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February 12, 2013
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All About the Middle Grades

  Teaching in the Middle 
  • Why arts teachers may be experts in project-based learning
    Core-subject teachers should consider looking to arts teachers for ideas on how to do project-based learning, Canadian educator Brenda Sherry writes in this blog post. Arts teachers, who spend most of their class time guiding students in the creation of solo or group projects, have expertise in setting up a classroom environment where students feel safe to collaborate. "Routines are established that teach students how to cooperate; how to lead sometimes, and how to be led by peers other times," Sherry writes. Powerful Learning Practice/Voices from the Learning Revolution blog (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Presidents Day brings opportunity for lessons about citizenship
    Classroom lessons or discussions about what it means to be a citizen are timely as Presidents Day approaches, educator Larry Ferlazzo writes in this blog post. Ferlazzo, who specializes in working with English-language learners, suggests asking students to write what they think it means to be a U.S. citizen, how people becoming a naturalized citizen, including the citizenship test, and what Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama mean when they say "active citizenship." Teachers can then ask students to identify people from the social studies curriculum who are "active citizens." The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Learning Network blog (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Teach about the Holocaust Using Visual History Testimony
The leading Holocaust education program, Echoes and Reflections includes a comprehensive curriculum with over two hours of visual history testimony from survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust, interactive digital activities on IWitness, and a dynamic professional development program that has reached over 17,000 educators. Sign up today!
  Tweens & Young Teens 

"You can't learn math without making mistakes." What's Right About Wrong Answers gives you 22 activities that focus on important ideas in grades 4-5 math. Each includes a summary of the content and highlighted error, Common Core connections, redproducibles, required manipulatives, and other tools. Preview the entire book!
  Classroom Innovation 
  • Wyo. school uses interdisciplinary approach to study wolves
    The issue of wolf reintroduction into the wilderness of Wyoming is the subject of study by 57 seventh-grade students at Laramie Junior High School. The school's math, English, world geography and science teachers developed an interdisciplinary unit that has engaged the students, said English teacher Rhonda Johnson. As part of the unit, students also had the opportunity to question a panel of experts, including Fred Lindzey, professor emeritus from the University of Wyoming and former Game and Fish coordinator for District 2. Laramie Boomerang (Wyo.) (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology & Connected Learning 
  • What if lectures are unnecessary?
    Students may learn better through investigation or discussion -- rather than in-person or videotaped lectures, even if teachers have adopted the flipped instructional model, writes instructional coach David Ginsburg. In this blog post, he describes a scenario in which teachers work during class time to assess what students' know and the areas in which they need additional help. Then, they would develop a whole-group discussion "students would benefit from such as sharing solutions and insights, addressing common misconceptions, and scaffolding understanding to a deeper level." Education Week Teacher/Coach G's Teaching Tips blog (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Middle Grades Leadership 
  • Is coaching better than getting peer advice online?
    Transformational leadership coach Elena Aguilar writes that she is dismayed by the need to conduct a two-year study comparing individualized teacher coaching to offering an online chat community as methods of professional development. Early results from the study in Tennessee show that teachers are pleased with coaching but fail to consistently engage in the online community, writes Aguilar, who isn't surprised by the results. She concedes that the study is necessary if coaching is to receive financial support. Education Week Teacher/The Art of Coaching Teachers blog (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Specialists help individualize math instruction in a N.H. school
    Students at Broad Street Elementary School in Nashua, N.H., who need extra assistance in math are receiving it in some unlikely places, such as the gym and library. This year, the school launched an initiative that uses specialists to supplement traditional lessons and ensure students are receiving the instruction they need. School officials say teachers have welcomed the program and that student achievement and engagement have improved. The Telegraph (Nashua, N.H.) (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  MiddleWeb Recommends 
  • MiddleWeb's 40 Favorite Websites for the Middle Grades
    MiddleWeb recently created this free 24-page guide as a gift for new subscribers to MiddleWeb SmartBrief. Now it's time to share our 40 Favorite Websites for the Middle Grades with everyone else. Our resources guru Susan B. Curtis served as lead editor. She's included the level of detail and specific links 4-8 educators want to see when you are planning lessons, looking for teaching ideas, or just need some professional inspiration. Download the PDF at this page. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Amazing STEM Jobs
    Along with mechanical engineering (the #1 favorite) and other familiar career choices we associate with STEM majors -- like aerospace engineer, computer systems analyst, or construction manager -- there are plenty of unexpected and exotic STEM job possibilities, says MiddleWeb blogger Anne Jolly. Her personal favorite: NASA's Curiosity driver. But there's also Legoland amusement park designer, animatronic dinosaur wrangler, and CIA spy. STEM Imagineering. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--John Steinbeck,
American author

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