Counterintuitive Ways to Improve Test Scores

Counterintuitive Ways to Improve Test Scores

I teach a course that ends with a big standardized exam at the end. The first few years I taught it, I used to do test prep by the book. I gave my students a sample exam each quarter. They had 42 minutes to complete 40 of the 55 multiple-choice questions and I counted the results as a test grade. As a class, we would review the questions the following day, sometimes in small-group breakdowns, sometimes as whole-class instruction. The two weeks before the exam we were in full-on, test-prep mode, drilling and killing. I thought I was preparing them for the rigors of the exam. I thought I was exposing them to college-level work. I thought this was a sound instructional practice. … Read more…

The True Value of a Book

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Community IN THE (6)

Sometimes as teachers we do a poor job of selling the value of reading.

I know I’ve been guilty in the past.

I told students they had to read because there was a test later in the week. I told them they had to read because we were going over that section the next day.  I told them they had to read because the book that was assigned was an important book that they needed to read in order to be a part of the cultural conversation at large.

Yet, until recently I never told students that a book could be worth billions.  Some of the wealthiest and most influential people of our time have been inspired by a book.  Here are three examples. … Read more…

Take Control of Your Professional Development: How Every Teacher Can Find Their Tribe

Teacher Professional Development

The Terrible Logic

Every teacher deserves better than the one-size fits all style of PD that they get spoon fed a handful of times each year.

You know what I’m talking about, the type where a faculty is herded into the auditorium after school and a speaker is chomping at the bit to lecture for an hour. Or, a one-day workshop is planned in which a consultant comes in, hands out some packets, offers ideas and possible solutions, and then gets the heck out of Dodge, never to be seen or heard from again.

I know I’m painting a pretty bleak picture of what PD looks like. It may not be true for you but it is true for a lot of teachers. The numbers bear this out. … Read more…