Active Learning

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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Play, Move, Calm, Think: An Advisory Approach with Student Choice at the Center

As you enter the classroom, the lights are dimmed and a dozen students are scattered throughout. Some are folding origami; another is using a wood burning kit to etch a magnificent dragon plaque. Others are reading quietly. You have entered the “Calm room.” It’s one of four rooms that 6th graders at Olmsted Falls Middle

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Research to Practice: Implementing Genius Projects in the Middle Grades

A genius project—also called genius hour (Davis, 2022; Mulvahill, 2018), enigma mission (George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2019), or passion project (Bowersox, 2020; Wormeli, 2018)—is a form of personalized learning in which students engage in sustained, self-directed inquiry for part of the school day. Genius projects are a natural fit for the middle grades because they

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The Struggle is Real

The Struggle is Real

Creating Opportunities for Productive Struggle in Math, ELA, Social Studies, and Science While productive struggle has been the focus of much research for the past two decades (e.g., Ewing et al., 2019; Hiebert and Grouws, 2007; Townsend et al., 2018), much of that research centered on mathematics content. Here we posit that productive struggle can,

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