Some Light Summer Reading

Below is a curation of interesting articles for us to ponder or dive deeper in over the summer! I will continue to add to this, so please send me any you would like to add to this list!

Edutopia: Flexible Seating Assignments in Middle School

While free seating seems to have a lot of potential to grow voice and choice and help our more fidgety students stay focused, at times assigned seating is necessary to improve social interactions and formal instruction. This teacher found a way to have both!

Mindshift: How Turning Math Into a Maker Workshop Can Bring Calculations to Life

Makey Makey is for all ages!  Use this fun tool to practice programming and math skills.  (See Adrienne to use them) They also talk about using sewing to teach pixels and curves along a grid. A lot of good concrete ideas here.

Education Week Opinion: Why Don’t Educators Want to Be Coached?

Peter DeWitt, Ed.D., has done his research on education leadership and summarizes some of the reasons teachers might not be as open to coaching as other professions. Where do you fit in?

Goals From a New School Year: #observeme

For those of you who read the last article and are thinking, “I would love some coaching,” here is a blog post from a teacher who is joining the #observeme movement. Hope Teague-Bowing, the author of this post explains, “Math teacher, Robert Kaplinsky, is challenging educators to rethink the way we pursue feedback by making it easy and immediately obtainable.” #observeme is something you probably will see next year at MJS, so it is worth a closer look!

After Seeing These +15 Maps You’ll Never Look At The World The Same


The True Size

As a history teacher, I find that one amazing way to get kids excited about almost any topic is through maps. And, there are maps about EVERYTHING! From the most popular baby names in each state to world hunger statistics around the world, there is a map for your class. This two websites shows how the Mercator Projection used for navigating has warped our understanding of how big countries and continents are in relation to others. A greater potential for empathy can start with understanding our place in the world!

Students Email Their Parents About Missing Work

So this is a genius way of holding kids accountable. The article explains how students are required to send formal emails to their parents explaining why they didn’t do their work. This would work so great with 7th and 8th graders with the iPads. They must CC you!

Mindshift: What Neuroscience Can Tell Us About Making Fractions Stick

This article delves into specific strategies for teaching fractions and what the brain needs to actually learn them. From visualizing strategies to conceptual understanding, researchers have discovered that fractions can only be learned through multiple approaches utilizing multiple senses.

Mindshift: Taking Notes: Is The Pen Still Mightier Than the Keyboard?

Typing skills are important. People can type at a much faster rate than they can write; therefore, it would appear that typing is the better option for taking notes. Researchers argue differently.

Print Custom Sticky Notes with Google Slides

So three different people shared this link with me. Something tells me people know I like school supplies. Katie was the first to show me how to do this so see her for tips! But, this is an awesome way to make short rubrics to stick on rough drafts and to make cute personalized notes for kids.

What Do We Mean By Cheating?

This is a blog post that poses an interesting thought: “If our students are successfully cheating in how they go about finding correct answers, perhaps the real problem is that we are asking them the wrong questions.”

9 Great Young Adult Novels For Politically Engaged Readers

This is a curation of novels specifically focused on creating empathy on social justice issues that are current and relevant to people in our country.  They focus on lack of equity among adolescents of different upbringings,  gender, culture and sexual-orientation.

Teachers Going Gradeless

This is a blog post that focuses on current research debunking the myth that grades motivate students. An interesting and relevant read!

Teaching in Beta: What We Can Learn From Software Developers

This blog, “Cult of Pedagogy,” is by far the best education blog out there, from my perspective. I highly recommend following it on Facebook, Twitter or directly through email. Jennifer Gonzalez was a middle school English teacher who is now a full-time blogger. In this article, she talks about how teachers feel this need to be perfect the first time at all attempts to try something new. She argues, if we look at every attempt to try something new as the “beta test” we will be more apt to try new things and be ok when it doesn’t work out perfectly the first time.

Choosing Your Own Learning Adventure: Enrichment Menu For Writer’s Workshop

A school librarian designed a ‘March Madness’ menu of choice for students during writer’s workshop or when they finish early. There are some great ideas in here to keep students on task while giving them voice and choice!

Teaching Students To Write About Contraptions

Yes, we know, skills are becoming increasingly more important than content knowledge for our future students. They need to be creative problem solvers who can converse and work with others. BUT, they also need to write. Computer coders and innovators who can’t write are less marketable than ones that can! Nobody will ever be able to duplicate what they have created if they can’t write an instruction manual that is readable for a broad audience.  This article talks about how to blend these skills of problem solving with the ability to write.

Muslim Kids as Heroes

As Islamophobia is on a rise, it is important that we give students an opportunity to see Muslims as humans and as heroes that many are. Here is a compilation of children’s stories that attempt to do just that!

How Kids Benefit From Learning To Explain Their Math Thinking

Is the ultimate end the right answer?  Or, is it an ability to explain why it is the right answer? Watch this video from MindShift that argues the latter.

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