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

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 teacher is teaching, and I try to share historical fiction titles that connect with the time period they are studying. I also use historical fiction as… Read more »

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

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 it comes to keeping middle school students reading.  Reluctant readers love them because they are easy to slip into.  Students don’t have to invest a… Read more »

How to get middle school students interested in nonfiction.

I’m excited to join in the Summer Reading Stash blog hop this week  — especially since we are talking about  using nonfiction in the intermediate and middle school classroom. We all know the issues with middle school and reading.  Weaknesses in reading skills can take a toll on student achievement as we ask and expect them to read more — both in volume and depth.  But nonfiction is so tempting, so tantalizing, so dramatic…just dare your reluctant readers not to… Read more »

What are some of the best ways to create an awesome teaching team? Here are seven tips to help you and your team collaborate and thrive. Don't forget number 4!

Teaching teams are wonderful.  They offer an opportunity for teachers to collaborate, share, problem-solve, and create friendships that extend beyond the school building. That’s the theory, anyway.  They can also be dysfunctional, negative, ineffective, and destructive.  The truth is that great teaching teams just don’t happen — they must be intentionally created and nurtured. Whether you are returning to your old team, joining a new one, or welcoming a new member, keep in mind the following tips that will help… Read more »