Most Clicked MiddleWeb SmartBrief Stories


1. 4 tips to help new ELL students adjust

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Educators can help new students who are English-language learners adjust to the classroom by aiding their transition, sixth-grade literacy teacher Rhonda Stewart writes in this blog post. She offers four ideas to welcome these students, including creating a welcome packet and conversation cards that teach students key phrases to help them learn English and navigate the classroom. Scholastic.com (01/23)


2. Using snow to teach science and math

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 22, 2015

Educators can use students' interest in snow to engage them in lessons on science and math, fourth-grade teacher Lindsey Petlak suggests in this blog post. She offers links to resources and describes projects that include graphing and analyzing the possible targets in a fake classroom snowball fight to studying symmetry by creating snowflakes. Scholastic.com (01/21)


3. Ideas to help new teachers to reflect on their practice

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

The New Year offers new teachers time to reflect on and retool some of their teaching practices that may or may not have worked earlier in the school year, instructional mentor Stacy Davison writes in this blog post. She offers 10 ideas for implementing a reset, including replacing classroom routines that aren't working and focusing on closure for lessons. Teaching Channel (01/22)


4. The 8 essentials of good student feedback

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 22, 2015

Whether you provide it orally or in written form -- in a sit-down meeting or during a busy classroom activity -- quality feedback is crucial for students to continuously improve their work. Author and consultant Barbara Blackburn summarizes eight characteristics of good feedback that she believes "are essential practices for effective teaching." Read more.


5. Wis. middle students succeed with RtI, data-driven teaching

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Response-to-intervention specialists at a Wisconsin middle school use computer software and data-driven teaching and learning to help students succeed. The school has adopted strategic scheduling, in which students are placed in classes based on test performance to receive additional attention. Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (tiered subscription model) (01/26)


6. Teacher weighs pros, cons of hugs, touch in the classroom

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Touch always has been an important part of teaching practices of English teacher Jessica Lahey, whether conveying her support for students in a difficult time or offering a gentle reminder to focus on the work. In this commentary, she writes about the research and what some experts say regarding touch, learning and the potential of touch to help or harm students. Atlantic online, The (01/23)


7. Review: A middle-school classic returns, even better

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

Even if you think you know all there is to know about middle-schoolers, raves teacher-reviewer Beth Morrow, you are bound to learn something new about their thinking and behavior after you finish reading the third edition of "What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know" by Dave F. Brown and Trudy Knowles. Read more.


8. Eliminating text may help create effective presentations

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

PowerPoint or slide presentations that rely too heavily on text can overwhelm students, former middle-school teacher Mary Jo Madda warns. Based on research by Richard Mayer, a brain scientist at the University of California Santa Barbara, educators should focus on images and limit themselves to one word per slide, Madda writes. EdSurge (01/19)


9. What next-generation assessment means for educators

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

Next-generation student assessments can give educators the tools needed to personalize learning for students, plus reinforce digital-literacy skills that students need to collaborate and connect with teachers and peers, educator Adisack Nhouyvanisvong writes in this blog post. Such a system can provide data automatically, so teachers can skip crunching the data themselves, Nhouyvanisvong writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (01/21)


10. Why teachers should partner with librarians for inquiry-based learning

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 22, 2015

School librarians can help educators make the transition to inquiry-based learning, said Paige Jaeger, a school librarian turned administrator and co-author of "Think Tank Library: Brain-Based Learning Plans for New Standards." "This is so new for teachers, whereas librarians have been doing this for ten years," she said. KQED.org (01/19)




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