Ben Johnson

Blog Posts

Tags Assessment
May 3, 2013

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...

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Tags Student Engagement
April 8, 2013

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.

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Tags Student Engagement
March 25, 2013

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...

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Tags Student Engagement
March 12, 2013

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...

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Tags Assessment
February 27, 2013

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...

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Tags Technology Integration
February 19, 2013

"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...

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Tags Student Engagement
February 14, 2013

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?

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Tags:
Tags Administrators
January 31, 2013

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...

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Tags Student Engagement
January 24, 2013

For schools, what is our pearl of great price? Last week, I had the opportunity to learn at the feet of a great man, Jeffrey R. Holland. He was the president of BYU while I attended there, so I also feel some sort of...

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Tags Student Engagement
January 15, 2013

It is time that teachers and administrators realize that public education has reached a dam in the river. We have gone about as far as we can go with isolated instruction and learning. While it may have served the purpose for the older generations, it does not meet the deeper learning needs...

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