Design Teaching

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

With students doing all the modeling, thinking, and heavy lifting.

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Offer for Portals, a PC/Mac game that lets students explore the wonderful world of physics through real-world animation, is free until September 20th. Download it here, now:

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Sep 14 2011

Teaching My Students to Be Teachers

I’m having so much fun. I just spent about an hour and a half teaching some of the top students in my class how to do a demo about states of matter changes so that they can demo it with their classmates. Tomorrow they’re going to practice the demo in my room so that they’re…

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One of the lessons I learned this year, that I did not realize before becoming a teacher, is that trust is paramount to the functioning of an effective school and school system. I teach at a school, for example, that does not give teacher tenure and that does not use last-in, first-out, to determine who…

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It’s incredibly exciting. I’ve spent a good number of hours planning a simple, four day unit on Safety in fifth grade science in which students work in teams to present skits that show scientists how to be safe and how NOT to be safe. Each team has a budget that they need to follow, a…

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Aug 22 2011

Go To Professional Development

As I’m plugging away at my new unit on safety (which will be awesome, by the way), I’m just reminded of how I got to this point after a year of trials and tears, and one of the most important things I think new teachers just HAVE to do is to seek professional development, all…

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…but it’ll be totally worth it. I’ve spent the whole last period, and will spend a little bit of the next as well, setting up my student’s science notebooks. They’re a bit of a work of art, if I do say so myself. The cover of our science notebooks are the words the students chose…

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That’s right, my students. I didn’t think of this until my second class when I realized that paper passing can be really boring. But then, give students the challenge, and then all of a sudden it’s interesting! Guidelines I gave them: – Only one person can ever stand up during the whole procedure – These…

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Aug 15 2011

What’s the Perfect Classroom?

What an amazing, inspiring, day. SO different from my first year teaching, when I walked into my first day of class with absolutely no idea of what to do, where my class and I were going, or what to accomplish. Contrast to my first day when all my students left the class excited to do homework. No joke.

Today my students walked in, and the first thing I had them do was to describe their perfect classroom on a piece of lined paper. “How do you feel?’ “What are you doing?” “How are other people treating you?” I asked. After they had time to reflect for ten minutes, I asked them to turn to their shoulder partner to share what they wrote.

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Please help my classroom earn $913 to purchase two iPod touches. Donate here: My Students: “There are three basic skills that students need if they want to thrive in a knowledge economy: the ability to do critical thinking and problem-solving; the ability to communicate effectively; and the ability to collaborate,” Tony Wagner wrote in…

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Middle School

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