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February 8, 2013
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All About the Middle Grades

  Teaching in the Middle 
  • 7 tips for addressing dishonesty in the classroom
    Classroom management consultant Richard Curwin offers seven possible scenarios in which students may lie and suggests strategies teachers can use to handle the situations. For example, students may believe the lies they tell are the truth, so teachers can try to recast the discussion to help find common ground. "One reason that a student might not realize that he is lying is simply that he sees things differently than you," Curwin writes. Edutopia.org/Dr. Richard Curwin's blog (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Why educators need to teach introverts to talk in class
    Educators should teach students who are introverted how to speak up in class, middle-grades teacher Jessica Lahey writes in this article. Lahey, an extrovert who teaches English, Latin and writing in New Hampshire, writes that she has studied the issue and decided to retain her class-participation grades despite opposition from some parents of children who are introverted. "As a teacher, it is my job to teach grammar, vocabulary, and literature, but I must also teach my students how to succeed in the world we live in -- a world where most people won't stop talking," Lahey writes. The Atlantic online (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Tweens & Young Teens 
  • Helping students to think critically about popular culture
    Students are surrounded by popular culture that is often inappropriate with violence, sex and vulgarity, writes Marc D. Hauser, an educational consultant. In this commentary, he writes that when students want to include such video games, music or other items in class projects, teacher should use those opportunities to help students develop their critical-thinking skills to be able to recognize inappropriate materials. "Needless to say, this is not a topic of discussion and education that ever ends. But it is a topic that should be part of teachers' responsibilities," he writes. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are you a worrier or a warrior?
    Students are under more pressure than ever to perform well on standardized tests. However, educators and parents say some students are reacting differently to the stress -- with some students thriving and others buckling under the pressure. This article notes that part of the issue may be genetic, with some students being classified as "worriers" while others are "warriors." Experts say the answer may be exposing students who are anxious to more stress -- if it is the right kind. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Classroom Innovation 
  • Middle-schoolers explore engineering through reservoir project
    Students in the science, technology, engineering and math -- or STEM -- club at Evergreen Middle School in Hillsboro, Ore., are learning about engineering by observing the construction of a $26 million drinking water reservoir project and conducting interactive water projects with their teacher. The students take regular field trips to the construction site and ask questions of engineers overseeing the project. "Some of the questions they ask are so advanced that it catches me off guard," said Brad Phelps, an engineer on the project. The Oregonian (Portland) (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ala. fourth-graders research influential African-Americans
    Fourth-graders at Endeavor Elementary School in Harvest, Ala., spent a month researching the lives of influential African-Americans and then created exhibits using posters, photographs and biographical summaries for a Black History "museum" that they presented to the school. Along with exhibits on inventors, leaders, artists and scientists, the students included African-American teachers at their school and residents of Alabama. Madison County Record (Madison, Ala.) (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology & Connected Learning 
  • Educator uses social media to lead project-based lessons
    Gifted-education teacher Krissy Venosdale uses various digital media tools, including Skype, Twitter and blogs, to take learning to the next level, journalist Suzie Boss writes in this blog post. Venosdale uses KnowGlobe to connect students to others around the world and recently organized a mock election at #KidVote. "My kids are used to that sense of exploring. They want to know. They want to ask. They're constantly thinking," she said. Edutopia.org/Suzie Boss's blog (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Middle Grades Leadership 
  • How school districts can reform professional development
    School districts can improve professional development if they have a clear vision and model professional learning, writes Tom Murray, director of technology and cybereducation for the Quakertown Community School District in Bucks County, Pa. Murray offers eight tips in this blog post, among them, that leaders also should focus on outcomes rather than time spent in training and think of professional development as a year-round activity, not just as a one-day event. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
  MiddleWeb Recommends 
  • The Why and How of STEM
    How does STEM work and why is STEM's engineering design approach to learning essential for middle graders? In a new MiddleWeb Resource Roundup, learn how teachers are melding science, technology, engineering and math into problem- and project-based activities that simulate real-world R&D. Included: the challenges of extending STEM to all students and incorporating Arts to create STEAM. Plus lots of links to super lessons and activities, including our own STEM Imagineering blog. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to help kids who may not have much help at home
    How do we provide an extra assist to children in our classrooms who may not have much support outside school? In several recent posts at MiddleWeb's Two Teachers in the Room blog, Laurie Wasserman shared ideas about helping struggling students with organization and testing issues. Now she looks at ways educators can support kids who don't have many family or other resources beyond school walls. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over."
--Alfred E. Perlman,
American businessman


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