STEM Activities for Middle School and High School

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education announced the initiative “YOU Belong in STEM,” which hopes “to galvanize the broad STEM education ecosystem . . . for all young people from PreK to higher education.” It recognizes the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education along with the role high-quality resources will play in expanding science literacy beyond a classroom’s zip code. 

When it comes to high-quality STEAM resources, countless teachers have already been stepping up to the plate to create the resources they need and elevate their students’ learning. These dedicated Teacher-Authors have then shared out their STEM activities through TPT for more teachers to use with their middle and high school students. Here are some examples of their engaging, rigorous, and inclusive STEAM resources that you can use in your classroom too. 

3 Fun STEM Projects for Middle and High School Students

Have your students lead their

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7 Reasons Why Teaching High School English Is the Best

Is your desk hiding under stacks of clipped papers that still need grading?

Up past your bedtime, scrolling through argumentative essays from a week ago that you promised to provide feedback for? 

Heard another student—in your actual, physical classroom—announce how much they hate reading and writing? 

I’ve been there. I’m not sure if I’ve met an English teacher who has not been there. Teaching high school English definitely comes with a unique set of challenges. But when I feel that kind of defeat setting in, as cheesy as it sounds, I think about all the reasons why I chose my content area and age group. Teaching high school English is truly the best. Here’s why. 

1. You get to shine a light on the ever-changing lexicon-of-the-youth.

Teenagers love nothing more than having their terminology stolen and dragged through the dirt by The Olds. “Oh, you like my drip? Thank

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When colleges and campuses close down, students often drop out

Very few of any of these closures took place at public colleges or universities. One big exception was Purdue University. It shut down four campuses after it purchased for-profit Kaplan University in 2018 and converted it to a public four-year university called Purdue Global. Most other public closures were small ones, such as the closure of a teacher training site at a local elementary school.

Closures happen for many reasons but generally involve declining student enrollment, which leads to diminishing tuition dollars, a main source of revenue for many colleges. Weak finances have cut off for-profit institutions from the federal student loan program. That suddenly prevents students from obtaining subsidized loans to pay their private tuition bills. Many small liberal arts colleges have struggled to attract students altogether.

The consequences for students at these shuttered campuses are enormous. Fewer than half of them ever re-enrolled in college, according to a

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John Stamos Downplays Lori Loughlin’s Involvement In College Admission Scandal

During an appearance Monday on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast, Stamos insisted that Loughlin wasn’t the brains behind the scandal, which also resulted in jail sentences for Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, and actor Felicity Huffman.

“I am going to say this, and she said I could,” Stamos said. “She wasn’t really the architect of any of it — she was in the way background. She didn’t know what was going on.”

Loughlin pleaded guilty to paying half a million dollars in a scam to get her two daughters into college, but Stamos thought that Loughlin deserved some credit for how she made amends for her role in the scandal in the last couple of years.

Besides the two months behind bars, Loughlin was ordered two years of supervised release, a $150,000 fine, and 100 hours of community service.

“She also paid a lot of money. She set up

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Gratitude Activities for Students in Middle and High School

There are times during every school year when both students and teachers are in need of a fresh start. What better way to boost morale than to take time to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your classroom? 

Not only is gratitude a way to promote a positive classroom environment, but it can also improve students’ mental health. Given the increased focus on students’ social-emotional wellbeing, gratitude is a worthwhile practice to incorporate into your lessons.

From thought-provoking discussion questions to creative prompts that go beyond asking students to write something they are grateful for, these activities will engage your older students in a meaningful gratitude practice. 

Gratitude Activities for Middle and High School

If you’re looking for resources for teaching gratitude in your classroom, check out these gratitude lessons for middle school and high school.

How to Write a Thank You Note Gratitude Project by The Littlest Teacher

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Help! My Students Found My Tinder Profile

Dear WeAreTeachers,
A colleague told me that several of her 8th grade boys wouldn’t stop whispering and laughing. When she asked them what was up, they told her, “We found Ms. Wagner on Tinder during lunch.” I AM MS. WAGNER. One of them must have made an account using a fake birthday to appear in my age preferences. I know this is their mistake and not mine, but I’m so embarrassed and keep cringing thinking of them seeing me on a platform I never intended them to find me on. What should I do? Will telling an AP just bring more attention I don’t want? —Put “My Student Found My Tinder Profile” On My Tombstone

Dear P.M.S.F.M.T.P.O.M.T.,

On behalf of the entire teaching profession, this emoji: 😳  We cringe and mourn with you.

First, I want to reiterate that you’ve done nothing wrong. Despite a long history of people thinking

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Schools are not only threatened by climate change, they’re a key part of the solution

In fact, we can’t achieve the world’s climate goals without education, Aruch said:

“None of these implementations that are being discussed [at COP] are attainable without making investments in providing high-quality education opportunities for learning all throughout the life span.”

Furthermore, at COP 27, UNESCO, the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural arm, is unveiling something called the Greening Education Partnership. The organization is asking countries to set goals by 2030 and to monitor progress in four target areas:

  • Making schools’ physical infrastructure more sustainable (Hello, New Jersey);
  • Updating curricula;
  • Building capacity by getting teachers and school leaders up to speed;
  • Bringing climate education into the community, to ensure that working adult and lifelong learners also get the information they need to be resilient to climate effects and ready for emerging climate jobs.

(Disclosure: I’m an adviser to This Is Planet Ed, an initiative of the Aspen Institute that promotes

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Important Indigenous Figures to Teach About in School

Throughout history and today, Indigenous peoples have left and continue to leave their mark across every aspect of society, from climate justice to the arts. While it is important to discuss Indigenous history and identity throughout the school year, there is a timely opportunity to recognize Indigenous peoples and their contributions during Indigenous Peoples’ Month in November. While this list is not comprehensive, here are 15 important Indigenous figures from past and present who you can teach about in your classes.

7 Historical Indigenous Figures and Their Impact

Crazy Horse (c. 1840-1877)

Oglala band of the Lakota division of the Sioux

Born in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Tasunke Witco, or Crazy Horse, was an Oglala Lakota warrior. He fought against encroachment by White American settlers on Indigenous territory and played a pivotal role in the Black Hills War, particularly in the Fetterman Fight and the Battle of the

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This Month at DE: November

As fall approaches and we begin to enjoy all the little things that it brings, we invite you to explore timely learning resources from DE that will help your students to reflect on the past, note the present, and look to the future with hope and wonder.

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Celebrating Native American Heritage

Native American and indigenous peoples have inhabited North America for thousands of years. Today, Native American communities continue to honor their rich historical narrative, traditions, and guiding values. With new timely learning resources including images, videos, reading passages, and more, students can learn about Native American heritage all year long and experience the stories of modern-day activists, innovators, and leaders who instill meaningful changes in their communities and across the country.

Earth to Luna

Grades K-5

Follow Luna, her brother Jupiter, and pet ferret Clyde on adventures to explore life, physical,

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Resources for Teaching about Indigenous Peoples and Histories in North America

As momentum builds to improve how schools teach history (including the more painful parts of it), there’s been a push for more comprehensive, thoughtful, and accurate education around Indigenous American history. In recent years, some states have passed legislation to better ensure that Indigenous American history and culture are reflected in the curriculum.

During the month of November, which is Indigenous Peoples’ Month (also known as Native American Heritage Month), there’s a timely opportunity to deepen learning around the history, contributions, and contemporary issues of Indigenous peoples. Keep reading for lessons and activities to incorporate Indigenous American history and perspectives into your curriculum — throughout both Indigenous Peoples’ Month and the whole year.

Lessons and Activities about Indigenous American History and Culture

Use these lessons and classroom activities as a starting point to deepen student understanding of Indigenous American history, culture, and contributions for Indigenous Peoples’ Month and beyond.

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