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TBD: Further Inquiries into Effective Questions

by Jim Burke The previous post about “Teaching by Design” (TBD) and its connection to developing more effective questions continues to fascinate me this week. Here are some additional questions to share as I keep tweaking and trying them out with the class as both close reading and class discussion questions. Will continue to share […]

Teaching by Design (TBD): Asking Better Questions

by Jim Burke What we put in students’ hands in class is the point of greatest influence: it tells them what to do or what we expect them to know. I have written before about Webb’s Depth of Knowledge model and what I called the A-List vocabulary on previous blogs. Asking questions is its own […]

Re: Defining Reading

by Jim Burke I had the great pleasure of a long conversation with Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein last weekend while in Chicago. In addition to discussing our forthcoming high school edition of “They Say/I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, we spoke of a problem we all agreed is a serious one […]

What the Common Core Assessment Questions Might Look Like

by Jim Burke I scoured various Common Core State Standards assessments by Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) to better understand the type of questions they might ask. Below are some samples of the types of questions I culled from these assessments (all available online […]

Common Core: Adopting & Implementing School-wide Policies & Practices

by Jim Burke Of the many challenges posed by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), few rival those posed by getting all the teachers in a department or even an entire school to adopt and implement common policies or practices. Two examples will suffice: adopting and agreeing to all teach a specific approach to (or […]

Digital Writing: Trading in the Page to Make Your (Power) Point

by Jim Burke Nancy Duarte just released an exciting new digital book titled Slidedocs, which is about composing visual documents to be read (not presented) in PowerPoint or Keynote. (You can download it for free by clicking here.) What intrigues me most about her book is the degree to which it signals a further transition toward […]

“Close Reading” Includes Directions,

by Jim Burke When we speak of “close reading” as it appears in Reading Standard 1 of the Common Core State Standards, it is worth considering the directions of the assignments we give our students and the exams they take where such key words as evaluate or trace are used regularly. The student who cannot distinguish between compare and contrast is […]

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