Blogs on High (9-12)

Blogs on High (9-12)RSS
Karissa StayMay 29, 2013

As we reimagine curriculum at Sammamish High School around a comprehensive problem-based learning approach, we find ourselves reimagining the bounds of the classroom and the singular nature of The Teacher. One way that we have been expanding the classroom and the role of the teacher is through expertise. In ninth grade AP Human Geography, a full-inclusion class, the use of experts has increased students' motivation within challenge cycles, as well as given students a view into various careers in or related to geography.

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Suzie BossMay 28, 2013

With cap-and-gown season in full swing, graduates are getting life advice from all corners. President Obama recently encouraged Morehouse College graduates to "work harder and dream bigger." Comedian Stephen Colbert turned momentarily serious at the University of Virginia, challenging grads to "decide now to choose the hard path that leads to the life and the world that you want."

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Albert RobertsMay 24, 2013

In theory, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs in schools are a great idea; students can use their own tablets, laptops and smartphones in the classroom, and can take advantage of a wider range of apps and programs than they might be able to normally access in school. There is a case to be made that doing so can make schools more cutting edge and capable of engaging students through methods that they're comfortable with. However, there's also a risk that BYOD could lead to bullying and inequality within schools. How, then, can BYOD be successful without causing these kinds of problems?

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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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Matt LevinsonMay 22, 2013

English novelist and playwright E.G. Bulwer-Lytton once wrote, "A revolution is a transfer of power." We might just be on the brink of a revolution when it comes to kids, technology and schools.

High school student Jeff Bliss' recent, public and viral rant about his teacher has unsettled the minds and hearts of every teacher working with kids right now. At the drop of a hat, a student can go public with dissatisfaction or disgruntlement, unleashing a torrent of response and reprisal.

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José VilsonMay 16, 2013

If ever you come across a set of math teachers, whether at a common planning meeting or a bar during happy hour, bring up the conversation of calculators and watch the sparks fly. The arguments for and against calculators have the spirited vigor of a Red Sox vs. Yankees game without the animus. One side argues for the use of efficient and available technology in the classroom, while the other argues for numeracy and fluency to the highest order.

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Lee Ann SpillaneMay 14, 2013

"I wasn't actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity."
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio might move teens to fall in love with the story of the book, but it won't make them better readers of the novel. Long before the film was announced, I've been using simple technology tools to help my eleventh graders become curious critics analyzing the text patterns Fitzgerald employs.

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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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Matt LevinsonMay 1, 2013

Recently, NPR launched a new blog entitled Code Switch to examine the "frontiers of race, culture and ethnicity." Blog host Gene Demby explains: "We're looking at code switching a little more broadly. Many of us subtly, reflexively change the way we express ourselves all the time. We're hop-scotching between different cultural and linguistic spaces and different parts of our own identities -- sometimes within a single interaction."

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Andrew MillerMay 1, 2013

Just what is a game jam? It is a short event, usually only a day or two, where game developers plan, design and create a short game. Similar to a music jam session, game jams don't involve much pre-planning and rely on immediate idea generation and improvisation. Game design companies have these jam sessions regularly, and while many of the games that happen here are digital, some are paper-based. They usually occur in one physical location to allow for immediate, organic collaboration. While there is an element of competition, most of the work is focused on collaboration towards a common goal.

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