Home » Reflections

Teach Them to Fail

There is much to be said about the benefit of failing, especially at a young age. Unfortunately, the “bubble of parental protection” can at times give students (and teachers) a false sense of proficiency, resulting in failure of a summative assessment. Productive struggle and early failure are vital to the learning process, build character and perseverance, and must become the norm.

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You’ll Never Have a Multiplication Unit in Life

Often, we teach math skills in partitioned silos, inadvertently teaching our students to compartmentalize their thoughts, effectively hampering/shutting off their critical-thinking and ability to reason.

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Start With the Heart

Too often, narratives are bogged down in introductions full of superfluous info, causing the heartbeat of their story to flatline because they rushed both it and the conclusion.

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As You Think, So They Are

What if we use confirmation bias and the self-fulfilling prophecy to our advantage? What if we believe in our students’ ability to meet high social and academic standards?

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Breaking Bread – Lunch with Students

We sit outside on the picnic bench under the eaves in the school courtyard and chat about life. I ask silly questions like, “If you had to eat one thing for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?”

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Shifting Our Mathematical Mindsets

As the PD started, we were asked to write down three words to represent thoughts or emotions we had about our own math experiences when we were young students. My words? Confused, frustrated, and bored.

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Have a Big Ask

Shawn Seeley
2 mins ·
I started to dream better investigations for students to conduct, which would replace the ones designed by the curriculum. I just needed the money to do it…

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Step Away from the Book…

I did something I normally don’t do: I had students read from the text book and then fill out the provided worksheet (gross). It was toward the end of the day, and I watched their eyes glaze over and shoulders slump. When that day ended, I decided I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I needed to find a way to take this by-the-book science curriculum, and make it engaging.

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It’s Time to Do Away with Timed Tests and Times Tables

The way Americans have traditionally learned math can be likened to cooking a Betty Crocker cake. I learned math as a set of steps to take—rules and facts to be memorized—a recipe to follow.

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Empathetic Reading

As I thought about these two questions, the answers were enlightening and a bit unnerving. No, over the past two years of teaching, I was not reading enough children’s literature to make solid recommendations to my students. No, my colleagues and I have never (to my knowledge) got together to discuss matching kids and books. Ouch.

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