Blogs on Curriculum Planning

Blogs on Curriculum PlanningRSS
Robert WoodJune 12, 2013

Cultural responsiveness in the classroom can often be written off as something patched by a quick fix, especially in an English classroom where swapping a traditional (read: Dead White Guy) text with something written by a person from an underrepresented background can take the place of more significant cultural response. Don't get me wrong, I think that putting Zora Neale Hurston, Chang Rae Lee, and Junot Diaz into "the cannon" is an important social step for our discipline, but doing this at the expense of also having substantive structural changes in the classroom is a temptation that one has to be careful of embracing.

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Vicki ZakrzewskiJune 10, 2013

Imagine being Ryan Hreljac's first grade teacher. After telling your class of six- and seven-year-olds that children in Africa are dying because of lack of clean water, one of your students is so moved that he has to do something. What starts as Ryan taking on extra vacuuming at home to earn money for wells eventually turns into Ryan's Well Foundation, a non-profit that, to date, has brought safe water and sanitation services to over 789,900 people.

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Dr. Allen MendlerJune 7, 2013

In watching the NFL draft recently, I was struck at how much attention and money is spent "breaking down" every player: how they run, jump, throw and move. Even the size of virtually every body part is fully analyzed. They are interviewed, as are their previous coaches and other important adults, to learn as much as possible about flaws and strengths. Much depends on getting things right for both the team and the player. The stakes are high. Yet with all the analysis, there are plenty of mistakes. Some "can't miss" prospects do miss, and others who weren't even drafted become stars. Most fall somewhere in between. Having standards that try to measure the likelihood of a player's success on a football field is inexact at best -- as much art as it is science.

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Randy TaranMay 24, 2013

We're excited to present this final post of the nine-part series from the Project Happiness elementary school curriculum. Within this series, we've taught important factors that have been proven to enhance the happiness and social and emotional learning of elementary school age children, giving them a significant advantage for life. Each blog has featured one letter of the acronym HAPPINESS:

  1. H = Happiness
  2. A = Appreciation
  3. P = Passions and Strengths
  4. P = Perspective
  5. I = Inner Meanie/Inner Friend
  6. N = Ninja Mastery
  7. E = Empathy
  8. S = So Similar
  9. S = Share Your Gifts

This blog is about Sharing Your Gift.

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Mark PhillipsMay 23, 2013

Most excellent teachers have learned what first-rate filmmakers have always known, that to be successful you need to reach your audience emotionally. I want to revisit one the best approaches I know, emphasizing its application at the secondary school level. The purpose is to increase student motivation and foster healthy emotional development.

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Amrita SahniMay 21, 2013

In the fall of 2006, Clarence R. Edwards Middle School ("the Edwards" as it is known locally within Boston Public Schools) became one of the first schools in the state of Massachusetts to implement the Expanded Learning Time (ELT) Initiative. The reasons why were simple: we were not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and we wanted to make significant academic gains with our students. As it turned out, making our school day longer was one of the best things we could have done to help reform our school model and improve student outcomes. Our statewide exam scores, student enrollment, daily student attendance rate, community and family engagement, and time for team teaching/collaboration all improved as a result of ELT.

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Andrew MillerMay 17, 2013

You read that correctly: Zombie-Based Learning. When I started learning about it, my inner geek squealed with joy. I've always loved zombies. I've watched all the movies and even read the original Walking Dead Comics before it became a hit series in the classroom.

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Danielle LynchMay 6, 2013

Sammamish High School has defined seven key elements of problem-based learning used in our classrooms. This week we will explore the key element of academic discourse. How students communicate their discoveries and connect them to the overall learning is an essential part of what we do. Without proper communication, progress cannot be made on many projects.

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Jayesh RaoApril 24, 2013

At Sammamish High School, we're developing and implementing a comprehensive problem-based learning program for all of our students. Working closely with my peers during this process has become one of the highlights of my career as an educator. These last two years I've been granted (literally and figuratively) the space and time to exchange ideas, learn from others and feel the satisfaction of knowing that I grow as a professional with each exchange. I have two very different teacher collaboration experiences to relate.

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Shawn CornallyApril 18, 2013

In light of last week's release of the Next Generation Science Standards1 (NGSS), I'm reminded of a quote from a veteran teacher in my building:

"Do they really think the reason kids aren't proficient is because we don't know what to teach?"

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