Tag: Student Motivation

Authenticity, Duplicity, and the Philadelphia 76ers

As a Latin teacher, I struggle with creating authentic learning experiences. Most authentic Roman cultural experiences would get me reprimanded or fired. Authentic Latin literature? I teach beginning Latin to middle school students. Yesterday a student put verb endings on a noun. I am, however, an authentic teacher. If I am to be truly authentic

Good “Technogogy”: Using Task Challenges and Student Choice to drive Meaningful Learning in any Environment

COVID-19 has challenged us to re-envision education. Every aspect of “best practice” is currently up for re-examination and debate, from current academic practices to recommendations on how to best develop meaningful curriculum to how to cultivate meaningful relationships with students/families. In the process, we have also discovered that it is not enough to make education

Assessing with Instructional Integrity Before, During and After the Pandemic

Using a simple checklist can help educators design quality assessments When Ken O’Connor’s daughter was in 7th grade, she was given an assignment that included a detailed rubric. He spent time with her unpacking the rubric so that she understood the expectations. After much hard work, she produced what he thought to be an excellent

Wayside Teaching Revisited

Revisiting the value of informal teaching beyond planned instruction. Wayside teaching was first introduced in the May 1987 “As I See It” column in the Middle School Journal—30 years ago. Here is a slightly modified version of it, particularly for all those educators who came to the middle school more recently. Formal, organized instruction is

Taking it Old School: A Screen Time Interruption

For at least a half dozen years I have proudly proclaimed on my website and in webinars that I have a 99% paperless classroom, so you might be surprised to learn that I spent my lunchtime on Friday photocopying packets. My students are fatigued by the thing that used to make my classroom “cool” and

The Hidden Curriculum of Middle School

Two years ago our school underwent a reorganization to create a designated middle school. Previously the school was split into two parts: Lower School which included Montessori sixth grade and Upper School which was grades 7 through 12. Administrators recognized the differences in the middle grades and a new principal was hired to oversee the