Feedback FOR Learning

My students are starting to wrap up their first project of the school year, which is to create a model of a food web.  They are doing some amazing work ... and I couldn't be happier with all they have accomplished so far.  At this point in the process, we start peer reviewing to get … Continue reading Feedback FOR Learning

Be Together. Not the Same.

Ever looked at student work and thought it all looked the same? At some point last year, I remember flipping through something the students had worked on and thinking, "Man, that's interesting. These are all the same thing". I immediately went back and looked at the rubric. Of course it all looked the same, the rubric … Continue reading Be Together. Not the Same.

Why Don’t Report Cards Look Like Social Media?

Imagine it for a second.  What if report cards looked like Twitter?  Or Facebook?  Or Instagram? I've heard a few people toss this idea around recently.  At first, I couldn't wrap my mind around it.  But the more I pondered the idea, the more it started to make sense. Think about it.  It could be really … Continue reading Why Don’t Report Cards Look Like Social Media?

Students Owning the Assessment Process Through Rubric Creation

Ah, rubrics.  The favored tool for assessment by teachers.  Loved for their wonderful detail and their range of performance levels, rubrics are a great way to communicate expectations to students. Just like other teachers, I love a good rubric.  There's just one problem ... I'm really horrible at making them. I'm so horrible, in fact, that I've … Continue reading Students Owning the Assessment Process Through Rubric Creation

Student Perspective on the Shift to Standards-Based Grading

Last week, I had a very enlightening conversation with my students.  My district is transitioning to a standard-based report card next year, which includes the removal of letter grades from our system.  I have been using standards-based learning and grading in all of my sixth grade science classes throughout this current year, so my students are … Continue reading Student Perspective on the Shift to Standards-Based Grading

Siemens Science Day

Today, the sixth grade science classes at Caruso Middle School were visited by fourteen amazing volunteers from Siemens Healthcare as part of their Siemens Science Day program. Volunteers led a lab activity on the dangers of antibacterial soap, which fits perfectly in our current unit on microlife. Testing the bacteria Students replicated the work that … Continue reading Siemens Science Day

Hour of Code

Today, students (and teachers!) participated in Hour of Code.  If you aren't familiar, Hour of Code is part of Computer Science Education Week and encourages people of all ages and ability levels to have fun with coding!  Or, in the words of a few students today ...   Here are some other things I've been … Continue reading Hour of Code

Random Acts of Awesome

I've always considered myself lucky to work with such incredible young people.  Not a day goes by where they don't do something that amazes me and really shows how phenomenal they are.  However in the last few weeks, I experienced an onslaught of crazy cool things ... it can only be described as a few weeks crammed … Continue reading Random Acts of Awesome

What It Felt Like to Have a Blank Grade Book

It was ten days until the end of the quarter, and my grade book still did not have a single grade in it.   The grades were coming, so I was starting to breathe a little easier, but still ... eight weeks in and not a single published grade.   At the start of the … Continue reading What It Felt Like to Have a Blank Grade Book