Helping students adjust to middle school | Teacher: Student Learning Objectives guide lessons | Study finds higher self-harm incidence among girls
October 20, 2017
Middleweb SmartBrief
All About the Middle Grades
Teaching in the Middle
Helping students adjust to middle school
Helping students adjust to middle school
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Coping with the expectations of middle school is challenging for many students, but educators can help students and their families adjust, writes educator Heather Wolpert-Gawron in this blog post. She shares tips for teachers on how to guide students and parents through the transition.
Edutopia online (10/19) 
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Other News
Novel ideas for the Christmas concert
No event in a school reflects the spirit of the season more than the Christmas pageant. Eight proven skits in this book are meant to enrich education for the middle years. These humorous skits will energize your classroom and make your contribution to the Christmas concert more meaningful and entertaining.
Tweens & Young Teens
Study finds higher self-harm incidence among girls
UK researchers found that the average annual incidence of self-harm among girls ages 10 to 19 was three times higher than among boys of the same age between 2001 and 2014, with self-harm rates among teen girls ages 13 to 16 increasing by 68% from 2011 to 2014. The findings in The BMJ also showed increased self-harm prevalence but lower odds of mental health service referrals within a year of first self-harm episode among children and teens in low-income areas, compared with those in higher-income areas.
The Guardian (London) (10/18),  CBS News (10/18),  Healio (free registration) (10/18) 
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Better Support Students with Exceptionalities
General-education teachers say they lack the skills to support the growing number of students with exceptionalities. Find strategies and tips for using targeted, online PD to help all teachers understand these learners, identify their strengths and keep them on track toward their learning targets. Download Now
Classroom Innovation
5th-graders, high-schoolers create "music walls"
5th-graders, high-schoolers create "music walls"
Senior students from various high schools recently collaborated with fifth-graders to design interactive "music walls" in the younger students' elementary school. The older students, who are studying Computer Aided Design engineering technology in the Excel TECC program, began working with their younger peers in February to create the walls for use with problem-solving.
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (10/16) 
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Can ending tracking improve math performance?
Can ending tracking improve math performance?
(Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)
Three years after ending math-class tracking, Pennsylvania middle-school math teacher Nick Tutolo writes that his school has seen academic improvement, especially among the middle and lower third of all students. In this commentary, Tutolo recounts the challenges he faced from administrators, parents and other teachers.
Education Week (tiered subscription model) (10/18) 
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Shake up your writing instruction. In Renew! literacy specialist Shawna Coppola provides a framework for rethinking how we teach the writing process, the tools we use, how we assess student writing, and our roles as writing teachers. A provocative, inspiring, and motivating read. Preview the entire book!
Technology & Connected Learning
Education Dept. warns schools about hackers
Education Dept. warns schools about hackers
The US Department of Education is warning school districts about threats from hackers who say they will release stolen, private data unless they receive payment. Districts in three states have been targeted by this cyberthreat.
CNN (10/18) 
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Teacher plans lessons with thermal cameras
Iowa teacher Jenny Mullikin plans to use a moisture meter pen and thermal cameras that plug into smartphones to offer hands-on lessons about energy. Mullikin received a grant to purchase the equipment and plans to have students do an energy audit to help their school become more energy efficient.
Muscatine Journal (Iowa) (10/17) 
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Implementing A District-Wide Science Success
Veteran education leader Mike Dillon has helped his school district continue on a steady path of success in science. The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts program and kits, available through Carolina Biological, have ensured that an entire district maintains a culture of high academic achievement. Read the case study.
Middle Grades Leadership
3 key components of a successful PLC
Educators in a New York school district have implemented professional learning communities through "collegial circles." In this blog post, Fred Ende, assistant director of curriculum and instructional services, shares three tips for creating successful PLCs.
SmartBrief/Education (10/18) 
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MiddleWeb Recommends
Review: Restoring the passion for personal reading
In "Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters," Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst argue that educators must help students become empowered readers who are motivated to read by personal desire, not just for tests or school work. The authors' well supported argument uses a "Book-Head-Heart" framework, says ELA teacher Kevin Hodgson. Read more.
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Review: Exploring and implementing alternative discipline options
"Don't Suspend Me! An Alternative Discipline Toolkit" by Jessica Djabrayan Hannigan and John E. Hannigan can be used to ramp up school and district discussions about discipline policies. Principals, discipline teams, and individual teachers whose schools don't have access to onsite PBIS training might adapt the book's suggestions, says retired school leader Mary L. Thompson. Read on.
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Looking for fresh ideas? Check out our books for review!
Whether you're looking for fresh teaching ideas to amp up your instruction this school year -- or you'd just like to expand your professional reading -- be sure to visit MiddleWeb's well-stocked virtual bookshelf and choose a new title you'd like to review. Many are quick, practical reads with ideas you can put to work right away. Choose now and send your review to us by January 5, 2018! Learn more.
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