The Pineapple & the Hare:
What Could Go Wrong?
from Stenhouse Publishers
What are 8 keys to schoolwide math success? Small Steps, Big Changes helps you set goals, create a culture of mathematical thinking, and translate high-level standards such as Common Core into effective classroom practice. Includes examples from diverse schools across the country. Preview the entire book.
Web Job Search
Beyond Monster, CareerBuilder, and Flipdog, where do you look online for job openings, in an education landscape littered with pink slips? Members and non-members can browse job listings at the Association for Middle Level Education. AMLE also lets teachers post resumes and offers PDF advice on job searching. Education Week’s Top School Jobs section is well worth a look -- it provides job search for teachers and managers, plus extensive support for job seekers and employers at its Career Coach Corner. The National Association of Elementary School Principals lists leadership openings in grades K-8. The National Association of Secondary School Principals also has open browsing for leadership positions. AND: You can access openings across the U.S. at the federal Career OneStop site.
Online Math Contests
Spring 2012 is bursting with online contests that engage students with math concepts. America is struggling to make math fun, says Reuters. MIT’s Lure of the Labyrinth game, which runs through June 15, involves middle school kids in solving a monstrous mystery (while gathering research data behind the scenes). The game features prizes for kids, lesson plans, a relaxed schedule, and the option for teachers to write a reflection. DimensionU is sponsoring the "DU the Math" multiplayer game competition through May 13 with finals June 16. In addition to lots of techy prizes awarded during the 5-week contest, there are scholarships and music themed top prizes. The Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in NYC, opening later this year, already is sharing the joy of math. Through May 11, teachers – preferably in upper elementary and middle grades – can enter to win a $25,000 prize through the museum’s Innovation in Math Teaching contest. MoMath also hosts a YouTube channel for its Math Encounters. It’s good for PD, but you might also want to share “Soap Bubbles and Mathematics” (starting at minute 15) with students.
Create Engaged Fiction Readers
Ariel Sacks and Rachel Small see reading novels as an opportunity to engage students in collaborative learning. Writing for Ed Week Teacher, Sacks describes the stultifying effects of reading segments of literary works and having students respond to a teacher’s talking points. Instead, she reports her seventh graders flourish when they read a whole novel before they launch into discussions. She provides a step-by-step process for building student involvement and learning (and meeting standards). In a separate post, fifth grade teacher Rachel Small recounts her evolution from rubric-based teaching of fiction to developing virtual book clubs through Edmodo. Her fifth graders now enjoy sharing their observations with students beyond their school.
Leaders Respond to Bullying
Watching the new documentary ‘Bully’ can be wrenching. Teacherken (Kenneth J. Bernstein) describes the experience and the need for action. Two national organizations for principals offer free online resources to help the school community counter bullies. NASSP offers a Bullying Prevention page, which links to Facing History's guide to the film (free by registration). You'll also find web and media links for principals, students and parents. NAESP offers handouts to share with parents and links to district policies and legislation. A NYT Learning Network post highlights anti-bullying awareness lessons and links to recent news and editorials, many in response to ‘Bully.’
Where to Look for Civics Tools
Catch Their Attention with Science Kids
You can find just about any science topic at Rene Smith’s Science Kids. The former education programmer for the Science Alive center in New Zealand has assembled a wide ranging collection of science games, facts, jokes, and more. Free images and brief videos are plentiful. Lesson plans and projects range from concocting quicksand to building a website. And there are long lists of ideas to spark science fair efforts. Most of the content will appeal to the younger kids in MiddleWeb’s audience.
Cross-Curricular Lesson Planning
In this Ed Week Teacher post, NBCT Sarah Henchey advocates interdisciplinary study to engage students and deepen their learning. After observing teachers at a nearby school plan across content areas, Henchey worked with her school’s other sixth grade teachers to develop a unit on Greek and Roman culture. She suggests several strategies to meet the challenges of coordination. Among them: build buy-in, start small, communicate efficiently. Henchey told us in an email that "I think there's a lot of potential in these kinds of units, especially in light of the Common Core literacy standards." We plan to ask her more about that in a future interview.
MiddleWeb's Quick Links
Didn't find quite what you need? Here's a quick look at some other resources of interest.
• Californian Rebecca Mieliwocki, a seventh-grade English teacher with 14 years in the classroom, was named National Teacher of the Year this week!
• MSNBC's Rachel Maddow introduces MS national chess champs: they won over high schools! (After an ad.)
• Use these writing blunders to show students that grown-ups can make errors, too. From the NYT.
• From Hadley Ferguson’s Middle School Matrix: Research shows which class minutes yield greatest learning.
• Steven Engravalle’s iSchoolLeader Magazine blog offers lots of ed news for school and teacher leaders. See if you agree.
• Can’t Confirm That Quotation? Search Google Books. Here’s how, from MindShift.