Excellent Teaching

man says no

Why Schools Should Ditch Summer Assignments

  It’s summer vacation where I live right now (shout out to my Southern Hemisphere peeps in the middle of winter), but if you peek over the shoulder of tens of thousands of students theoretically on vacation right now, you’d never know it. All over, instead of being outside climbing

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teacher and students

Why We Need to Manage Expectations of Schools

In speaking of the efforts of Britain’s Royal Air Force, who were then tirelessly fighting the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill said, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” School isn’t a war, but it sure feels

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PowerPoint: How to change the color palette

Changing the Color Palette in Microsoft Office

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference in life. Things like changing the color palette in Word, PowerPoint or Excel. I know it sounds like a small thing, but it really does make a difference. Today, I’m sharing a little trick to do that I use all of

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education's role - Eleanor Roosevelt

Good Citizenship: Eleanor Roosevelt on Education

Not long ago I tweeted out a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. Deciding to find the full text of the speech, I went hunting. I thought it was well worth sharing because it is so timely and so provocative. It’s also very difficult to find in full text, and I’m sharing

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The Gifted Mask: A Student Speaks

The students are the core of what we do, and I think it’s critical that they are also able to be the corps, or body, of what we do. A gifted student wrote an essay for assignment at school, and she gave me permission to share her thoughts about being

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using jeopardy labs for pre-assessment

Using Jeopardy Labs for Pre-Assessment

In the article about creating a differentiated lesson plan step-by-step, I shared a lesson plan on landforms that used a cloud-based Jeopardy! game as a pre-assessment tool. I thought I would share a little more about how and why I do that. Jeopardylabs.com First, let me introduce you to Jeopardylabs.com.

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begin with highest level learner in mind

Begin with Highest Level Learner in Mind

There’s a YouTube cooking channel called Chowhound that has a series called “You’re Doing it All Wrong.” They take fundamentals of cooking (mashed potatoes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc.) and show how you’re making them the wrong way. Of course, they show you the right way, and then you,

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kids on a bus with title tips for going back to school

Tips for Going Back to School After a Vacation

Back to School after a Vacation Every year it was the same: spend the last few days of Christmas vacation searching my mind, files, teacher books and the internet for the perfect activity that would get my students back in the groove after vacation. Most of what I’d find would

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teens' group work - Group Work Self-Reflection

Group Work Self-Reflection Questions for Students

Group work self-reflection questions for students are a key factor in effective group work and a best practice for teachers using small groups. When students work in collaborative groups, it’s critical to have self-reflection questions for them to consider when the group work is done or you risk wasting terrific,

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6 reasons PBIS is a terrible idea

6 Reasons Why PBIS is a Terrible Idea

I loathe PBIS even more than I loathe Accelerated Reader, and friends, that’s a high bar. Why I think PBIS is a terrible idea To be fair, it’s not just PBIS. It’s all of the same type of behavior management systems that use often elaborate systems to punish and reward

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