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February 04, 2016

Why Does "MY" Voice Matter?

Too often teachers exclaim, "I'm JUST a classroom teacher; why does MY voice EVEN matter?" And the simple answer is because it does. Each one of us has a unique perspective that carries with it experience and learning that begs to be shared. By nature, teachers want to give but often put themselves ...

January 28, 2016

Testing: An Unfortunate Roadblock In Student Learning

If we want students to apply their knowledge to a new task that shows their ability to use the skills they've learned, why does that have to take the form of written timed tests over a two week period for every class they are taking?

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 21, 2016

What's in an "A"? A Grade of Any Other Letter Doesn't Smell as Sweet

Perhaps systemically, we can start the shift to standards based grading and then eventually to no grades at all, giving students the opportunity to take joy in what they take in rather than worry about how they perform on tests and their report cards.

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...

January 10, 2016

Students Can Grade Themselves When We Make It About Learning

Although doing report card grades is my least favorite part of teaching, working with students to determine an appropriate level of learning has greatly improved the experience. I love to list to students talk about what they are most proud of and read their answers to their forms. It's as much an opportunity for them to reflect as it is for me.

January 07, 2016

I Still Read to My 10-Year-Old Son

Reading is the most effective way to develop vocabulary, voice and enrich brain development. As an English teacher, I can tell my readers in their writing as there is a delicate complexity that exists that is harder to teach. The earlier we can get students excited about words, the better their chance of being successful in life. Not necessarily only reading literature, students have so much to choose from now. Encourage them to read it all or whatever inspires them.

January 05, 2016

Passion Projects Ignite Student Interest

Comprehensive project based learning offers students the chance to practice skills in an authentic and productive way. Not doing elements in isolation but rather applying them all as appropriate to their learning. There is no better way to make them career and college ready than actually giving them assignments that mimic those that will happen in their lives.

December 31, 2015

My #Oneword For 2016 is Metamorphosis

Start your new year with a new #oneword that will chart the course for the future. What will your #oneword be for 2016? Mine is metamorphosis.

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