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January 25, 2013
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All About the Middle Grades

  Teaching in the Middle 
  • How work examples strengthen rubrics as teaching, grading tools
    Presenting rubrics without the model or anchor work used to create them makes them less useful to students and teachers, educator Grant Wiggins writes in this blog post. Offering a variety of examples of high-quality and lesser-quality work along with the rubric helps students -- and teachers using the tools for grading -- best understand the rubric and what is expected. "In fact, without the models, you might say that this paper is 'well-developed' while I might say it is 'unevenly developed,'" Wiggins writes. Grant Wiggins blog (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • A teacher explains his decision to abandon tests
    In this blog post, high-school English teacher Nicholas Provenzano writes about his pride in not having administered a quiz or test in all of the first semester. Several years ago, he decided to abandon multiple-choice tests in favor of giving students multiple ways that they can explore and show what they have learned -- which resulted in higher engagement and improved learning, he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Tweens & Young Teens 
  • S.C. bill would require psychologists in all public schools
    A bill introduced by state Representative Jerry Govan would require all public schools in South Carolina to have a full-time school psychologist. There are only about 550 school psychologists for the state's 1,200 public schools, but Govan offers the bill as an alternative to other school safety measures. "I think it stands a better chance of saving lives than arming teachers in schools," Govan said. WJBF-TV (Augusta, Ga.) (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Classroom Innovation 
  • Educators use dance to instill love of math
    A math lesson that relies on dance to teach number patterns is helping raise student scores and increase student engagement in a Virginia school district, reporter Rebecca Jacobson writes in this blog post. Educators are using training they received as part of a local college's science, technology, engineering and math teacher-preparation program to shake things up in the classroom. It teaches fifth-graders how to break down dance steps, number and graph them, and use this data to predict the number of repetitions needed in a particular song. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ohio fourth- and eighth-graders to pen books on friendship
    A group of fourth-grade students will partner with eighth-graders to write picture books about friendship as part of Ohio's Peer Assistance Review program. Students will travel to each other's classrooms once a month to work on the project in which they will write and illustrate their books with help from the Costco Warehouse's website. Printed books will be autographed by each author and donated to the Avon Lake Public Library so more children can read them. Patch.com/Avon, Ohio (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology & Connected Learning 
  • How to use QR codes as teaching tools
    There are many ways that quick-response codes can be used in classroom lessons, offers educator and blogger Monica Burns. In this blog post, she writes that QR codes can make it easier for students to access certain websites and help students avoid search engines that can bring them to the wrong website. QR codes also are easy to make and time-savers in the classroom, Burns writes, while allowing deviation from routine to keep lessons fresh and engaging for students. Edutopia.org/Monica Burns' blog (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
  Middle Grades Leadership 
 
  • Other News
  MiddleWeb Recommends 
  • Middle grades students need to feel like they belong
    In its statement of middle grades principles, the Association for Middle Level Education says that for schools to adequately serve tweens and young teens, they must be developmentally responsive, challenging, empowering, and equitable. The concept of "Belonging" relates to all four, says teacher Amanda Wall. In this MiddleWeb guest article, Wall considers what it means to create a sense of belonging for every student, and shares some of her own research among North Carolina teachers. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Creating effective assessments for special needs students
    In this second MiddleWeb post in a series about mid-year teaching challenges, special educator Laurie Wasserman examines the difficulties students may be having with assessment. Students who receive special education services, "as well as 'shades-of-gray kids' who struggle with mastering concepts but aren't identified as having learning disabilities," frequently do poorly on paper and pencil tests, she notes. Wasserman offers ideas about traditional test prep and the creation of alternate assessments. Two Teachers in the Room blog. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
In youth we learn; in age we understand."
--Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach,
Austrian writer


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