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On the Shoulders of Giants

Ariel Sacks

May 1, 2013

When Confidentiality Inhibits Problem-Solving

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I spent the day away from my students grading the writing portion of the 8th grade NY State Common Core ELA Exams. I got to grade one short response and one extended response. I've done this in previous years, but given all of the changes in the exam format and the standards being assessed, everyone was paying extra close attention to the way we were were trained to score the questions.

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Ariel Sacks

May 1, 2013

Common Core Shift--Notes for Revisions

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I have been a fan of the Common Core Learning Standards for ELA since I first read them a few years ago. By and large, the Common Core Standards represent a shift that is more in line with what I've always tried to focus on in my teaching. I actually like these nicely organized standards that push toward deeper thinking.

I have a few concerns though. In no particular order, here they are:

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Ariel Sacks

March 25, 2013

Dream Hybrid Roles for Teachers?

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I've dreamt of a hybrid role that allows me to teach part time and lead part time.  Here, for example, was my birthday wish a few years ago... the image from that post was so great I had to repeat it here.

Right now, there is a great discussion happening at Teaching Ahead: A Roundtablehosted by EdWeek Teacher and CTQ.  Several teacher leaders, including myself, have posted descriptions of our ideal hybrid roles, and the discussion has been equally interesting.  

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Ariel Sacks

March 24, 2013

Can we get real about the purpose of education?

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I was reading through some of my favorite bloggers' posts of last month, which I missed and came across this powerful and troubling post by Renee Moore, Lessons From My Fathers. It tells the story of black men in her family, who played by society's rules and pursued their education, only to end up with low paying jobs that do not allow them to adequately support their families. 

She concludes, 

"The men in this family are black fathers who have tried so hard to do the right things.

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