Ben Johnson

Blog Posts

Tags Student Engagement
December 29, 2011

Consider the following two scenarios, though fictitious. Two different teachers teaching the same learning objectives using checking for deeper understanding as their main method and strategy.

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Tags Teacher Leadership
December 9, 2011

At a small school district, I faced the challenge as an administrator of diminishing the achievement gap in the student scores, especially in math and science. For example, we noticed that in science there was a 40-point gap between Hispanic students passing the test versus the number of white...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
November 30, 2011

Nose to the grindstone, I prepared for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday -- what to teach, what to test, and how to learn. I gave it my best shot, alone. I was the only Spanish teacher. What did I have to say to teachers of other disciplines? Other than collegial greetings, I did not...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
November 11, 2011

Why is the sky blue? I remember in my physical science class, our teacher showed us a possible reason why the sky is blue. He took a canister of liquid oxygen and poured it out on the table. I saw the blueness of the liquid as it flowed out and then disappeared. Then we talked about color,...

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Tags Technology Integration
October 31, 2011

Updated 01/2014

If I had thirty iPads in my class, what would I do with them? How would I use them to help my students learn better and help me teach better? Perhaps a better question is what would I do with them that I could not do with other tools that are available and cheaper...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
October 10, 2011

Technically all students, according to developmental psychologists Abraham Maslow and Howard Gardener, are gifted at something. But within the realm of what happens in the classroom, a teacher can help those superstars shine even brighter by simply adding a few additional strategies to their...

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Tags Assessment
September 16, 2011

As much as I love testing, I can't help feeling that the state testing programs -- on which each state spends millions of dollars -- do not really help the students. It's not that they aren't designed well, nor is it that they are too difficult or too long. The reason they do little to help...

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Tags Brain-Based Learning
September 1, 2011

Memory is an interesting thing. At school we try so hard to get students to remember things, but some memories are indelibly imprinted without any effort at all. For example, I have a vivid memory of where I was and what I was doing on September 11, 2001. Everyone that I have asked also has a...

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Tags Student Engagement
August 16, 2011

I did an experiment with a group of adult educators. I gave them very vague instructions on how to arrange groups. The goal was that each educator would participate in four different groups. I told them that the composition of each group had to be different. Some of the adults were willing to...

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Tags Student Engagement
August 2, 2011

Updated 01/2014

OK kids, we are going to be learning in groups today! Each group needs a math checker, a presenter, a writer/editor, and an illustrator. You decide who does what. You will be reviewing the best ways to solve polynomial problems.

Please pull out...

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