Recent Blog Posts
A few weeks back, the language arts teacher on my sixth grade team and I whipped up an enrichment activity for our top performing students.
Called 60 Second Book Hooks, we've asked our students to generate short, persuasive metaphorical reviews of the books that they are reading.
The rules are pretty simple: Students have to compare the books that they are reading to unlike concepts, ideas or items. Both supportive and critical reviews are encouraged.
Our thinking was that 60 Second Book Hooks would require the same kinds of higher-end thinking that we are trying to encourage in...
I don't have a ton of time to write tonight, but I wanted to fill you in on something I'm planning on rolling out on my academic team in the next few months.
We do a daily sustained silent reading period----30 minutes that rotates from classroom to classroom depending on the day---and we love it. Our kids fall into a comfortable routine over the course of the year and develop a reading-for-pleasure vibe that is just plain cool.
Having fallen madly in love with my feed reader several years ago---who COULDN'T get behind a digital tool that automatically checks my favorite websites for new content every day and brings updates to one homepage for me---I decided to put together a collection of interesting...
By Susan Graham
Susan Graham, a National Board Certified Teacher and Teacher Leaders Network member, retired in spring 2011 after 28 years in the classroom. However, she continues to encourage innovative reforms in teaching and learning, and is currently serving as a Virtual Community Organizer for CTQ’s new Implementing Common Core Standards project.
By Jessica Keigan and Dana Nardello
One of the most exciting parts about working with expert teacher leaders is seeing their hard work and expertise appreciated. The Denver NMI team’s positive contribution to shaping and implementing teaching policies in Colorado attests to the importance of teacher voice in the policymaking process. I’ve asked two members of the Denver NMI team, Jessica Keigan and Dana Nardello, to share some of their recent involvement with the state legislation process. Jessica also spoke about her involvement during a special Rocky Mountain PBS roundtable held last Friday, where she represented her team with solutions-focused...
An interesting email landed in my inbox this week from a private school teacher—we’ll call him Jim—who attended one of my sessions at this summer’s Solution Tree PLC Institutes.
One of the main messages I picked up on [at the Institute] was that you need to have the school schedule designed in such a way so that teachers have time to collaborate with one another in order to do this right.
Collaboration couldn't be something extra you did before or after school. My principal seemed to be on board with that while at the conference.
Well...things have changed…In our meeting yesterday, our principal mentioned that we probably wouldn't be able to alter the schedule for...
How do you feel during the first few days of returning to school each Fall? This year, as I attended the opening faculty meeting at my school, I felt just as overwhelmed as I did in 1987—the year when I started teaching in a public school. Our faculty has so much to learn as the school year begins!
I’ve been teaching drama and TV production at my middle school for the past six years, but this year, I am teaching U.S. History, which means that my lesson planning has a greater focus on using standards to drive my instruction. Our school district, like many others in the nation, is working with the new Common Core Standards....
You can't really be in charge if you don't see what happens. In our ideal...
I haven't hidden the fact that I was a HUGE fan of Google's Wonder Wheel---a quirky feature hidden under the More Search Tools link that took broad topics and broke them down into visual webs highlighting related subtopics for researchers.
In fact, I dedicated an entire section of my tech book---Teaching the iGeneration---to the tool, figuring that it was SO good, Google would never get rid of it.
And then they got rid of it.
Understanding that breaking broad topics into more manageable and meaningful subcategories while...
I think your post really gets at just the tip of my frustration. If my colleague weren’t mentoring a first year teacher in best practices, I might not have had a problem with the absent lesson plan book as long as she had a plan. But, the thing is, it was more a matter of ownership of her practice, like you mentioned, than disorganization. She was using plans from 3 or 4...
I remember a few weeks ago when you were upset that a colleague of yours didn’t have their lesson plan book. I winced because, as it turns out, I didn’t even know we had to have one of those things. I played it...