Transporting Historical Figures from Past to Present

Perspective-writing activities bring “a bunch of dead guys” to life. To young adolescents, historical figures are a bunch of dead guys. Many students believe the issues, values, and perspectives of the people from the past hold no relevance to their lives in the 21st century. However, perspective-writing activities in the middle school social studies classroom

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PG-13 and Then Some!

How are middle grades educators supposed to act outside school? As a middle level educator (since prehistoric times), I am sometimes immune to the many behaviors, antics, and attitudes of early adolescents—those behaviors often interpreted by others as inappropriate, disrespectful, and unsuitable for public consumption. Imagine that! So after a recent outing to the local

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GPS for Test Prep: Which Route Do You Take?

Effective test prep means understanding the test as well as the content. “Assuming that the street is level, what should you do after you have finished parallel parking in a space between two other cars?” This is a practice question on the New York State DMV website for the written portion of the driving test.

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Getting Students Excited About College

Middle school is not too early to encourage students to dream big. College is a place where students’ minds grow and flourish and where they see the wide range of possibilities before them. However, some students never have the opportunity or the interest in pursuing all that college has to offer. For some students, the

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Middle School, not Junior High

We are a middle school, not a junior version of high school. To be effective in our teaching, we are developmentally appropriate for young adolescents, not for 16- to 18-year-olds nor for 8- and 9-year-olds. There is an expertise to teaching middle level students that is different than that needed to teach elementary or high

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