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Middle School (Grades: 6-8)

A happy student in circle time

The Emotions of Learning: Q&A with Marc Brackett, PhD

By Jennifer Gunn February 6, 2019

Social-emotional and trauma-informed learning and teaching are at the forefront of education research and study today. The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) reports that nearly 50 percent of the children in the U.S. have experienced “at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma.” Therefore, ignoring emotions in the classroom can absolutely pose… Read More

How many five-paragraph essays do students write in their school career? A lot. How many standardized tests require an essay? Most of them. How many essays will students need to write after college? Eh, probably not that many. Essays have their function, but they’re certainly not the only academically rigorous form of writing, nor are… Read More

The Power of Storytelling Activities in the Classroom

By Jennifer Gunn January 29, 2019

If you think about it, stories are the very origin of education. The passing down of stories from generation to generation taught us history, culture, skills, and knowledge. “Thinking of teaching as storytelling…encourages us to think of the curriculum as a collection of the great stories of our culture,” says Kieran Egan. “If we begin… Read More

There are close to five million English learners in U.S. public schools, which has increased by about eight percent since 2000. Teachers must adjust their teaching styles to fit their needs, and that means they need to be armed with the tools and knowledge to do so effectively. Rachael Hoffert, EdD, who recently earned her… Read More

Using Learning Stations in Middle School

By Sarah Knutson December 20, 2018

Teaching via stations or learning centers feels familiar to elementary school teachers, but offering them in middle school may not feel entirely comfortable at first glance. I used to occasionally utilize stations to cover specific content very quickly but after I heard Catlin Tucker speak at a professional development seminar, I realized the potential impact I could… Read More

In order for students to be successful in school, they first have to be in school. Seems logical, right? But for millions of students in the U.S., attendance is a barrier to success with lifelong consequences. Here’s a look at how chronic absenteeism impacts learning, and how schools can begin to turn the tide. Measuring… Read More

You Know You’re a Middle School Teacher When…

By The Room 241 Team November 15, 2018

Middle school students are in a class of their own, so it takes a certain type of teacher to really get them. There’s really nothing like teaching students in the thick of it when it comes to their peers, puberty, and that tween-to-teen logic. Many feel middle schoolers are the most challenging group, while others love… Read More

How Teens Can Benefit From Recess

By Kara Wyman, MEd October 8, 2018

When we think of recess and playtime, most of us think of cute little kids on the playground. But couldn’t our middle and high school students benefit from a break too? Adolescents often face a variety of challenges and, while I’m not suggesting we get teens on monkey bars or force a game of tag,… Read More

Why Kids and Teens Need Diverse Books and Our Recommended Reads

By The Room 241 Team September 8, 2018

Think back to your middle or high school English class and the books you read. Great Gatsby? Lord of the Flies? Maybe 1984 or Les Misérables? While those are all important works, the literary canon has long been dominated by white authors, white perspectives, white characters — and those voices are often male. There are so… Read More

Why Anxiety in Teens is So Prevalent and What Can Be Done

By Jennifer Gunn August 16, 2018

Teen anxiety is more than a trending topic or a startling headline. In fact, in 2015, the National Institute for Mental Health reported that 30% of girls and 20% of boys – or 6.3 million teenagers – suffered from an anxiety disorder.

Back-to-School Icebreakers for Every Grade

By The Room 241 Team August 3, 2018

Tired of the name game and classroom bingo? Here are some awesome classroom icebreakers sure to get your students excited about each other, and their new class! Elementary school activities Deserted Island Share-Out Seat students in a circle. Tell the class to imagine that they’re stuck on a deserted island. To make it visual, project… Read More

The start of the school year can trigger some serious anxiety for students — and teachers. Through the use of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies, educators can help students cope with back-to-school anxiety to truly thrive in class. Here’s how to recognize the signs of student distress and ways to guide students through anxiety. And,… Read More

Teaching kids about empathy, kindness, and compassion is a must for schools. More than one out of every five students report being bullied. Of those students: 13% were made fun of, called names, or insulted 12% were the subject of rumors 5% were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on 5% were excluded from activities on… Read More

Why We Really Need SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) Now

By The Room 241 Team May 14, 2018

We live in a stressful world, and our nation’s children and young adults are coping with new and prevalent emotional realities we can’t ignore. Research indicates that when educators work to teach learners how to alleviate and manage stress, students become more likely to learn deeply, avoid negative behaviors and achieve successful outcomes with long-term… Read More

Rewards work, and we all love them. But let’s face it, filling students with sugary prizes can be a double-edged sword. It’s unhealthy, distracting, and hardly a one-size fits all option. So, we asked Concordia University-Portland’s College of Education students and alumni what alternatives they use to avoid sweet treats in the classroom. When we… Read More