Video game camp uses academic skills | Study: Citizen science has benefits for students | MiddleWeb: How educators can make researching matter to kids
July 20, 2018
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Teaching in the Middle
Video game camp uses academic skills
Video game camp uses academic skills
Students at a Massachusetts middle school learned how to create video games in a summer camp in collaboration with a science, technology, engineering and math group called Tinker and Create. As students learned to code games, they also applied physics, math and other academic subjects, instructor Doug Tepe said.
The Sun Chronicle (Attleboro, Mass.) (7/19) 
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Study: Citizen science has benefits for students
Study: Citizen science has benefits for students
Citizen science projects may help to engage students in environmental conservation, according to a study led by Stephanie Schuttler of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Rachael Polmanteer, an eighth-grade science teacher in North Carolina, said that adopting citizen science lessons in her classroom has helped to engage students in the subject.
Education Week (tiered subscription model) (7/18) 
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Rubrics. Test questions. Tiering assessments. Grading effort. Redos. Report cards. In his thoroughly revised edition of Fair Isn't Always Equal, Rick Wormeli provides a thorough guide for teachers and administrators to tackle challenging and controversial assessment and grading practices in the differentiated classroom. Preview the entire book!
Tweens & Young Teens
Poll: More parents worried about school safety
About 34% of parents say they fear for their children's safety at school -- up from 12% five years ago -- according to a Phi Delta Kappa International poll. The results also show a majority of parents support having more mental health screenings and having armed police on campus.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (7/17),  U.S. News & World Report (7/17),  Education Week (tiered subscription model) (7/17) 
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Classroom Innovation
Students learn Chinese, Russian in free program
Students learn Chinese, Russian in free program
Rising fifth- and sixth-graders in a Virginia school district are learning Chinese and Russian during a free four-week program funded by a grant from the federal government. The students, who are chosen to attend by lottery because of heavy interest, speak the languages full time in an immersion model and participate in cultural enrichment activities and field trips.
The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) (7/18) 
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Technology & Connected Learning
Summer program steers Neb. girls toward STEM
Twenty-six incoming eighth-grade girls in Nebraska are participating in a pilot program offering the "Eureka!" science, technology, engineering and math program from Girls Inc. During the five-year program, students take part in STEM summer camps for the first two years, work at summer internships in local businesses for another two years, and earn college credits during their final summer.
Lincoln Journal Star (Neb.) (tiered subscription model) (7/18) 
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Other News
Middle Grades Leadership
Use tech to expand professional learning networks
Media specialists can embrace the "unconference" movement to network with fellow educators, writes Ge-Anne Bolhuis, a Georgia school district instructional technology specialist and media specialist liaison. In this commentary, she shares three suggestions for building such a network, including by using Twitter and organizing local CoffeeEDU meetings.
eSchool News (7/19) 
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What summer programs have to offer teachers
What summer programs have to offer teachers
Educators can benefit from participating in summer learning programs, asserts Brenda McLaughlin, chief strategy officer for the nonprofit Building Educated Leaders for Life. In this commentary, she shares five benefits for teachers, including gaining professional skills and more time to develop relationships with students.
The Hechinger Report (7/19) 
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MiddleWeb Recommends
Review: A practical guide to teaching writing well
Ruth Culham's practical guide, "Teach Writing Well: How to Assess Writing, Invigorate Instruction, and Rethink Revision," goes step-by-step through incorporating the seven writing traits into any classroom writing program -- while also undergirding the work of teachers with a sense of exuberance and discovery. Teacher and faculty leader Sarah Cooper can't wait for fall to try Culham's ideas. Read more.
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Review: The quest to engage and empower adolescents
In "180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents" Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle encourage teachers to meet "hidden standards" that focus on engagement in reading and writing and are accessed through choice, relevance, and classroom culture. ELA teacher Amy Estersohn finds some elements missing. Read on.
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Review: Literacy tasks that promote student independence
In "The Big Book of Literacy Tasks Grades K-8: 75 Balanced Literacy Activities Students Do (Not You!)" Nancy Akhavan encourages teachers to push away from assigned passages and canned responses and instead promote more freedom in student thinking and more reflection about their connection to the reading and writing going on in their classroom, writes reviewer Stacy Thorpe. Read more.
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