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What makes an effective teacher?

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

What makes an effective teacher?

Teacher effectiveness rubrics, teacher evaluation systems, multiple books and many professional development workshops attempt to answer the question: What makes an effective teacher? The recent push in the US to evaluate teachers based on strict rubrics and students’ results on standardized test scores has challenged me to think differently about the answers to this question.

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“College and Career Readiness” and Standardized Testing

Posted by on Apr 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Why do the PARCC assessments require high school juniors in Colorado to take an additional 12 hours of standardized tests?

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Scaffolding Balance Bike Style

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Scaffolding Balance Bike Style

Balance bikes hold an important key to the scaffolds we use in education: they develop the essential skills, not the basic skills, of biking.

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Revealing Questions: How student responses can inform instruction

Posted by on Feb 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Reviewing the table of questions and answers inspired the teacher to make changes in his class that will hopefully make a significant positive impact on students’ ability to express their ideas clearly and justify their thinking. What do the questions and answers in your classroom reveal about students’ thinking and understanding?

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Comprehension trumps phonics

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Comprehension trumps phonics

This brief example highlighted for me the truth about fluency: without comprehension, there is no fluency. I encourage teachers to make comprehension central to all their lessons, regardless of the skill or strategy they are teaching.

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