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November 06, 2011

Parent-Teacher Conferences WITHOUT Report Cards

Report cards have long been the focal point of the first parent-teacher conference of the school year. In the mind of the teacher, as well as the parent, it always made sense to have the report card sitting front and center as they discussed the academic progress of a child. However, instead of mak...

November 04, 2011

High Stakes Testing is not a 21st Century Skill

Recently, New York State test scores were released to the public and showed that students scored lower in the areas of ELA and math than in previous years. The results were quickly announced by the media. Even the national news chimed in to report the devastating results of the high stakes tests. ...

November 03, 2011

Robert Doesn't Fit In

Most days, Robert walks into his elementary school with his head down. It's not that he doesn't like his teacher or school, it's just that is how he likes to walk. Students quickly walk past him on the sidewalk and the hallway because he walks so slow. They smile, laugh and talk with one another as...

November 01, 2011

Student-Led Conferences

We take the mystery out of learning because we have a habit of talking at children and not to them. As many schools prepare for parent-teacher conferences they should consider involving the students in the process. It sounds like a radical concept to involve the student in the process of discussin...

October 30, 2011

Letter to a High School Student

Facebook certainly has made life interesting over the past few years since its inception. For those of us over 30, we have been faced with the opportunity to see those people from high school that we long forgot about. There was a time when we only had to worry about seeing high school friends every...

October 28, 2011

The "Bad Kid" Stigma

Every year we have students who need a "tune-up." A tune-up is when they need to see the principal because they had a one time issue with a student or teacher that needs an administrative intervention. Sometimes students are beginning to show a pattern of behavior and it is a good time for princip...

October 27, 2011

The Sky is Falling: Preparing for a 2% Tax Cap

"The sky is falling. I saw it with my eyes. I heard it with my ears. Some of it fell on my tail." Chicken Little Many educators have spent the past couple of years dealing with the realities of our economic crisis. Our budgets have been voted down and we are forced to do more with less. Schoo...

October 17, 2011

No Testing Week

"We are raising a stressed out generation of students who are over-tested and overanalyzed." The other day I took some time to craft an e-mail in a Word document. I needed to take the time to make sure that I chose my words correctly. Sending the whole staff a message is something that I take seri...

October 15, 2011

Where's the love for reading and writing? An Interview with Laurie Halse Anderson

"Children are born creative. I think that the emphasis on tests and judging creative expression damages that inherent creativity very early on." Laurie Halse Anderson Educators are the Jack of All Trades when it comes to teaching. Most educators can teach any subject area given the proper amount o...

October 12, 2011

Child Abuse In Our School Community

We have a population of students who can't wait to get to school every day. They wish our days were longer, watch the clock tick every minute, and do not want to go home. It's not that they love reading, math, science or social studies so much that they want to stay in our schools long into the nigh...

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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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