MiddleWeb’s Most-Read Posts of 2019 (So Far)

Here’s what you liked best among 160+ posts we’ve published since the New Year began. We’ve filtered out all-time favorites from earlier years (we launched way back in 2012) but you can take a peek at MiddleWeb’s all-time #1, #2, and #3. We’ve used Google Analytics to root out this half-year’s top 10. Let’s count them down!

10. How We Can Help Our Students Remember Stuff

Few things are more frustrating for students (and their teachers) than having a concept or skill that has already been learned ‘leak’ out the brain and disappear. Curtis Chandler explains how those leaks happen and what teachers can do to counter them. Suggested apps and tools included!

9. How a Tiny Spark Can Ignite Student Writing

K-6 literacy coach and NBCT Paula Bourque brings an extra spark to quick-write activities, expanding the concept to include brief low-pressure assignments designed to ignite passion, creativity, and awareness in students and encourage them to become lifelong writers.

8. The Break-Up Letter: Bringing SEL Alive in Class

Marilee Sprenger shares the “break-up letter” she read to her middle school students to help them become aware of their emotions and find strategies that will work for them and their individual experiences. She includes follow-up activities to build SEL skills for all.

7. How Do I Strengthen My Student Relationships?

The link between teacher-student relationships and achievement is getting lots of press. Michelle Russell agrees her math students thrive when they find her likeable. How to up her likeability quotient? Attending to student concerns, not just pacing directives, to start.

6. Six Steps Toward Fair and Accurate Grading

Even if we don’t yet teach in a grade-less utopia, there are steps teachers can take to become more accurate and equitable in our grading policies. Cheryl Mizerny shares steps toward fairer grading: eliminate zeroes, avoid extra points, don’t grade homework, and more.

5. How Principals Can Allay Resistance to Change

School leaders have likely dealt with someone who didn’t support a proposed change. But principals need to assure that schools provide students with quality education, a process often requiring change. Ronald Williamson and Barbara Blackburn show how to build support.

4. Eleven “Provocations” You Can Use as Class Starters

We all want our students to begin class motivated to learn and brimming with questions about the topic. To do this, Megan Kelly modifies an IB idea: the provocation, a quick activity designed to engage the students and get them wondering. Check out all her ideas!

3. Creating Classrooms That Teach the Whole Kid

Respectful, fruitful collaboration among students is not “nice” for kids to master before they make their own way in the world – it’s absolutely necessary. It’s especially needed when problems arise. Dina Strasser suggests co-creating norms that serve the whole child.

2. We Can Do Lots More for Students with Dyslexia

Former special education teacher Cheryl Mizerny says the same techniques used to help kids with dyslexia succeed can benefit all students in the core subjects. Now an ELA educator, she highlights useful tools, instructional techniques, assessments, and SEL strategies.

1. English Learners Need to Use Academic Language

For English learners, academic language is much more challenging to master than social language. Specialist Valentina Gonzalez says EL students need “massive opportunities” on a daily basis to practice using content-specific words and phrases. She shares 10 techniques.

Thanks for your support all year long! You make MiddleWeb possible. How can you help even more? Check out the books advertised on our site. And subscribe to the thrice-weekly MiddleWeb SmartBrief, where we highlight all our new content and partner with the SmartBrief folks to bring you worthwhile news about the middle grades (and share some revenue).

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