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Best Practices for a Successful Middle School Classroom (6-8)

Do you need help managing your middle school classroom? This course is designed for teachers of grades six through eight who are interested in exploring best practices for developing and managing a successful junior high or middle school classroom. This course covers strategies for implementing the new 21st century standards, while managing time so that all content is covered. Behavioral issues common in grades six through eight are covered along with overall classroom management techniques. Teachers learn how to maximize the resources available to them as well as find innovative ways to gain more resources at little to no cost. This course also introduces successful strategies for gaining students’ attention and interest, and truly engaging them in lessons. Teachers will also learn how to respond to a variety of teaching challenges, including how to effectively reach their most at-risk students. Mainstreaming English language learners and techniques for differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students is covered as well. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"Great course! I would highly recommend this course for new teachers as well as seasoned veterans. The course content was relevant to my experiences in middle school. I was able to refresh what I already knew as well as learn new strategies and perspectives." - Nancy Reynolds


Enrollment Options

Register] Course Registration Only $149

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $379


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

Managing Your Classroom with Heart: A Guide for Nurturing Adolescent Learners” by Katy Ridnouer


If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 17T02

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41572

Unit One

  • The Most Common Challenges in a Middle School Classroom
  • The Perfect Junior High or Middle School Classroom
  • The Teacher’s Role in a Successful Middle School Classroom
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • Effective Time Management and Organizational Strategies
  • The Best Methods for Managing Behavior
  • Motivation Matters!
  • Anti-Bullying Strategies for the Middle School Classroom
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Differentiating Instruction to Meet the Needs of All Students
  • Helping English Language Learners to Succeed
  • Understanding and Helping Students with Special Needs
  • Working with Students Who Live in Poverty
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3

Unit Four

  • Transitioning to the Common Core State Standards with Confidence
  • Understanding and Preparing Students for the Common Core Assessments
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Addressing a Lack of Classroom Resources
  • Making the Most of Technology
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Working with Parents
  • Maintaining the Classroom You Created
  • Resources for the Successful Middle School Classroom
  • Assignment #4: Develop a plan for using new strategies
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)