Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess

July 23, 2015

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I read Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator by Dave Burgess because it was recommended by several people, but I must admit, I had to force myself to finish it. As I read the introduction, I was thinking that the author certainly was passionate and enthusiastic but he […]

Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller

July 6, 2015

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I’ve never liked textbooks. Early in my career, I taught 6th grade for several years in a school where the only textbook I had was for math. I gathered my own materials for science, social studies, and ELA. In those pre-internet days, this was not easy, but I had help from my school librarian and members […]

Assessment 3.0 by Mark Barnes

June 21, 2015

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Using grades to rank and compare, to reward and punish, to motivate or otherwise control student behavior is so engrained in our practice that it’s difficult to imagine teaching any other way. Returning student work with no grade on the top is unthinkable, but that’s exactly what Mark Barnes suggests in his book,  Assessment 3.0: Throw […]

Summertime and the Reading is Easy

June 15, 2015

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School is out and it’s time to get serious about reading. Most teachers do some professional reading during the school year, but we seldom have an opportunity to read a book with a colleague and then discuss it. We’re all just too busy to coordinate a book club and keep it going. Summer (for teachers) is different. We have […]

This I Believe

June 23, 2014

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Each year, the ninth graders in my high school are asked to write a belief essay, inspired by the This I Believe organization. I’ve worked with students to publish their essays, both in text and in voice recordings, on a school website. As I read and listened to their essays, I was impressed with how these 14 […]

Posted in: Reflection

Starting Again

April 25, 2014

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When I began this blog, almost two years ago, my goal was to post at least once a week. That didn’t last long. I was also starting a new job at the time and I overestimated my stamina. The job and the other commitments I have to various education organizations and to my family kept […]

Posted in: Introduction

Establishing Credibility and Trust

October 8, 2012

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When I worked for MLTI, I often lead workshops for teachers I had never met before and might not ever see again. Sometimes teachers were attending the workshop not out of choice but because an administrator required it. I soon learned that I couldn’t just jump into the content in these sessions; I had to […]