Oct 22

Fliperentiated Instruction

This article appeared first on the Edutopia blog.


This Is Adoloscence

Jessica Lahey, author of the blog Coming Of Age In the Middle announces a series of essays on adolescence to begin on October 22.


10 Quick Ways to Give Students A Voice



My students continue to astound me.  Not just because they are opening up more and more.  Not just because they are working so hard.  Not just because they are pushing themselves.  While all of those things are wonderful to see, it is how they are speaking up, asking for change, and taking control of their learning journeys that really is getting me excited.  Student voice is something we…

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Oct 21

A Guide for Teaching With Analogies

This article first appeared on the te@chthought blog.


What I Wish I’d Known As A New Teacher

This article by Elena Aguilar first appeared on the Edutopia blog.


27 Teacher Actions to Promote Valid Assessment Data

This article first appeared on the te@chthought blog.


Drop That "Busy Work" Like It's Hot -


So here is the skinny on grading and assessment. I must first admit, it is something that we constantly have to work on in my building. Do the assignments that we ask our students to complete in our classrooms have a purpose? If the answer is no – then stop assigning them – like, now.

There are several areas that we should focus on when bringing purposeful assessment to your building:

Drop the Zero

100-point grading scales are mathematically inaccurate – it is a fact. We must stop the use of the zero in our buildings immediately. The zero holds six times more weight than any other grade that we can assign students. Use of the zero in our grading practices could potentially eliminate a student’s chances of passing a course in the first semester. This is what I refer to as the Grading Abyss. It is a pitfall, that when students fall into it, they will act a fool in your class as they have no mathematical chance of passing your course – even with a 100%.

Laws of Averaging State: 0% + 100% = 100%; when we divide that by 2, we get 50%. A failing grade. Bummer.

Read more about dropping the use of the zero here.

Are Your Grades Polluted?

Do you know why we grade students? You should.

Grades, at least at the middle and secondary levels, are about student proficiency with the standards that we teach. Anything else that we grade students on – other than proficiency on the standards – pollutes your grades. Say, if you grade students on participation (subjective) or behavior (subjective) – the grade becomes a reflection of much more than the student’s proficiency on the standards you are teaching. Parents when they see an A or a D on a progress report would not know whether the students are proficient on the standards, or are just a compliant student in your class.

Your grades are polluted. You can read more about grading pollution here.

Meaningful Feedback

Grading for completion? C’mon… you know you’ve done it. I was guilty of it during my early years in the classroom.

If we assign students work, we owe it to them to provide them with meaningful feedback. Checking (and assigning grades) for completion is nothing but “busy work”. Our students know that and they are on to us.

What if we grade for completion, but a student actually doesn’t have a clue about what they are talking about. Hypothetically one could pass a student that knows nothing about the content area that we are teaching them in. Again, bummer. We would be guilty of contributing to just passing students on.

If you assign work – provide your students with meaningful feedback.

In schools across this country, we must tighten up our grading and assessment practices. The ability to assign grades comes with a lot of power. With great power, comes great responsibility.

If we haphazardly assign grades and award credit without reason, we are going to produce students that are not proficient in any areas. On the other end, we are also failing hundreds of thousands of students every year based on what? This question is especially important when we reflect on the reasons for the 1.2 million high school dropouts that we encounter each year in the United States.

So, I ask that as you begin the new school year that you look hard and redefine assessment in your classroom, schoolhouse, or district. Go forth and do great things.

(via adventuresinlearning)

Oct 17

Teaching Kindness Essential to Reducing Bullying

This article by Lisa Currie first appeared on the Edutopia blog.


Oct 16

5 Science Videos To Think About Ethics, Habitat, and Climate Change

This appeared on the MInd/Shift blog.


Those Horrible Coin Problems - What To Do?

Here are some suggestions on dealing with coin problems from Dan Meyer.