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Ariel Sacks

September 30, 2012

Teaching tip: Students who need extra attention

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It has been said that we now live in an "attention economy," where attention is one of the most valuable things we have. This is certainly true in teaching and learning. What we attend to while we teach makes all the difference. What students attend to makes all the difference.  

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Bill Ferriter

September 29, 2012

These are OUR kids [SLIDE]

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Some of the most exciting work that I've ever done in my professional career was on the first professional learning team that I was ever a part of.

What made it so different from most of the collaborative groups that I've worked on was our genuine belief that EVERY teacher on our sixth grade language arts team was responsible for the success of EVERY student on the sixth grade hallway.

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Ariel Sacks

September 27, 2012

Good news–studying the teaching brain!

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I recently "met" (virtually) Harvard Docotoral candidate, Vanessa Rodriguez, who is doing some fascinating research on the "teaching brain."  She posits that there is a wealth of brain research about student learning and how it works, but precious little about how the teaching brain works.  And we know our brains work magic!  It's time someone tried to uncover some of the good secrets that lie there.  

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John Holland

September 26, 2012

The no box

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Jose – Thanks for the back to back posts. Both got me thinking. I am going to respond to at least one. Maybe two. We’ll see. About being wrong. At the early childhood level it is actually considered a capital offense to tell a young child they are wrong. I am kidding but, not really. [...]

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Barnett Berry

September 26, 2012

Governor Walker does a 180 on unions

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I couldn't help but smile when I read this morning about the support that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is giving to union workers. Governor Walker, through his politics and policies, has sought to dismantle teachers' unions (as well as those that represent nurses) in his home state. Now, he's doing a 180 of sorts in his call for the return of unionized—and currently locked out—NFL referees. 

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José Luis Vilson

September 25, 2012

Other ways to tell a student they’re wrong without using the word “wrong”

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Hey John, Last week, Edutopia published an article I wrote about building a trusting environment in the classroom, and the idea most people gravitated to was the idea “Rarely use the word ‘wrong’.” Jesse Bacon made it into a meme, and none of that comes without its share of (self-promoting) critics. Yet, when guys like [...]

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Ariel Sacks

September 23, 2012

Let's have more conversations about what works

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In my previous post, Teaching tip: Learn from the positive, I wrote about the benefit of teachers taking time to celebrate and learn from something that is working well in their classrooms each day. The more I think about this idea, the more I realize that so much of education these days seems to be focused on what doesn't work.

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Bill Ferriter

September 21, 2012

Do YOU have 23 years with YOUR students? [SLIDE]

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I've been reading Bob Marzano research studies for years, and while I don't always agree with the conclusions that he draws -- especially about the glory of the Interactive Whiteboard -- his work has helped to define the actions that I take in my classroom.

One Marzano finding -- more than any other -- is burned on my full-time classroom teacher's brain.

I whipped it into a slide this morning.  Here it is:

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Ariel Sacks

September 20, 2012

Teaching tip: Learn from the positive

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With all of the external pressures teachers experience, combined with all of the pressure we put on ourselves in our work, it's easy to get overwhelmed and feel like it's never enough. As educators, we know our students need positive reinforcement to grow as learners, and would not progress in an environment where nothing is ever celebrated. Teachers are no different—but so often, we are the only ones there with our students.

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Mark Sass

September 19, 2012

Constructive conversations, or how to make sound (or even sensible) decisions about school reform

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This school year I have a .6 release to work in my district as we implement standards-based grading (SBG). I teach from 7:15 to 9:00 a.m., do a short stint with hall duty, conduct any necessary phone calls home, make copies, finish up lesson plans, and score assignments. By 10:30 a.m., I am usually on my way to my school district’s headquarters. For the rest of my day, I am facilitating the district’s move to SBG. The experience has been very enlightening and a great challenge.

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