Category: Articles

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7 Tech Tools for Fast Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is good practice, as every teacher knows, says tech consultant Curtis Chandler, but finding time to measure individual student understanding is challenging. Chandler offers seven apps that can make the practice both routine and engaging.

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The Glories of a Year-Round Calendar

Since his fast-growing district shifted to a year round schedule, teacher and PD consultant Bill Ferriter finds himself “more focused and productive as a practitioner,” more rested, and more able to pursue professional opportunities beyond the classroom.

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Don’t Let Class Tech Be Just a Garnish

Teacher Cheryl Mizerny is not anti-tech, just anti-bad pedagogy – the kind that crops up when the garnish of tech overshadows the deep learning that can happen when teaching is “brain based, not screen-based.” Make the app fit the lesson, she says, not the other way around.

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4 Ways to Motivate Kids to Tackle Complex Text

Seventh grade teacher Kami Spampinato uses four kid-savvy strategies to get her students to “buy in” to reading complex texts. In this post, former MS educator Anne Vilen of Expeditionary Learning summarizes each technique and shares supporting EL videos.

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Help Students Close Read Iconic Images

Every day news images flood our print publications, digital spaces and social media apps. Why do some become iconic and unforgettable? Media literacy expert Frank Baker suggests ways that students can explore this question through close reading & research.

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Virtual Field Trips Spice Up Learning

In today’s budget-conscious and time-stressed schools, virtual field trips are a great way to excite students without leaving the classroom. Teaching expert Barbara Blackburn shares a sample lesson idea and some good places to hunt for relevant field trips.

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Media-Visual Literacy and Presidential Politics

Media literacy educator Frank Baker wants “to help today’s media-saturated students realize the lengths that political consultants will go to get (and keep) our attention.” As the “polioptic” presidential race begins, Baker shares insights and lesson ideas.

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Build Your Own Utopia: ‘The Giver’ PBL Unit

Amber Chandler describes a PBL unit, built around the dystopian novel The Giver, that takes students deep into the book’s ideas by having them create and debate their own ideal communities and explore unintended consequences. Tips and handouts included.