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November 28, 2011

Creative Learning Environment

If educators are not promoting a respectful climate in a creative learning space, then they're just moving furniture. Today, I saw two first graders working together to open a thermos. Although this is a situation that happens every day in schools across North America, it was nice to watch them...

November 25, 2011

Professional Development with the Experts Through Twitter

Great teachers know that they don't have to know it all. They just have to know their resources. Many times when we're struggling with the issue of meeting the needs of our students or those of our teachers, we search for great websites. Websites from experts can help inspire us to make the necess...

November 21, 2011

Why Educators Should Join Twitter

In late July I decided to join Twitter. To be perfectly honest with you I had no idea what I was supposed to do when I got on there but I heard so much about it I thought it would be a worthwhile experience. The only concern was that we have so many distractions already in life that I wasn't sure t...

November 19, 2011

Common Core Standards will be Uncommonly Expensive for School Districts

"Textbooks should be used like a dictionary, not a novel." Unknown For the first time in our educational history a majority of the states across the U.S. will have the same teaching standards, which many educators have wanted for decades. Many of those states are doing a great job building curricul...

November 17, 2011

Using Social Networking to Build 21st Century Skills

"Good people know that high stakes testing has limited value and they keep operating anyway. They don't let testing get in the way of doing the good work they want to do to get kids prepared for life." Todd Whitaker In education we have a habit of using terms so often that we push staff to a place ...

November 13, 2011

What if We Taught at Hogwarts?

Every student should be able to get lost in their imagination from time to time. As we grow older there are so many times that we are too busy to retreat within ourselves to imagine bigger ideas. We need to encourage students to do that when they are younger so they can strive for something new in ...

November 12, 2011

Parents Shouldn't Have to Talk Educationalese

Are we talking at parents, or are we talking with them? As much as we should try not to leave students out of the parent-teacher conferences (Student-Led Conferences), we should also make sure we are not leaving parents out either. As educators, we communicate with parents daily or weekly, not jus...

November 11, 2011

No Testing Week: Part Deux

Although, we have always been a close staff we have had open and honest discussions about testing, NCLB and how we can move forward in a time with so many mandates. As adults, we can all remember the stress we felt when taking an exam. It didn't matter whether it was a chapter test created by a te...

November 10, 2011

Death By Ditto

Everyone uses worksheets but it can be very depressing to see a pile of dittos on a teacher's desk waiting for students as they enter a classroom to begin the day. Although there is always a time when worksheets may be appropriate, dittos can be a symbol of a lack of creativity. We must try to lim...

November 08, 2011

The Issue of School Climate: A Conversation with Jonathan Cohen

"Educators are now used to data being used as a hammer rather than a flashlight." Jonathan Cohen On Saturday morning I went out to breakfast at a small café near my home in Albany, NY. When I was sitting at the high top table waiting for my order, I overheard two older men talking about bullying....

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The opinions expressed in Peter DeWitt's Finding Common Ground 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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