Career Ready Kindergarten

Career Ready Kindergarten

There is a growing misconception that giving a child the best start in life means unlocking their academic potential as early as possible. Increasingly, kindergartens are sacrificing playtime for greater academic seat time in pursuit of distant future rewards. Career ready kindergarten has arrived.

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Alfie Kohn  - The Schools Our Children Deserve

Alfie Kohn  - The Schools Our Children Deserve

This is an overview of The Schools Our Children Deserve, its key ideas and takeaways, and a brief analysis of Kohn’s ideas through the lens of the two decades passed since the book’s original publication. Have we moved beyond traditional classrooms and tougher standards? What progress has been made and where can go from here?

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Game Design, Classroom Design, and the Faux Use of Gamification

Game Design, Classroom Design, and the Faux Use of Gamification

“Gamification” is a popular buzzword — whether it be corporations wanting users to excitedly spend money or educators motivating students through extrinsic rewards. Consistently, well-meaning educators are seeking gamification to encourage students to meet their standards.

I’ve written about the issues with gamification and whether or not it’s good pedagogy (I don’t believe it is in its widely used state.) However, that does not mean game design has no place in the classroom.

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Waiting

Waiting

I stepped back into my classroom for the 11th year after another summer of learning and growth. I was armed with new ideas, a thicker suit of armor to protect my sensitive empath soul, and, of course, a heart full of unconditional love. I ditched my plans to go over the syllabus on my first day, choosing instead to have students engage in a series of stations to break up the monotony of their day, giving them a chance to move rather than to sit and get.

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September: Free School Teaching: A Journey into Radical Progressive Education by Kristan Accles Morrison

September: Free School Teaching: A Journey into Radical Progressive Education by Kristan Accles Morrison

Free School Teaching: A Journey into Radical Progressive Education by Kristan Accles Morrison is an exemplar of what self-directed, progressive schooling looks like. Morrison, a traditional educator turned learning partner, writes of her experiences at the Albany Free School in New York. Within, she details every facet of a free school education — from discipline to grading to curriculum, often with initial bewilderment that turns to amazement at what children can do without the traditional path. In many ways, Morrison is deprogrammed from a stern, legacy-style teacher to one who embraces the free school philosophy.

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Supplying a more responsible, equitable classroom.

Supplying a more responsible, equitable classroom.

As we’re kicking off another exciting year of education, I’m making my annual trip to the store to resupply our classroom. And each year, I reflect on what I could buy to make my space a little more equitable for all — whether that be small things we’re unable to get at home, or just little things that make my space slightly more human-centered.

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To Have, Not Be Had

To Have, Not Be Had

My aspiration is to be iterative and creative, working to empower the individual while ensuring that whatever we cook up aligns “true” to the progressive framework THS has in place. Which brings me to the thrust of what I wanted to speak to in this post: Robert Kegan’s developmental theory and its potential relevance to the crazy world of the college search and selection process.

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HRP's Books of the Month: August, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson

HRP's Books of the Month: August, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson

“The trigger for white rage, inevitably”, writes Anderson, “is black advancement”, and Anderson follows both black advancement and white rage through the most explosive periods in America’s racial history, which the reader comes to understand through the brutal clarity and consistent facts of the historical narrative to be the story of an entitled white supremacy…

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Death to the Acronym

Death to the Acronym

Educators love acronyms. It’s the key to successful empire in the professional industry; developing a simple phrase to communicate adjectives in a catchy way. But they mean absolutely nothing.

It’s about time that educators stop embracing acronyms and roll their eyes at its use. It’s short-handed drivel that garners universal attachment no matter what you’re doing:

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July, We Got This: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be by Cornelius Minor

July, We Got This: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be by Cornelius Minor

We Got This is a fresh take on critical pedagogy that’s approachable for the everyday educator. Its visuals, accessibility, and narrative-driven framework introduces the concept for educators unfamiliar with equitable democratic classrooms, and offers further support for those who are pushing this line of work. It’s not alienating nor demeaning to those who have lost their way. As a result, this book is just as great a gift for a jaded instructor to an exhausted, but beloved educator. Read this!

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“You Do Not Have to Be Good”: De-emphasizing Product in Arts Education

“You Do Not Have to Be Good”: De-emphasizing Product in Arts Education

If you are an arts educator whose students have presented work to the public, you have probably heard something like this. On the one hand, it is a lovely sentiment. Someone has consumed the play, art show, concert, dance recital, etc. that your students made, and they have enjoyed it. And the compliment seems meant to extend to you: the students did well, and therefore, so did you.

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It’s time to stop using Kahoot as a whole class review tool.

It’s time to stop using Kahoot as a whole class review tool.

Kahoot is many educators’ fan favorite. The flashy graphics and fluid design make learning “fun.” It’s way better than putting a Powerpoint up and asking multiple choice questions. I’ve used Kahoot and similar programs in the classroom, often believing they were engaging review tools. Many students are excited to play Kahoot — after all, it’s breaking the monotony of the standard school day. But as I’ve reflected and analyzed Kahoot, I’ve seen what it really is: a trivia machine.

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