A Real Audience

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Lately I have been thinking about audience and purpose, and how critical an issue this is to education. As a high-school English teacher, I liked to post Essential Questions on my wall that were used as anchors for content and skills throughout the course. One of them is, “When I write or speak, who is my audience and what […]

From Teacher to Coach

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This summer I find myself in a strange position; for the first time in almost fifteen years, I am not preparing my classes for the coming year. I will be leaving the classroom for a full time position as a high school instructional coach. I first read about instructional coaching in a New Yorker article by […]

Genius Hour is Genius Part 1

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I first heard about Genius Hour via Twitter, and I was intrigued. Anything that allows students to be highly engaged in their own learning gets my attention. I did a little research on it, and most of what I have found is geared towards elementary and middle-school students. I modified some existing resources I found […]

5 Ways to Reduce Your Grading Time

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Some tricks I have invented, heard of, or stolen over the years to help me reduce my grading time. 1. Frontload: do as much formative assessment as possible. The paradox is that it can be more efficient and effective to use the first third of class time to assess students’ work and give brief, specific feedback […]

Advice for New Teachers

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The thirteen things I wish I’d known when I started teaching ten years ago: (Why 13? Because it’s my lucky number!) Don’t do anything but assess the first month of the school year. I only discovered this wonderful piece of advice in the last couple years, and it has really changed my teaching. Instead of […]