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.

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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Don Doehla, MA, NBCTApril 21, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Don Doehla, French teacher and instructional coach at Vintage High School in Napa, California. Don recently stepped up to become the new facilitator of our World Languages group. He's got some great ideas for teaching world languages, including the use of project-based learning. He shares a few of these tips today. We hope you'll join him in the World Languages group as well.

The world may be small and flat, but it is also multilingual, multicultural, and more and more, it is an interconnected world. Consequently, cross cultural communicative competencies are increasingly important for mutual understanding and cooperation - how is that for some alliteration?! Our students' need to be able to communicate with their neighbors, here and abroad, is increasing with every moment which passes! The borders separating our countries are diminishing in importance as the global culture emerges. The definition of who my neighbor is has changed as well. No longer are we isolated from what is happening across the globe. Recent events demonstrate this quite well! Examples abound for everyone on the planet. We must be able to communicate well and proficiently across the kilometers which separate us.

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Mary Beth HertzApril 19, 2011

This post is cross-posted from my Philly Teacher blog, but I thought it fit this week's gaming theme and has a lot of applications for how we bring technology tools into our classrooms as well as for how we design tech-infused projects.

I have been thinking a lot recently about video gaming and what we can learn from it as educators. This is not a new concept or a new discussion. I've been seeing things happen in my classroom that really make me think there's something to this idea. My recent reflections and changes in classroom practice don't actually involve my students playing games to learn new skills or concepts (though there is research about the positive effects of this), but rather on the broader structure of games in relation to classroom practices. As I teach in a lab, this approach can definitely be applied to integrating technology in your classroom.

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Gaetan PappalardoApril 18, 2011

Editor's Note: Today, Gaetan has given his pen to guest blogger Judy Jester. Judy has taught eighth grade English in suburban Philadelphia for 23 years; she also co-directs the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project at West Chester University.

I'm a skinflint - always have been, always will be. When I'm cold, I put on a sweater. Though I desperately want an iPad, I'll continue to pine for it as it's just too costly. For years I watched "fuzzy vision" rather than pay for cable. And yet I know that in order to make money sometimes, you have to spend a little first. If only Congress knew this too.

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Anne OBrienApril 15, 2011

Last year, in an Edutopia post, Claus von Zastrow highlighted the achievement of Detroit's Carstens Elementary School -- achievement that unfortunately has not yet spread to its greater community, which remains blighted, lacking assess to many essential services and economic opportunities.

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