Ben Johnson

Blog Posts

Tags Teacher Leadership
July 14, 2011

Our students don't always learn what we want them to learn, but they always learn something. Other than the curriculum, they may learn how to fight the system, or how to get the teacher mad, or how to avoid responsibility, or how to talk to friends without being noticed by the teacher. Working...

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Tags Education Trends
June 29, 2011

We have all heard the following classroom myths: If you want discipline to go well, don't smile until Christmas, and, if you want to have good classroom management, never turn your back to the students.

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Tags Education Trends
June 20, 2011

What does "teaching to the test" mean? I haven't actually ever seen this literally happen in a classroom: "Class, remember the answer to question 12 is A, 13 is B, and 14 is D." But, as much as it is maligned, isn't a form of teaching to the test the point of why we teach in the first place...

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Tags Assessment
June 2, 2011

In 1986, Donna Ogle created KWL, a reading strategy that engages the students in the text or textbook and helps students analyze what they are reading. Students are asked to describe what they already know about the reading...

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Tags Teacher Leadership
April 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...

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Tags New-Teacher Support
March 31, 2011

I looked up the reference of one of my students who quoted some things from Robyn Jackson's seven principles for a master teacher, explained explicitly in her book, Never Work Harder than Your Students...

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Tags Education Trends
February 23, 2011

Paper is the lifeblood of schools. Rivers of paper pass through the copy machines and flow through hallways to the classrooms. Students and teachers swim in a sea of paper: paper bound in books, loose-leaf paper, college rule paper, graph paper and consumable paper glued in workbooks.

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Tags Teacher Leadership
February 2, 2011

How hard is it to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? How many different ways can it be done? I am certain that every way possible has been explored in this tired process activity. After observing a teacher recycle this much-used activity, I couldn't help asking, "What would be the more...

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Tags New-Teacher Support
January 11, 2011

Am I sacrilegious by saying we should not spend so much time worrying about what happens in a student's home and should spend more time creating effective learning environments at school?

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Tags Education Trends
December 20, 2010

Up until now, I have stayed away from hot-bed political conversations but I am now right in the middle of one: Performance-based pay for teachers. I am currently managing a grant to implement performance-based compensation systems in ten charter schools and the fun is only beginning.

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