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March 17, 2016

Data Analysis on the Student Designed Project

As teachers, we need to allow projects to play out as they will, adjusting as we go and making sure to really examine the data before we make a judgment on the success of what has transpired. As long as we have collected multiple pieces of data, we can easily point to student learning and growth and then problem shoot or provide supports where needed.

March 13, 2016

President Obama Is Serious About Coding for Everyone, We Should Be too

The purpose of the president's "Computer Science for All" initiative is not to flood the market with more unemployed Ph.D graduates, but to democratize what he (and many "true believers") see as a fundamental skill that will continue to influence all fields.

March 01, 2016

Help Students Understand the Emotional Impact of Change

Who do your students most align with, the positivity that joy espouses or the need to think deeply about the weight of the world that sadness reminds us exists? Perhaps it's disgust or fear or anger... whichever it is, be mindful that they need each other to be a whole.

February 23, 2016

It's Time to Co-Design Assessments With Students

When your old assessments aren't working, why not include students in the redesign process? When we empower students to help us establish the work they will be doing, the level of buy-in increases and better engagement is probable. Check out my seniors in action.

February 18, 2016

Be Patient: Change Happens Slowly

Patience is often an enemy. Certainly understanding its necessity, I work hard to give the system the time it needs to acknowledge the essential shifts that MUST occur for all students to be successful in the 21st century. But just because I'm ready (and maybe you are too), doesn't mean everyone els...

February 16, 2016

Students Need Multiple Opportunities for Learning

Too often in education, those in charge forget what the learning is all about it. It isn't about compliance or mere task completion but a development of a skill set and depth of understanding that continues to be built upon and adjusted for mastery. We must, it is our obligation, to provide students with the richest learning experiences that we can and allow them to take away from each one what they need.

January 26, 2016

Overcoming the Pressure to Test

If we spent time in school preparing students to be good learners, able to think critically and apply skills across content, then they'd be successful when they got to college, at least more successful. Learners need time to tinker with a problem and figure stuff out, there is no time limit on that and every learner does it differently and at a different pace.

January 24, 2016

Let's Replace Transcripts With Portfolios

As education begins to change and we reconsider how we assess students, we can't continue to do what is easiest for institutions at the expense of what is best for students. Testing and transcripts have never been very helpful to many students. They end up being accurate for only a very small percentage of kids. Using portfolios would be a far more beneficial way to show what kids know.

January 17, 2016

Student Generated Discussion Spawns Meaningful Learning

If we're brave enough to relinquish the control of the questions that dominate and often quell depth of learning among students, they will dive in and take over and even surprise us. They won't be fearful of not getting the right answer because they ultimately aren't looking for one answer when they ask, but rather an open-ended thoughtful experience to share ideas.

January 14, 2016

Global School Play Day Reminds Us Of The Importance of Play

Guest post by Eric Saibel As a father and educator, I observe the inexorable role of play in the daily life of children. Play is a child's default setting, interrupted only by some natural cycles (like sleep) and other quotidian obligations. At my school I see students running and playing every spar...

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