Middle School (Grades: 6-8)

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

Inclusive Education: What It Means, Proven Strategies, and a Case Study

By Lilla Dale McManis, PhD November 20, 2017

Considering the potential of inclusive education at your school? Perhaps you are currently working in an inclusive classroom and looking for effective strategies. Lean into this deep-dive article on inclusive education to gather a solid understanding of what it means, what the research shows, and proven strategies that bring out the benefits for everyone. What… Read More

Problem-based learning (PBL): It’s all the rage. PBL is an innovative addition to modern K-12 pedagogy, but it can seem overwhelming for beginners. It doesn’t have to be, though. PBL’s principal goal—meeting students where they are and putting them to work solving real-world problems—marks a significant shift from old educational models. Putting it into action… Read More

Summer is a perfect time for students to engage with the physical world and, quite literally, get their hands dirty as they learn. This is especially true because so many families grow gardens full of herbs, vegetables, fruit, and flowers in the summer. Growing things over the summer gives kids practical skills and helps them… Read More

Sometimes we think theater games belong only in drama classes, but finding ways to apply these activities to your subject area can increase engagement, creativity, and critical thinking. It’s also a great way to get students moving around, interacting with each other and having fun with your subject matter. Below are some theater games you… Read More

Music classes give children a special outlet to explore their feelings and express themselves creatively. As a music teacher, you will guide your students through musical practice, giving them a chance to use musical instruments and their own voices and bodies to generate musical sounds, melodies and harmonies. Along the way, you may just instill… Read More

Sure, adolescents spend too much time “glued to their screens,” but why not turn that to your advantage — and theirs? Students’ love of technology can be a powerful force in language arts classrooms thanks to the possibilities of digital storytelling. Students’ beloved smartphones can be essential tools for sharing their unique thoughts and experiences… Read More

Activities that get students moving can keep them engaged and provide an outlet for their pent-up energy. Getting students up out of their chairs makes learning or reviewing content fun and memorable. Just make sure you take a few crucial considerations into account when choosing movement-based activities for your students. Time and space: Think about… Read More

Visual Rhetoric: Teaching Students to Decode Media Images

By Caitrin Blake April 25, 2017

From a young age, students get inundated with images. From advertisements to political cartoons to the pictures accompanying news stories, images are everywhere. Because images convey meaning just as words do, students need to learn the principles of visual rhetoric. This knowledge helps students better understand visual arguments in the world around them, and it… Read More

How to Show Students that Word Choice Matters

By Kara Wyman, MEd April 18, 2017

It’s easy to mark up students’ papers with circles and write “WC” or “Word Choice” to encourage stronger verbs and adjectives. But how do we get them to see the value in choosing words wisely? Here are some ideas to expand students’ minds and improve their writing: Show the shift in meaning Looking closely at… Read More

Students need strong critical thinking skills to read and write effectively in high school and college. Furthermore, many jobs require employees to think critically to analyze data, choose the best course of action and act on their choices. The earlier students cultivate critical thinking, the more skilled they will be at producing sophisticated, thoughtful analyses… Read More