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November 23, 2012

Meeting Students Where They Are--Emotionally

Educators need to not just meet kids where they are academically, but emotionally too.

June 11, 2012

The Other Test Prep: Final Exam Review

Many people, including me, decry test prep for standardized tests. But what about other tests? I bring this up now because test prep is as common this time of year as it is in the weeks leading up to standardized tests. No enrichment or extension activities, and no new material. Just sneak previews ...

May 30, 2012

Memorization Through Application

Last post I introduced Concept Cards, a note-taking system that helps students store, retrieve, and use information more efficiently than traditional note-taking methods. Now, here are a few tips for maximizing the benefits of Concept Cards: Alphabetical Rather Than Chronological. One problem wit...

May 11, 2012

Graduating or Dropping Out: What's the Difference?

The dropout rate at Chicago's Manley High School was over 60% when I taught there, and even higher for males. Yet Rodney Wilson (not his real name) made it to graduation, and his family and friends roared as he received his diploma. No one was louder or prouder than Rodney's girlfriend, Nicole (not ...

April 22, 2012

Independence First, Interdependence Second

"Stop the madness for constant group work." said author Susan Cain in her recent TED Talk, The Power of Introverts. "We need to be teaching kids to work together, for sure. But we also need to be teaching them how to work on their own because that is where deep thought comes from." (Check out Cain's...

October 22, 2011

Encourage Getting Help Rather Than Giving It

I've been in many classrooms where students were sitting in groups but weren't functioning as groups. And I've seen many teachers address this by asking students who've successfully completed a task to help those who are stuck. Recently, for example, I heard a teacher praise a student for solving a ...

March 19, 2011

When Helping Students Hurts Students

We educators are giving, helpful people. That's what drew many of us to teaching in the first place: a genuine desire to help children. And yet it's our helpfulness, I've found, that often hurts kids more than it helps them. The problem is that sooner or later success for students will require sel...

February 26, 2011

Student Success Prerequisite: Hope

A self-doubting student's turnaround illustrates the power and importance of teachers instilling hope in students.

February 20, 2011

Success Comes From the HEART

Success often has as much or more to do with people's thoughts and actions as it does their abilities. I noticed this in academics, business, and sports before becoming a teacher, and tried to convince students of this after becoming a teacher. One way I did this was by telling them that success co...

February 13, 2011

Education Reform Key: Stop Enabling Students' Self-Defeating Behavior

David Ginsburg says meaningful education reform requires every adult in every school to stop enabling students' self-defeating behavior.

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