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.

Mary Beth HertzJune 25, 2011

If you're like most teachers, you look forward to the summer when you can reflect on the past year and begin compiling ideas and resources for next year. One question to ask yourself is how will you compile all of the links, articles and ideas so that they are easily accessible to both you and your students.

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Maurice EliasJune 24, 2011

Many of us working with social, emotional, and character development (SECD) make time for student reflections. But we don't always make time for our own reflections, and we should.

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Gaetan PappalardoJune 23, 2011

Writers write. They never say they're "going to write." They write here, there, and everywhere. Professional writers usually stick to a schedule. But most writers write when they can, when life doesn't get in the way. Some write on napkins at the local diner or on a receipt using the steering wheel as a desk.

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Mariko NoboriJune 22, 2011

Editor's Note: AP government teacher Dayna Laur and art teacher Katlyn Wolfgang collaborated to create a joint project between their classes. After Edutopia produced the video below, Dayna and Katlyn, who teach at Central York High School in York, Pennsylvania, shared their strategies for creating a successful integrated studies project. You can also find free resources and downloads from from Central York High School.

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Elena AguilarJune 22, 2011

At the end of a school year, there are so many measurements which could indicate that a teacher was "effective" -- graduation rates, grades, test scores -- quantifiable and ostensibly objective. Whether a teacher was effective must definitely be measured by how much his/her students' learning increased over a period of time, but it can not be the only measurement.

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Thom MarkhamJune 21, 2011

Today's guest blogger is Thom Markham, a psychologist, educator, and president of Global Redesigns, an international consulting organization focused on project-based learning, social-emotional learning, youth development, and 21st-century school design.

An unfortunate legacy of the cognitive model that dominates education is the belief that everything important in life takes place from the neck up. This belief is the primary reason that many teachers struggle with project-based learning (PBL). At its best, PBL taps into intangibles that make learning effortless and engaging: Drive, passion, purpose, and peak performance. But peak performance doesn't start with a standardized curriculum.

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Eric BrunsellJune 21, 2011

Access to the Internet brings an almost unlimited amount of content to our fingertips. Effectively collecting, organizing, and making sense of this information is critical to learning. Ubiquitous access to information provides many opportunities and challenges for "formal" education systems. After all, what good is memorizing the atomic number for Iridium when you can just text Cha Cha?

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Meredith StewartJune 20, 2011

Meredith Stewart teaches middle school English and upper school history at Cary Academy in Cary, NC. She blogs about the work of her classroom and reflects upon it in this blog.

When sixth graders enter middle school, they are masters of some aspects of digital technology and lost when it comes to others. Despite their familiarity with some digital technology, they often lack specific skills needed for interacting with particular digital tools and interfaces. Many of them also lack the perseverance necessary for troubleshooting tech issues.

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Ben JohnsonJune 20, 2011

What does "teaching to the test" mean? I haven't actually ever seen this literally happen in a classroom: "Class, remember the answer to question 12 is A, 13 is B, and 14 is D." But, as much as it is maligned, isn't a form of teaching to the test the point of why we teach in the first place? I'm wondering how students can be successful on the state standardized test if we don't teach to it?

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Anne OBrienJune 17, 2011

Few would disagree with the notion that low-income children face enormous challenges outside the traditional school system in achieving academic success. Research has confirmed the role of everything from health to summer learning opportunities, along with school-based factors including teacher and principal quality, in student achievement.

But tough budgets mean tough choices when it comes to serving children, and many communities are focusing the little money they have on in-school factors related to student performance, at the expense of the other components we know to be crucial to student success.

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