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.

Shawn CornallyJanuary 31, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Shawn Cornally, author of the Standards-Based Grading. Here, he presents a blog carnival on redefining assessment. It's a complex issue, and one that we tackle in the next Schools that Work series here on Edutopia.

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Gaetan PappalardoJanuary 28, 2011

Updated 01/2014

"With what are you struggling?" I ask.

"I think I need some more direction on the little decisions like what do you do when a student complains about a stomach ache right before a lesson," replies student teacher.

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Todd FinleyJanuary 28, 2011

On the first day of a composition class, even confident novice writers can be jittery and guarded, wary that they might get night-sticked by the grammar police. Will my inability to diagram sentences jeopardize my GPA?

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Andrew MarcinekJanuary 26, 2011

There is an important scene in the movie Hoosiers during the team's first practice. The coach, played by Gene Hackman walks into the gym and gathers the team together. He tells his team that practice is going to be different than what they are used to. The montage that follows highlights fundamental basketball. The boys are engaged in agility drills, ball handling drills, and a variety of defensive drills. Throughout the montage you hear players asking when they are going to shoot and scrimmage. Hackman replies, "There's more to the game than shooting! There's fundamentals and defense."

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Betty RayJanuary 26, 2011

Do it Yourself -- or DIY -- culture has been around since the 90s. (Remember 'zines, and indie record labels?) Now that technology is a gazillion times cheaper, more pervasive and powerful, the DIY movement is spreading into almost every aspect of society.

This has powerful implications for teachers; many of whom are participating in some innovative (and low-cost, or free) professional development opportunities. To that end, I would argue that we are amid a learning renaissance, and that the DIY movement is one of its most powerful catalysts.

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Bob LenzJanuary 26, 2011

What if we had a tool that assured us as educators that we had prepared students for college success? At Envision Schools, we believe that our Deeper Learning Assessment System is preparing our students for success in college and the data is backing up our belief.

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Audrey WattersJanuary 25, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Audrey Watters, is a technology journalist specializing in education technology news. She has read all 100+ pages of the National Education Technology Plan released by the U. S. Department of Education last November, and she has summarized it below.

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Elena AguilarJanuary 24, 2011

I heard the music coming from the classroom before I opened the door -- Mozart's cello concertos. Over a year had passed since I'd finished coaching this new eighth grade English teacher in a tough school; I was driving through the neighborhood and decided to drop in and see how Ms. K was faring.

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Anne OBrienJanuary 21, 2011

During the past couple years, teacher preparation programs have been taking a lot of heat. Everyone from the Secretary of Education to the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is concerned about the performance of colleges of education, calling for teacher education to be "turned upside down" in this country.

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Mary Beth HertzJanuary 20, 2011

We had some wonderful submissions for the first-ever lesson contest and the votes are in. First of all, I want to thank the 7 wonderful teachers who submitted lessons. Educators are always looking for inspiration, and I'm sure your lessons have inspired Edutopia readers around the globe.

Here are the results of the contest voting:

1st Place (22 votes)
Lesson 5: Surreal Animation - submitted by Janine Campbell

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