Aug
11
2014
4

What is the Purpose of School?: Understanding Purpose Helps with Student Motivation (updated)

I start my school year with a little blog post about what students think school is all about.  It begins a year-long conversation about purpose that I then refer to throughout the school year.  "What is the purpose of the ...
Jul
25
2014
10
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Organizing Google Drive For Your New School Year

I have drunk the Google Drive Kool-Aid.  I used it daily last year, and I am now a convert.  However, as a result of my recent condition that I’m calling Googlenthusiasm, my inbox and Drive are now ready for a ...
Jul
22
2014
4

Having Any Nightmares About the Start of School Yet?

I posted the following on Facebook earlier today and got such a fun response, I just had to put it out there in a bigger way:   Had my first start-of-year-stress-dream last night. My collaborative tables had been replaced with rows of ...
Jun
09
2014
3

So You Think You Can Dance + Math = STEAM

I just wanted to share a quick classroom resource today that I stumbled on in my TiVO feed. I admit it, I'm a So You Think You Can Dance geek.  It's always been a great show in terms of modeling reflection ...
Apr
06
2014
6
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Do You Remember the Moment When You First Learned “Grit?”

OK, so here’s my confession: I’m not so sure that grit can be taught.  I know, however, from experience, that it can be learned.   So I think it’s time we all had a frank conversation about the role of school ...
Mar
18
2014
4

Can you trick a student into thinking critically? Or is it just a trick?

So my students are currently taking a publisher’s online pilot test.  We are doing it for three reasons: 1. This gives the students practice for the SBAC online test.  The format of these practice tests is meant to mimic that of ...
Written by in: Educational Policy |
Mar
10
2014
12
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Speech and Debate Secret Sauce: Building Community in Any Classroom

As I’ve recently written, I am the coach of a very successful and very large middle school speech & debate team.  It’s a huge job to coach all of these kids, but it’s amazingly rewarding.  It’s rewarding to know that ...
Feb
02
2014
13
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Let’s Talk About Speech, Baby: Speech & Debate and the Common Core

Besides being a Language Arts teacher, I am also a Speech and Debate coach.  I haven’t written about it too much, not for any reason other than I spend a lot of time geeking out over curriculum design in teaching ...
Dec
23
2013
1

What do Jeff Wilhelm and Ashton Kutcher Have in Common? : Teaching for Character

Earlier this December, I attended the UCI Writing Project annual conference.  Every year, this conference douses a teacher in strategies to teach writing and literacy, and every year I come away with valuable methods and implementation goals.  This year, the ...
Dec
12
2013
4
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Tips on Embedding Evidence: Writing with Numeracy

As we journey deeper into the world of Common Core, the need for factual evidence rather than emotional opinion becomes more and more vital.  So that got me thinking in a more targeted way: as an ELA teacher, what are ...

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