For 14 years I reinvented my instructional wheel each summer to build student achievement. I’ve used creative images and rhymes (anchors), interactive games (engagement), 3-Acts, Notice & Wonder, Front Loading, and constant review. However, I am not happy with just high scores on state exams. What I teach, too often, doesn’t stick in the long-term…regardless … More 5 Concerns for Inquiry-Based Instruction
One of my neighbors recently posted a question on the Home Owners’ Association webpage, “Does anyone have any recommendations for new windows?” Several neighbors suggested various contractors. I replied, “I use Windows 10.” Undoubtedly there are some who would see that as silly or childish, but that sort of thing is one way I … More The Power of a Two-Word Question
A recent tweet posted by an educator raised the question as to whether standardized testing is used to support the practice of assigning the teachers who seem most highly skilled to the students with the highest performance records. This practice has been called out by the NCTM as an inequitable practice,* and it makes sense … More Standardized Testing: a summary of issues
A preservice teacher asked an interesting question in the NCTM forum this week. She cited progressive approaches to learning and asked for advice about implementing them in her new classroom. A year ago I would have cheered her on, but now is not the time. Here’s my response: NCTM is not the only one advocating … More Dear new teacher, now may not be the time…
A lament was recently posted on Twitter by a teacher I have long admired. He had been dealing with a student complaint, “Why don’t you just tell us?” The student had become quite vocal. Fortunately, he has enough support, experience, and confidence to know that easy learning is often useless. But I wonder if other … More Why make it harder than it needs to be?
As a former Nearpod-Peardeck user, I have been studying the functionality of Classkick which is also pretty much free–scroll down to see basic vs. pro (https://app.classkick.com/#/order). I didn’t know it, but years ago, the infamous Dan Meyer was calling attention to Classkick. (How’d I miss that?!) Anyway, I am blown away. BUT, some of you … More Classkick or Google Slides?
I’ve been checking on my high school students by phoning and emailing them and their parents. Only about 3% have reported significant struggles due to COVID-19 and even those are starting to find the strength to carry on as they get emails and phone calls from school, encouraging them to do what they can and … More Social-Emotional Compassion: can there be too much with COVID-19?
Last week I brought a favorite team activity online, and my students seemed to enjoy it even more in Zoom breakout rooms with their classroom teams than they normally do in the real classroom. Maybe it’s the challenge of tech work-rounds, figuring out how to share their screens, or just being bored at home, but … More Inequalities Genius
We see a need to do things differently but have concerns about a parental revolt. At that point, education leaders (teachers, principals, etc….”eds”) must make a choice: devise a plan that might convince the parents do what parents think they want to see, and make it appear successful With the threat of being on the … More Who will tell the parents?
For almost two years, I have been working on integrating STEM and social emotional learning in my inquiry-based collaborative math teams. Some days have been more productive than others, but I have not been losing ground as far as content mastery…at least not until COVID-19 hit. My first thought was to just post the videos … More Joy + Accountability in COVID-19 Learning
Someone recently posted a question on the NCTM Community Forum, “How do we get our high school staff to understand the shifts in (Common Core) math? They do not like the strategies taught at the elementary levels.” I’m thinking they don’t ever “notice and wonder,” use “Kagan” strategies, have blown off McREL, and never heard … More Helping Math Teachers to Shift