Category Archives: Uncategorized

It Takes Time

You’re not supposed to get it all on the very first try. That’s not how learning works. Continue reading

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History in Voices: Power of the Podcast

Full disclosure: I’ve always had a pretty strong animus towards documentary videos in my classrooms. Really, against the use of almost any videos, but especially against the classic documentary-teaches-everything. Recently, I was able to pinpoint why. There are great historical (and … Continue reading

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Struggle and failure are good for the student and the classroom. Mistakes are not evidence that our students aren’t learning; they are the only evidence that our students are learning. A lack of mistakes doesn’t represent exceptional teaching or learning. If … Continue reading

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Reject the Rubric

The writing process – meant to give space for a student’s individual interpretation and expression – has somehow become a rote transcription of the obvious (or perhaps, a poorly plagiarized version of our class lectures and textbook readings).

The rubric is to blame. Continue reading

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Creating a Growth Mindset in Your Classroom in One Step

Growth Mindset focuses on the idea that learning and intelligence are a process and that we are not “fixed” in our abilities. But most of the way modern schools are set up is focused on a fixed mentality – students, parents and even teachers talk about students as simply being “good at math” or not, “an art kid” or not, on the Honor Roll or not. We assess and evaluate in ways that reinforce the idea that our knowledge and our abilities are fixed – we are our grades.

The real challenge for teachers is: are we putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to this problem? We hate students who are only present – physically or mentally – to get their grade, but most of the time, grades are the only way we communicate with students about their performance and their abilities.

So here’s your first and most powerful step to making your classroom and your students more growth-oriented: Continue reading

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