How to ramp up formative assessment and improve achievement

The time has come for educators to change the way they think about assessment. The old-fashioned "sage on a stage" approach is no longer viable in today's interconnected world. To create deep, meaningful learning outcomes, teachers need to rethink how they use assessments and what types of tasks...

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Simple Classroom Space Changes That Make a World of Difference

By Karen Terwilliger

When deciding to set up learning centers, teachers might feel they need to make a huge change in the look of the classroom for it to work. They might feel like the task is too big and takes too much time to do. These limiting thoughts might discourage teachers from even...

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Become a Guide on the Side with Student Learning Centers

By Starr Sackstein

Too often, when I walked into secondary classrooms as an instructional coach or leader, I was disheartened to find students sitting in rows, not truly engaging with the material being presented. It was evident that the teachers loved their content and some students loved...

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Addressing Pushback About Learning Centers in Secondary Classrooms

 

 By Starr Sackstein

Secondary teachers love their content and are already struggling to cover the curriculum in the time they have. Sometimes that means they worry about sacrificing precious class time for students to engage with content in a way that allows for a more differentiated...

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Powerful Assessment Through Simple Visuals

In my recent Edutopia article, “Drawings as Formative Assessment”, I promote the use of drawings as assessments because of the insights they offer teachers about what students do and do not understand. 

As I read through the comments on the Facebook post of the article, I...

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Tossing Out Traditional Grades: Gaining Buy-In and Open Communication

When making a big change like throwing out grades, many people will not “get it” and may push back in ways that impede the progress of students.

Schools and colleges have supported the traditional grading system for far too long, making it challenging to suggest this seemingly...

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How a pandemic has exposed education's flaws and cleared paths to massive change

By Mark Barnes

Teachers and school leaders sacrificed so much during a global pandemic. A tsunami of issues came hurtling their way, but they stood on the shore, dug in their heels, and would not be moved.

They embraced the Zoom age, hybrid teaching, and remote learning, while constantly...

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Limiting Quit Points: Supporting Students in Creative Ways

Trying to account for the individual needs of diverse learners is one of the most significant challenges for educators.

Even when teachers use dynamic resources and offer active learning opportunities, some students will be bored or fall behind.

We all learn differently, and our success in the...

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Shifting The Grades Mindset

Traditional grading has been ingrained in American educational culture for more than a century. Because of the culture of grades that has emerged, we have lost sight of what is important in school: the learning.

Too many students, parents, and educators focus excessively on labeling learning...

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Understanding Why Students Quit

We all spend a lot of time praising traits like hard work, determination, perseverance, and grit—and noting their importance in overcoming any challenge or obstacle. Whether in the classroom, office, or on the athletic field, we know these are the elements of achievement and success.

...

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