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Sandy Merz

June 4, 2016

The Only Class Rule You'll Ever Need

4 comments

Two and a half years ago, while reading Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess, I made his one class rule: Don't Be Mean, my one class rule. In the more than 2000 class periods since then, I've had to call for administrative help with an unruly student exactly one time. As this year wound down, I asked students to name the best and worst things about the rule. Below are the most representative of their replies. 

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Marcia Powell

May 17, 2016

Sorry, Not Sorry

9 comments

 

I received a great email a few weeks ago.  It called me out, questioned why I was doing something, and told me in no uncertain terms that my efforts were not appreciated.  The frustration was evident, because it was from a 12 year old who did not understand why a designation (gifted, in this case) of a student gave them 'special treatment.' I responded to him and addressed the frustration.  My mistake was in copying another adult.

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William  Tolley

February 13, 2016

Semester Without Grades: An Early Report from the Field

8 comments

This past August I seized the opportunity be an early adopter (read: guinea pig) by requesting that my principal let me pilot a transitional gradeless classroom (our goal is to be a fully standards-based high school within 3-5 years). Six months later, I am emerging from the initial messiness of the process (that stage of cleaning your room when you’ve got your junk in piles all over the place, and can now start folding and filling drawers) so I thought I might share a few reflections in the moment.

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Tricia Ebner

December 28, 2015

Fostering Pride in Work

9 comments

Picture yourself sitting down to look at some student work, final drafts or projects that should showcase what the students now know and understand about their recent studies. Are you expecting polished work that shows not only all the students have learned, but also demonstrates pride in the work because of the care the students have taken to present their work in an attractive, appealing way? How do you foster that kind of pride and care in your students?

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Liz Prather

December 26, 2015

Thoughts from our Blogging Unit II: A New Year's Wish for Compassion

0 comments

During this season of fiery political rhetoric, my students have been looking for models of harmony and compassion. Two stories of every day heroes stand as models for character-driven decisions.  My new year's wish for my students is to always see their own humanity in others with empathy and tolerance for all. 

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