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December 28, 2012
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All About the Middle Grades

  Teaching in the Middle 
  • Common core short on recommended reading for middle grades
    A student's emotional maturity determines what they are ready to read, but the Common Core State Standards offer little guidance for middle-grades educators in this area, middle-grades English teacher Claire Needell Hollander writes in this commentary. Sixth-graders are not ready to question human goodness, but eighth-graders can handle works such as "Macbeth" that address "hard truths," she writes. "The developers of the Common Core also need to grapple with difficult questions, and to engage in a public debate about what middle grade students need to read." The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tweens & Young Teens 
  • Creating school environments that are sensitive to trauma
    The recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., demonstrates the need for educators to help develop "trauma-sensitive schools," according to the blog post written by Eric Rossen, a nationally certified school psychologist and licensed psychologist in Maryland. At "trauma-sensitive schools," educators are responsive "to the potential impact of trauma and adverse experiences on students' lives" and help ensure that all students "feel safe, connected, and supported," writes Rossen, co-editor of "Supporting and Educating Traumatized Students: A Guide for School-Based Professionals." Oxford University Press/OUP Blog (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Classroom Innovation 
  • Ohio students apply STEM skills to race cars
    STEM teacher Jason Freudenberg has found a fun, hands-on project to help students at Austintown Middle School in Youngstown, Ohio, better understand some real-world applications for math, physics, engineering and design. Freudenberg received a grant that will fund development of three official Soap Box Derby cars to be entered in the All-American Soap Box Derby Gravity Racing Challenge in 2013. The Vindicator (Youngstown, Ohio) (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology & Connected Learning 
  • Ideas for using technology in the middle-grades classroom
    Technology can increase learning in a classroom, but no one has all the answers on integrating it into lessons, writes Josh Stumpenhorst, a sixth-grade language arts and history teacher. He offers examples of how his students use technology, such as making movie trailers instead of writing book reports, or recording talk shows featuring people from history. "The key is in how you use [technology] and what you are hoping to accomplish with it," Stumpenhorst writes. Education Week Teacher/Classroom Q&A blog (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Middle Grades Leadership 
  • How school leaders can pay it forward
    There are three things that good school leaders can do to help develop other leaders, writes Joe Mazza, lead learner at Knapp Elementary School in suburban Philadelphia. He suggests in this blog post that they invest in a healthy school culture, which fosters trust and respect among all teachers. He also recommends that leaders invest in personal relationships and an "outside the box" lens. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  MiddleWeb Recommends 
  • MiddleWeb Resource Roundup: Humor in the Classroom
    Middle grades students love humor, especially comic relief in the classroom. Find out why in this MiddleWeb Resource Roundup, where we review the research and share the humorous advice of some experts. You'll also find lots of sources that can help you add a dollop of fun to your pedagogical bag of tricks. Smile! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • STEM Imagineering: Let's resolve to excite every learner
    Anne Jolly resolves to continue working for "a sustained, engaging process" that provides ongoing support for teachers to share and grow and leads to high quality learning for every student -- even the kids like William, whom Jolly says she once failed. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Editor's Note 
  • MiddleWeb SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday, Jan. 1
    In observance of New Year's Day, MiddleWeb SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday, Jan. 1. Publication will resume Friday, Jan. 4. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart."
--Socrates,
Greek philosopher


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