Driving Down the [Wrong or Right] Road

PaperCoverEvery once-in-a-while you come across and article or book that really gets you thinking. As you read you find yourself engaged in a conversation between the article and your experience and you start to nod your head as arguments resonate with you. I’ve recently found an article that sparks just such a reaction with me. It’s a couple of years old and you might have read it. In fact, I vaguely can recall hearing about some of the language of it in the not-too-distant past. Nonetheless, this article was new to me and made quite the impression.

The prolific Michael Fullan, of Ontario education fame, did some work in Australia and as part of that work he employed his construct of “Drivers” of change as a way of thinking about systemic reform. It has been published as: Choosing the wrong drivers for whole system reform (Centre for Strategic Education, 2011). You should read it. Continue reading

Guiding Principle #7 of the Responsive Classroom®

Over the past 6 OCM BOCES’ Responsive Classroom blogs, I have been sharing the guiding principles behind the approach and its 10 teaching practices. This blog entry will focus on the final principle.  Principle 7:  How the adults at school work together is as important as our individual competence.

In the Responsive Classroom we believe “that meaningful and lasting change for the better in our schools requires good working relationships. Children are always watching.  The Responsive Classroom approach is a way of thinking not only about teaching, but also about human interaction.  The principles and approaches apply to all of us in our daily lives.  Lasting change is the business of relationship between adults.” (NEFC, 2008-Presenter’s Handbook) Continue reading

The Weight of the Nation for Kids

Last year HBO worked with the nation’s leading research institutions, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to produce a documentary series called The Weight of the Nation on the obesity epidemic. The Weight of the Nation spotlighted the facts and myths of the obesity crisis and its effect on our nation and health care system. Continue reading

Historical Thinking ≠ Do As I Say, Not As I Do

We are in the penultimate month of the school year which means it’s almost time for self-reflection, but not yet!  Let’s wait until June for the looking back/looking forward post.  This will be another abbreviated post as we are just finishing up regional scoring of New York State Assessments and, after checking thousands of bubble sheets, it’s hard to think at all, much less think historically, but let’s give it a try…

TimelineAt our Teaching American History meeting this month, Dr. Randi Storch of SUNY Cortland challenged us to question the periodization of history present in most standards and curriculum documents for American History.  Continue reading

Celebration of Moments Large and Small: A Gift from a Student Teacher in Australia

Collin“In the United States, teacher turnover for most districts is close to 20 percent, with higher rates in urban districts and for new teachers.  Instability poses challenges to student achievement and district budgets.” (Education Update ASCD, March 2013).

This quote from Laura Varlas’ article  was timely in that for the months of January- March, I followed a blog written by a young man fulfilling his student teaching requirement in Australia.  At first, I was interested in learning about Australia and his experiences in the “land down under.”  Continue reading

Close Reading: More Than Another Reading Strategy

5TipsThe Common Core State Standards place a high priority on the close and sustained reading of complex text. Just what is a close reading? This is a topic being discussed among educators in many districts. Everyone seems to have a different understanding of what the term ‘close reading’ entails. The authors of the Common Core state:

Close, sustained reading of complex text “often requires compact, short, self-contained texts that students can read and re-read deliberately and slowly to probe and ponder the meanings of individual words, the order in which sentences unfold, and the development of ideas over the course of the text.” Continue reading

Project-Based Learning: 8 Essentials-PUBLIC AUDIENCES

ChipBooksI recently was reading a blog by Chip Wood, author of A Time To Teach a Time to Learn and Yardsticks and co-founder of the Northeast Foundation for Children, developers of the Responsive Classroom®.  I was excited to see the video he included in his current blog series entitled “The Real ‘Cor’, or Heart, of Common Core: Learning is inside the Student, not the Teacher”.  The video he used was an ELA project-based learning experience called: “Grant Writing: Blending Literature and Community”.  This project includes the Common Core Standards: ELA.RI.11-12.7 ELA.W.11-12.4 ELA.SL.11-12.4. Continue reading