-Taking, Too

Not Just Tweens: Educators Need to Model Risk-Taking, Too

Four ways educators can lean into discomfort

To get from Reno to Lake Tahoe School in Incline Village, Nevada, a school official had to drive me up 6,500 feet of steep, narrow roads lined with snow banks. The air thinned as we ascended above the clouds, so...
Author: Phyllis Fagell
Number of views (3702)/Comments (1)/
Student Success Redefined

Student Success Redefined

It’s not about a test score, it’s about taking ownership of the learning journey

Imagine all the people Living life in peace You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope some day you'll join us And the world will be as one. --John...
Author: Jennifer Ingold
Number of views (1695)/Comments (0)/
Activate the Motivation Molecule

Activate the Motivation Molecule

Using art to boost student motivation and build community

Dopamine is known as the "feel good" neurotransmitter, and we crave it because it lets us know that predicted rewards are coming. That first sip of coffee that signals caffeine will improve your mood and energy level,...
Author: Amber Chandler
Number of views (1571)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
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