Category Archives: making change

Step Four: Get Admin Behind Your Efforts to #StopGrading

It was fortunate that the moment I decided to stop grading, my assistant principal was sitting right next to me listening to Alfie Kohn make his case against grades in a conference presentation at NCTE in Boston in November of … Continue reading

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Step Two: Design a classroom experience to keep your students working without points #StopGrading

Will students still do the work you assign if you don’t give them points for it? Yes–especially if the work is valuable to them. In the previous post in this series, I outlined what I thought it should mean for … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, blog series, CCSS, fall 2016 blog series, grading, making change, not grading, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

Step One: What’s in a Grade? #StopGrading

For the purposes of keeping this post laser focused, I’m going to briefly describe a few things about how I’ve been going about grading for the last five semesters. I’m planning later posts on these things, but for now here’s … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, assessment, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, grading, making change, not grading, planning | 2 Comments

The English Teacher’s Holy Grail: #StopGrading

Several years ago, one of my students–a junior–ended up with an 89.4% in my class for his second semester grade. He asked me to round up his grade. I explained to him that had he chosen to complete the optional … Continue reading

Posted in #StopGrading, blog series, fall 2016 blog series, grading, making change, not grading | 21 Comments

I asked my students, and here’s what they said worked and didn’t work in my classroom last year

Every spring, I survey my students somehow about their experience in my class so I can work to improve for the following year. This year and last year I landed on a format for this survey that has yielded some … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, CCSS, grading, making change, not grading, planning, reflections, student feedback, using data, workshop teaching, writer's notebooks | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I’m moving to Google Classroom from Schoology

Seems I’m on the hunt for the perfect online home for my classroom. Last summer I wrote with great excitement about my move to Schoology from a Google Site as the home base for my classroom. I had been using … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, making change, muddling through, technology | 5 Comments

My workshop manifesto for the next school year #UNHLit16

As I reflect back over the last three days at #UNHLit16, my mind wants to throw down a manifesto regarding things I’ll focus on to improve my reading/writing workshop classroom for the next school year. (In case you’re keeping track, … Continue reading

Posted in #UNHLit16, colleagues, conferring, engagement, gratitude, making change, on the road again, planning, professional development, reflections, teacher geek moments, teaching, things made of awesome, workshop teaching, writer's notebooks | Leave a comment

Planning a Scaffold #UNHLit16

One Year One Unit One Class This is the planning framework that Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher used today to walk us through their thinking about how to make sure they increase the volume of their students’ reading and writing. It was … Continue reading

Posted in #UNHLit16, collaboration, engagement, literacy, making change, not grading, planning, professional development, reflections, teaching reading, teaching writing, time, workshop teaching | 8 Comments

My core beliefs as a teacher #UNHLit16

Why are you choosing to do what you’re choosing to do? What are your core beliefs as a teacher? @pennykittle @KellyGtoGo That’s something I would have tweeted had I been tweeting during our time today with Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher … Continue reading

Posted in #UNHLit16, colleagues, cultivating real learning, engagement, grading, gratitude, making change, not grading, on the road again, professional development, reflections, teaching, things made of awesome, workshop teaching | Leave a comment

When building a classroom library for reading workshop is not practical

In my incremental movement toward a high school reading/writing workshop classroom, one piece I’ve struggled with is the classroom library. I see photos of Penny Kittle’s classroom library, and I get anxious to create the same for my students. I … Continue reading

Posted in 21st century teaching and learning, literacy, making change, reading, teaching reading, workshop teaching | 1 Comment