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January 22, 2013
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All About the Middle Grades

  Teaching in the Middle 
  • Why students still need teachers' guidance with technology
    Many students have mastered entertainment technology -- such as Facebook and YouTube -- before their teachers, but that does not mean they know how to use technology beyond play, writes middle-grades educator Bill Ferriter in this blog post. Instead, it is a teacher's job to show students what can be done with technology. "It's OUR job to help kids to realize how to leverage technology for something more than keeping themselves entertained," Ferriter writes. Teacher Leaders Network/Tempered Radical blog (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teaching students to think twice before posting images online
    In this blog post, Ontario educator Lisa Noble describes how she sought to teach her sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students why they should think twice before they post candid photos taken at school on the Internet. The urge to share such images with friends on social networks can put the safety of other students at risk, she writes -- a point made more real for students during a classroom visit from a fellow student with special needs. Powerful Learning Practice (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Recommended by the Common Core State Standards!
Joy Hakim's award-winning A History of US series is recommended by the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy as an exemplary informational text. Hakim details the birth and development of the United States, from pre-Columbian Native American life in The First Americans through to the 21st century America in All the People. Learn More
  Tweens & Young Teens 
  • Students in Pa. participate in Martin Luther King Day of Service
    Students from Bridle Path Elementary School in Pennsylvania participated last week in a project aimed at recognizing the Martin Luther King Day of Service. The students collected donations of snacks and treats and placed them in bags they decorated, and then a group of students in grades 4-6 helped deliver them to a local center for residents with physical and emotional disabilities. "The kids really love it," said Jenna Caccese, a parent and member of the home and school association. "They get to see the people who benefit from what they've done." Montgomery News (Fort Washington, Pa.) (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Rubrics. Test questions. Tiering assessments. Grading effort. Redos. Report cards. In his thoroughly revised edition of Fair Isn't Always Equal, Rick Wormeli provides a thorough guide for teachers and administrators to tackle challenging and controversial assessment and grading practices in the differentiated classroom. Preview the entire book!
  Classroom Innovation 
  • Tips for teaching language arts under the common core
    In this blog post, educators and experts share their suggestions for preparing students for the Common Core State Standards in language arts. Amy Benjamin, a teacher and national consultant, writes that language arts classes are "Command Central" for the essential skills of the common core. Students must be immersed regularly in "aural and written academic vocabulary," she writes. Benjamin suggests using the Academic Word List compiled by Averil Coxhead as a resource. Education Week Teacher/Classroom Q&A blog (1/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Is there more to math than simply finding the answer?
    It might be tempting for math educators to focus on completing chapter after chapter of their textbooks, but students benefit more if educators slow down and take time to help students understand how they reached an answer, middle-school math teacher Jose Vilson writes in this blog post. "Rather than just trying to sift through our 800-page textbooks by chapter or blaze through a curriculum map, let's focus on developing mathematicians."é Vilson's blog (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • D.C. middle schools pilot math program with entrepreneurial focus
    Future entrepreneurs cannot start a successful business without a strong foundation in math, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship founder Steve Mariotti writes in this blog post. He explains how some middle schools in Washington D.C., are using the Start Up Math program -- developed by NFTE -- to identify struggling learners and use project-based, real-world activities like using coupons or calculating the product production rate on an assembly line to teach math concepts. The Huffington Post/The Blog (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology & Connected Learning 
  • Other News
  Middle Grades Leadership 
  • Dealing with conflicting belief systems among teachers
    There is the potential for conflict whenever people collaborate, including teachers, writes Elena Aguilar, a transformational leadership coach. In this blog post, she writes about six education belief systems and how they can lead to conflict within a team of educators. Understanding your own belief systems, as well as those of fellow educators, can help to avoid conflict and boost understanding, Aguilar writes. Aguilar's blog (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  MiddleWeb Recommends 
  • Using Web tools to meet common core standards
    Curriculum and technology consultant Mike Fisher is a former middle-grades teacher who understands why cool digital tools like Smore (posters), Picktochart (infographics) and Yapp (DIY apps) will engage tweens and young teens and help teachers meet common core ELA standards for close reading and the analysis of complex literary and informational texts. Fisher highlights these tools in a new MiddleWeb guest article. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • STEM with a Capital T
    STEM learning should be about integrating science, math AND technology through an engineering process, writes expert Anne Jolly in her MiddleWeb blog STEM Imagineering. But do we see much evidence that Technology with a Capital T is a full partner in STEM curriculum? "Just where does technology fit, and what does the T in STEM lessons look like, anyway?" Jolly suggests three ways to think about STEM and technology, including out-of-box ideas like GameDesk. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to."
--W.C. Fields,
American comedian, actor and writer

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