Game of Thrones teaches us about Essential Questions

June 18, 2015
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In one of the many articles analyzing Season 5 of Game of Thrones, Washington Post writer Alyssa Rosenberg provides us with 4 great examples of what educators often refer to as "essential questions." Rosenberg's questions are: Can you roll back religious fundamentalism? Is there any force, be it a long winter or the threat of ice zombies, that can make […]

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Interactions with teens; low-key often works best

June 6, 2015
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"Mr. Bledsoe, do you have any tissues?" Seems like a fairly ordinary question, right? It wasn't. Up until a few months ago, the area right outside my classroom was blissfully deserted before school. There were several kids who hung out down the hall outside other teachers' classrooms, but nobody gathered outside mine and I was […]

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My new book, “Flip Your Classroom, Then Flip It Again”

January 31, 2015
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It's true, I just wrote a book so for all of you who have been clamoring for it (hi Mom!), here you go. It's called Flip Your Classroom, Then Flip It Again: How to Implement One Simple Tweak to Radically Improve Your Teaching (And Your Life) . You can get it as an ebook from Amazon, or […]

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Your teen doesn’t know how to use Google, and she can’t spell “diabetes”

January 29, 2015
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Two encounters with students from the past week: A few days ago I gave my classes a take-home quiz that involved answering questions about my class website. I told them that they could pick up some extra-credit points on their next test if, instead of submitting their typed quiz answers via email, they created a […]

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Aldi vs. Lowes Foods

January 25, 2015
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I had the opportunity to shop at the new Aldi grocery store that just opened across the street from our neighborhood Lowes Foods last week (at the corner of Timber and Aversboro for you locals), and the prices were so noticeably lower I thought I'd do a direct comparison. I bought a total of 34 […]

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Group work, only better

October 16, 2014
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Last week my high school math classes did their first group work activity of the year, and it went much better than it ever has. The level of engagement in all the groups was very high, the behavioral functioning of the groups was excellent, and the math conversations taking place were impressive. Here are three reasons why I think things went […]

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“I, We, You” vs. “You, Y’all, We”

August 7, 2014
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In a fascinating article "Why Do Americans Stink at Math," Elizabeth Green explores, among other things, the recent history of math education in the US, and talks a little about a fairly well-known traditional teaching technique known as "I, We, You." Most American math classes follow the same pattern, a ritualistic series of steps so ingrained that one researcher termed it […]

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Learning to get along with the lifeguard

July 27, 2014
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A lot of what you do as a lifeguard, just like as a teacher, is enforce rules. It's understood that you're the authority figure at the pool and that part of your job is to tell people not to run on the deck, or no diving in the shallow end. Most people are generally okay […]

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The evolution of a video lesson

May 26, 2014
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Here's a brief description of how I used a bunch of great stuff I found online to create two video lessons for the probability unit in my math class (Common Core Math, Year 2). 1. What did I want? I wanted my students to learn how to use probability tree diagrams to model and solve […]

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What I have to say to this year’s high school graduates

May 17, 2014
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Apparently when you get selected as the Garner Magnet High School Teacher of the Year, one of the things you have get to do is say a few words at the Honors Convocation, which is kind of like a mini-graduation ceremony for all of that year's honors graduates (the ones who have a 3.3 or […]

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