Clerk Letter Spring 2018

garden in winter

Winters can get long here in Appalachia. Freezing temperatures and piles of snow mean it’s time for our cows to huddle up in the barn and our chickens to snuggle down in their coop. But for our students, cold weather means it’s time to hit the road! Field Trips Ahead School resumes this week with […]

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Evaluations (and Grades) Help Students Transition Successfully

middle schooler choosing between grades and a evaluation

The debate over whether teachers should use grades or evaluations to assess their students is a big one in academic circles. Dozens of blogs and articles make strong arguments in both directions. Proponents of grades state they provide an objective and easily understandable system to compare student achievement. They are a sign of academic rigor […]

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Learning Unexpected Life Skills

middle schooler feeding turkeys

The lessons students take away from your classes aren’t always the ones you intend to teach. The most valuable lessons in the classroom may not even be academic. As Arthur Morgan School’s farmer, I have taught a similar biology course based on the school’s livestock program for several years. We have talked about the course […]

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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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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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Using Horror Writing Prompts for Middle Schoolers

middle schooler reading horror novel

‘Tis the season of spookiness. As Halloween approaches and days wane into darkness, people everywhere are embracing their desire to be scared. Horror movies fill the theaters, collections of ghost stories occupy shelf space, and almost everyone with a Netflix account is eagerly anticipating the second season of Stranger Things.  It is a time when […]

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Teaching Identity through Alice’s Wonderland

middle school play

It is no secret that theater provides valuable learning opportunities for middle schoolers. At a time when they learn best through physical activity and immersion, it makes sense that putting on costumes and trying out new identities activates their desire to learn. Plays also make perfect projects for middle schoolers. They get to be part […]

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A Middle Schooler’s Dyslexia Success Story

middle school student reading

As former staff, my husband and I believe in Arthur Morgan School and all of the amazing ways that it supports kids. When we were there, we experienced first hand how the school helps middle schoolers grow and become confident young adults.  I wanted to provide that same experience for my kids and am grateful […]

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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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