A Missouri middle school is transforming its library into a creative play space or makerspace. The overhaul includes expanding students' access to digital materials and collaborative spaces, but librarians say students still will have access to books.
Students at Summit View Middle School in Independence, Ky., are learning math by playing the stock market. Participating students will pick stocks in an online game format and compete to win prizes. "When you can make it relevant for the kids, that's wonderful and they'll remember it," principal K.C. Ratliff said.
The middle grades are an opportune time for teachers to engage students in lessons on topics in science, technology, engineering and math, says Anne Jolly, a former middle-grades teacher and author of the MiddleWeb blog STEM Imagineering. In recognition of Middle Level Education Month, Jolly, in this blog post, offers several tips for STEM teachers or those innovative educators teaching middle grades. She suggests giving control of learning to students, fostering curiosity and collaboration, and accepting failure and drawbacks.
In this response to a question posed on Larry Ferlazzo's blog, middle-school teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron writes that student engagement is perhaps better heard than seen. She writes students are engaged when they are asking higher-level questions at a fast pace. Marsha Ratzel, a middle-school math and science teacher, writes that improved student engagement requires quality conversations among teachers and administrators -- not a simple classroom fix.
Students participating in a Colorado middle school's Diversity and New Cultural Education -- or DANCE -- club are focused on teaching dance, while also spreading a message of acceptance, exploration, perseverance and respect. The students performed last week, integrating dances ranging from Irish dance to hip hop and ballet. The annual performance's theme was "heart" and students used dance to illustrate the power of love.