Making recall tasks complicated is not “complexity”


Proving a point I’ve been trying to make for a while about CCSS ELA, Tom Hoffman takes a look at his daughter’s homework:

Of course, the right answer is “Was that there yesterday?” which you’d know if you read the text. Really the problem is just that the question does not refer specifically to the text. I guess what is creepy about this one is that I understand that part of schooling is giving banal answers to banal questions. But conditioning kids — and I mean “conditioning” — to bubble in “citations” as banal answers to serious, open-ended philosophical questions like “What kind of questions can art make you ask?” is… disturbing.

Week in Class: Week Three 2014


Number 3
I missed out posting for Week 2, but things were pretty similar in both Week 3 so this will do for both weeks…
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Week in Class Week One 2014


40 number 1 hits,
Due to family concerns, I’ve not been able to do as much writing as I would have liked in August, but I did want to share about my great first week of teaching. Read the rest of this entry »

End of Year Reflection on ELA, History and Science: 2013-14


What do I know – my weekly assessments, my unit planning

I have been using Understanding by Design planning for over five years. It’s taken me about that long to use it somewhat effectively.  There are things I still need to work on. Here is my planning for last year. I think the connection between my goals (understandings and knowledge) and the assessment (especially the knowledge part) needs tightening. I can see looking back at my plans that not everything gotten to.

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Is the glass half full?


Gratification Paradox
Student: My school district hires too many white teachers – The Washington Post is a really thoughtful first-person piece from a student in the New Orleans school system that was posted in a private teacher discussion group which I’m part of. Since it’s a private group, I’m going to talk pretty generally about that aspect of it. When I first looked at the discussion I thought it looked pretty good. Lot’s of folks talking pretty seriously about the subject. The glass looked half-full, to me. Read the rest of this entry »

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