Blogs on High (9-12)

Blogs on High (9-12)RSS
Andrew MillerJuly 15, 2013

I had a great time at the PBL World Conference in so many ways: as a presenter, as a panelist, as a listener, as a collaborator, and even as the subject of art. (Now, that is something I would never, ever have guessed!) Everyone took away his or her own ideas for implementing PBL projects, but one theme I noticed throughout the entire conference was assessment. Assessment remains a challenge for many of us who do PBL, but I left the conference feeling more confident not only in the assessment practices I have done, but also in generally accepted best practices. Here are some of my big takeaways:

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Robyn GeeJuly 12, 2013

I remember the first student I ever suspended. He was 13 years old.

It started off as a minimal disruption. He was stealing pencils from other students at his table. That turned into breaking pencils. Then, stealing homework.

Determined not to let him derail the entire class, I changed his seat. I went over to him, and quietly said, "Can you tell me what's up? I know you can behave better than this." He swore at me in two languages.

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Suzie BossJuly 11, 2013

After seven years of leading an innovative high school near Oslo, Norway, Ann Michaelsen had acquired some keen insights about what it means to be a global learner with ready access to technology. So she decided to write a book. Not just any book, mind you. Connected Learners: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Global Classroom, a 219-page digital book, features a cover picture of a group of teens (and one adult) standing in the snow. The byline tells the rest of the story: by 27 students and their teacher Ann Michaelsen, Sandvika High School, Norway.

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In my post from March, I shared a little about what my school is doing to help a common problem, that of homogenous honors classes. With a school make up that is almost 50 percent Latino and 50 percent Asian, you would like to think that the honors classes are similar to that break down. Unfortunately, they are not.

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Deepak KulkarniJuly 5, 2013

Many people enjoy working on grid puzzles as small, quick challenges of their mathematical and logical skills. Here is one you may not have seen, the OkiDoku. How does it work? Looking at the grid above, try to find four different numbers and put them in these 16 squares in a way that will satisfy the following two conditions:

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Joshua BlockJuly 5, 2013

For the past five years I have collaborated with a playwright who works with my students as they write original plays. Each year, on the first day that she has been in the room with us, Kate and I stage a conflict about what should come next in the lesson. As students squirm uncomfortably in their seats and turn to each other with unbelieving eyes, Kate and I debate what makes the most sense to do next. The goal of the staged conflict is getting students to think about the crucial role of conflict in drama and playwriting. We use our brief skit as a way to open up a larger conversation about the power of theater and the different elements of a play.

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Mark PhillipsJuly 2, 2013

Recent major news stories have been pretty depressing. To mention just a few: the National Security Agency leaks scandal, concerns about the use of drones, self-serving congressional obstructionists, a mayor in Philadelphia supporting the building of a prison and then closing over twenty public schools to save money.

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Matt LevinsonJuly 2, 2013

Technology has made teens obsessed with the present moment. With feverish intensity, they post the latest happening on Instagram or Tumblr, marching around like paparazzi, holding up their phones to flash and capture every little detail of their lives unfolding.

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Manan Shah, PhDJuly 1, 2013

Technology is here to stay. There are two main ways of interfacing with technology: passively as a user and actively as a developer. Today's technical problems are very complicated -- they cannot all be solved in theory on a whiteboard or exhaustively via computation. The use of simulation methods to obtain a "solution" to the problem at hand is not uncommon in industry. The purpose of this post is to provide broadly a "why" and "how to" for introducing simulation methodologies into high school math and programming courses. While the subject matter is technically deep, the concepts are well within the grasp of high school students -- and possibly younger students.

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Andrew MillerJune 26, 2013

I had a great time at this year's ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference, as both a presenter and participant. Of course I was excited to hear Jane McGonigal again as she engaged us in thinking about games for learning and other amazing purposes. As ISTE closes, there are many free resources that I saw either introduced or highlighted around game-based learning (GBL), from educational games to gamification in the classroom. I'm always looking for free! (Aren't we all?) Some of these tools and concepts have already been featured in news reports about education, but following are a few ideas as you consider using them.

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