Recent Blog Posts


You'll find practical classroom strategies and tips from real educators, as well as lesson ideas, personal stories, and innovative approaches to improving your teaching practice. If you have any thoughts or comments about these blogs, please don't hesitate to let us know.

Suzie BossJuly 8, 2011

Sensory overload comes with the territory at an ISTE conference, and this year's ed-tech gala in Philadelphia was no exception There was plenty to see, between the exhibits, presentations, and must-have devices that attendees were wielding in the Bloggers' Cafe. You couldn't turn around without spotting another QR code to snap.

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Nicholas ProvenzanoJuly 8, 2011

To Send or Not to Send (To The Office)

Over the past 5 years, I have sent about 2- to 3-students to office during class for discipline issues. I would like to tell you it is because my students are perfect angels or that every student respects me the moment they walk in (ha!). The truth is, I have students that cause trouble and goof around like 99 percent of all classrooms. But save for the most egregious behaviors, I refuse to send them to the principal, and this has created a better classroom environment.

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John LarmerJuly 7, 2011

In today's world of standards, testing, scripted literacy models, and the use of strictly-followed commercial programs for teaching math, many teachers and principals in elementary schools do not think project-based learning is possible.

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Lisa Michelle DabbsJuly 5, 2011

Editor's note: See the full archive of the five-week boot camp.

Welcome to the first week of New Teacher Boot Camp! If you would like to participate, please register: New Teacher Boot Camp Registration. Registration will be open until July 15, 2011 at 5 PM Pacific.

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Bob LenzJuly 5, 2011

The end of the school year presents us with an opportunity for reflection at Envision Schools. We take a final measure of students' progress throughout the school year, celebrate the many Envision graduates that will be heading off to college in the fall, and consider how we can incorporate those lessons into improving our own work to best enable, encourage, and ensure student learning.

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Sometime ago, I wrote a blog for Edutopia that chronicled the equation of student success as being dependent on three necessary elements: students, teachers, and family. I believe now, as I did then, that all three variables must work together in order for our students to achieve. But I recently began working with someone who is slowly convincing me that even those three groups need the support of one more: the community.

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John LarmerJuly 1, 2011

Many teachers and administrators -- not to mention the general public -- might have the wrong impression of PBL. Maybe they have stereotypical views of what a "project" is, or they've seen poor examples of it in the past. Or they can't imagine how it could fit in today's landscape of standards and testing ("Oh yeah, we did that in the 90's, but things were different then.")

Here are some common misconceptions and how you could respond with a "fact check" if you're trying to explain or defend PBL.

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Patrick DolanJune 30, 2011

Patrick Dolan has been a labor consultant for 35 years and is also the president of Dolan Group. Today, June 30, the National Education Association (NEA) is meeting in Chicago to engage in an open discussion of the policy statement presented in this post. They are scheduled to vote on it sometime between July 1 and July 3 at the convention.


It hasn't been an exactly pleasant year for the public sector unions, especially those representing public school teachers.  In Ohio, Florida, and (perhaps you've heard) Wisconsin, the attacks have been far from subtle.  But summer is in the air, so maybe it was time for Dennis Van Roekel, the president of the NEA, to take a risk and cannonball right into the deep end of his organization's policy.

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Ben JohnsonJune 29, 2011

We have all heard the following classroom myths: If you want discipline to go well, don't smile until Christmas, and, if you want to have good classroom management, never turn your back to the students.

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