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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 […]

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 […]

Textual Intelligence

Regarding Writing: From now on we will need to think of writing in these terms: We will all (students included) need to know how to convey the same information and achieve the same rhetorical purpose with 3,000 words, 300, 30, 3, 1–or none, using an image or visual explanation instead. We will all (students included) […]

Teaching for the 21st Century?

In recent posts I have mentioned reports like Tough Choices of Tough Times and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, both of which I respect, though I don't always agree with everything. I think the verbs of your lesson say a lot about what is going on. I will write some other time about the […]

A Student Voice: The Troubles of War

It occurred to me the other day that I might post my students' work from time to time on this blog by way of honoring the good work they do. My freshman students are reading Bless Me, Ultima, a book that invites many different connections to their own lives. Ali, who came to the country […]

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