Middle School Education

New Kids On the Block – New Student Survival Flip Book!

Starting at a new school can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience for any student. Whether it’s the first day at primary school, transitioning to high school, or embarking on a college journey, the ‘New Kids On The Block’ flip book is here to ease that transition.

In this compact and interactive guide, students will find a wealth of information delivered in bite-sized nuggets of wisdom, covering topics such as navigating the campus, understanding the school’s culture, managing time effectively, and making new friends. With its flip book format, students can easily bookmark pages that resonate with them or sections they wish to return to later.

Each page of the ‘New Kids On The Block’ flip book is designed to engage with the readers directly. The flip book starts by walking new students through essential first-day tips—what to bring, what to wear, and how to make a great first impression. It emphasizes the importance of being oneself and finding like-minded peers through clubs and extracurricular activities available.

The next section delves into organizational skills and study habits that will set up students for academic success. This includes setting up a homework routine, using planners effectively, and identifying study strategies that work best for different learning styles.

Additionally, ‘New Kids On The Block’ addresses the emotional aspects of being new. It provides advice on dealing with homesickness for boarders or college freshmen, handling peer pressure wisely, and finding support systems within the school such as guidance counselors and mentorship programs.

Importantly, the flip book includes an interactive map template that students can customize based on their own school layout. This feature recognizes that getting physically lost can be a big source of anxiety on a new campus.

One of the most innovative aspects of the ‘New Kids On The Block’ is its QR codes scattered throughout the pages which link to online resources for deeper dives into complex subjects like mental health support and advanced study resources.

In conclusion, the ‘New Kids On The Block’ survival flip book stands out as not just another dry manual but rather a dynamic companion for any student stepping onto new academic ground. With its encouraging tone and practical tools, it empowers students to confidently tackle their new world with enthusiasm and resilience.

Debunking Myths Middle Schoolers Have About Money And Engaging Activities to Help


As middle schoolers transition into more independence, it’s crucial that they are equipped with accurate information about money management. However, many young students navigate the financial world with misconceptions. This article aims to debunk some of the most common money myths among middle schoolers and offers a range of engaging activities that help educate them on proper financial habits.

Myth 1: Saving money is not important

Many middle schoolers believe that saving money is not crucial at their age. This idea could stem from the perception that their needs and wants are covered by family members. It’s essential to teach these young individuals about the significance of saving money early on to build healthy financial habits.

Activity: Open a savings account

Encourage middle schoolers to open a savings account and assist them in developing a savings goal. This habit will gradually teach them the value of being financially responsible.

Myth 2: Credit cards are free money

Credit cards might appear like magic: with just one swipe, they fulfill every need. However, students must know that credit cards don’t grant limitless access to funds and, in fact, accrue debt if not managed properly.

Activity: Credit card simulation

Design a simulation activity where middle schoolers are given mock credit cards with spending limits. Ask them to take note of each virtual purchase and calculate their balances at the end of a set period. This exercise will demonstrate how quickly debt can pile up and promote thoughtful spending habits.

Myth 3: I am too young to worry about investing

Investing is often considered an adult privilege – leaving youngsters in the dark about its importance. Beginning to understand investing basics at an early stage will pave the way for fruitful financial decisions in the future.

Activity: Stock market game

Introduce an online stock market game where students can simulate buying and selling stocks. This engaging activity will provide a fundamental understanding of investing and serve as a stepping stone toward real-life stock ventures.

Myth 4: Budgeting is only for adults

Middle schoolers often think that budgeting is reserved for adults juggling bills and other financial responsibilities. However, learning to budget at a young age is vital for effective money management throughout life.

Activity: Budgeting activity

Create a hands-on budgeting activity using mock salaries, expenses, and savings goals to teach students about income allocation. By working with virtual finances, students can learn the importance of developing sensible budgets without the risk of actual financial consequences.


Dispelling money myths is an essential part of preparing middle schoolers for future financial independence. Active involvement in addressing misconceptions and providing engaging instructional activities will set the stage for a generation of financially savvy individuals. Start early and equip these young people with the tools they need to make responsible financial decisions that lead to long-term success.

10 Things That Only Happen When You Teach Middle School

1. Unpredictable Growth Spurts: Middle school teachers witness students entering their classrooms at varying heights, with some towering over their peers. The unpredictable growth spurts during these formative years often lead to amusing and awkward situations.

2. Emotional Rollercoasters: Puberty brings a high level of emotionality, drama and sensitivity. As a middle school teacher, you find yourself navigating the emotional ups and downs of your students while trying to maintain composure and support them through their experiences.

3. Fads and Trends: Middle school is a hotbed for fads and trends that sweep through the student body like wildfire. From the latest TikTok dance to fashion statements, you’ll quickly become familiar with what’s popular among your students.

4. Unique Sense of Humor: A middle schooler’s sense of humor can be unpredictable, often oscillating between childish giggles at silly jokes to more mature wit. Teachers learn to cultivate an appreciation for this unique comedic style while ensuring it doesn’t disrupt the classroom environment.

5. The Art of Negotiation: Persuasion tactics go into overdrive during middle school as students learn the ropes of negotiation. Teachers find themselves on the receiving end of countless attempts to negotiate assignments, deadlines and classroom rules.

6. The Birth of Leadership Skills: Middle school is a period where budding leaders begin to shine, learning how to motivate others and take charge in group settings. Teachers play an important role in nurturing these skills through positive reinforcement and mentoring.

7. Identity Exploration: Middle school is characterized by rapid self-discovery as students explore their identities across various spectrums such as personality, interests, and hobbies. This self-exploration phase leads to evolutions in friendships, peer groups, and self-expression which teachers must accommodate within their classrooms.

8. Newfound Responsibility: As young adolescents gain increased independence from their parents, the responsibility of managing their time, homework, and other obligations shifts to them. Teachers help students navigate this new reality, balancing expectations and support as the students learn to regulate their own lives.

9. Social Media Lessons: The rise of social media has transformed middle school experiences. Teachers now find themselves delivering lessons on digital citizenship, online safety, and responsible social media use, alongside traditional academic subjects.

10. Lifelong Impact: As the last stop before high school, middle school teachers have a unique opportunity to shape their students’ futures in meaningful ways. The connections made and lessons learned during this transitional period often leave a lasting impression on both teacher and student alike.

In conclusion, teaching middle school comes with its own set of unique challenges and rewards. Both students and educators traverse some major life changes during this time, making it an unforgettable stage in one’s life.

We’re Loving These Free Ocean Lessons for Middle School


The ocean, home to incredible marine biodiversity and fascinating mysteries, has always been a captivating subject for children and adults alike. To continue inspiring the next generation of explorers, educators, and scientists, we are highlighting these free ocean lessons specially designed for middle school students. Dive into these immersive lessons as they introduce students to the wonders of the ocean while engaging them in fun and educational activities.

Top 5 Free Ocean Lesson Plans:

1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Teach Ocean Science:

NOAA’s “Teach Ocean Science” provides a wealth of resources for educators looking to integrate ocean science into their curriculum. Their interactive lesson plan covers various topics such as salinity, density, currents, and marine life adaptations. The accompanying activities engage students in experiential learning that helps them understand complex scientific concepts in an enjoyable manner.

Resource Link: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/teach-ocean-science.html

2. OCEARCH STEM Curriculum:

OCEARCH’s STEM curriculum revolves around authentic scientific research gathered during real expeditions.Guided by engaging instructional videos, it lets middle school students explore topics like marine ecosystems, sharks’ role in the food web, and their migration patterns. The curriculum also fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills by encouraging participation in research projects.

Resource Link: https://www.ocearch.org/for-educators/

3. Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants’ Virtual Field Trips:

Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants offers virtual field trips to various locations around the world. Through these virtual expeditions, middle school students can interact with experts to learn about diverse marine ecosystems, new species being discovered underwater, and methods of conservation to preserve these environments.

Resource Link: https://www.exploringbytheseat.com/

4. National Geographic’s “Ocean Adaptations” Lesson Plan:

National Geographic’s “Ocean Adaptations” lesson plan helps students explore how different organisms have adapted to their underwater habitats. Supported by activities such as comparing species’ physical features and analyzing survival patterns, this lesson stimulates students’ curiosity and encourages a deeper understanding of life under the sea.

Resource Link: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/lesson/ocean-adaptations/

5. SeaWorld’s Ocean Virtual Field Trip:

SeaWorld’s virtual field trip enables middle school students to embark on an exciting journey into the world of marine animals without leaving their classrooms. The virtual tour includes a behind-the-scenes look at animals’ habitats, interactive quizzes, and opportunities to learn about animal care and conservation efforts from SeaWorld experts.

Resource Link: https://seaworld.com/orlando/educational-programs/virtual-field-trip/


These free ocean lessons serve as excellent resources for middle school teachers seeking innovative ways to introduce students to the fascinating world beneath the waves. Tested in real-life educational settings and adaptable for remote or in-person teaching, they promise to engage middle school students in interactive learning while deepening their understanding of Earth’s oceans and their connection to our world.

15 Fun and Free Ways To Use NoRedInk in Your Middle School Writing Lessons

Teaching middle school students effective writing skills can be challenging, but incorporating engaging digital tools into your lesson plan can make a huge difference. One such tool is NoRedInk, an online platform that helps students improve their writing skills through tailored, interactive exercises. In this article, we’ll explore 15 fun and free ways to use NoRedInk in your middle school writing lessons.

1. Grammar Drills: Utilize NoRedInk’s grammar drills to help your students identify and correct common grammar mistakes. These interactive drills adapt to each student’s level to provide targeted practice.

2. Sentence Combining: Encourage students to practice combining sentences effectively by using NoRedInk’s sentence combining exercises. These exercises prompt students to rewrite sentences using different coordinating or subordinating conjunctions.

3. Peer Review: Engage your students in a peer review process using NoRedInk’s guided review feature. Students can provide constructive feedback on their classmates’ writing and learn from one another.

4. Thesis Statements: Teach students how to craft a strong thesis statement with the help of NoRedInk’s thesis building exercises.

5. Vocabulary Building: Help students enhance their vocabulary with NoRedInk’s synonym and antonym exercises, which encourage them to practice using new words in context.

6. Creative Writing Prompts: Inspire creativity among your middle schoolers with unique writing prompts available on the NoRedInk platform.

7. Argumentative Essays: Equip students with the skills needed to write persuasive argumentative essays using NoRedInk’s structured writing activities.

8. Revising vs. Editing: Teach the difference between revising and editing by assigning revision and editing exercises on NoRedInk.

9. Personal Narratives: Guide students through the process of crafting a personal narrative with annotated examples, prompts, and interactive activities on NoRedInk.

10. Identifying Author’s Purpose: Develop critical reading and writing skills by using NoRedInk exercises that challenge students to identify the author’s purpose in various texts.

11. Topic Sentences: Teach students how to write coherent topic sentences using NoRedInk’s interactive exercises, which provide instant feedback.

12. Paragraph Structure: Reinforce the importance of well-structured paragraphs with NoRedInk’s paragraph-building activities.

13. Parts of Speech: Use NoRedInk’s parts of speech exercises to teach your students about nouns, verbs, adjectives, and more—in a fun and interactive way!

14. Proofreading Practice: Encourage students to practice proofreading their own work using NoRedInk’s customizable error-detection passages.

15. Collaborative Writing: Foster collaboration among your middle schoolers with group writing assignments available on the NoRedInk platform.

By incorporating these 15 fun and free activities into your middle school writing lessons, you can make a lasting impact on your students’ writing abilities while creating an engaging learning environment. Give NoRedInk a try, and see the improvements in your students’ writing firsthand!

Preparing Middle Schoolers for Healthy Friendships


As children enter middle school, they experience various physical, emotional, and social changes. This transition period requires preparation in multiple areas, including building healthy friendships. Cultivating strong relationships among peers is crucial for students’ emotional well-being, as it supports their development and helps them navigate through academic and personal challenges.

This article will explore ways to teach students about healthy friendships in preparation for middle school by discussing the importance of understanding their values, establishing boundaries, practicing effective communication, and building resilience.

1. Understanding Personal Values

One essential aspect of teaching students about healthy friendships is helping them understand their values. Encourage students to evaluate their morals, beliefs, and attitudes to better identify the types of relationships they want to build. As teachers or parents, you can guide students toward introspection by providing questions and conversation prompts such as:

– What qualities do you value in a friend?

– What activities do you enjoy doing with friends?

– How do your friends support your interests and goals?

2. Establishing Boundaries

Learning to set boundaries is instrumental in developing healthy relationships. Teach students the importance of setting limits regarding their time, energy, and emotions. Discuss scenarios they might encounter related to peer pressure or uncomfortable situations with friends and brainstorm steps they can take to protect their well-being.
Educate students on the significance of respecting others’ boundaries as well. Encourage empathy by asking how they would feel if someone neglected their boundaries.

3. Practicing Effective Communication

Strong communication skills help establish trust and understanding between friends. Teach students communication techniques such as active listening, respectful disagreement, expressing gratitude, and offering constructive feedback. Incorporate role-playing exercises into lessons that simulate real-life situations so that they develop the ability to communicate assertively yet compassionately.

4. Encouraging Conflict Resolution

Conflicts are inevitable in any relationship; thus, it’s vital for students to recognize that disagreements aren’t necessarily negative. Provide tools and strategies to help them approach conflict productively, including:

– Taking a step back and assessing the situation objectively

– Avoiding blame and focusing on finding a solution

– Compromising, where necessary, to reach a mutually beneficial outcome

5. Building Resilience

Finally, encourage resilience in students by guiding them in developing coping mechanisms to handle the challenges of friendships. Reinforce the idea that not all relationships work out, and parting ways with friends can sometimes be the best course of action. Empower them by discussing ways to seek support from trusted classmates, family members, teachers, or counselors when needed.


By teaching middle school students about healthy friendships, we strengthen their foundation for emotional and social well-being during an already turbulent time in their lives. Encouraging self-awareness about values, setting boundaries, improving communication skills, resolving conflicts, and building resilience will significantly enhance their ability to form enduring relationships with peers who nurture their growth as individuals.

5 Ways I Engage Middle and High School Readers by Offering More Student Choice


In today’s world of technology and rapidly expanding digital resources, engaging students in reading can be a tough challenge. One way to foster a love for reading among middle and high school students is by offering more student choice. This article will explore five strategies that have proven successful in engaging readers by giving them the freedom to pick their own literary adventures.

1. Create a diverse reading library

A well-stocked classroom library with books inclusive of multiple genres, perspectives, and cultures can pique the interests of even the most reluctant readers. By assembling an array of titles suitable for various reading levels and genres, you provide students with the opportunity to explore themes and topics that speak to their personal interests and life experiences. Encourage students to recommend titles they have enjoyed so that others can benefit from their enthusiasm.

2. Offer various reading formats

Some students prefer physical books while others might enjoy digital or audiobooks. Cater to each individual’s reading preferences by offering multiple formats in your classroom library. E-books and audiobooks are especially helpful for students with learning differences or those who struggle with text-based content, as they provide an alternative means to engage with stories.

3. Implement regular silent reading periods

Carve out time in your weekly schedule for sustained silent reading (SSR) – during which students can choose the book they want to read from your classroom library (or bring their own). Allowing students dedicated time during class hours for independent reading sends the message that it is a priority and helps develop a culture where reading is valued.

4. Allow self-selected book clubs

Instead of assigning specific titles for group discussions, encourage students to form book clubs around self-selected books. Give them the option to choose from multiple titles at different times throughout the year, allowing for discussions with peers who share common interests or varying viewpoints on different themes. The ownership of selecting their book and participating in an accountable talk builds investment in the reading experience.

5. Incorporate student choice into assignments

Students are more likely to engage with literature if they are given a say in the material. Create projects that give students the freedom to choose their books within certain parameters, such as themes, genres, or time periods. You can also encourage students to explore their interests by crafting assignments that require them to analyze different aspects of their chosen readings – from complex characters to various perspectives on societal issues.


Offering more student choice when it comes to reading can inspire middle and high school students to become avid readers and lifelong learners. By providing a diverse library of inclusive titles, catering to different formats, implementing regular reading periods, encouraging self-selected book clubs, and allowing for choice in assignments, educators can create classroom environments where students are excited about the world of literature and feel empowered by their own freedom of choice.

19 Memes Capturing the Reality of Teaching Middle School


Teaching middle school can be a rollercoaster of emotions, challenges, and rewarding moments. Your students are growing and evolving right before your eyes, and you have the amazing job opportunity to help guide them on their journey. While teachers often love their profession, it’s not without its share of laughs along the way. We’ve collected 19 memes that perfectly capture the reality of teaching middle school. Get ready for a mix of humor, nostalgia, and knowing nods.

1. The moment you realize middle schoolers have more energy than should be humanly possible.

Img description: A dog running around with boundless energy.

2. When you catch students passing notes during class.

Img description: An annoyed teacher holding up a confiscated note.

3. That one student who asks questions just to waste class time.

Img description: A suspicious student asking irrelevant questions.

4. Homework? What’s that?

Img description: An unsuspecting student feigning confusion about assignments.

5. When you catch students gossiping in class.

Img description: Two students whispering, with an observant teacher looking on.

6. The feeling when you finally reach Friday.

Img description: A happy and tired teacher celebrating the end of the workweek.

7. When parents say, “You must have so much patience.”

Img description: A frazzled teacher doing their best to stay patient and calm.

8. The joy of not having to share your lunch break with anyone else.

Img description: A satisfied teacher eating lunch alone in peace.

9. The struggle of remembering everyone’s name in the first week.

Img desсription: A teacher looking back and forth between a list of names and faces.

10. When a student thinks they’re being sneaky on their phone during class.

Img description: A teacher rolling their eyes at a not-so-subtle phone user.

11. The myriad of emotions when grading papers.

Img description: A series of expressions reflecting the highs and lows of grading.

12. Doing the math on how many days are left until summer break.

Img description: An excited teacher counting down the days on a calendar.

13. That awkward moment when you run into your students outside of school.

Img description: A startled teacher bumping into students at a local store.

14. Trying to bite your tongue when dealing with difficult parents.

Img description: A teacher calmly handling frustrated parents during a meeting.

15. When you find that ‘aha’ moment for a challenging lesson plan.

Img description: A triumphant teacher celebrating after cracking the perfect lesson plan.

16. When exam time rolls around, and it’s time for ultimate focus.

Img description: Studious children taking exams as a focused teacher observes.

17. The single tear of pride when your students achieve something great.

Img description: A touched teacher watching their students’ accomplishments with joy.

18. When a student tells you they want to be a teacher too.

Img description: A surprised but pleased teacher hearing a student express their career aspirations.

19. Remembering to cherish every teaching moment – even the frustrating ones.

Img description: A contented teacher reflecting on the experiences shared throughout the school year.


Teaching middle school is an incredible journey filled with highs, lows, challenges, and rewards. These memes highlight moments that many middle school teachers can undoubtedly relate to – from classroom antics to inspiring achievements. As we laugh at these relatable situations, let’s remember to appreciate and cherish all that comes with guiding young minds through some of their most formative years.

Top 10 Things Middle-School Students Wish You Knew

Middle school is a critical time for students as they navigate the rocky transition from childhood to adolescence. From raging hormones and academic pressure to finding their own identity, students at this age have a lot on their plate. As parents, teachers, or mentors, understanding these challenges helps us provide the necessary support for middle schoolers. In this article, we share the top 10 things middle-school students wish you knew.

1. They crave independence: Middle-school students want to assert their individuality and independence as they become more aware of their surroundings and peers. Giving them a sense of autonomy in small ways – such as allowing them to pick out clothes or make decisions about extracurricular activities – can help boost their confidence and self-esteem.

2. Academic pressure mounts: With increased workload and expectations, middle schoolers may struggle to balance academics and extracurricular pursuits. It’s crucial that we empathize with their challenges, provide helpful guidance, and remind them that it’s okay to ask for help.

3. Peer pressure becomes apparent: Middle schoolers experience peer pressure like never before. Discussing the potential negative impacts and teaching them how to deal with these situations in a positive manner can help them build resilience.

4. They need your guidance but not necessarily your solutions: While they may need support navigating the complex social dynamics, middle schoolers often prefer active listening over someone solving their problems. Sometimes, they just need a sympathetic ear from someone who understands what they’re going through.

5. Self-esteem is fragile: Body image issues, academic comparison with peers, and puberty-related changes lead to vulnerable self-esteem during middle school years. Positive reinforcement is crucial during this time to help build confidence.

6. Social life changes rapidly: Friendships may shift during middle school as interests and social groups evolve. Navigating these shifting dynamics can be challenging for students, and providing them with support allows them to manage these changes with greater ease.

7. Bullying can happen: As social structure in middle school becomes more prevalent, so does the risk of bullying. Keeping an open dialogue can help students feel safer discussing any issues they may be facing or witnessing.

8. Emotional ups and downs are common: Hormonal shifts during puberty result in emotional rollercoasters for many middle schoolers. Patience, understanding, and reassurance are essential during these volatile times.

9. They may test boundaries: During their quest for independence, middle schoolers often test limits and establish their identities. Clear communication about expectations and consequences for actions can help maintain a healthy balance between freedom and discipline.

10. They still need you: Despite all the changes occurring in their lives, middle schoolers want reassurance that they are loved and supported. Reiterate your love, patience, and presence throughout this challenging period, so they know they have someone to turn to no matter what.

In summary, understanding these top 10 things will help us better support our middle-school students as they navigate this transformative phase in their lives. Stay patient, communicate openly, and lend a listening ear to ensure they thrive during these crucial years.

9 Smart Ways to Teach Your Middle School Students About Money


Teaching middle school students about money is essential for fostering good financial habits early in life. By practicing smart money management techniques, young people can gain a better understanding of the value of money and how it can be used responsibly. Here are nine smart ways educators and parents can teach middle school students about money.

1. Start with the basics:

Begin by teaching students the basics of currency, including the different denominations of coins and bills, as well as their individual values. Discuss foreign currencies and how exchange rates work, emphasizing that money holds value around the world.

2. Introduce budgeting:

Encourage students to create their own personal budgets based on hypothetical income. Have them consider income sources, necessary expenses, and a savings plan. Discuss how to prioritize spending and saving in order to make smart financial decisions.

3. Teach about responsible banking:

Educate students on the importance of opening a bank account when they’re old enough, and discuss the various features that come with a bank account (savings, checking, debit cards). Explain how banks help people manage their finances by protecting money, paying interest on savings, and facilitating transactions.

4. Explain credit and debt:

Discuss credit cards, loans, and interest rates – explain that borrowed money must be repaid along with extra costs (interest). Emphasize that taking on too much debt can be detrimental to one’s financial future and explain the implications of poor credit scores.

5. Explore compound interest:

Use examples to illustrate how compound interest can grow over time – both in savings accounts and when paying off debts. Emphasize the importance of saving early to take advantage of compounding interest.

6. Introduce investing:

Introduce stocks, bonds, and mutual funds as tools for investing money and growing wealth over time. Explain that each type of investment carries its own level of risk, and emphasize the importance of diversification.

7. Discuss taxes:

Teach students about income tax, sales tax, and property tax. Explain how taxes impact their personal finances and why they are necessary for funding essential services such as schools, police departments, and infrastructure.

8. Encourage entrepreneurship:

Inspire students to think creatively about earning money. Discuss different ways they can use their skills and interests to start a small business or side hustle that brings in extra income.

9. Role-play real-life financial scenarios:

Allow students to experience various financial situations through role-playing exercises. From grocery shopping on a budget to handling unexpected expenses, these scenarios will help them apply the concepts they’ve learned in practical ways.


Teaching middle school students about money is a crucial part of preparing them for a successful and financially responsible future. By incorporating these nine smart ideas into your lesson plans or everyday conversations, you’ll be able to provide valuable financial education that will benefit your students throughout their lives.