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CTQ bloggers write about transforming teaching. Share their posts and chime in!


Apples & Oranges: Why This Year's State Test Was a Waste of Students' Time


Last week a group of CTQ-Colorado teachers attended and offered comments at the State Board of Education meeting. The following post is a written version of my remarks. While the board passed a symbolic resolution (in a 4-3 partyline vote) to withdraw from PARCC, one state board member boldy and publicly supported the standards and advocated for the aligned system our students deserve. If we must insist on a standardized test, I want the best one for my students. Core advocates (and skeptics!) -- I hope you'll park your thoughts on PARCC (& Smarter Balanced) here. 


Speak Less, Act Right


The first time I read these words by a Holocaust survivor, they haunted me. “My eyes saw what no person should witness: gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. So I am suspicious of education. My request is: Help your children become human.” To fulfill that request, our actions matter far more than our words.


Advice to Myself as a New Teacher

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Dear Mr. Barnwell (version 2004),


Chào mừng bạn đến Quốc Hoa Kỳ (Welcome to the United States)


Opening up my e-mail and sipping on my third coffee of the morning, I read the following message:

“Hello teachers.  Please welcome a new 10th grader, Ngoc Trinh, coming to us from Vietnam. We will have to do our best to support this student with her limited English skills.”

“Uh oh…” was my first thought. 


Simple Truth: Hashtags Can Save You Time


If there was ONE thing that I'd want every practicing educator to know about learning in social spaces it would be that no matter what field you are working in, there are TONS of folks who are sharing resources t


Why Don't Those Teachers Own Their Profession Already?


Hypothetically speaking, let's say a subset of all teachers decided to go against their district's wishes, teaching their curriculum according to a mix of research and expertise, but masking it under the name of the latest district buzzword. Would you blame them for not outright fighting against their administration's wishes or congratulate them for "owning" their profession?

Of course, that's a trick question because it largely depends on your lens.

Latest Blog Posts

Justin Minkel

January 22, 2014

Madness in the Realm


Imagine two villages. Both have just received a decree from the kingdom that henceforth, all jousting tournaments will share a few commonalities: the same length field, the inclusion of age brackets, and a staff of healers on hand to keep injured jousters from dying of their wounds. In the first village, tournaments resume, with all the pageantry and heroism of old, though now the field is two feet longer, jousters charge one another five times instead of four, and the required healers mend a broken clavicle every now and again. In the second village, the lord goes nuts. He tells the knights the decree came about because they’re all so ineffective at jousting. “We must keep up with Normandy!” he shouts, frothing at the mouth. “If we don’t, then doom will follow! Doom, I say!” Henceforth, decrees the mad lord, all knights must wear the same size armor, whether they’re 6 foot 10 or 5 foot 6. No more of those messy coats of arms and pennants of various colors dangling from mismatched lances, either.

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Bill Ferriter

January 20, 2014

Teaching Common Core Thinking Skills in Science Class [LESSON]

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Over the past several months, I've been working to figure out how to best integrate the Common Core State Standards into my sixth grade science classroom.  Given the literacy-heavy nature of the Common Core, integrating the new standards into science classes can be pretty darn intimidating for most of us non-language-arts folks.

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