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Archive for the ‘Instruction&Curriculum’ Category

  • What If You Couldn’t!? — Shifting our Thinking about Teaching

    on Oct 2, 15 • in Educator Professionalism, Elementary Classrooms, Featured, Opinion • with Comments

    Going into the classroom to finish up the second decade of my career I still learn.  My room and my style are different from that first class 19 years ago, but the philosophy behind what I do has not changed.  I believe in active learning.  I believe in appreciating differences.  I believe every child has a right to learn.  I believe learning is fun! Teaching has changed.  From the 19th century one-room school houses to the charter schools of today things are different.  Society has changed.  From a primarily farming society to a double working

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  • Parent Tips: 8 Steps For Surviving Middle School

    on Oct 1, 15 • in Featured, Middle School, Parents • with Comments


    Middle school can be the most confusing time for students and parents in their educational career.  Everything ‘known’ about school is shifting, and hormones are often kicking into gear at the same time.  Students want more independence, and parents want to do the right thing.  Instead of letting teens ‘sink or swim’, try a more balanced approach.  Teens definitely need to learn responsibility and independence, but they also require structure and supervision more than ever.  By following these simple tips, you may be able to crack the middle school confusion code and have a more

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  • How to Stop Zombie Students Dead in Their Tracks

    on Sep 30, 15 • in Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Opinion • with Comments


    Last week, I wrote about how disengaged students are like zombies. It’s scary how quickly the epidemic of disengaged, zombie students spreads when you don’t take appropriate steps to prevent it, but thankfully there are measures you can take to bring your students back to life without creating a mob. Prevention Imagine a classroom where students learn and love the process of learning. A classroom without zombie students. A classroom where your students don’t suck the life out of you. Benjamin Franklin said “an ounce of prevention is worth of a pound of cure.” Truer

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  • Thoughts on Grading Part 1: To Give or Not to Give a Zero

    on Sep 29, 15 • in Featured, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Middle School, Opinion • with Comments


    A couple of weeks ago, I went to a district meeting and we discussed grading, which is a sensitive subject. While we all grade differently, teach different ways, and teach different grade levels (6th-12th), there is one element we all agree on- secondary students are not turning assignments in when they are due. I cannot speak for the elementary level, but at the middle school and high school levels, we seem to be struggling to get our students to turn in assignments whether it is homework or classwork. I plug an “X” into my grade

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  • Math Teachers: Thinking Outside the Algorithm

    on Sep 28, 15 • in Featured, High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Mathematics, Middle School • with Comments

    Tips for choosing a novel to study-2

      Middle School math can be frustrating and challenging, especially when the teacher feels that in addition to reaching their own learning milestones, they must backfill the deficits students have when they enter the classroom.  As an educator I have always believed that part of my job was to take my students as far as possible during the year that they spent with me. When teaching math to eighth graders you know that when they leave you they are going on to high school where they will meet many challenges. This is especially true in

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