Monday, November 14, 2011

Inspiring writing

I Found this amazing site that has photographs to inspire writing.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

-Courtney Melzer

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Have a smartboard?

I thought this was a neat article that explained the software possibilities for Promethean/Mimio boards.  I don't know a whole lot about HTML5 or other things, so this was interesting.


Middle School Experiences--Positive Edition

The other day, during lunch, I was listening to some of my 7th graders teasing each other about having crushes on some of their classmates. It was not only educational and hilarious, but it made me think about what my friends and I joked about during our free time. So . . .

What are some of your fondest memories of 6-8th grade?
What did you and your friends talk about during your own time?
Did your friends tease each other about crushes?

Share anything you like . . . .

Amusing middle school memory: 2000--

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This American (Middle School) Life

This weekly radio show produced right here in Chicago comes very highly recommended by me!  You can listen to every show (all the way back to 1995) online for free!  If you have an iphone I would suggest downloading the TAL app.  It's the perfect way to pass the time, especially if you're on the L as much as I am.
Anyways, last week's show was all about middle school from the perspective of middle school students from across the country.  The idea for the show even came from a middle school listener.  If you have an hour to kill check out this entertaining pod cast here:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ed Week: Many Teens Endure Sexual Harassment

This is an interesting read from Ed Week. Sexual harassment is a very big deal in high schools, but not enough attention has been paid to sexual harassment among middle schoolers.


Thursday, November 3, 2011


r/education a clearing house for user-submitted education related discussions and articles.  Beware though, reddit is kind of addicting.
submitted by: BB

Learning from Failure

NY Times Article

This article describes a prestigious NYC school. It seems to me that the headmaster has some interesting ideas.  Cancel AP classes for the high school?  Rethink the entrance exams for pre-K?  Teach kids character?  KIPP schools? Training them in fractions and algebra, but also perseverance and empathy? 

Character Traits as defined by wikipedia.

The article goes on to discuss the success or failure of KIPP students in 4-year colleges.  Further, it discusses Seligman's views of character development and its implementation at the swanky private school mentioned early in the article.

An interesting read.

Posted by: BB

The Montessori Mafia

An interesting article about fostering creativity.  Apparently there are a slew of the creative innovators, founders of both Google and Wikipedia, for instance, that were Montessori students before changing the world.  This article talks a good deal about the importance Montessori schools put on the students' interests.

Interested in observing at a Montessori Middle School?  Here are some in the Chicago Metro Area

If interested, here is a good summary of the Montessori Method.

Posted by: BB 


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What to expect in middle school

As I was looking for something interesting to post I found a website that has some information basically for parents, but could also be helpful to any of us who haven't had expeirence with middle school students.

This website has insight for  parents and what their child should expect in each content area. There is also a link for more middle school resources, which I think is very helpful as well!

Courtney O