Monthly Archives: January 2015

3 Heads Up On School Testing And ESEA

Education news is a buzz with talk of the federal government taking up the issue of reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
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The issue will continue to be a hot one over the months to come, so here are three “heads up” on the conversation surrounding it:

Heads Up #1
I caught an interview on NPR’s morning radio the other day with Anya Kamenetz, the author of the book, The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed With Standardized Testing, but You Don’t Have to Be.

In it she outlines the changes all schools have felt since the years that No Child Left Behind introduced high stakes testing for schools across the country. Continue reading

Jazzing Up Announcements: 5 Steps To Publishing a Powtoon

Our school has a large screen in the commons area where we keep a slideshow going of our latest school announcements.


I know some great programs exist for creating cool slides, but I have been impressed with the free program available through powtoon.com. Continue reading

Research Supports Positive Engagement: 5 Ways To Improve Yours

When I was teacher, I would often hear my students talk about their other instructors. It didn’t take long to discover who were the superstars.
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They were the ones whose lessons were both rigorous and engaging–the ones who greeted students at the door, embedded class routines, differentiated learning, assessed meaningfully, and provided constant feedback.

These educators weren’t perfect, but they were engaged.

Lessons From Industry Research
I was taking a look at Gallop Poll’s 2013 State of the American Workplace.

In it Gallop’s researchers reviewed over 25 million responses in their analysis of 100 million American workers. Continue reading

Chasing Dreams And Catching Moons

During Christmas break, we visited my Tennessee family. Our kids enjoyed cousins, and we reveled in time together and making new memories. 
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When I was growing up, I loved the quiet adventures of roaming through the backwoods behind our house. One of the joys of having a nine-year-old son is recapturing my own moments of childhood by watching him grow.

I still love the outdoors, and Jack keeps me coming back to some of my old haunts.

The other day we set off for the beaver dam that stretches across the swamp southeast from the house. With walking sticks and thick boots, we edged our ways across mud, logs and through brambles…We slowly inched our way across the few hundred yards of dam. Continue reading