Most Clicked MiddleWeb SmartBrief Stories

1. Calif. districts target climate of middle schools

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jul 30, 2015

Many school districts throughout California are focusing on school climate and students' social-emotional needs to improve the quality of middle schools. This article highlights the research indicating climate needs, the lack of specific funding to address problems including bullying, and the programs some schools are implementing. EdSource (07/28)

2. Study shows rigorous middle-grades work benefits minority students

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jul 28, 2015

Minority students in Boston public schools who took advanced courses in the middle grades were more likely to take advanced high-school courses, graduate on time and attend college, a recent Harvard University report finds. Superintendent Tommy Chang said the analysis of 12 years of testing data from grades 4-6 highlights the importance of a rigorous curriculum for all students. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (07/27)

3. Questions to support project-based learning

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jul 28, 2015

Project-based learning advocate Suzie Boss in this blog post shares 10 project ideas she has collected from summer conferences and professional-development events. Each project focuses on a question that fosters a meaningful inquiry experience, such as, "How can we, as future city planners, reimagine empty lots as places of importance in our community?" (07/27)

4. Administrator: Reflect on past school year to prepare for new one

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jul 28, 2015

Educators should get ready for a new school year by analyzing the last one -- primarily the final third of it, writes Sam LeDeaux, a grades 6-8 administrator in a southwest Chicago suburb. In this blog post, he shares six questions that can be helpful to educators. Connected Principals blog (07/24)

5. Student reading strategies need actionable steps

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jul 28, 2015

When reading strategies include a series of actionable steps, students can follow them as they learn to master skills. Using the teaching of tying shoes as an analogy, literacy expert Jennifer Serravallo offers several examples of the kinds of supports teachers can offer learners as they travel along the path to automaticity. Read more.

6. Ala. district enhances middle-grades math instruction

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jul 31, 2015

An Alabama school district plans to prepare all students to take algebra I in eighth grade by restructuring its elementary math classes. The biggest changes will occur in grades 3-5 with an additional 30 minutes of daily math instruction, teachers specializing in math instruction, and an intervention and enrichment period every Friday. The Huntsville Times (Ala.) (07/30)

7. Teacher: Training for school year like a marathon can ease burden

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jul 28, 2015

Gearing up for the school year can be compared to training for a marathon, writes Crystal Morey, a middle-school math teacher in Washington state. In this blog post, she shares seven tips, including training with others, researching and cross-training. Teaching Channel (07/24)

8. Do we really have high expectations for all students?

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jul 30, 2015

When it comes to high expectations, teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn says our actions speak louder than our professed beliefs. Using her own classroom mistakes as a backdrop, Blackburn points out the educator behaviors that signal to struggling learners whether teachers really believe they can achieve more. Read more.

9. How mindfulness lessons can foster positive emotions

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jul 31, 2015 (07/29)

10. Study: Genetics have primary effect on students' intelligence

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jul 31, 2015

A new study from King's College London sheds light on the role genetics play in determining intelligence. Among the findings, researchers found that genetic predisposition is more likely to affect students' scores in all subjects, rather than environmental factors. (07/27)

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