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March 17, 2012

What Is Failure?

What is failure? In the media we hear about failing teachers, failing students and failing schools. Students who get retained, say they failed a grade, as much as the educators around them try to call it something else. There are so many ways we fail. Some of those failures are socially acceptable...

March 12, 2012

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing: The Issue of Retention

We need to stop putting our expectations on our students and start helping them find their own. It's that time of year when educators continue the 3 R's but turn their attention to the 4th R, which is retention. Students who have struggled all year are now being put on the list of students who ar...

March 06, 2012

Roadblocks to Reading: An Interview with Richard Allington

In the recent issue of Educational Leadership (March 2012), Richard Allington and Rachael Gabriel wrote an article called Every Child, Every Day. They laid out six simple steps that all educators can do to get students reading. These action steps take very few resources but they do take the effort ...

February 23, 2012

The Transient Student

"Each person has something to contribute to the group, and the group is diminished without that contribution" (Tomlinson et al.p.30). They walk into our schools mid-year. Sometimes it's the beginning or middle of a random month. Long after teachers have created bonds with their students and begin...

February 12, 2012

The Stigma of Low Expectations

"We underestimate students when they fall short of expectations because they don't understand the school game and we determine that they lack motivation. " Carol Ann Tomlinson Recently, I read another great article in Educational Leadership by Carol Ann Tomlinson. Carol co-authored the article with...

February 10, 2012

Improving the Forecast for Learning: Tips for a Great Winter Recess

Jill Vialet, CEO and Founder of Playworks Schools, offers advice on what schools can do when winter weather makes an outdoor recess too challenging.

February 06, 2012

What is Your Achilles Heel?

The current economic and political climate could become the Achilles Heel for schools but they must not let it. Everyone has an Achilles Heel. It's the one thing that can take even the strongest of individuals to a dark place. Depending on the individual or the situation, an Achilles Heel can tak...

February 04, 2012

Helping kids learn to succeed

Responding to Peter DeWitt's "The Benefits of Failure." Today's guest blog is written by Debbie Silver (parent of 5 boys and teacher of 30 years) The Japanese have a proverb that says, "Fall down 7 times, get up 8." I think that is a wonderful metaphor for what most of us want for our children. ...

January 31, 2012

Suburban Schools Are Getting the Urban Experience

It no longer matters what kind of school system you belong to, it only matters that what is being done presently is more political than ever and it is not good for kids. Schools have always been able to provide opportunities, better or worse, based on zip code. The wealthiest schools around the co...

January 22, 2012

Is Book Banning a 21st Century Skill?

Last week, a story about book banning in the Tucson Unified School District appeared in newspapers (NY Times) and blogs (Larry Ferlazzo). Tucson USD allegedly banned books on a variety of topics but mostly those related to the oppression of ethnic minorities, one of which was Rethinking Columbus edi...

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The opinions expressed in Peter DeWitt's Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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