Recent Blog Posts
Late last week, I wrote a piece titled How Testing Will Change What I Teach Next Year. In it, I detail the 48 DAYS that I spent teaching high level skills -- things like interpreting nonfiction text, evaluating the reliability of online sources, and building new knowledge through collaborative dialogue -- that are in my curriculum but that WON'T be covered on the new high-stakes multiple choice tests that our state is using to evaluate teache
I've posted this entry over at EdWeek on the Teaching Ahead blog series about the current debate over whether schools should be preparing all students for college, or should some be prepared to go directly into the workplace, or to other training?
This post originally published on Ednewscolorado.org.
A few weeks ago, Senator Mike Johnston’s bill — intended to revamp educational licensure in Colorado — was postponed for this legislative session. The Johnston team cites a need for more time due to the complexity of the issue. As a classroom teacher, I could not agree more.
I spent the day away from my students grading the writing portion of the 8th grade NY State Common Core ELA Exams. I got to grade one short response and one extended response. I've done this in previous years, but given all of the changes in the exam format and the standards being assessed, everyone was paying extra close attention to the way we were were trained to score the questions.
I have been a fan of the Common Core Learning Standards for ELA since I first read them a few years ago. By and large, the Common Core Standards represent a shift that is more in line with what I've always tried to focus on in my teaching. I actually like these nicely organized standards that push toward deeper thinking.
I have a few concerns though. In no particular order, here they are:
Directly before administering Day 2 of NY State Common Core ELA testing, about two 2 weeks ago, I gave students a warmup sheet, which asked them to "draw an emoticon or face that shows how you are feeling about the test today." Then it asked them to free write about it in the space below.
Have you struggled to fit current events into your curriculum? Feel like current events is an "all-or-nothing" sort of thing to teach, and if you can't do it all, then might as well do nothing? I have. Here are two resources that have resolved that issue for me this year.
Any classroom teacher could have looked at Day 2 of the NY State ELA Exam that was administered last week on Wednesday and known that it was too much for students to do in the alotted 90 minutes.