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No More Easy Button: A Suggested Approach to Post-Pandemic Teaching

…possible so we can make the most of our time in person. Assessment More feedback, fewer grades: A letter grade will never help a student grow the way specific, timely feedback will. But grades are so much quicker to give, so we fall back on them. We also might give a lot of grades because our schools or districts require a certain number of points or letter grades to be posted on a regular basis. If we want higher quality learning to happen in our schools, we need to move away from grades and toward feedback as much as we…

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CommonLit: An Online Library of Free Texts

…at the edge of their cognitive reach. For that kind of study, many teachers prefer shorter pieces, and finding these is no easy task. That’s where CommonLit comes in. An online library of free literary and informational texts, CommonLit helps teachers quickly locate leveled texts that fit into a lesson or unit, assess student understanding, generate discussion, and even pair the texts with other media, all in one free platform. It’s an ideal tool for grades 5-12 but would also work for advanced students in the lower grades. (Update, January 2018: CommonLit now has over 60 reading passages for grades 3-4….

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7 Systems that Work for Outside-the-Box Learners

…online grading portal and check all grades. Look at the details: Are there incomplete grades? Missing grades? If the teacher hasn’t been inputting grades on a regular basis, recent grades may not be available. Check with the teacher if you need more recent grades. 5. Self Advocacy Make an actual appointment to see the teacher in person. Although teachers make themselves available to students for help, and struggling students may intend to see them for it, in reality they often forget or put it off. For that reason, Perler recommends students agree on a time to meet with the teacher,…

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Episode 207 Transcript

…amounted to being removed from the team temporarily, with the threat of permanent removal if the grade was not brought up. Both teachers were clearly struggling with the situation. One of them said to me, “If we’re gonna have a policy like this, we have to enforce it or it means nothing. But if he loses football, ALL of his grades are going to go down. It’s the only thing keeping him on track.”  I still don’t remember what they decided to do. Part of me thinks they made an exception — either negotiating with the teacher in question to…

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Self-Paced Learning: How One Teacher Does It

…results to identify which learning targets each student has already mastered, and which ones they still need to learn. [Note: Natalie’s school uses standards-based grading, but that’s not a strict requirement for this system. You could still record mastery of learning targets in the standards-based style and convert those measurements to traditional grades. To learn how, see Matt Townsley’s video on converting standards-based indicators to letter grades.] Step 5: Help Students Identify Standards to Master Giving each student a Chapter Guide, have them mark which standards they have already mastered—based on pre-test results—and which ones they still need to learn….

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9 Ways Online Teaching Should be Different from Face-to-Face

…different requirements about grades or no grades, pass and fail,” Kitchen says. “This whole environment really needs to be supported by communication and connection. If I’m to receive an A or a 95 or a 65, that doesn’t necessarily tell me as much as verbal feedback or print feedback to what I’m doing right, what I can improve on.” So when teaching remotely, put the emphasis on formative feedback as students work through assignments and tasks, rather than simply grading them at the end.  Most learning management platforms, like Google Classroom, have built-in features for giving feedback. Use these as…

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13 Stunning Places to Publish Student Art and Writing

…submissions from students in grades 8-11 are considered for two full scholarships to Walnut Hill’s residential summer writing program. Illustration by Taylor Stevens Canvas editor-selected Age Range: 13-18 Accepts: fiction, poetry, plays, creative nonfiction, new media, cross-genre, art Website Submission Guidelines for Writers Submission Guidelines for Artists Published four times a year and run by an all-student editorial board, Canvas publishes high-quality student writing and cover art in a variety of formats: online, pdf, ebooks, and print books. Something else cool: They also feature sound files of authors reading their work and some video interviews with authors. Canvas has only…

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Graphic Novels in the Classroom: A Teacher Roundtable

…comic or graphic novel. Total engagement from start to finish for reluctant readers, first-time readers, and students who had already read the book but now had to read with a different purpose. Jeff Wilson Goodreads Best Graphic Novels for Children: American Library Association: Graphic Novels Reading List Grades 3-5: American Library Association: Graphic Novels Reading List Grades 6-8: Jaime Thank you for all the great information and resources! Teaching with the use of graphic novels has been on my mind for some time now (coincidentally). However, I am a High school Science teacher and struggle with finding…

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Teaching Students to Avoid Plagiarism

…across. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again. John W I think its a behavior issue and needs to be treated as such. It also is best as a school policy that everyone carries out consistently. Rose Warrell Could you use these lessons with 4th Graders? Debbie Sachs Hi Rose! Jenn’s Avoiding Plagiarism mini-unit is geared for grades 7-12, however, I think many of the strategies can work really well with most grades. I’d just modify the lessons (i.e. length…

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