#Intentional: Reading with Fam: An Experiment

My first act of #Intentional behavior for the new year: My community of student learners read together twice a week.  A book is chosen, we read sections of it, the Reading and Language Arts teachers plan lessons around it and it’s a good experience for all.  We’ve read The Giver and Lemony Snicket: A Series…

Smart, Dumb, Education

smart adjective informal having or showing a quick-witted intelligence. “if he was that smart he would never have been tricked” synonyms clever, bright, intelligent, sharp-witted, quick-witted, shrewd,astute, able; I normally keep my political thoughts to myself; discussing the politics of education on this blog isn’t what I’m about.  But something happened recently that has been…

The Rudderless Ship

In the world of your average 8th grader, thinking any further ahead in time than “when’s lunch” or “is it 2:30 yet?” is a rare and beautiful thing.  Their lives are full of social interaction, general disgust with all things adult, and irritation at either having to take on responsibilities or being ignored by the…

Reflective Learning: Quickie, Slicky, Tricky Assessment

I have never been one for giving students quizzes or exams.  There’s enough of that crap going on in schools these days and the level of stress and anxiety created in even saying the word “test” is unbearable even for me… and I’m not even the one taking the test. Yet, this year, I want…

A Different Kind of Year

I’ve been back in the classroom a couple of weeks now.  I can say, it’s an adventure in the making.  This particular group of students have already proven to be a classroom management challenge.  We anticipated it.  At the end of last year, we met with them (as 7th graders) to let them know what…

See You Later, Alligator!

The second to the last day of school, it started. For weeks, we’d been telling our 8th graders what was coming, how they’d become reflective about their middle school experience and possibly begin panicking about high school.  They, naturally, balked at it all.  They were powerful, they were 8th graders. I was standing with my…

That Darn Black History Month Project

Don’t let the title fool you…   So, while sitting in a team leaders meeting at the end of January, I was psychologically accosted by my administrator with the following statement (well, we all were, but I think I was the only one that had to restrain myself) I have a bunch of really great…

Mediocrity and the American Education System: An Opinion

Mediocrity, noun : the quality of something that is not very good : the quality or state of being mediocre : a person who does not have the special ability to do something well I don’t normally use this forum for expressing my thoughts on politically charged topics, but this particular one is bothering me…

Compliment Chairs, Character Building, and Connections

First full week of school finished! I’m exhausted; you know, that “first week of school, dammit why do I do this to myself every year, I need to get on with my life, ugh” kind of exhausted. It was a good week. After several years of students who were forced to bring their personal issues…

Ask the Kids…

The never ending discussion on why children in the United States aren’t as “smart” as children in other countries has been rehashed a thousand times.  Its been looked at from all angles.  Blame has been placed at the feet of half a dozen entities.  Everyone has tackled the issue, been asked about it, except…. the…

My Battle Cry: Keep Them Alive…

Some teacher friends and I have been on Facebook the last few days reflecting on our summer break and our children out there.  The topic eventually turned to those children who won’t be in classes this year.  Those children are dead.