Resources for Middle and High School Teachers
There are thousands of middle school (and quite a few high school) teachers who utilize ideas from The Cornerstone! This page will help you find resources on-site and off that are relevant for older students.
Does The Cornerstone Work for Middle and High School?
I’m frequently asked whether there’s a secondary school version of my website out there somewhere. Unfortunately, if there is, I haven’t found it yet. I’d estimate that 75% on online resources for teachers are geared toward the elementary grades.
However, pre-teens and teenagers still need clear expectations modeled, practiced, and reinforced. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out the Routines and Procedures section of the website. Your students won’t need you to go into as much detail as you explain your procedures and they’ll catch on in half the time, but the general guidelines for creating and teaching expectations still apply. You can’t assume that secondary students will enter your classroom knowing how you expect them to behave, so don’t make the mistake of thinking ‘they know what to do’ and allow them to create their own class norms!
Middle and high school teachers usually tell me that the Organization section of the website and book are most relevant to them, so definitely check that out. They’ve also shared that the Planning and Assessment web section/book chapters were very useful, since those focus on creating long-term goals, keeping daily lesson plans, and surviving standardized testing.
Many of the ideas featured on other pages can easily be adapted for junior high and high school classes. For example, on the Math Journals page, I explain how journaling can be used up through 12th grade, and share examples of math journaling tasks I’ve done with the upper grades as a math coach. Also, as I add more pages to the Math and Literacy sections of the site, I’ll be including a variety of links and activities for grades K-8. So, take a look around and explore–there are lots of possibilities!
Recommended Upper Grades Resources
As an instructional coach, I work with PreK-8 teachers on literacy and PreK-6 teachers on math. Below are some resources I recommend to the middle school teachers I coach.
Middle and High School Teacher Blogs
I read a number of blogs from secondary teachers. The following are some of my favorite, because they provide not only excellent resources and ideas, but honest reflections on what’s working and what’s not.
The Jose Vilson is a middle school math teacher, coach, and data analyst in NYC. His blog is deep and tackles not only educational topics, but reflections on race, gender, current events, and other important issues that affect the lives of teachers and students.
John Spencer’s blog is one of THE BEST out there. He is a Christian middle school teacher who writes almost daily about a wide variety of educational topics from a really refreshing point of view that is somehow philosophical and deep and simultaneously practical and grounded. I think this post on how to stop kids from cheating is especially useful for secondary teachers. John has also written two books (which you can find out more about on his blog) called “Teaching Unmasked” and “Sages and Lunatics”.
Web Resources for Secondary Teachers
The Teacher’s Desk has loads of free lesson plans, printables, and activities for reading, writing, spelling, English, and more. It’s designed for grades 5-6, but a 7th/8th grade teacher I’ve coached uses these resources with great success all the time. They’re very adaptable for secondary classrooms.
Ten Great Sites Every Middle School Teacher Should Know from Education World. Very detailed descriptions.
The Teachers.Net Chatboards are a great place to go if you have a question you’d like answered by other secondary teachers. There are dozens of separate boards for each grade level and subject area. Most of the message forums are highly trafficked, so you can get input right away.
Classroom Management Resources for Middle and High School
Kim’s Korner has not been updated for a few years, but there are a tremendous amount of quality resources there. Kim taught middle school Language Arts for 16 years and most resources are geared toward that, but are adaptable, of course. She has one of the very few sites on classroom management and organization for middle school teachers. Here’s her site map.
Mrs. D. (‘The Language Arts Expert’) shares a number of middle school classroom management techniques she’s used, and addresses critical but rarely-mentioned routines and procedures like your bathroom policy, late policy, etc. Mrs. D’s conversational and practical tone shows you she’s been there, and knows how to help you succeed, too.
More to come…
Books for Middle and High School Teachers
The slideshow below shows some of the latest and best-selling books for secondary teachers. The books I selected are primarily related to classroom management, but there are some other great resources there, as well.
What’s Missing Here?
If you’re a secondary teacher and know other places to find high-quality free printables, activities, and lessons for middle and high school on the web, please share in the comments!
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