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Each weekday, AdLit gathers interesting news headlines about literacy, middle grade and YA books, best practices in instruction, and other key topics related to middle school and high school teaching and learning.

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Diving into Summer Reading: How Four Teachers/Librarians Help Readers Take the Plunge (opens in a new window)

Publishers Weekly

June 28, 2022

Summertime is a feast for the senses: there’s the feel of a warm breeze, the taste of campfire s’mores, the squeals of kids at the area pool… and the smell of a good summer book. In honor of this time of year, we spoke with four teachers/librarians about their thoughts on summer reading and the ways they encourage avid and reluctant readers alike to dip their toes in the water and dive into some good books.

Students Chronicle Their Troubled World (opens in a new window)

Washington Post

June 27, 2022

In the vitriolic national debate about what can and can’t be taught in public schools, parents’ rights and public funding of religious education, it’s easy to forget that many students at many schools across the country routinely do amazing work.

Authors Jason Reynolds, Nancy Pearl Join High Schoolers to Unite Against Book Bans at World’s Biggest Library Event (opens in a new window)

American Library Association

June 24, 2022

The authors will join Bell Multicultural High School (Washington, D.C.) students to make the case for defending the right to read and the joy in claiming that right. The discussion will take place at the largest library event in the world, the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibitions, held in Washington, D.C., June 24-27. 

20 Independent Reading Activities for Middle School (opens in a new window)

Teaching Expertise

June 24, 2022

Middle grade English students can struggle to focus during independent reading time. They need structure to not only continue reading their book but also to improve their reading comprehension and other skills. Different activities and reading strategies can help keep them engaged and also give you a better understanding of their reading needs.

“Goldilocks Amount” of Social Media Time May Protect Teens (opens in a new window)

Earth.com

June 16, 2022

New research has found further evidence of the relationship between teenage well-being and online engagement. The study, from Trinity College in Dublin, contributes to mounting international evidence on the dangers of high levels of social media use. However, the opposite end of the spectrum isn’t all that better. In today’s connected world, a low social media presence is also associated with poor mental health among adolescents.

These findings support the goldilocks hypothesis – there is a point between low and high social media use that is “just right” for young people. This is the first time the goldilocks theory has been examined in Irish teenagers and young adults.

Underachievers No More (opens in a new window)

UC Davis

June 16, 2022

A new UC Davis study of young Adolescents suggests that intelligence is malleable. The study suggests that low achievers can improve their grades with specific learning methods.

Girls Who Game Uses Minecraft to Expose DeKalb Students to STEM (opens in a new window)

Atlanta Journal Constitution

June 16, 2022

In classrooms throughout Fernbank Science Center, 45 middle school girls are lost in another world, one they’ve created in Minecraft. For the past two weeks, the DeKalb County students have participated in a program called Girls Who Game. Through a partnership with Dell Technologies and Microsoft, Girls Who Game works to provide equitable opportunities for girls. It exposes students to creative problem-solving, communication and collaboration. Maybe a new career path.

Newly Arrived Students Learn English, New Culture (opens in a new window)

Washington Post

June 14, 2022

Roanoke, VA public schools has more than 1,630 students eligible for EL services, which is nearly 12% of about 14,000 students in the division. The number of EL students has grown by 50% over the past nine years. With that increase the number of teachers and the amount of government funding allocated for English learning have grown, as well.

What Happens When Older Students Struggle to Read? We Asked. You Answered. (opens in a new window)

Chalkbeat Colorado

June 14, 2022

When students get to middle and high school without strong reading skills, the results can be devastating. In response to a recent Chalkbeat survey, dozens of parents and educators described secondary students who refuse to read out loud for fear of being teased, who can’t understand math word problems or science vocabulary, and gradually give up on school altogether. They worried such students face poor job prospects and bleak futures.

Middle Schoolers Write Pet Profiles to Help Find Homes for Shelter Dogs and ‘Romeo’ the Rat (opens in a new window)

USA Today

June 10, 2022

Read the pet profiles written by students at Booker T. Middle School in Newport News. According to the shelter’s executive director Alison Fechino, the group’s engagement and development director asked teachers at Booker T. for help recently. The teachers allowed 7th grade students to write profiles for the pets as part of an extra credit public service announcement assignment. As of Thursday afternoon, the shelter has 91 dogs in the building, it’s down to two open cages and the shelter also has 46 dogs in foster care, said shelter director Amanda McQuarry.

 

Gov. Whitmer Boosts Funding for 16 Schools to Expand Programs to Prepare Students for In-Demand Jobs (opens in a new window)

Michigan.gov

June 10, 2022

Governor Gretchen Whitmer along with state environmental and workforce leaders announced 16 K-12 institutions, school districts and educational partnerships have been awarded $205,028 to develop Great Lakes-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational programs for students. These grants build on the Governor’s historic educational budget proposal, which includes the highest per-student investment ever, $1 billion for new school construction and renovation, funds to hire and retain 15,000 teachers, and more resources for on-campus mental health support.

Latina Mothers, Daughters and the Pursuit of Higher Education Together (opens in a new window)

Los Angeles Times

June 10, 2022

Cindy R. Escobedo chronicled the aspirations, challenges and joys of Latina mothers and daughters who pursued college degrees together. Cindy identified nine working-class mother-daughter families consisting of 22 women — all but three of whom attended college in California at the same time. The mothers are largely immigrants — from Mexico, Peru, Belize, Guatemala — while all but one of the daughters U.S. born. But beneath the joy of achievement are complex journeys because for every mother who made sacrifices on the way to her degree, so too did her daughter. Here are their stories.

Teachers of the Year Say Educators Deserve More Trust (opens in a new window)

EdSurge

June 02, 2022

Curiosity and creativity were on display when dozens of top teachers from around the U.S. gathered on the National Mall at the end of April. While reflecting on the state of their profession, a trio of finalists expressed a variation of the following observation: Teachers are experts who deserve more trust. Read more insights from Teacher of the Year finalists.

‘Who Will Clean Out The Desks’ — A Crowdsourced Poem in Praise of Teachers (opens in a new window)

NPR

May 31, 2022

Listen to or read a community poem culled from submissions to NPR’s Morning Edition as part of teacher appreciation month. NPR put out this call a week before the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, so the majority of contributors are not reflecting on that horrific day but a late addition did reflect that loss.

NPR’s poet in residence Kwame Alexander took lines from submissions to create a community poem. This poem is dedicated to all teachers, but especially to Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles, fourth grade teachers who lost their lives at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

Hear From Four TJ Freshmen Admitted Under Controversial Circumstances (opens in a new window)

Washington Post

May 31, 2022

Two years ago, Thomas Jefferson. known as TJ and frequently ranked the best public high school in America, radically altered its admissions process, eliminating a much-feared test and a $100 application fee, in the hope of admitting more students of color and low-income students. The changes at the magnet school in Northern Virginia sent parents and alumni into a frenzy. 

How did it feel to be one of the newly admitted students? The Washington Post followed four Thomas Jefferson High School freshmen through a difficult, unusual and absorbing academic year.