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March 22, 2021
Building Community Through Parallel Process

We Learn Better In Community When a classroom grows into a learning community everyone in the room can sense it. Humans are communal beings and we are drawn to community. When students are active members in a learning community it amplifies engagement, accountability, and learning. Transforming classrooms into learning communities is something effective educators must […]

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March 21, 2021
Opting Out = Lost human potential

A Duty To Uncover Potential As educators we have a responsibility to uncover the potential in every student. A no opt policy can aid us in fulfilling this duty. I told the story in this article of a student I observed in a classroom who was allowed to opt out. When asked about this student […]

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March 20, 2021
No Opt Out - You Matter Too Much!

Students Want To Engage A few years ago I was visiting a high school and had the opportunity to observe a class and watched the following story unfold. While the teacher was starting class, with a lecture (yawn), a student walked in tardy. What I found interesting is that this teacher did not acknowledge the […]

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March 19, 2021
We Missed You! It’s Not the Same When You are Gone!

“Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her.” Urie Bronfenbrenner Absent and Struggling Over the past 20 years of teaching I have identified a trend when working with some of my most challenging students - they were often the students who were either chronically truant or occasionally absent […]

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March 18, 2021
Talking About Generation

“GENERATION has the effect of making the mind more receptive to new learning…What is it? Generation is an attempt to answer a question or solve a problem before being shown the answer or the solution.” Brown, Reedier, McDaniel, make it stick: The Science of Successful Learning The Promise of the First Two Minutes of Class […]

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March 17, 2021
As Teachers, Our Words Matter

Openers and Closers When I was first creating Organized Binder the first aspect that coalesced was the Weekly Lifeline. It became clear to me that my students would be more successful if I provided a clear starting and ending routine that both maximized class time for teaching and learning while giving my students daily practice […]

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March 16, 2021
Helping Students Know What It Looks Like When They Are Ready to Learn

When I started teaching I worked at a Title 1 school that served a diverse student population. Many of my students struggled to engage in their schooling and were plagued with a history of academic failure. I teach high school and by the time students reached my classroom many of them had been turned off […]

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March 15, 2021
Don’t just recover learning. Empower future learning.

I received an email this morning that read, “The most current research indicates that staff, family, and student social and emotional wellness; equity in education; and learning/academic recovery should be our highest priorities as we transition back to learning recovery and acceleration (remediate “learning loss”).” I agree wholeheartedly but I would like to embellish this […]

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March 14, 2021
Why I Stand At My Classroom Door High-Fiving Students

It is 8am, I am standing outside my classroom door high-fiving students as they arrive at school. For many of my students school is a struggle. I am at the door with a smile on my face every morning, and before every class, to try my best to make them feel welcome. If you were […]

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March 13, 2021
Do You Think There Should Be A Noncognitive Budget? I Do!

As an industry we invest a significant amount of funding to facilitate and assess the teaching of content. As teachers, we deliver content and students are tested on how much they know. That is the paradigm, right? As I posed in this article, we know that when students develop noncognitive skills and executive functions they […]

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