AMLE Magazine

Articles from Vol. 3, No. 2, September

All Middle Level Educators Are Leaders
What is leadership? If you asked 100 people this question, you would likely get dozens of answers. Consider the following quotes from the Business News Daily article "30 Ways to Define Leadership," by Brittaney Helmrich:"Leadership is the ability to...
Are You Okay? How to Support Grieving Students
At least one of your students is grieving the death of a loved one.A 2012 study by the American Federation of Teachers and the New York Life Foundation indicated that nearly 7 in 10 teachers have a student in class who lost someone close in the past...
BYOD: What Works, What Doesn't, and What to Do about It
As an aspiring teacher, I have spent a great deal of time observing other teachers in their classrooms (nearly 300 hours to be exact). And when the local city and county schools decided to adopt BYOD (bring your own device) policies at the beginning...
Community Warming: Creating a Climate That Engages All Students
Shauna says, "I'm a dancer. I've been in a music video. And I've been bungee jumping." In this icebreaker, Two Truths and a Lie, students must decide which one of her statements is false.The class considers the choices and Juan says, "There's no way...
Compassionate Discipline: Dealing with Difficult Students
If you are tired of dealing with negative student behaviors day in and day out, you are not alone- in fact, you are firmly in the center of the average teacher's experience. Still, managing difficult student behaviors eventually sucks the energy from...
Connecting with Students: Where Do YOU Stand?
"Good morning, Mrs. Anderson!""High-five, Mrs. Anderson!""Mrs. Anderson, can you help me with my locker?""Hi Mrs. Anderson! I'm not late!"I hear these greetings every morning and afternoon, and they keep me bumping along in my day.In my school of nearly...
Embracing the Common Core: Implementing New ELA Standards
I was at a staff meeting when I heard the news. Colorado, we were told, had adopted new state standards that were based on national Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Looking around the room, I watched my fellow teachers' eyes widen in panic. We shared...
Have Our Middle Schools Become Too Small?
The title may seem to be a misstatement, for almost all educators believe our middle schools have become too big, with enrollments of well over 1,000 students now common.But the word small has meanings other than numerical. Merrian-Webster's Collegiate...
Instruction and Activity: Improving Engagement of Behaviorally Challenging Students
The most valuable baseball card is a 1909 Honus Wagner card; it sold for over $400,000 in 2014. It began its life in a pack of cigarettes with little hint of its future worth.I have collected baseball cards for over 30 years. The significance of each...
Literacy for All: Learning at a "Just Right" Level
Teachers at all levels and in all content areas are faced with the challenge of supporting students with reading challenges and raising test scores. Every classroom can have students on three or more different reading levels exploring the same concept...
Making the Right Choices: Authentic Classroom Management
What does classroom management mean to you? Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)? Token economies? Some other form of rewards and punishments?Classroom management often focuses on changing students' behavior, keeping them on task, and...
Megaphone
Amusing, interesting, and provocative comments from the field of education"Parents who want their children accelerated have to go to great lengths to make their case. In doing so, they are called 'pushy' by educators who dismiss their arguments as nonsense...
Mentor Me
QUESTION"I don't like sending disruptive students to the office, because they miss out on instruction. How can I keep them in class and on task so everyone learns?"Missed instruction isn't the worst problem with removing students from class. When you...
Offering Support
My son texted me last night with a short rundown of how and what he's doing. His periodic "update texts" are too short and too infrequent for my liking, but he's 23 and has set out to seek his fortune with nothing more than a backpack and a bike. Checking...
Spotlight on Janet K. Altersitz
Each month, AMLE turns the spotlight on a member who is making an impact on middle level education. This month, we get to know Arizona educator and administrator Janet Altersitz.1. AMLE's work is founded on This We Believe. What do you believe about...
Structures, Relationships, and Planning
The 16 characteristics of exemplary middle schools that are the basis of AMLE's This We Believe guide middle level educators as they develop strategies to help all young adolescents succeed.Three areas that are prominent in the characteristics are structures...
Technology in Advisory Programs: The Softer Side of Hardware
Chase sat in the back of the room every day, silent and sullen, hiding behind his long bangs. I was supposed to be teaching him about ancient Mesopotamia, and everything about his body language said, "Leave me alone."Then one evening I opened my e-mail...
"What Was He Thinking?" and Other Adolescent Male Mysteries
One of your students broke his leg after jumping offa roof to dunk a basketball. You ask him, "Why did you do that?" and regardless of the pain and the truly heartfelt regret that he broke his leg, he responds, "I don't know."Almost every middle level...
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