Carmel McDonald

Behavioral Immaturity

Behavioral Immaturity in the Middle School Classroom

You feel it, I feel it, we all feel it: group dynamics are different now. I started this article with a rather long lament about it. We don’t have as much time to teach content now that social-emotional needs prevail, the skill disparity is growing, parents aren’t as supportive, resilience has...

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Middle School ELA: Capitals Club

Although our middle school ELA students should have been capitalizing words like "I" since they were in early elementary school, many either just don't do it or don't take the time to proofread their work to make sure they did. 

Graphic organizer showing the different parts of a narrative plot: exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution

Interactive Plot Map

Carmel McDonald walks you through how she walks her middle school ELA students through narrative structure with an interactive plot map. Download her worksheet below!

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My Red Pen Is Dusty, and I’m Glad

Over the course of my career as a middle school ELA teacher, I’ve graded more writing pieces than I can count. I’ve graded late into the night, on plane trips and car rides, while watching volleyball practices, and on my lunch breaks. If you’re a teacher, you’ve been there. You relate.