5 Ways to Teach Summarizing Skills

Teaching students how to summarize a text is important… So important that it is part of the CCSS reading standards for literature and informational texts beginning in grade 4 and continuing (with greater rigor) through grade 12. As educators, we know why summarizing will help students: improve reading comprehension filter main ideas from details follow […] Read more…

11 Dystopian Novels for Your Middle School Students

Dystopian literature remains popular with middle school students… and they can’t seem to get enough of this genre, so why not use these popular titles to run your literature groups? Here are: eleven sure hits your students will not only enjoy reading, but also discussing, debating, and analyzing! well-known and lesser-known titles for students who […] Read more…

How to create a yearlong plan to teach (all the) writing

A yearlong plan will help you teach (all the) writing; it will save you time and energy — and help you remain accountable for what you’re expected to teach this year. The yearlong plan – your map Your district or school may provide you with a year-at-a-glance (yearlong plan) that provides you with quarterly writing […] Read more…

Teaching Characterization with Short Films

Students often struggle with going beyond the obvious when it comes to character analysis. This skill requires students to infer information from a variety of clues, but they often get stuck on superficial detail or provide only basic analysis. A fun way to help students practice analyzing characters and developing those important skills is by […] Read more…

How to Host a Scrabble Tournament for Your Class

Looking for a fun way to engage students?  There lots of fun games to play with your class, but this year, you might want to try hosting a Scrabble Tournament.  Great for pre-Christmas craziness and year-end excitement. First steps Your students may or may not know how to play Scrabble.  Those who have played “Words […] Read more…

organize classroom ideas

Nine Ways to Organize Your Classroom

This is going to be the year, right?  The year you are really, really going to get organized!  No more paper stacks, lost copies, or overflowing file folders.  No more wondering where those thirty glue sticks are or if there are enough colored pencils! This is the year, and these inspiration ideas can help you […] Read more…

5 classic novels that middle school students will actually want to read!

5 Classic Books for Middle Schoolers

What’s a “classic” piece of literature?  Mark Twain defined it as “something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” Those words might ring true when you sit down to read War and Peace  or Moby Dick, but what about middle school classics? Modern Classics in Middle School A classic includes enduring themes, relatable characters, […] Read more…

5 terrific historical fiction books for middle schoolers -- and how to get them to read 'em!

5 Historical Fiction Titles for Middle Schoolers

How do you use historical fiction? If you’re in a self-contained classroom, using historical fiction is a natural connection with your social studies content.  It is an awesome way to build background knowledge and help students make strong connections. But what about me? I don’t teach social studies.  I do know what our social studies […] Read more…

Here are 5 book series that are sure to be a hit with your middle schoolers

5 Series With Characters Your Students will Love

Hey!  Happy to see you at this week’s Summer Reading Stash!  Today we’re sharing books in a series that have memorable characters.  But the real challenge is to pick just five series!  A difficult task since there are so many wonderful series written for middle schoolers. Teachers know series are serious Series are important business when […] Read more…

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