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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 […]

Dear Parents: Why I Write Letters to the Parents of My Students

by Jim Burke I am a parent of a 21-year-old young man (studying Arabic in Jordan for the year), a 19-year-old son (majoring in Business), and a newly-turned-15-year-old daughter who is a freshman at a big public high school in San Francisco (the same school her grandmother, who lives with us, attended 75 years ago!). […]

Is your class more like an essay or a story?

by Jim Burke Whether your class is more of an essay than a story, the real question is whether it makes sense and your students leave having learned or otherwise been changed by it. This leads to other questions: If our class is an essay, how is each day similar to a sentence, and each week akin […]

What IS English?

This is the question I have been tinkering with all summer. Here is the first in a series of blogs in response to this question about our beloved discipline. Students spend more time studying English than any other discipline. Ours is the only subject students are required to take every year during middle and high […]

Notes from the Road

I have been traveling around the country since school let out on May 31st. I have been to small towns in Indiana and big cities in Connecticut and Wisconsin, traveled to the suburbs of Sacramento and Indianapolis, and ventured into the metropolis of Los Angeles where high schools are often several times larger in population […]

Whole New Meaning to “Public School Teacher”

As members of the "Net Generation" (a.k.a. Netgeners) come of age–people roughly 11 through 30, making theirs the largest generation in history—they will have to recognize, if they become teachers, that all that they say or have said on-line is public. Students, parents, and colleagues can–and will–read your blogs, your tweets, your Ning, your wiki, […]

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