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


Advice to Myself as a New Teacher


Dear Mr. Barnwell (version 2004),


How Should Learning Teams Choose Essential Outcomes?

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One of the questions that I'm often asked in #atplc workshops is, "How should our learning team identify the essential and nonessential standards in our curriculum?"


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. 

Latest Blog Posts

Mark Sass

October 30, 2012

Go ahead. Survey my students.


I have never been a fan of student surveys of their teachers. I always looked at the surveys as a way for teens to complain about their teachers. My assumption was that students always wanted the easy way out, that if pushed to challenge themselves, students would resist--and use surveys to blame me, the teacher. I figured students wanted “caring” teachers (read: nice adults who let students do what they want).

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Barnett Berry

October 29, 2012

Finnish education in 5 election memes

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Kristoffer Kohl, the author of this guest post, is a former classroom teacher and current CTQ staff member. This week, he's traveling in Finland, along with CTQ teacher leader Dave Orphal, who's been reflecting on the trip on his own transformED blog.

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Ariel Sacks

October 27, 2012

What's working: Hydration machines!


Earlier this year I promised myself I would stay hydrated. I wrote about my reasons here

Little did I know that my school's new building would be outfitted with ... drumroll ... these cool hydration machines on every hallway! Talk about a 21st century facility improvement—this machine rocks!!! (The brand is ELKAY and the model is EZH20.)

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Bill Ferriter

October 27, 2012

Are current #edpolicies turning schools into "brainpower wastelands"?


Quick question:  How many times have you heard a politician claim that "schools just need to learn to do more with less" in the past few years?

Bajillions, right? 

The simple truth is that most communities are flat broke, and EVERYONE -- including people working in private sector -- are being asked to do more with less.  Productivity just plain matters in an era when nobody has two nickels to rub together.

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Dave Orphal

October 26, 2012

Finns can't talk about their schools without using this word


Trust. I've heard the word again and again here in Finland. It came up in conversations with members of the Finnish National Board of Education, but also when I visited a Helsinki high school and chatted with the teachers, students, and principal. 

The National Finnish Board of Education trusts schools and teachers.  And teachers? They trust their students. 

Schools Trusted

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Renee Moore

October 24, 2012

Teaching ourselves: k12 Online Conference


If you haven't checked it out yet, it's not too late (actually it's never too late) to explore the great conversations going on at the k12Online Conference this year. 

The two-week event has teachers from around the world sharing with each other on how to improve the quality of our teaching and our students' learning through use of a wide variety of web and tech tools. The sessions (which are archived) range from the novice to experienced levels and all grade levels.

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