You’re gonna have to get over yourself

October 19, 2015

One of the best stories I've heard in a long time is from a podcast called Risk, which I started listening to a few months ago. Fair warning, a lot of their stories are pretty raw, including some with graphic sexuality and stories of abuse, but this one is just a great story from a woman […]

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Teaching math is harder than it looks

October 10, 2015
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Last week I had the opportunity to visit a 7th grade math class in an alternative school. Lots of school districts have at least one school like this, in which all the students are there because they've had some sort of difficulty at their "regular" school. Often the kids have been suspended for behavioral reasons, […]

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What does good teaching look like?

September 27, 2015
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I had just met a history teacher, Mr. D, in the teacher's lounge. He had stopped by the microwave during his planning period and we were engaged in the kind of casual chit-chat that I often engage in with teachers in my role as a new instructional coach at their school. I'll ask about their school, their classes, […]

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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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