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Valuing the Conversations

A principal’s informal conversations helped guide a school’s priorities I began my tenure as principal at West Rowan Middle School in the Rowan-Salisbury School District in July 2015. As a newly hired principal, I maintain a keen focus on the school goals in our school improvement plan and work diligently with our great team to

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Working Up a (Brain) Sweat

Physical activity improves students’ cognitive performance. If a pill could improve your child’s self-esteem, memory, attention span, standardized test scores, and ability to problem solve, would you rush to the store and buy it? If it did not need a prescription, was free, had no long-term side effects, and likely would increase your child’s lifespan

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Reaching the Reluctant Reader

Turning negative perceptions into positive outlooks. Common Core State Standards require that students read at complex levels. Guiding students through these increasingly complex materials can be daunting for teachers of mixed ability students, special education students, English Language Learners, and students considered to be Level 1 and Level 2 readers. Some students do not have

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Parent-Teacher Communication, Student Engagement, and Math

Parental involvement is critical to student engagement and achievement. Accountability is a powerful motivator in business and in education. As a teacher who often is in contact with my students’ parents, I have always believed that accountability encourages parents to become more involved in their child’s education. One day a colleague asked me if I

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AMLE Celebrates Inaugural Schools of Distinction

AMLE recognized its inaugural class of Schools of Distinction earlier this month, in conjunction with the organization’s 49th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. The twelve schools were selected for their fervent commitment to implementing the essential attributes and characteristics of successful middle grades schools. In addition to being celebrated during a special awards ceremony, each

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Reimagining School – What should it look like and who is it for?

Cornelius Minor and Kass Minor help #AMLE22 attendees find their bottom lines as educators Cornelius and Kass Minor believe that kids don’t just learn in school. They become. It’s an attitude reflective of what we know about middle grades best practice, making them the perfect keynoters for #AMLE22 and our return to in-person conference. We

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Kindness is harder than it looks.

Houston Kraft reminds #AMLE22 attendees that connection doesn’t happen by accident. Houston Kraft, author and co-founder of CharacterStrong, took the main stage at #AMLE22 yesterday for his keynote address on Deep Kindness. From the outset, he made clear that he had a mission for those in attendance. “If we want more kindness on our campus,

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