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Upset and tired boy teenager sitting on the floor keeps hand to cheek looking thoughtfully and hopeless. Stressed student guy feels emotional discomfort, anxiety and mental health problems.

Refusing to Return to “Normal”

This article originally appeared in the February, 2021 issue of Middle School Journal. AMLE members receive full access to Middle School Journal as a benefit of membership. Explore Middle School Journal. Explore AMLE membership. Knowing Yourself Before Teaching Others A Poem by Zachary O’Brien 1 All of the things that an educator should know, go far

Authenticity, Duplicity, and the Philadelphia 76ers

As a Latin teacher, I struggle with creating authentic learning experiences. Most authentic Roman cultural experiences would get me reprimanded or fired. Authentic Latin literature? I teach beginning Latin to middle school students. Yesterday a student put verb endings on a noun. I am, however, an authentic teacher. If I am to be truly authentic

Good “Technogogy”: Using Task Challenges and Student Choice to drive Meaningful Learning in any Environment

COVID-19 has challenged us to re-envision education. Every aspect of “best practice” is currently up for re-examination and debate, from current academic practices to recommendations on how to best develop meaningful curriculum to how to cultivate meaningful relationships with students/families. In the process, we have also discovered that it is not enough to make education

Leveraging the Science Behind the Middle School Brain in your Teaching Strategies

Young adolescence is recognized as the developmental period our students undergo between the ages of 10-15. This is the age where students develop the ability to expand their concrete knowledge to a more abstract way of thinking.  The connections in the brain are occurring often, and the skills learned become hard-wired.  Because there is so

Assessing with Instructional Integrity Before, During and After the Pandemic

Using a simple checklist can help educators design quality assessments When Ken O’Connor’s daughter was in 7th grade, she was given an assignment that included a detailed rubric. He spent time with her unpacking the rubric so that she understood the expectations. After much hard work, she produced what he thought to be an excellent

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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.