Math Standards in Middle School

I taught middle school math for 30 years. During my career I used many different types of math standards. These standards included school district standards, NCTM standards, a new set of district standards, textbook “programs,” and finally the Pennsylvania state standards. The PA standards very closely resemble the current Common Core standards with one exception. [...]

By | September 8th, 2016|Instruction&Curriculum, Mathematics, Middle School|0 Comments

Encouraging Conversation About Teen Suicide

We’re just a few weeks into the new school year, and already communities are mourning the tragic deaths of students by suicide. From the public outcry of Daniel Fitzpatrick’s parents to the private grief of classmates, teen suicide plagues the school community. How do we talk to our students about the devastating realities of depression [...]

10 Terrific Team-Building Activities for Secondary Students

Once students reach Middle School and beyond, teachers often believe that students must know each other already. As a result, team-building often gets skipped. Last year, I realized that some of my students didn't know each other after all. This moment came two-thirds of the way through the year, when I asked a student to get "Charlie" [...]

By | September 1st, 2016|Back to School, Middle School|0 Comments

First, We Must Educate The Heart

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all" - Aristotle Teachers, have you thought about this challenge? How will you educate the heart this year? Childhood - especially the middle school years - can seem like a crazy-making manic time for kids. One minute they're sweet young and innocent, most interested [...]

The Middle School Mind: How To Find Out What They’re Thinking

Summer is finally over. Parents are secretly smiling as they shoo their kids out the door, snap a few first day of school photos and sigh. Yes, some of them might shed a few tears over the passage of time and the impending high school graduation - even if it's still five years away. And some [...]