Katrina Schwartz

How the Google Suite Can Enhance Open-Ended Math Exploration

Stanford education professor Jo Boaler’s message about teaching math in visual ways that don’t emphasize one right procedure has become a rallying cry for many math educators ready for a seismic shift in how American schools teach mathematics. But her ideas also challenge much of what has been done in classrooms for decades, including the ways that current teachers and parents learned themselves.

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A Whole School Approach to Behavior Issues

When Michael Essien became an administrator at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Middle School in San Francisco it was immediately apparent that he needed to help teachers get behavior issues under control. If students acted out in class, teachers sent them to an in-school detention, where they waited for disciplinary action. Pretty soon, any kid who struggled with a lesson was trying to get sent to detention, thus avoiding challenging work that might be embarrassing. Essien could see too many kids were not learning in this dysfunctional system.

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A Literacy-Based Strategy to Help Teachers Integrate Science Skills

Many elementary school teachers love to teach reading and writing, but are less comfortable with science and math. It’s not a hard and fast truth, of course, but learning to read is a big focus of the early school years, so it makes sense that teachers who gravitate toward elementary school like teaching literacy.

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Normalize Setbacks By Asking Your Kids For Advice When You Struggle

A lot of parents are worried about helping their children get ahead in a world that feels increasingly competitive, demanding, and high-stakes.

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When Schools Forgo Grades: An Experiment In Internal Motivation

Lots of factors affect whether and what students learn in school, but most often that conversation gets boiled down into a single letter grade, a symbol of everything a student knows or doesn’t know. Because grades are often required, and easy to understand, they have become the focus for many parents, teachers and students.

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What’s The Middle Ground Between Grammar And Voice When Teaching Writing?

There’s very little research on how to effectively teach writing and few pre-service teachers explicitly learn how to teach it in credentialing programs. And yet good writing has become a central skill for most subject areas, including math and science, where teachers are now asking students to explain their thinking. Many teachers use model texts and writing assignments rooted in students’ lived experiences to give kids practice writing. Proponents of this approach say too much focus on grammar and sentence structure stunts the individual’s voice.

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Are Grades Diverting Focus From Real Learning?

Grades sometimes feel like a necessary evil. They are a shorthand measure of how a student is performing in school, but too often the pressure to earn good grades becomes the sole focus for students and parents.

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MIT’s Scratch Program Is Evolving For Greater, More Mobile Creativity

Mitch Resnick has been working on how to give students new avenues of creative expression for over a decade. His Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab develops Scratch, one of the most popular coding programs for kids, which is based on the seminal work of Seymour Papert, who died in 2016.

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Why It’s Imperative Educators Resist The Lure Of The Single Story

The education world is full of assumptions, many of which aren’t helpful to improving the quality of teaching and learning that happens in schools. The narratives from outside the industry can be harmful, but perhaps less obvious are the single stories of students and teachers told within the industry.

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7 Questions Principals Should Ask When Hiring Future-Ready Teachers

Every year thousands of educators gather for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference eager to learn about the newest features in favorite apps and to glean ideas from one another about how to effectively teach in new ways. The conference seems to grow every year and there is palpable excitement from educators who finally get to commune with their “tribe” — techy teachers from around the globe.

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