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Common Core can help overcome math phobia

There will continue to be those who oppose the Common Core standards because, in the end, they just oppose standards.  But in this piece by two Cleveland teachers explains the math standards in an unusually clear and straight way.   (more…)

Here’s a great Union Leader report on how NH students are getting exposed to computer coding

As a software business person, maybe I’m biased, but I’m excited about the recent efforts to interest students in computer coding.  Some may turn out to be interested enough to pursue STEM careers but anyone who tries coding will benefit from a deeper understanding of technical matters and the logical construction of things.  Students learn how to dissect and frog – why not learn how to dissect an ap? As the folks at code.org, say, learning to code can “help students develop creativity, confidence, and problem-solving – which help in all information age careers.” (more…)

Fox News in Arizona does the Common Core…right!

Here’s an authentic bit of information about the Common Core math standards from Fox10 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Play the video.  It’s short and to the point.  And you hear from Bill McCallum, an author of the Common Core math standards, what they’re all about. (more…)

Are we allowing children to “make up their own meaning?”

Here’s a sentence from a longer comment from “Jane,” a retired “35 year teacher.”  She was commenting on this post about the great teaching going on in Rochester schools:

“Let me remind you that if these children are engaging in constructivist learning they’re making up their own meaning for the text and that is somehow acceptable.”

Jane knew I wouldn’t post her comment and she was right.  It was just too full of bile and insults.  But I do want to address her real point because it is the kind of misunderstanding you hear a lot.

There’s a good discussion of what Jane is talking about in a journal for the folks who develop curriculums for public schools.  The article itself is pretty long, so I’ve pulled out some highlights: (more…)

Rochester teachers Melissa Cunliffe and Sara Cantrell talk about competency based learning and New Hampshire’s new assessment strategy

As one of New Hampshire’s four PACE school districts, Rochester is ground zero for working out the future New Hampshire public education, giving children the opportunity to learn in their own way.  But Rochester’s educators and their leadership are not being shown a new way to teach; they are building new ways for their children to learn, from the ground up.

To see how it’s going, I spent yesterday with the wonderful Maple Street Magnet School principal Robin Brown visiting five schools at every grade level.  I came away amazed at how completely this 4,300 student district and its 346 teachers have committed to their new path. (more…)

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