Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Teacher's Sign of Success

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher ... is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.’” –Maria Montessori

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Common Core State Standards and Rigor, Part Two

Monday, I posted a link to a short article on the Common Core and Rigor.  For those interested in more depth, click here for a while paper.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Rigor and the Common Core: Just the Beginning

Does the Common Core handle all your challenges with rigor?  Check out my newest article, Rigor and the Common Core State Standards: Just the Beginning to see.  Here's an excerpt:

The foundation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a focus on rigor. Developed in the midst of perceptions about lowered expectations for our students, the Standards provided a well defined set of expectations for each grade level in the areas of English/Language Arts, Literacy and Math.  The standards set rigorous benchmarks, but the impact on student learning will depend on the implementation of the standards.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Today's Inspiration

"The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in your life, you will get more satisfaction from the
pleasure you have brought into other people's lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them." –Rabbi Harold Kushner

(photo by imelechon)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Great source of math lesson plans

Monday I gave you lesson plans for reading and writing, today it's math!  From the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, here are lessons for all grade levels and topics. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Resources for English/Language Arts

From the International Reading Association, a huge database of reading, writing, and thinking activities for grades K-12.  It's searchable by grade, topic, etc.  Enjoy!

 (Photo by imelechon)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Making a difference...One at a time

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,
“Well, I made a difference to that one!”
Picture by schick

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Core Math Tools for High School

Have you heard of core math tools from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics?

Core Math Tools is a downloadable suite of interactive software tools for algebra and functions, geometry and trigonometry, and statistics and probability. The tools are appropriate for use with any high school mathematics curriculum and compatible with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in terms of content and mathematical practices. Java required.

For more information and the download, click here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Common Core and Close Reading

Close Reading is one of the key components of the Common Core State Standards.  I really like this overview from ASCD.

Essentially, close reading means reading to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) supplies clarification useful for teaching with Common Core standards in mind:

Close, analytic reading stresses engaging with a text of sufficient complexity directly and examining meaning thoroughly and methodically, encouraging students to read and reread deliberately. Directing student attention on the text itself empowers students to understand the central ideas and key supporting details. It also enables students to reflect on the meanings of individual words and sentences; the order in which sentences unfold; and the development of ideas over the course of the text, which ultimately leads students to arrive at an understanding of the text as a whole. (PARCC, 2011, p. 7)

For the rest of the article, including three tips for working with close reading, click here

Friday, April 5, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What is the key?

What is the key to successful student learning?  There are many answers, but they all start with this:  a positive relationship between the student and teacher.  What's your relationship with your students?
(photo by mconners)