Category: Articles

Guest posts by expert educators

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Are We Data-Driven If We Ignore Half the Data?

Principal Matt Renwick says our definition of data has to broaden substantially if we expect to paint a complete picture of student learning. Renwick describes how two middle grades teachers are using technology to help meet the qualitative assessment challenge.

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PAIRing with Parents to Improve Student Learning

Want to improve relationships between families and school? Teachers benefit when learning is reinforced and supported from home. Consultant Barbara Blackburn has tips on how to PAIR with parents and avoid school-side mistakes that weaken engagement.

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Campaign Ads: Helping Students Find the Truth

If politicians have a “license to lie” in campaign advertising, how are our students going to know who and what to believe? Critical thinking skills are paramount, says media literacy consultant Frank Baker, who shares insights and resources tied to Common Core and social studies standards.

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How Do We Close the Coding Opportunity Gap?

Learning to code is an important new literacy. But how, wonders edtech coach Emily Vickery, do we close the opportunity gap between those who have access to coding instruction and those who don’t? Vickery suggests some resources that can help less advantaged students cross the divide.

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Five Ideas to Improve Parent Conferences

Amber Chandler has participated on both sides of the Parent Teacher Conference. Here she offers novice teachers five strategies they can use to establish productive relationships, address parent concerns, and find ways to help parents “do something” for their children.

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A Critical Look at the Close Reading Standard

ELA consultant Mike Fisher urges educators to not be distracted by the so-called “close reading” anchor standard in the Common Core. “Close reading is not a thing. It is not a skill. It is not a big idea.” The true objective, he says, is reading comprehension.

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Costume Design: Part of the Language of Film

As teachers help their students meet Common Core standards through close reading of the movies, they may want to include costume design in their lesson plans, says Frank Baker. In many movies, director Martin Scorsese has noted, “costume is character.”