reflective practice · standardized tests

Go Make a Difference

Tonight's post is just a little reminder. Your story matters. Your teaching matters. Take a minute and remember why you joined the profession in the first place. Do you remember? I do. I wanted to change the world one child at a time. Today I spent the day in a meeting. The content was a… Continue reading Go Make a Difference

charter schools · interview · poetry · standardized tests

Talking with Taylor Mali + a Giveaway

On a tough day in the classroom, all of us have turned to Taylor Mali's poem "What Teachers Make" for some solace.  Last month Taylor published a book, What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World, which is the kind of book you want to have around when a tough day… Continue reading Talking with Taylor Mali + a Giveaway

prompts · standardized tests · writing workshop

Writing Territories + Test Prompt Writing

One of the causes of anxiety regarding the writing prompt, is the unknown. We don't know what genre students will be asked to write. We don't know the topic. Test situations are stressful enough, but when we add in these unknowns, the stress levels skyrocket. Here's the deal, though. Students can have an idea of… Continue reading Writing Territories + Test Prompt Writing

new york city · standardized tests

Releasing Teachers’ Individual Performance Assessments Does Nothing to Strengthen Teaching

Last Friday New York City released the individual performance assessments for 18,000 elementary and middle school teachers in New York City.  While teachers have long known how they've been "ranked" based on their students' test scores, the data was made public last week for the world to see. I've spoken at-length with several former colleagues… Continue reading Releasing Teachers’ Individual Performance Assessments Does Nothing to Strengthen Teaching

quote · standardized tests

“Test Prep”

This post has been marinating in my mind for awhile now. I made myself promise it to you last week to make sure I would actually write it. I need to write it. Then Saturday came...and went in a lazy-busy way that is perfect for Saturdays, but not so perfect for remembering to blog. Which… Continue reading “Test Prep”

quote · standardized tests

Remember This…

I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming standardized test. I have a whole post percolating about it, but because it's late and I'm completely worn out -- in six schools, with seven different teachers today --- it's just going to have to wait until Saturday. I'm telling you this so I feel a little… Continue reading Remember This…

common core · minilesson · standardized tests

Common Core + Students’ Needs

Much of my time this school year has been devoted to studying Common Core Standards, as well as keeping up with the ever-changing discussion about the PARCC assessment. I've been thinking about the influence these things have on our writing curriculum and the implications for writing workshop. One thing is for certain, Common Core Standards… Continue reading Common Core + Students’ Needs

digital writing · education · inspiration · standardized tests · standards

How do you know?

Often when I'm working with teachers, I get the question: How do you know? This can be in response to a number of things: minilesson ideas, conference teaching points, share sessions, anchor charts, unit planning, blogging, tweeting. Truthfully, the answer is often I don't know. I'm just trying things that make sense. I'm trying things that… Continue reading How do you know?

standardized tests

Standardized Writing Prompts

In Indiana, many students will be taking the state writing test next week. So I've been thinking about what is most important for our young writers to know prior to taking the standardized test.  I've decided it is this: You know everything you need to know to be successful. As with most things when it… Continue reading Standardized Writing Prompts

education · standardized tests

Where are we running?

"Race to Nowhere" is a documentary that has been talked about, but has not been widely advertised like "Waiting for Superman" was earlier this year.  From what I've heard, "Race to Nowhere" is the documentary that gets at the heart of the issue with regard to what's happening in our nation's public schools.  Here's a… Continue reading Where are we running?

education · standardized tests

An Education Reform Article Worth Reading

Everywhere I turn these days, I seem to be faced with another article about education reform.  From Time Magazine to The New York Times, it seems everyone is covering education a lot more than they used to... or perhaps it's just that I'm paying more attention than I used to because I'm shocked about the… Continue reading An Education Reform Article Worth Reading