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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.

Bob LenzApril 28, 2011

"Project-based learning is great but it is too hard for teachers to do well." I have heard this belief stated more times than I can count. Is PBL really so difficult that only a select number of masterful teachers, innovative schools, and dynamic school leaders can pull off high quality projects? I don't think so.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronApril 28, 2011

There's this myth in the brick and mortar schools that somehow the onset of online K-12 learning will be the death of face-to-face (F2F) interaction. However this isn't so -- or at least in the interest of the future of rigor in education, it shouldn't be. In fact, without a heaping dose of F2F time plus real-time communication, online learning would become a desolate road for the educational system to travel.

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Andrew MarcinekApril 28, 2011

This past Friday four of the top comedians in the world sat down and had a conversation about comedy for the HBO special, "Talking Funny." Jerry Seinfeld, Rickey Gervais, Chris Rock, and Louis CK discussed and shared their craft for roughly an hour on a faux living room set. Now, I am not one of those educators that feel there is a hidden message about education in everything I watch, listen to, or read. However, educators can learn a lot from comedians. Our jobs run parallel.

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Maurice EliasApril 27, 2011

When NCLB is put to rest and the ESEA reauthorization takes its place, what will it say about children's social, emotional and character development?

There will not be room for a lot about SECD in the ESEA, so I'd like to describe three essential pieces I think should be included. They are the minimum that we need to prepare children for the tests of life, not a life of tests, and for genuine, passionate, informed participation in civic life.

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Will RichardsonApril 26, 2011

Editor's Note: Will Richardson is the author of weblogg-ed, a blog that covers the intersection of learning, technology and ed reform. A former classroom teacher in Flemington, New Jersey, Richardson is also the author of the book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. He is also a member of the National Advisory Council here at the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

Tim Stahmer's post "There's No Normal to Return To" has me thinking this morning. He writes:

At the same time we in education are also doubling down on the "back to basics" and on teaching kids how to follow someone else's instructions. Our leaders, both political and business, want us to think that if we just combine greater effort with more standardization that we can recreate the glorious old days where every kid was above average and US test scores topped every other country.

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Eric BrunsellApril 25, 2011

Quite often, STEM discussions focus solely on traditional science and mathematics courses. However, a growing emphasis is being placed on the role of engineering in K-12 education. A few years ago, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council commissioned a study of the status of engineering in K-12 education. In their 2009 report, the commission outlined three general principles for engineering education.

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Holden ClemensApril 25, 2011

Editor's Note: Holden Clemens (a pseudonym) is an educator who has dedicated his life to providing hope to students in his classroom. He is also a humorist, and he hopes to bring smiles to the faces of hard working educators around the globe. This is the first in his series on how to teach to a variety of different student archetypes.

I wanted to talk briefly today about a series of posts I have entitled: The Other Student. The Other Student is about those kids in your class that seem to fall between the cracks of our great educational system. (It's hard to believe that a student can slip by in a class of 32 with varied special needs, but I heard a story once where a child was left behind, and it made me sad.) Today's post will be on the Missing Homework kid.

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Gaetan PappalardoApril 22, 2011

Be not simply good - be good for something.
Henry David Thoreau

"Valentine's Day is for suckers." I usually get a nasty look when I exercise my freedom of speech on heart day. Don't get me wrong, I'm romantic and sensitive -- I am a writer, remember? I just feel that a holiday celebrating love really shouldn't be a holiday at all. We should love each other all year, not just on February 14th. So, I'm against V-day and all its evil. No harm, no foul. Hallmark is not getting a dime out of me. But what about Earth Day? In my ten years of teaching I've done some pretty cool stuff on April 22nd, nothing earth-shattering or innovative, just an all day celebration of the Earth. Some cute ideas that I've fancied are below.

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Ben JohnsonApril 22, 2011

Good morning students! We are going to learn how to make multiplication problems. Today we have traveled back in time to the age of the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs reproduce by laying.....? Right! Eggs. The dinosaurs lay their eggs in ...? Correct again. Nests. In your baggy, you will find several paper nests and two colors of eggs.

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Suzie BossApril 21, 2011

For Earth Day, teachers can find an abundance of good project ideas to get students thinking more critically about the environment. But if your goal is to inspire long-term changes that really add up, maybe it's time to step up to the Cool School Challenge.

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