Student debate has the capacity to both deeply engage the students in relevant learning, and to encourage students to be deep thinkers. Debate is more than simply arguing. It has structure and rules that are designed to keep both sides calm.Read More.
A backwoodsman went to a home improvement store and purchased a chainsaw to replace an old, worn-out saw. After a month, the backwoodsman returned the saw to the store, complaining, "It doesn't work worth a darn! I could hardly cut half the wood I normally do." The salesman, looking at the...Read More.
I walked into three different classrooms today and saw three different movies. This week, some of our students were taking standardized tests. Is there a correlation? In Texas this year, our high school students will spend over 33 days taking state standardized tests. The new and quite...Read More.
How do you tell if someone has been reading a book critically? One way is they have dog-eared the pages, underlined key ideas, annotated the margins, highlighted quotable phrases, and filled the book with tabs on pages of interest.Read More.
In Texas, there are 180 days of instruction, taking away 30 days for state testing so that leave 150 days for instruction. Let's say that a teacher gives a curriculum-based test once every two weeks and the district benchmark test three times a year. That is 21 less days of instruction or 129...Read More.
I am certain you feel the pressure of the testing season soon to be upon us. We want our students to do their very best and we see and feel the urgency (hopefully not panic) that we want them to feel. True learning, which is more than answers on a standardized test, is a naturally urgent...Read More.
I am so fed up with testing. In the state of Texas, out of 180 days of instruction, there are over 35 days of testing of one form or another. That is nearly 20 percent of the instructional year spent on state standardized testing. That does not include the district benchmarks, SAT, PSAT, ACT...Read More.
"How is your family? Whoa! What's that on your head? Is that a wig?" "Give her a mustache!" "Great pirate!" "What did you eat for your Thanksgiving feast? Nice hat!" Between the guffaws and belly laughs caused by the add-on features of...Read More.
As a teacher, if your principal gave you a $500 budget, what would you buy? Would it be books, consumables, or software subscriptions? Would it be hands-on learning tools or equipment?Read More.
I squirmed a bit in the center seat as I responded to questions. One educator after another around the circle asked me probing questions that made me think about my actions. I knew they understood me because they often rephrased what I said. Vocalizing my thoughts helped me to see clearly...Read More.