Student Behavior: A plan not a power struggle

Behavior Choices One of the most pressing concerns reported by teachers, middle grade students, and parents is the escalation of conflict and violence among middle level students in schools. There are many ideas about why this may be happening such as isolation and lack of social interaction caused by the pandemic, increased models of conflict

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A Framework for Change: Foundations and Academy

This article is part two of an article series on an innovative approach to developing multidisciplinary curriculum that taps into student interest. You can read part one here. “The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed.”  ― Ken Robinson In June 2018,

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Navigating the Gray: Trauma in the Middle Grades

Our children have so much to tell us. Sometimes it is by expressing their feelings in big ways, other times it is through their actions, and how they direct their bodies to react; in other situations it is through eloping from a space, or shutting down, caught within a freeze. Frequently, as we have seen

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The Diamond Secret: Preventing Pressure from Becoming Stress

Jana Davidson teaches seventh-grade science. Every day, she observes students entering her classroom stressed out. Many of them feel overwhelmed. Anxiety has become quite common thanks to the pressures of social media and a pandemic. When I asked Ms. Davidson how she helps her students manage their stress, she told me she assumed the best

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“I’m a Poet”: Motivating Students the Write Way

When I first began teaching 48 years ago, I believed that the right type of motivation could encourage middle level learners to respond to any reasonable task. I didn’t wish to be insincere because students in middle school do not respect a teacher who uses the bad-tasting prescription medicine approach to addressing curriculum: “It’s really

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Using Podcast Circles to Engage Reluctant ELA Learners

Teaching active listening in an age of information overload When Taryn Kralik moved from teaching fifth and sixth grade in a self-contained elementary school classroom to eighth grade ELA after ten years, she knew she needed a different approach. She had a class of reluctant readers, English learners, and just reluctant learners in general. Frequently

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