More than 50 percent of the students speak Spanish in the district where The Daily Grind’s Mr. McNamar teaches. In light of that, he thinks it would make perfect sense for the district to provide Spanish-language classes to all teachers as a form of professional development. Mr. McNamar himself can speak elementary-level Spanish thanks to years of working in a restaurant where all the line cooks spoke it, and he has decided to use those basic skills to try and communicate with his Spanish-speaking students in their native language. He thinks it’ll help the students be more comfortable ...


Mrs. Bluebird and her colleagues have discovered that, with the school year winding down, a number of students with ADHD have gone off their meds. There's a logical explanation, it seems: We are suspecting that many of our parents will attempt to save some money this summer by not renewing their child's medications (they are, after all, fairly pricey from what I've been told). In addition, I've discovered many parents take these kids off their meds during the summer anyway as it's a good time to make adjustments, see how they react without it, and deal with some of the ...


Could "No Excuses" schools—schools for low-income children that "create a disciplined, orderly and demanding counterculture to inculcate middle-class values,"—be the solution to the achievement gap, as New York Times columnist David Brooks recently suggested? Teachers Nancy Flanagan and Doug Noon have some serious qualms: Noon: [Teachers and parents] understand that, while a “disciplined, orderly and demanding” school environment can promote middle-class values, these efforts, alone, will not sustain long-term changes for underprivileged students. Education reform must be accompanied by low-cost health care, decent housing, public and domestic safety, employment opportunities, job security, and affordable higher education. Flanagan:...


One of Hobo Teacher's students seems not to understand how it would be earthly possible for a teacher to communicate with an absent student without the help of texting....


A D.C. teacher-blogger, who calls himself Harry Potter because he bears a "shocking resemblance" to the wizard, recounts a conversation he had with his wife (pseudonym: Ginny) about Chancellor Rhee’s teacher-improvement plans. Ginny: I hear so much from the WTU, the AFT, and Randi Weingarten about how Rhee's proposal and the 90 day plans are bad because they mean teachers will be fired arbitrarily. But certainly not all firings can be arbitrary. Some must be legitimate. So isn't the union there to protect good teachers from being fired arbitrarily? . . . Why would you be concerned about being fired arbitrarily ...


Robert Pondiscio comments on the significance of a new study providing evidence that a single disruptive student can decrease the achievement levels of an entire class: I have long believed that the time on-task lost to disruption and behavior problems is almost certainly one of the under-discussed root causes of the achievement gap. This study does a great service by confirming what many teachers and parents have intuited for years: disruption matters and has a negative effect on all students. Clay Burrell draws attention to the policy implications: The study seems to seriously undermine the validity of any attempt to ...


Angela Powell of the Cornerstone posts her recommendations for the best teacher discussion boards. A helpful roundup—but try ours, too. Hat tip: Teacherninja...


One of NYC Educator’s students recently announced to the whole class that his science teacher is racist. NYC Educator admonished the student telling him not to talk about other teachers in the classroom and offered to talk to the student privately. The student continued, saying that his science teacher was racist because he yells at everyone. NYC Educator explained that that doesn’t make the teacher racist and got him to sit down and do his work. But it left NYC Educator with some concerns about the implications of students making unfounded claims. I could imagine a circumstance under ...


Scott McLeod's blogtweetcook.org—an unlikely digital cookbook for edubloggers and tweeters—now has 22 recipes, including one for Roasted Halibut with Banana-Orange Relish. Well, well, well ......


Renee Moore: a research project at a Mississippi community college finds that implementation of the state's high school exit exam in English seems to correlate with poorer student writing skills....


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