Mastery-focused Learning

Blended Learning is a Good Start

Blended Learning is a Good Start, but…

September 12, 2019

A model of personalized learning? I recently visited a school district that  had recently implemented blended learning.  Specifically, teachers were using the station rotation model of blended learning.  It was a clear and welcome departure from the teacher at front, student in rows...

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3 Steps to Eliminate Fs…NO Extra Credit Required

3 Steps to Eliminate Fs…NO Extra Credit Required

September 5, 2019

“Um, Ms. Smith, is there some extra credit I can do to bring my grade up?” Such an annoying question, right?  And yet, many teachers succumb.  They find or create something the student can do to earn a few extra points. Especially when those...

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5 Ways to Help ALL Students Love School

5 Ways to Help ALL Students Love School

August 29, 2019

All kids should love school. Yes, they should.  But we all know that they don’t.  In fact, many hate it. By high school, many students have become disenagaged.  And we’re losing some really bright minds along the way. Jake’s* story: My...

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5 Questions to Get Students Engaged

5 Questions to Get Students Engaged

August 22, 2019

Engagement.  The magic word.  I’ve conducted countless Instructional Rounds, learning walks and other observations focused on engagement. Are kids engaged? It’s a great question.  It’s really THE question. And, unfortunately, all too often the answer is no. Why? Part of it is the...

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Personalize learning with empathy

How to personalize learning? Start with empathy.

July 1, 2019

I recently caught up with a  friend of mine, let’s call her Sheila.  We hadn’t talked in some time and I was glad to catch up on her life and, especially, to hear how her daughter, Carolyn, was doing. A History...

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The Key to Lessening Pressure AND Increasing Rigor

The Key to Lessening Pressure AND Increasing Rigor

January 10, 2016

David Aderhold, a superintendent in New Jersey recently put an end to HS mid-term and final exams in a well-intentioned attempt to ease pressure on increasingly anxious kids–pressure also discussed in this recent NY Times opinion piece and the film Race to Nowhere. Aderhold’s decision...

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