Recent Blog Posts
At the end of last week, I shared a pretty popular bit on a metaphorical thinking activity that I'm introducing to my students this year.
More than one reader expressed an interest in seeing some examples of the kinds of metaphorical connections that my kids are making between the content that we are studying and the odd objects that we are collecting in our curiosity box.
We started our first curiosity box activity today after finishing a unit on the scientific method. Here are two of the responses that I've gotten from students so far...
At the start of the school year, I felt overwhelmed with all of this year’s requirements for teachers. At our school, we’re transitioning to using the recently released Common Core Standards, the teachers are required to use a district-wide online template for writing lesson plans, and moving toward including results from a growth-model as part of teacher evaluations. Additionally, our principal reminded us that in addition to knowing our students as we always have, that we needed be able to recall each student’s data bank of assessment results. Adding to the stress of adjusting to major changes in how we use data and plan lessons at our...
I joined the Washington New Millennium Initiative team because I believe that the best policy decisions are the ones in which deep conversation is engaged in by all of the stakeholders. But as we know, politics rarely work in this everyone-sitting-around-the-table fashion. While teachers lead classes, students learn, administrators run schools and parents work, politicians and other decision-makers are the ones most able to show up at that table.
So I was intrigued when Kristen, a fellow Washington NMI member, sent along a link to a project called "It Takes a Nation" . It Takes a Nation is "a social media website in which educators across the country can post short videos that teach America...
It's now official. Parents are asking me if they can buy their kids Kindles, Nooks, etc, so students can do their reading and their post-it note responses electronically! On the one hand, I love it! I am so happy this day is finally here.
Four years ago I discovered the Kindle. I showed an Amazon promotional video to students and they were stunned. I asked them to write on the questions, "How would...
While I don't have a ton of time to write today---I'm planning on stepping away from the keyboard for an entire weekend to spend time with my family---I wanted to share a quick idea and a set of classroom resources with you that I'm trying out in my classroom this year.
The activity---designed to help my students to think more creatively---started brewing in my mind when I began reading The Innovator's DNA, a fantastic new book about innovative thinkers written by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton Christensen.
Christensen and company argue that the most innovative thinkers often force...
Would treating underachieving students of color the way we do gifted and talented ones be a better and faster way to close the achievement gap?
Today one of my tasks was to create an assessment calendar for the year. This is a plan for mandatory benchmark and interim assessments to track my students' abilities to perform on distinct sections of the NY State ELA exam throughout the year. There are three major sections of the test, which we track separately through interims and all together in benchmarks: (1) reading & multiple choice, (2)...
The Center for Teaching Quality’s New Millennium Initiative (NMI) teams should be writing education policy. The latest report by Washington NMI’s teacher-researchers How Better Teacher & Student Assessment Can Power Up Learning offers several crucial insights into the raging debate on assessment.
The whole report is worth a read, but here are a few highlights:
Every high-performing nation [represented at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession] has created a strong partnership between government officials, school administrators, and...
I often get asked why I teach in an urban school. Many of my suburban teacher friends even say they don’t know “how” I do it every day. And true, it is difficult work. Never the less, I really do believe it is my calling to be an urban teacher. I often think if people only knew why I became a teacher, they would have more respect for me as professional. To make it easier for people to understand, maybe I should just carry with me a Proud Urban Educator card that states my mission and my inspiration statement.
Well, here is what my Proud Urban Educator Card would say:
Front of card:
Lana Gundy, Proud Urban Teacher
Mission: To give under privileged youth options for their future....
I introduced a new lesson the other day to my 3rd grade art class: how to make
Native American coil pottery. Being an elementary art teacher for the past six
years, this is one of my favorite projects, and it focuses on clay, my own
artistic favorite. As a teacher in Colorado, I enjoy teaching about the native
people of the land. As part of the introduction, I showed them the finished
product as a way to motivate the students and peak their interest in the
project. One of my students, Jake, seemed wide-eyed and wary the entire time I
was addressing the class. As we moved into individual work, he quietly
approached me and tugged at my sleeve.
“Ummm…Ms. Micek?” he whispered, “I don’t...