Recalculating: A High School Teacher’s Venture into Standards-Based Grading

Over the past two decades (almost), it would periodically occur to me that the grades I assigned my students did not necessarily reflect their level of skill. Ten points off here. Ten points added there. A zero for this assignment. A 110/100 for that assignment. Such arbitrary numbers, it would seem. But education being what … Continue reading Recalculating: A High School Teacher’s Venture into Standards-Based Grading

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Educator or Barista? A Teacher’s Admission of Doubt

This school year is still toddling around, unsteady on its feet, yet I have already been faced with doubts I was not expecting to have. I spent a great deal of my career in a school that housed one grade level. While this made for a tight-knit community of professionals, it did not offer me … Continue reading Educator or Barista? A Teacher’s Admission of Doubt

Fluff Is Not Good Enough: A Case for Blogging in the Classroom

When most of us reflect on writing in our own high school English classes, we automatically think of essays and research papers, two structures that are notoriously formal and come with a long list of requirements. As a matter of fact, the requirements were so clear when I was a student, I often gave myself … Continue reading Fluff Is Not Good Enough: A Case for Blogging in the Classroom

From the Mouths of Freshmen: 11 Lessons I Learned from My Ninth Graders

As the last assignment of the year, I had my students write a reflection on their first official year as high school students. I wanted to know what they learned, what made them proud, what they regretted, and what I could have done better. As I read their final posts, I laughed, I cried, I … Continue reading From the Mouths of Freshmen: 11 Lessons I Learned from My Ninth Graders

3 Reasons to Keep a Growth Mindset about Design Thinking in the ELA Classroom

I tend to do this thing where I learn about something new and jump right in with both feet before I have time to think it through fully. So it should be no surprise to anyone who knows me well that I tackled incorporating design thinking into my English class pretty much right after I … Continue reading 3 Reasons to Keep a Growth Mindset about Design Thinking in the ELA Classroom

Techin’ in the Classroom: With and without a 1:1 Initiative

My former school system is blessed with an incredible technology team. They work hard to make sure teachers have access to technology and are aware of the newest apps and programs available. And they do this on a very small budget. This XYZ school system operates with computer labs rather than classroom access to computers … Continue reading Techin’ in the Classroom: With and without a 1:1 Initiative