How to Use Your School Garden Effectively throughout the Winter

middle schooler stirring broth

A recent trend in schools is to turn part of their campus into a garden and use it as a teaching tool.  Whether its a sensory garden, vegetable garden, or livestock program, integrating farm work into their classrooms provides teachers with a plethora of experiential learning opportunities. In the spring, students can use seeds and […]

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Why Failure Can Be a Good Thing

2 middle schoolers looking stressed

In seventh grade, I experienced my first real academic failure. My science teacher assigned us a large project. We had to research and present about the different organ systems of a specific animal. As an awkward seventh grader, I was not excited about this idea. Puberty and new social dynamics had hit me hard and […]

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How to Teach Middle School Art with Studio Time

middle school girl sawing wood

As a middle school art teacher, I am often inspired by my students.  Middle schoolers are knee deep in the messy process of trying to figure out who they are, what they stand for, and what makes them unique as people.  They ask the big questions.  They begin to rebel against the constant adult monitoring […]

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High Peaks Makes For Great Community Service Idea for Middle Schoolers

group photo of middle school and adult volunteers

This past Saturday, Arthur Morgan School joined the NC High Peaks Trail Association to create  a new hiking trail at the Mayland Earth to Sky Park. It was a cold, wet miserable morning with harder rain on the approach.  The students and staff huddled in their rain jackets and used mattocks and shovels to clear a […]

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Life and Death Decisions Make for Effective Ways to Empower Students

middle schooler feeding turkeys

Thanksgiving week is fast approaching and that means it’s turkey season. Every year, Arthur Morgan School raises its own turkeys and processes them for our Thanksgiving feast.  In 2010 the online magazine Grist featured the school’s annual turkey harvest in an article which drew many mixed emotions. Some commenters felt teaching middle schoolers about processing turkeys was a […]

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What Type of School is Right for my Child?

middle school students studying

“What school is right for my child?” It is a common question. I’ve watched friends grapple with this question for years, but never believed it would be a question my husband and I would be asking. We started our version of this discussion when our son was about to enter eighth grade and we realized […]

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Students Provide Water Filters to Puerto Rico and Learn a Lesson

middle school students meeting

The crisis in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria is a horrible tragedy. Many of us listening to the news stories feel helpless as people die and suffer without resources that many Americans take for granted. For middle schoolers this crisis is also a learning opportunity. It is a real life example of how geographic […]

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Internships as a Middle School Science Curriculum

middle school student and teacher looking at microscope

Creating a science curriculum for middle schoolers can be a challenging experience. Much of the material available to teachers is either directed at the elementary or high school levels. Teachers must often choose between childish activities that simply introduce a subject or thick heavy texts that go too heavily into nuanced concepts. Middle schoolers require […]

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Why Is Middle School Important?

Students in a leaf pile.

This is the question two towns in Connecticut are asking themselves right now. Due to funding issues and low enrollment, the communities of Easton and Redding are deciding whether to close their middle schools. If they do, their fifth and sixth graders move to the elementary school while their seventh and eighth graders move to […]

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How to Build Success in a Middle School Wood Shop

student showing off tool box she built in a middle school wood shop

As anyone who has ever visited a middle school wood shop can attest, young adolescents are amazing at starting projects. At Arthur Morgan School, the current contents of project shelf include a half-finished jewelry box, five pieces of miscellaneous cut wood, a large, possibly abandoned sandbox, a small wall of glued-together dowels, and something that […]

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