In some of the elementary schools in the district I work in, teachers are strongly encouraged to display the results of student tests (such as reading fluency or interim "benchmark" assessments) in the classroom. Each child's score is identified -- a name next to a number, visible to all...Read More.
Some years ago I taught a life skills class to a group of eighth grade boys. The curriculum I offered wasn't working. They were disengaged -- they wouldn't read, write, or talk about what I wanted them to talk about -- and they were mounting a rebellion.Read More.
In a recent post, I shared a strategy for developing writing fluency in students. One comment asked about grades for journal writing, suggesting that if students don't receive a grade they won't be motivated to write.Read More.
The news out of Egypt this week has been gripping and fascinating, and made me really miss my days as a classroom teacher. All week I've been thinking: what would I do if I were in the classroom? How would I teach these events?Read More.
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...Read More.
I regularly set intentions before a meeting or before teaching a class, or at the start of the day. Declaring my intentions (sometimes in writing, sometimes spoken to someone, sometimes only articulated in my head) helps me set a direction for how I would like things to go. I find that when I...Read More.
My last post on literature circles got me all excited for a spell. I basked in the memories of kids discovering a love of reading; those were some good days for me as a teacher. And then I remembered the days that...Read More.
My six-year-old son has finally, really started reading. It's thrilling to watch him grab book after book off his overflowing shelves and read stories he's been hearing for years. Now he wants to take books to school so that during recess, he can entice his friends to sit together and read. He...Read More.
There's a third grade classroom in Oakland, California that I just love visiting. It's a place where children are at the very center, where their academic, emotional and social needs are recognized and addressed.Read More.
As a teacher, on the first day of school, I wanted my students to know that in my class we would read a lot and we'd read great literature, literature that would help us understand our world better, and ourselves.Read More.