Monday, October 3, 2011


I've read a couple interesting posts/articles the last couple days. This isn't really unusual; I seem to do this on a fairly regular basis. You know, read stuff. Anyway, it is the content of these particular pieces that has me thinking. Thinking about HOW we teach what we do, and WHY we do it these ways.

Beyond this new information, there has been a lot of discussion at my school over the last six months centered around standardized grading and standards-based teaching methods.

Sometimes what gets lost in the debate over the merits of the 'flipped' classroom, allowing retakes and other educational issues is the simple fact that thoughtfulness is so extremely important. Worried that students will not study enough for the first testing go-around and take advantage of multiple retakes? Develop a thorough process students must go through to achieve ONE retake; make them prove they have evaluated what standards they are not proficient at yet, how they plan (with your support) to gain the needed knowledge, what sacrifices they are willing to make - before- and after-school help, lunchtime sessions, etc. - to reach this goal before they can have another crack at a retake. Worried that the 'flipped' classroom idea isn't a good one - not for you or other staff at your school? Again, think. Best practices still apply. Students still need to be engaged, the chance to problem-solve, collaborate, and apply content in various forms. Simply replacing a lecture format upheld by outdated teaching principals won't change too much...I liked what the author of the blog entry on the 'flipped' classroom had to say about this. It's exactly what this is all about - thoughtfulness.

Finally, I read an article written by Alfie Kohn last week - complete with snark - regarding some of the popular phrases teachers can say over time. Granted there's plenty of sarcasm, and probably extreme in some cases, but in a fun way it just drives home the point: thoughtfulness in what we do is important!

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