School closings resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have forced teachers across the world to scramble to shift their face-to-face classes online. This rapid transition to what we call “quaranteaching” has left teachers little time to prepare for virtual teaching and learning. Acknowledging this challenge, in this article we share steps, strategies, tips, and resources to support and empower middle grades educators to successfully continue the online instruction (more accurately called “crisis teaching) they have begun. We offer approaches to implementing collaboration, differentiation, and personalized learning, as well as approaches for authentically assessing student learning in a virtual learning environment. Issues such as access and equity are discussed and unit ideas are shared. The skills and tools middle level educators are sharpening will likely also be used in subsequent years even when a health crisis is not in effect. An organized chart with multiple curated technology tools for young adolescents is also included.

Author Bio

Dr. Christi L. Pace is an assistant professor at Augusta University in Augusta, GA,, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate literacy education courses. Dr. Pace earned her PhD from Georgia State University, where she majored in language and literacy education and teacher development. She has worked with teacher education candidates for the past ten years and is actively involved with the surrounding school district through university-school partnerships. Prior to her position at the university level, Dr. Pace taught middle and secondary ELA for over 20 years and holds dual certification in both Texas and Georgia. Her research interests include teacher professional development, online learning, and writing instruction and assessment.

Stacie K. Pettit, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Middle Grades Program Coordinator in the Department of Teaching and Leading at Augusta University. She is the secretary for the Middle Level Education Research (MLER) SIG and on the executive board for the Georgia Association of Middle Level Education (GAMLE).

Dr. Kim Barker is an assistant professor at Augusta University. She teaches literacy and research methods courses. She researches teacher effectiveness, professional learning, mentoring, and literacy instruction. Dr. Barker is also certified for grades K-5, 9th grade English, and holds the Reading, ESOL, and Gifted Endorsements.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.