July 30, 2021
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Teaching in the Middle
Growth, responsibility promoted in school's garden
(Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Students are set to learn science and nutrition, the origins of the foods they eat as well as teamwork among other skills in their Wilmington, Del., school's Project Learning Garden. Known to students as Ujima or "collective work and responsibility," the garden at Kuumba Academy Charter School was designed by former students and fits into the K-8 school's philosophy of working together, says Principal Ayanna Johnson.
Full Story: WDEL-AM/FM (Wilmington, Del.) (7/30) 
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Irshad Manji has developed the Moral Courage Method, which empowers students to hear rather than fear different perspectives. In this blog post, Manji shares tips to help students communicate across differences.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Education (7/29) 
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Tweens & Young Teens
Teachers and parents may want to re-evaluate how they view social media when it comes to their youth, writes Rick Hess, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the director of the think tank's Education Policy Studies. In this commentary, Hess asserts that social media can be valuable, but that students need to be better equipped and trained to navigate its complexities.
Full Story: Education Week (7/28) 
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Classroom Innovation
Tips to support teaching, learning in new year
(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Susan Shapiro, an assistant professor at the Touro College Graduate School of Education, offers five tips to help support teaching and learning in the 2021-22 school year. In this commentary, Shapiro offers ideas for teachers, including to allow time for socializing when dividing students into small groups and recognizing that learning took a step back during the pandemic.
Full Story: T.H.E. Journal (7/29) 
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Technology & Connected Learning
Lawmakers in Congress are considering an infrastructure plan that would include $5 billion for zero- and low-emission school buses and billions more for broadband internet. However, it's unclear whether schools will receive additional funding for infrastructure needs, which have risen during the coronavirus pandemic.
Full Story: Education Week (7/29) 
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Middle Grades Leadership
Biden: Schools should help children access vaccines
Biden (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Schools and pharmacies should prioritize children for coronavirus vaccination, President Joe Biden said Thursday. Biden encouraged school districts to hold pop-up vaccination clinics, and for pharmacies to prioritize children 12 and older for vaccines as well as to partner with districts to expand vaccination efforts.
Full Story: Education Week (7/29) 
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MiddleWeb Recommends
Review: Using mixed media text sets across the content areas
"Text Sets in Action: Pathways Through Content Literacy" provides expert guidance for any teacher interested in using this engaging strategy to deepen learning. The authors define "texts" broadly and provide advice and examples across the core content areas, writes teacher educator Sarah Pennington. Read more.
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Teacher: First-week activities my math classes loved
Back in 2017, Michelle Russell's first week in math class went great. Learn how she launched her classroom communities, thanks to teachers whose activities and ideas she scouted out online. Russell has included all the students' favorites in case you'd like to try some yourself. And we've added links to her start-of-school posts for 2018 and 2019 with lots of additional ideas. Learn more.
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Regie Routman: 10 actions that put student writers first
How do we know we're putting the writers (and not the writing) first? We seek to develop a mindset and actions that provide opportunity, dignity, and encouragement, says literacy expert Regie Routman. Then we carefully tailor feedback that celebrates strengths and boosts each and every writer's confidence. Read more.
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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