Most Clicked MiddleWeb SmartBrief Stories


1. Ideas on reducing the stress of test time

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Mar 05, 2015

Teachers can mitigate the stress of testing time by focusing on what is in their control and taking care of themselves and their students, assistant principal Lori Branham and media specialist Julie Hiltz write in this commentary. They share seven ideas to combat test-time stress, such as giving students hands-on classroom lessons later in the day as a break from test-time sitting. Education Week Teacher (tiered subscription model) (03/03)


2. 5th-graders at Wis. middle school pilot personalized learning

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Mar 03, 2015

A Wisconsin middle school is transitioning to a personalized learning model starting with its fifth-grade class. Teachers provide students with a daily list of learning tasks, and students choose when and how to do them. Teachers also give more direct instruction to those who need it and allow those who have mastered topics to move ahead. Daily Citizen (Beaver Dam, Wis.) (02/28)


3. Research: 5 teaching practices that work

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Mar 03, 2015

Teachers should be clear about expectations when beginning a project or course of study and frequently facilitate classroom discussions, Rebecca Alber writes. In this blog post, she cites these and other findings of education researcher John Hattie, including the importance of feedback, formative assessments and metacognitive strategies. Edutopia.org (02/27)


4. How to cultivate personal connections with students

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Feb 27, 2015

Teaching through relationships means fostering a learning environment in which teachers and students "converse, share experiences, and participate in activities that, together, make for engaged learning," educator Stacey Goodman explains in this blog post. By getting to know students and their interests, backgrounds and learning styles, teachers can create opportunities for deeper connections, Goodman writes. Edutopia.org (02/25)


5. Calif. schools begin promoting college with younger students

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Feb 27, 2015

Some California schools are promoting college in elementary and middle schools as part of their implementation of college-readiness goals in Common Core State Standards. One program, the Long Beach College Promise, teaches fourth- and fifth-grade students how to qualify and apply for college and includes a campus tour. EdSource (02/25)


6. Keeping the learning alive in co-taught classrooms

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Mar 03, 2015

Elizabeth Stein gives readers a look inside a co-taught inclusive classroom. As Mrs. Rhodes and Mrs. Copeland share their love for learning with students, they put Universal Design for Learning techniques into action. Stein shares five co-teaching tips that come alive in the co-teachers' high-energy learning arena. Read more.


7. How some schools are navigating anti-testing initiatives

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Mar 03, 2015

Parents and students in some states, including New Jersey, New York and Colorado, have opted out of standardized testing connected to the Common Core State Standards. Such schools are working to navigate anti-testing initiatives while also complying with testing mandates. New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (03/01)


8. Educators learn new ways to teach students about the Holocaust

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Mar 03, 2015

Educators recently gathered at Duke University to learn how resources from nonprofit institute Centropa could help them teach today's students about the Holocaust. Sample lessons included comparisons between anti-Semitic codes and Jim Crow laws and a video about how children in a Nazi-controlled ghetto created an underground newspaper. National Public Radio (03/01)


9. Study: Social-emotional programs pay off for schools

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Feb 27, 2015

Social-emotional programs in schools may be worth the investment, according to a recent study by the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education. Researchers found that for every dollar spent on six programs studied, schools received $11 in benefits. Education Week (tiered subscription model) (02/26)


10. How collaboration can lead to student innovation

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Mar 05, 2015

Collaboration is a major factor in encouraging innovation among students, according to middle-grades teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron. In this blog post, she describes several tools to help teachers encourage collaboration, including Quirky.com, which allows users to submit an invention, shop for inventions and offer input to other inventors. She also suggests using social media, including Twitter and Facebook. Edutopia.org (03/03)




Sign up for MiddleWeb SmartBrief



Designed specifically for middle grades educators, MiddleWeb SmartBrief is a FREE, thrice-weekly e-mail newsletter. By providing the latest need-to-know industry news and information, MiddleWeb SmartBrief saves you time and keeps you smart. Learn more