Several weeks ago, in honor of National Poetry Month, we hosted classes in the library to celebrate. Our objective was to make poetry interesting, engaging, and fun for our middle school students, while also offering them voice and choice in how they worked through the lesson. We ended up with a range of poetry-related activities that provided our students with a great day of learning!
This week's post is all over the place (much like we are this time of year in the land of education). We've got math on the brain with a dive into teaching that uses literacy to improve math instruction and a TED Talk that every educator should see (regardless of the subject they teach). Plus, a look at the newest addition to the SAT, how teachers can bounce back from classroom "fails,"and the systemic problem of deepening school segregation in America. So take 5 and explore all the things we've been thinking about.
This week we are wrapping up our unit on the Holocaust and I thought that I would share the ways in which I guide my students through this difficult topic in the hopes of giving fellow history teachers, especially novice teachers, some ideas. It can be extremely challenging to teach middle school students about the Holocaust for a number of reasons. First, the subject matter is hard (and despite what people may think many of my students have not learned about it before) and can hit home for some students based on personal history. Second, this topic requires students to be their most mature selves (which can require a great deal of teacher guidance and modeling in the middle years). That said, if it is done right, these lessons of one of humanity's greatest tragedies can stick with them for life. I, like so many teachers, teach history not only because I love the subject but also because I feel like the lessons of our history -- if instilled in our young people -- can guide the world toward good. So here are some of the resources and ways that I teach the Holocaust. I hope that they might help you in your teaching journey.
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to our BubbleUp Classroom Community. Whether you are a teacher or a parent, we have five, little creative ways to help kids celebrate the educators in their lives. With our desire to promote equity among our students, these ideas require no money from students or their parents (and just a small amount from the school or the PTA). Instead, they just take a caring, kind adult to gather supplies and give kids that spark. These activities are a win-win -- they model for kids the practice of thanking people and also give teachers a boost. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good gift card; but all students should have the chance to say they care no matter what their financial situation. That’s what this post is all about.
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