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Marcia Powell

October 3, 2015

Parallel Lines In a Connected Educator World


Nowadays, we call it direct instruction.  There are times when we need to interact with the material at hand, engage our students in examining ideas carefully, and use skillful questioning to tease out the ideas we know students have but may be afraid to express.  That's why the art of teaching is such a beautiful experience to witness, as we allow chances in a safe and caring environment.  In doing so, we create opportunities that allow thinkers to intersect content and action.

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Marcia Powell

September 25, 2015

Toeing the Line When Teachers are Absent


Substitute teachers, I appreciate you and your efforts. They do the impossible. There was the English teacher who gamely subbed for my science class after the birth of my boy. I came back after three weeks, because there was no other option in my rural locale.

You can't make this stuff up.  

But I also know that seesaw that kids walk as the teacher prepares them for a substitute. Preparing them used to go something like this: 

"Hey, I will be gone for a couple of days for a funeral."
  "Mapowell, we're so sorry."
"Thank you, I appreciate it. Now let's talk about what will happen when I'm gone..."

<extended conversation>


What absolutely, positively has to be in that conversation?

  • How will you respond if or when you get that email or text from one of your students in an age of digital media?
  • How do you communicate with the substitute and the students so the time is utilized effectively?
  • What is your plan to ensure a good experience for the subsitute (classroom guest)? 
  • How will you debrief and learn from the students?



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Bill Ferriter

August 31, 2015

Three #edtech Tools Worth Exploring Right Now


An interesting email landed in my inbox the other day.  A middle school teacher from California asked me what #edtech tools I was planning on using this year.  "There's so many tools to choose from," he wrote.  "Where should I start?"

While there's no one right answer to his question -- choosing #edtech tools should start with a clear sense for the kind of learning space that you are trying to create -- here are three tools that I've used in my classroom already this year:

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Marcia Powell

August 29, 2015

Unintended Consequences of Short Line Thinking


Many of us know the commercials where someone drinks something, then smacks his or her head, and says,  "I should have had a V8."  The point, of course, is that conscious choices are better than unconscious habit (short-term or short-line thinking)  Can we keep that in mind this school year?

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