Academic journal article Middle School Journal

Letter from the President

Academic journal article Middle School Journal

Letter from the President

Article excerpt

As I begin this message to you, I would like to start by thanking the executive director, the directors team, the staff, and the board of trustees of National Middle School Association as well as the local committee and all of the presenters for their work on the annual conference in Indianapolis. Most of you do not see the hours, the dedication, and the commitment that these people put in to make your experience a wonderful one. The annual conference is a prime example of the application of "critical skills."

I was fortunate enough to take the Critical Skills Program offered by Antioch College in Keene, New Hampshire. The Coalition of Essential Schools and the Foxfire methodology also advocate for critical skills. Research has shown that students learn best when the learning experience is meaningful to them, when they can apply their learning in a new situation, when they have opportunities for social interaction, and when what they learn is challenging (Best Practices: Brandt, 1988). From my own practice, I know this to be true. I also know that helping students to understand and use Bloom's Taxonomy not only helps them on standardized tests but provides a framework for constant improvement.

One of the strategies I would suggest would be to make cubes for a unit of study. My cubes would include a knowledge/comprehension cube, an application/analysis cube, and a synthesis/evaluation cube. …

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