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

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

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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. 

Featured

Speak Less, Act Right

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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.

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Advice to Myself as a New Teacher

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Dear Mr. Barnwell (version 2004),

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

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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. 

Featured

Simple Truth: Hashtags Can Save You Time

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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

Featured

Why Don't Those Teachers Own Their Profession Already?

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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

Renee Moore

November 6, 2010

Relationships matter

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Recently, I've been thinking a lot about relationships. Maybe it's because after raising 11 children, we're finally empty-nesting. 

Maybe it's because so many of my former students have been contacting me lately just to let me know how they are doing and how much they appreciate what I did for them. Although they remember much of what I taught them (and delight in showing me how much of it they actually remember), their constant refrain is that the remember how I treated them, how I encouraged them, how I challenged them.

In short, they remembered the relationship. 

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Dan Brown

November 4, 2010

November blues

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At exactly this time on the calendar in my first year teaching, I hit a low point in my professional life and lost my composure in front of my students. The episode ended with my punching a hole in the blackboard. It was bad.

Seven years later, I have infinitely more experience, confidence, and technical teaching skill than did the 2003 version of me. My lows aren’t as low anymore. I can now maintain a consistent baseline of expectations in the classroom. Nobody is going bananas anymore. And still I’ve got the November blues this week.

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Bill Ferriter

November 4, 2010

Teaching students about digital conversations

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Over the past few weeks, I've started to roll out a few digital opportunities for my students to engage in conversations with one another beyond school.

We're working on developing a blog where we're debating the quality of the books that we're reading and we've got a classroom Diigo group where we're coming together around articles connected to the topics we're studying in class.

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JohnNorton

November 4, 2010

I got them dark-in-the-morning, classroom-ain't-cooking, lowdown November blues

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Over at Get in the Fracas, TLN blogger Dan Brown is feelin' the November Blues and lookin' for a cure:

The changing weather and the diminishing daylight don’t help. Any trace of the back-to-school burst is utterly gone. The fruits of significant learning progress aren’t yet revealing themselves. Sometimes, towards the end of the day, I get this sandy feeling in my eyes, like dumbbells are attached to my eyelids, dragging them down.

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JohnNorton

November 1, 2010

Good advice for teacher leaders who really want to help newbies

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On Halloween, Roxanna Elden celebrated the 9th anniversary of "my own first-year teacher breakdown, when I pulled into the parking lot of a Houston Burger King and cried in my car for several hours." She commemorates the occasion with this blog post at Public School Insights, aimed not so much at newbies themselves, but at the teachers who might do more harm than good unless they think carefully about the kind of help they give. Here's a sample -- click the link below to read all of her excellent advice.

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Ariel Sacks

October 30, 2010

Paperless

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Though the work of a teacher is never ending, there are several things my school does with technology that make my day run more efficiently, thereby saving time.  Maybe I'm just not good with paper, but organizing the paper flow of a teacher's "office" has always been difficult for me and often sent me in circles looking for something.  Check out these paperless options.

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Renee Moore

October 30, 2010

Who's really unprepared: Students or colleges?

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Across the country, universities and community colleges are complaining about the high numbers of incoming students who require remediation in order to attend. A seemingly endless string of reports (like this one from Connecticut) seem to support this problem, and there is plenty of blame and fingerpointing.

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