Eric Skoog asked: How can you minimize unpredictable behaviors that negatively affect your classroom? I'm sure we all have experienced "unpredictable" (what a diplomatic way of phrasing it, Eric!) student behaviors in our classes. The key question is how we can respond to them in positive ways that are helpful to the student exhibiting the behavior, to the rest of our students, and to our own sanity.... I'm going to begin this post with sharing a few examples of how I respond to "unpredictable" or disruptive student behaviors (I have also previously shared ideas at "Response: Several Ways To Help ...


This week's question comes from Eric Skoog, who asks: How can you minimize unpredictable behaviors that negatively affect your classroom? I'm sure we all have experienced "unpredictable" (what a diplomatic way of phrasing it, Eric!) student behaviors in our classes. What strategies have you found helpful to the student exhibiting the behavior, to the rest of your students, and to your own sanity? Anyone whose question is selected for this weekly column can choose one free book from a selection of twelve published by Eye On Education. Thanks, Eric! You can send questions to me at [email protected] ...


Alice Mercer asked: What are the major critiques of standardized tests and what are alternatives to them? My bias is pretty obvious if you look at the title of my related "The Best..." list -- The Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They're Bad). However, there are far more articulate critics than me out there, and two of the most well-known and most respected -- David C. Berliner and Yong Zhao -- agreed to respond to Alice's question. During the nineteen-year community organizing career I had prior to becoming a teacher in 2002, one of ...


This week's question comes from Alice Mercer (a Sacramento colleague and a phenomenal teacher), who asks: What are the major critiques of standardized tests and what are alternatives to them? My bias is pretty obvious if you look at the title of my related "The Best..." list -- The Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They're Bad). However, I don't believe I have a monopoly on the "truth," so I'm looking forward to hearing from guests I've invited to respond to Alice's question, as well as seeing comments from readers. Anyone whose question is selected ...


Louise Oppedahl asked: How will common core standardized assessments allow ESL students to show improvement? A beginning student in high school cannot even take a grade level test fairly even if allowed a bilingual dictionary and time and a half. The intermediate student would not fare much better. Since, in many places, 40% or more of a Teacher's rating will be based on standardized tests, most ESL teachers will not rate well. Getting lower ratings leads to termination. As someone who teaches at a high school where over half of the students are English Language Learners, I share Louise's concerns. ...


This week's question comes from Louise Oppedahl, who asks: How will common core standardized assessments allow ESL students to show improvement? A beginning student in high school cannot even take a grade level test fairly even if allowed a bilingual dictionary and time and a half. The intermediate student would not fare much better. Since, in many places, 40% or more of a Teacher's rating will be based on standardized tests, most ESL teachers will not rate well. Getting lower ratings leads to termination. This is indeed a timely question given that both multi-state consortia who are developing this next ...


Last week, I posed the question: How can we help students develop self-control? As I mentioned in that post, I've received several months-worth of questions so far (please keep 'em coming!), but now and then I'm also planning to include a question that I've come up with....and I'll label them as "Questions On My Mind." These questions, like the one I'm addressing today, will be challenges that I'm interested in exploring and/or ones whose answers I think might provide helpful background for upcoming topics that educators have already submitted. As I mentioned last week, I know that the ...


I've received several months-worth of questions so far (please keep 'em coming!), but now and then I'll also include a question that I've come up with....and I'll label them as "Questions On My Mind." These will be questions that I'm interested in exploring and/or ones whose answers I think might provide helpful background for upcoming topics that educators have already submitted. This week I'm offering the first "Question On My Mind": How can we help students develop self-control? I know it's a question on many teacher's minds, and it's always better to help students increase their capacity of ...


Gail Kochon asked: What social/political causes have contributed to the downgrading of respect for the teaching profession? As I mentioned in last Friday's post, I think it is safe to say that many of us teachers have felt less respected for a number of reasons -- whether it's the push for new test result-connected evaluations that are often couched in terms of "firing" teachers instead of helping us improve; the publication of teacher ratings in newspapers, and being told that the "best" people don't become teachers. But are our concerns real or are many of us just whining? It ...


This week's question comes from Gail Kochon, who asks: What social/political causes have contributed to the downgrading of respect for the teaching profession? I think it is safe to say that many of us teachers have felt under attack for many reasons -- whether it's the push for new test result-connected evaluations that are often couched in terms of "firing" teachers instead of helping us improve; the publication of teacher ratings in newspapers, and being told that the "best" people don't become teachers. But perhaps not all of us feel the same -- maybe others feel that there has ...


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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