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November 30, 2012
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All About the Middle Grades

  Teaching in the Middle 
  • Ideas for teachers to help boys become better writers
    Author and educator Ralph Fletcher in this blog post offers nine tips for educators on helping boys improve their writing. Among his tips, Fletcher recommends that female teachers learn to embrace boys' interests -- such as off-beat humor and action-intense plots -- for writing assignments. "We must allow boys the opportunity to choose what to write about and how to express themselves," Fletcher writes. Education Week Teacher/Classroom Q&A blog (11/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 5 quick fixes to improve teaching
    There are several steps that teachers can take to quickly improve their teaching, writes author and speaker Annette Breaux. In this blog post, she writes that teachers should greet students each morning and say goodbye to them when they leave to help develop a positive classroom environment. Breaux also suggests teachers model happiness and enthusiasm for students, remind students about rules and classroom procedures, make lessons meaningful and include games in academic lessons. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Tweens & Young Teens 
  • Other News
  Classroom Innovation 
  • What can writing letters to the president teach students?
    Having students write letters to President Barack Obama expressing their hopes and concerns ahead of his second inauguration on Jan. 21 makes them part of a longstanding U.S. tradition, educator Suzie Boss writes in this blog post. Letters to the Next President, co-sponsored by the National Writing Project and Google, offers a starting point for a presidential-themed writing project, Boss writes. She also suggests students share their letters on a classroom blog or submit them to a local newspaper. Edutopia.org/Suzie Boss's blog (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Technology & Connected Learning 
  • Skype helps teachers expand scope of classroom lessons
    Skype in the Classroom has grown since its 2011 launch to include 43,000 teachers and 2,400 suggested lesson plans that include the use of the free, Internet video-chatting program. Teachers interviewed say they recently used Skype to communicate with students stuck at home during the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and to conduct virtual chats worldwide. "You're able to give an experience to a student that you could never possibly provide otherwise," said Allison Holland, an eLearning coach in Indiana's Plymouth Community Schools, where students have chatted on Skype with Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson and basketball star Shaquille O'Neal. Time.com/Techland blog (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Middle-school students call on mobile phones to do homework
    A recent survey of middle-school students finds that many are using technology, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops, to do their homework. Data show that Hispanic students more likely were than white and black students to use the devices. Usage of all three devices was greater at home than in school, where some officials continue to restrict the use of students' devices during school hours. Yahoo/Reuters (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Online math program offers payoff of social media time
    With the new computer program Aftermath, parents install software that requires users -- their children -- to solve math problems to earn time on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Parents can establish whatever sites they want to be the rewards, with the idea that after math work is done, kids can use their free time for social networking. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Middle Grades Leadership 
  • What makes a good teacher team?
    Strong teams can help educators feel connected to their colleagues and build emotional resilience in a job that is getting tougher to do, transformational leadership coach Elena Aguilar writes. In this blog post, Aguilar shares five ideas about what makes a good team such as creating a "safe space" for professional learning. "There are many reasons for which those of us working in schools might gather in a team but I believe that all of those reasons should contain opportunities for learning with and from each other," she writes. Edutopia.org/Elena Aguilar's blog (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  MiddleWeb Recommends 
  • Insights into Student Motivation
    MiddleWeb co-editor Susan B. Curtis is back with another of her in-depth Resource Roundup articles. Student motivation has been an especially hot topic among educators in 2012, and she's pulled together blog posts, interviews and studies centering on some of the year's best commentary about intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation. You'll find plenty of solid research and advice that will serve you well in 2013 and beyond. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Real co-teaching requires common planning time
    Common planning time is one of the essentials of a successful co-teaching relationship, writes special ed teacher Laurie Wasserman in our latest post at the Two Teachers in the Room blog. Drawing on her own current practice in a Boston-area middle school, Wasserman offers some good advice for new co-teachers and others who may be struggling with the co-teaching relationship, in the classroom or across the school. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief."
--William Shakespeare,
British playwright


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