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Literacy Intensive Classroom

Creating the Literacy Intensive Classroom: Elements of an Exemplary Middle School Literacy Program

Addressing the literacy needs of adolescent learners is a monumental task given the wide range of ability levels found in our classrooms. So where to begin? What are the school-based and classroom-based ingredients that are essential to creating and maintaining literacy intensive classrooms? While not exhaustive, we set out to provide a starting point for

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Grading Reform

Defining Grades: A Middle School’s Approach to Grading Reform

Conversations with students are a highlight of many administrators’ day. Often, the conversation turns towards the child’s academic progress. During the first quarter of my first year at the middle school, I met with a child who had been given a homework assignment described as “progress report signed” for which he had received a grade

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Post-Pandemic Preparation: Reimagining Middle School Partnerships

COVID-19 created unprecedented challenges but also served as a catalyst to rethink important aspects of our schools. One area where I see a big opportunity is to reimage middle school culture. AMLE’s landmark position paper The Successful Middle School: This We Believe highlights the importance of engaging families as valued partners and collaborating with community


Students write a test exam in a beautiful classroom

Re-Learning and Re-Assessing: Practical Tips

Not everyone is comfortable with re-do’s and re-takes, which are more appropriately recognized as re-learning (or learning properly) and re-assessing. Some of us experience pushback when suggesting these practices to colleagues, then succumb to those pressures thereby denying their use in our classes. As a result, our students don’t learn the required content and skills.