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8 Things I Know for Sure About (Most) Middle School Kids

…love them or you don’t!” Jennifer Gonzalez Wow, isn’t that the truth, Shelley? When I get around the primary grades, I want to tear my hair out. Give me a room full of 13-year-olds any day. (And I know primary teachers feel exactly the opposite!) It’s a good thing we get to pick our age group, huh? T Austin I’m just teaching middle school again this year! So excited! Really great read! Loved it! Dave C I agree wholeheartedly! I started 15 years ago teaching middle schoolers, and two years later got moved to teaching high school due to my…

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A Few Strategies to Help Slow-Working Students

…public charter school for our daughter. Keeping your advice in mind should help our daughter make the transition to her new school. Katrice Quitter Eileen, We are glad that you found the advice useful as you prepare for your daughter’s transition to a new school. Best of luck to you and your family! Justin Happ Hi! I’m in my second year of teaching high school math, grades 10 and 11, and I always post my own class notes on Google Classroom to help students who are slow note takers, struggle with taking neat organized notes, or who are absent. I…

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How and Why We Should Let Our Students Fail

…in the camp of not even really knowing how to check my kids’ grades. But I fully support those parents who do a better job than me of accessing grades and holding kids accountable. I get that Lahey is aiming at helicopter parents who scrupulously monitor and then attack teachers when the grades aren’t what they expect (the “my kid is perfect, it must be the teachers’ fault” syndrome). But I think this is a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Full disclosure should be a good thing, shouldn’t it? And making grades available online for parents…

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The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies

…work, but it’s one of those times when talented students are asking for more work, rather than having it crammed down their throats in the guise of differentiation.) Another word about differentiation and debates: it’s worked well for me to put the groups together with two strong groups debating each other on a question and two weaker groups debating each other on another question, and the groups are made up of mostly homogeneous students. This works well because everyone thinks it’s fair (they know who’s “smart” by 8th and 11th grades, the two grades I’ve taught) and no one sandbags….

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Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

Lauralee What does the author say about recording grades from the quizzes? Keep them or not? I read different ideas today about losing grades. I haven’t worked through my thoughts on going grade-less, so I wondered what the authors say about that. Jennifer Gonzalez Hey Lauralee! They recommend assigning a low amount of points to the quizzes, but some points nonetheless, just so students take them seriously. This matters more in situations like college classes, where students have less motivation to attend class–it gets them coming to class more, since they know there will be a quiz that impacts their…

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