Charlie Herzog asks: Should we continue to assign students grades in the traditional manner (percentages & letters), or should we move towards a system based on levels of mastery? I'm expecting a lot of reader comments on this one! Feel free to share any of your thoughts on grading, even if they do not directly answer Charlie's question. Please share your ideas in the comments, or, if you prefer, feel free to email them to me. Anyone whose question is selected for this weekly column can choose one free book from a selection of twelve -- including my own -- published ...


Becky Searls asked: Given that a vast body of research shows that extrinsic rewards can be damaging to students' intrinsic drive to learn for learning's sake, what are some practical strategies you use to replace the use of rewards, including praise, in your classroom? How do you keep students engaged without the carrots & sticks? Becky asks a question that many of us wrestle with everyday in the classroom. It's a question I've visited before here, but it's one that can never be discussed enough. I welcome every opportunity to further explore it. Daniel Pink, Dan Ariely, and I discussed this ...


Becky Searls asks: Given that a vast body of research shows that extrinsic rewards can be damaging to students' intrinsic drive to learn for learning's sake, what are some practical strategies you use to replace the use of rewards, including praise, in your classroom? How do you keep students engaged without the carrots & sticks? Becky asks a question that many of us wrestle with everyday in the classroom. Please share your ideas in the comments, or, if you prefer, feel free to email them to me. Anyone whose question is selected for this weekly column can choose one free book ...


Though I'm receiving plenty of reader questions (but could always use more!), I periodically instead decide to respond to a "Question That's Been On My Mind." This is another one of those times (I'll be returning to reader questions on Friday). My question related to the major report and "new action agenda" announced by the National Education Association in December. The report, developed by a NEA-initiated group of teachers called the Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, made a number of recommendations. My question was: What were the most important aspects of the Commission report, and what might be its ...


Though I'm receiving plenty of reader questions (but could always use more!), I periodically instead decide to respond to a "Question That's Been On My Mind." This is another one of those times (I'll be returning to reader questions next week).... My question relates to the major report and "new action agenda" announced by the National Education Association in December. The report, developed by a NEA-initiated group of teachers called the Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, made a number of recommendations. My question is: What were the most important aspects of the Commission report, and what might be its ...


(This is the final post in a three part series on parent engagement. You can see Part One here and Part Two here) Kanwal Sachdeva asked: I enjoyed reading your article on 'how to make students learn to listen'. My question is- How do we make parents to listen to the teachers? You know, for the students who need more help, the parents are not available to talk or they will not really listen. How do we make them understand teacher's perspective and not believe everything that the student is saying? How do we build that trust? Parent engagement is ...


(This is Part Two of a three part series on parent engagement. You can see Part One here) Kanwal Sachdeva asked: I enjoyed reading your article on 'how to make students learn to listen'. My question is- How do we make parents to listen to the teachers? You know, for the students who need more help, the parents are not available to talk or they will not really listen. How do we make them understand teacher's perspective and not believe everything that the student is saying? How do we build that trust? Parent engagement is a critical piece in creating ...


(This is the first in a series of three posts responding to this question) Kanwal Sachdeva asked: I enjoyed reading your article on 'how to make students learn to listen'. My question is- How do we make parents to listen to the teachers? You know, for the students who need more help, the parents are not available to talk or they will not really listen. How do we make them understand teacher's perspective and not believe everything that the student is saying? How do we build that trust? Parent engagement is a critical piece in creating a successful learning environment. ...


Kanwal Sachdeva asks: I enjoyed reading your article on 'how to make students learn to listen'. My question is- How do we make parents to listen to the teachers? You know, for the students who need more help, the parents are not available to talk or they will not really listen. How do we make them understand teacher's perspective and not believe everything that the student is saying? How do we build that trust? Parent engagement is a critical piece in creating a successful learning environment. Thanks for raising this important issue, Kanwal! Of course, an important way to start ...


Lynnette Beer asked: I have 3 more courses and student teaching left until I earn my teaching certification! I have a couple of questions and a response to any would be helpful. I am wondering if there is something I should be doing to prepare for the experience in the meantime? Is it a good idea to volunteer in a classroom? Or what other ways are there to prepare as well as build begin to build my resume'? What do principals look for in a prospective teacher? It's getting close to interview time for next year, so this is a ...


The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo 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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