Strategies to help students guide curriculum | MiddleWeb: Diverse books help kids discover social justice | Behavioral intervention cuts down suspensions
May 22, 2018
Middleweb SmartBrief
All About the Middle Grades
Teaching in the Middle
Strategies to help students guide curriculum
Strategies to help students guide curriculum
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Students should be allowed to help direct their curriculum, asserts middle-school teacher Hilary Hamilton. In this blog post, she shares how students at her school are doing that by building community and exploring their interests.
Edutopia online (5/21) 
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Behavioral intervention cuts down suspensions
An Indiana school district has created a program to be an alternative to suspension, where students work with a behavioral interventionist on social skills while maintaining their courses. The program is credited with reducing out-of-school suspensions at the district's middle and high schools.
The Tribune-Star (Terre Haute, Ind.) (5/19) 
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Explore New Inspire Science for Grades 6-8
Inspire curiosity, investigation and innovation with new Inspire Science for grades 6-8. Empower students to ask more questions, think critically, and generate innovative solutions to everyday challenges. See how inquiry-based, hands-on investigations of real-world phenomena can engage your students. Learn more and explore sample>
Tweens & Young Teens
Research supports benefits of service learning
Research supports benefits of service learning
Connecting service learning to school-based lessons can help boost retention and build social and emotional skills, says Laura Walker, a professor at Brigham Young University. Walker and two other researchers also have connected the approach to improved student behavior.
Education Dive (5/16) 
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Studies link learning, relationships with teachers
Studies link learning, relationships with teachers
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Two recent studies link student-teacher relationships to students' academic outcomes. Roland Fryer of Harvard University in one study found that elementary students who were taught by different specialists -- instead of having the same teacher who knew them well across most subjects -- had lower scores in math and reading.
The Hechinger Report (5/21) 
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Engage students with free ELA activities
Receive FREE, weekly activities that your middle school students will absolutely enjoy! All activities are easy to use and can help enliven or extend current curriculum. Students and teachers will both be impressed with the results. Sign up now!
Classroom Innovation
Students re-enact Oregon Trail in pioneer lesson
Fourth-graders at an Oregon school loaded toy wagons with supplies and trudged through 3 miles of mud, thickets and creeks in an annual re-enactment of the Oregon Trail. The simulation is meant to give students a taste of early pioneer life, teacher Candy Trower said.
Albany Democrat-Herald (Ore.) (5/19) 
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"Wakes us up and challenges us to infuse new life, depth, and joy into the warm-up segment of our math block."Lucy West. Number Sense Routines for grades 3-5 shows how routines like Today's Number, Quick Images, and Counting Around the Circle can help students learn to think in more sophisticated ways. Preview the entire book!
Featured Content
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Technology & Connected Learning
How a Calif. district helps students by using data
Students in Moreno Valley Unified School District in California whose math assessments show they are struggling have an opportunity to receive online tutoring, writes Superintendent Martinrex Kedziora. In this commentary, Kedziora shares a step-by-step guide to his district's data-driven approach to helping students.
eSchool News (5/21) 
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Other News
Middle Grades Leadership
N.Y. district's program yields positive results
Educators in Rochester, N.Y., say their district's Victorious Minds Academy has helped improve student achievement and behavior in schools. The program is based on an anti-racism and cultural competency pedagogy and includes teacher professional development to boost nurturing relationships with students.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (N.Y.) (tiered subscription model) (5/19) 
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MiddleWeb Recommends
Coping strategies can help teachers keep our year-end cool
As the school year winds down and heightened emotions proliferate, it's easy for teachers to lose their cool. Student (and parent) behavior that would have been met with patience earlier suddenly worsens teacher frustrations. Teacher Rita Platt recounts three recent incidents where she needed to call upon her coping strategies (shared here).
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Making a project "pop" with one engaging tweak
This year, as eighth-graders at Sarah Cooper's school developed their interdisciplinary Community Impact Projects, she added a twist to the required (but seldom read) 300-word research display. Intriguing quotes, many with engaging graphics, increased student investment and audience attention during the culminating capstone presentations. Read more.
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Anais Nin,
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