Monday, October 31, 2011

Technology or Tradition? Here's Some "Middle" Ground

By Beth Hammett

Teaching tools have evolved as technology has increased, and, in today’s classrooms, students can easily attend lectures, create movies, take virtual tours, and so much more; therefore, it’s no surprise that so many of today’s best teaching tools, such as Teachers Pay Teachers, are tied to technology. Yet, there are some traditional, hands-on resources that make the list for middle grades resources. Here are a few of my favorites, both with and without technology.

Educational Books:
  • Tried and True: Time Tested Activities for Middle School Students by Inez Liftig (hands-on learning activities)
  • The Ten Minute Trainer and Training from the Back of the Room by Sharon Bowman (How to turn lectures into interactive learning sessions; see PowerPoint at
  • Fires in the Middle School Bathroom by Kathleen Cushman (student perspectives on education /getting to know students) Lesson plans and instructional information at:
  • Classroom Assessment Techniques by Thomas Angelo and Patricia Cross (marketed to college professors but easily adapted for middle school learner)
  • Three Minute Motivators by Kathy Paterson (ice breakers, connectors, and more to engage students in learning)
  • Classroom Activators: More than 100 Ways to Energize Learners by Jerry Evanski (more ice breakers/ connectors)


Virtual Field Trips:

Lesson Plans: (of course!)




There are so many fabulous resources available for teachers, and these are just a few to get started with! In addition, many companies offer free merchandise, so have fun browsing the list to find materials that engage and educate students. Make the upcoming school year a memorable one by using the list of Best Teaching Tools for Middle School Educators.

Related Products at Teachers Pay Teachers:

Accuplacer Testing: Hints and Tips $3.00
100 Drama/Improv Acting Scenarios $3.49
Grammar Fail Bulletin Board Literacy Center $5.00 
UTIL Web Based Writing Activities  $24.95
Diving Deep for Synonyms and Antonyms   Free!

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