New Job and First Day of School Jitters

September 8, 2013


The first day of school always brings on the jitters, it doesn’t fail; year after year after year.  I love that feeling of a new school year: I loved it as a  student and as a teacher (although truth be told, there was certainly a lot of anxiety as a teacher).  I don’t think I’ve […]

I stand to correct myself on these layoffs

June 19, 2013


I was recently briefly interviewed by our local Public Radio station, WHYY about the layoffs here in Philadelphia.  Specifically, how I felt about them and about the website I have been contributing towards called  The subsequent article is good; you can read it here. The article quotes me a few times and I am embarrassed at my […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

I’ve been laid off – my first steps and thoughts

June 8, 2013


I’ve been fired – (once) I’ve quit (several times) I’ve never been given a lay off notice… until now. The School District of Philadelphia notified me through the mail that my employment with them has been suspended – in essence, I’ve been laid off. So, I’m sharing this with you all because I feel overwhelmed by […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Some thoughts on Homework (and rubrics)

May 25, 2013


The role of homework is always elusive to me: it has so many roles and you really need to be careful about what the purpose of each assignment really is.  For example, homework can be used as practice time, study time, reflective time, prep-ing time for the next class and even for down-time.  Then the issue of […]

Posted in: Methods, PBL, Rubrics

History is complicated; so is doing research on it

May 9, 2013


After writing this post I realized that I will need a part II to discuss how to build inquiry and scaffold actual research skills into a lesson; I’m hoping I can write that post later this week. Over the past year I have been experimenting with helping students use inquiry to do research.  In the […]

Posted in: curriculum, Methods, PBL, projects

Shifting the focus on student voice

April 25, 2013


I visited a public school a few weeks ago where the faculty and community had done a wonderful job of creating structures to support student achievement.   The community and staff built a public school that was completely geared toward supporting a 21st century learning.  They had wonderful public spaces, a schedule that allowed for collaboration, flexibility […]

Posted in: Ed-talk, Pedagogy

Rubrics can really rock

March 31, 2013


Over the past few years I have embraced rubrics more and more.  There is alot of stress for me when it comes to grading an assignment for so many different reasons; rubrics help reduce it for me, and I’m sure, also reduces the stress for students as well.  In the best case scenario, they have […]

Posted in: Methods, projects