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. 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)


3. Colo. middle school grows with integrative STEM program

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

A Colorado middle school has attracted students by offering a project-based science, technology, engineering and math program called iSTEM. Three years ago, the school's teachers collaborated on the integrative curriculum that includes having students redesign the school's playground and learning about space-based worm composting from researchers at NASA and Texas A&M University. Denver Post, The (01/29)


4. 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)


5. 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)


6. Students using mindfulness techniques perform better in math, study finds

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

Students who learned mindfulness practices, such as meditation and gratitude, posted improved math scores compared with students who did not use the practices, according to a recent report. Students also outperformed their peers in other areas, such as cognitive control, emotional control, optimism and empathy. Time.com (01/26)


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. Keeping middle-school parents connected to the classroom

MiddleWeb SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

Middle-schoolers push parents away with one hand, says sixth-grade teacher Cheryl Mizerny, while wanting the other hand to be held. Mizerny shares a variety of strategies she uses to help parents stay connected to her classroom as their kids navigate the storms of adolescence. Read more.


9. 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)


10. 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)




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