Flavors of Differentiation in Paul Buckley’s “Age of Jackson” Unit

Most of the time talk about differentiation brings to mind open-ended projects and choice.  Giving students multiple avenues to show what they know is key to making room for meaning making.  But what about the ideological differences students bring to classroom spaces?  History, which inevitably involves interpretation that shunts between today, yesterday, and tomorrow,  isContinue reading “Flavors of Differentiation in Paul Buckley’s “Age of Jackson” Unit”

When the (Official) Day is Done: Discovering “WHAT ELSE” After School

The word is FUN.  There’s not a whole lot of chance for kids to just have fun . . and let it be their choice, because they are being driven to this practice and that practice, doing homework in the minivan.  All three of us offer and do things with the kids that parents sayContinue reading “When the (Official) Day is Done: Discovering “WHAT ELSE” After School”

Meeting Students Where They Are: How do I Respond when a Kid Falls Asleep in My Class?

This post was contributed by Buck Cooper. I can tell you the day that I made peace with children falling asleep in my class. I was in the second semester of my first year teaching at (then) T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Another teacher friend who taught at a high school in NorthContinue reading “Meeting Students Where They Are: How do I Respond when a Kid Falls Asleep in My Class?”

In a land far, far away… Well, not really.

A few weeks ago, a group from the Lower School made the trip down to New Orleans for some of the most enjoyable professional development, school visits! Maya Buford, Jessica Farris, Kathy Vial, Mayson McKey, Sara Clark, Sarah Walker, and myself spent two days visiting schools in Metarie and New Orleans. The group visited St.Continue reading “In a land far, far away… Well, not really.”

Let’s Get Real about Time, Differentiation, and Sustainability

Elephant in the room: 100% commitment to 24/7 differentiation in any classroom, in its purest and most consistent form, is probably unattainable for a teacher with any semblance of work/life balance.  Why? It takes a whole lot of that slippery, precious precious resource: time. Maybe it’s possible if you are homeschooling your single child atContinue reading “Let’s Get Real about Time, Differentiation, and Sustainability”

Meeting Each Athlete Where They Are: The Coaching/Teaching Connection

Sometimes when I leave my office or a classroom and head down to the ARC, I feel like I’m entering an entirely different world. Indeed, in some ways, the workflow of a coach is nearly unrecognizable from a faculty member’s: starting in earnest before school, loosening up during the school day, and then really ampingContinue reading “Meeting Each Athlete Where They Are: The Coaching/Teaching Connection”

It’s the Who and Not the What

This post was contributed by Hollie Marjanovic. Last November I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Learning and the Brain Conference.  The last speaker was a man named Principal Baruti Kafele.  It was appropriate that he spoke to us on Sunday morning, because as the saying goes….he took us to church.  His passion forContinue reading “It’s the Who and Not the What”

Introducing the Jan/Feb 2023 Blog Blast Theme: Teaching the Students in Front of Us

(Or in my case, the 8th graders who are usually in front of Matt Hosler) I haven’t been in classrooms as much this year.  Blame it on accreditation; blame it on misplaced priorities.  I have missed it.  Beyond missed it.  So when Matt Hosler asked if I might be interested in taking over his 8thContinue reading “Introducing the Jan/Feb 2023 Blog Blast Theme: Teaching the Students in Front of Us”

Tis the Season for All the Ways to Make Coffee

This post was contributed by Buck Cooper. At last count, I had nine (9) different ways to brew a cup of coffee. Each one has something to commend it. I love the sheer beauty of the all glass, but wood trimmed Chemex and the smoothness of the brew, which usually brings out the sweetness ofContinue reading “Tis the Season for All the Ways to Make Coffee”

Tis the Season for Professional Development

This post was contributed by Kim Sewell. I’m not sure if there is a ‘season’ for Professional Development since we teachers seem to do it constantly. Whether it’s reading articles we’ve found or have been shared, or we go to the weekly Wednesday PD, or our bi-yearly whole school PDs, reading books, listening to podcasts,Continue reading “Tis the Season for Professional Development”

Tis the Season for Conferences and Global Travel and Trips Oh My!

As you’ve likely heard, we apparently had the largest number of students/faculty traveling EVER that last few days before Thanksgiving break.  I was one such lucky human, and I got to hang out with Susan Pace, Cullen Brown, and Monica Colletti in Anaheim, California. We went to some great sessions, ate some amazing Thai food,Continue reading “Tis the Season for Conferences and Global Travel and Trips Oh My!”

Tis the Season . . . For Class Disruptions!

I know my title is teaching and learning.  And I know that every teacher worth their salt cares deeply about EVERY SINGLE SECOND they are allocated for class time.  We have so much to cover! NEVER enough time! The kids seem like they need longer to get it, too. And so much time is spentContinue reading “Tis the Season . . . For Class Disruptions!”

Tis the Season . .. For Evaluation!

This particular three week sprint is a strange, strange time.  It is cheery.  It is stressful.  There is expectation of holiday spirit and all the fun to which it is tied.  There is anticipation of cumulative evaluation in the form of finals, projects, report card grades and comments. When you think about it, evaluation andContinue reading “Tis the Season . .. For Evaluation!”

Tis the Season . . . For Chris Hartfield!

I don’t want to overstate it. But I DARE you to find someone who has a negative word to say about Chris Hartfield. Like triple dog dare you.  The guy has been our tech-savior for the past 13 years and counting.  He undoubtedly gets the brunt of our most stressful moments.  And yet somehow heContinue reading “Tis the Season . . . For Chris Hartfield!”

Tis the Season . . . for REAL Discussion

This post was contributed by Linda Rodriguez As you may know, I am a R.E.A.L believer!  This discussion format, geared to middle and upper school students, takes what we try to do with Harkness and gets the teacher out of the way so kids can R.E.A.L.ly talk to each other. Don’t get me wrong!  IContinue reading “Tis the Season . . . for REAL Discussion”

Tis the Season Theme Opener: Presenting “Randy the Red Nosed Reindeer”

When Hollie Marjanovic suggested the theme of “Tis the Season” for our November-December blog blast last October, I could not stop thinking about all of the things I could complain about with that opener . . .  Bah humbug, am I right? But then Jessica Farris sent me some amazing student artifacts to help usContinue reading “Tis the Season Theme Opener: Presenting “Randy the Red Nosed Reindeer””

Tis the Season… To Hide a Turkey?

Tis the Season…. To hide a Turkey? Absolutely! At the Lower School, our little saints are letting their creative juices flow. Specifically, three 3rd grade girls wanting to create some fun and adventure for their friends and classmates. In October, Annie May Harkins, Emma Papadimitriou, and Alianna Rust wrote a sweet little letter pitching theContinue reading “Tis the Season… To Hide a Turkey?”

Reframing Accountability as Embracing a Series of Tensions: Season Five Reflection

In this final episode of Season 5, podcasts hosts Toby Lowe, Kim Sewell, Michelle Cooper, Buck Cooper, and Rachel Scott come together to talk across all six episodes on the subject of reframing accountability. They share behind-the-scenes secrets about their episodes, discuss how all of this talk impacted their own relationships with students and colleagues,Continue reading “Reframing Accountability as Embracing a Series of Tensions: Season Five Reflection”