EducationPedagogy

Keeping high standards when you are a sucker for a sob story

Yesterday Apostrophobia wrote about one of her regular courses that is designed to be challenging and build problem solving skills.  She talked about the journey students take as they go through the course particularly one student who saw the value of the course and went the extra mile to not …

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An open book and its reflection
EducationPedagogy

Building Knowledge From Facts

Every year my students write down some version of this definition: “Period: a row on the periodic table.  The atoms of elements in the same period have the same number of electron energy levels.”  They memorize it and can spew it out on a test or quiz, but they don’t …

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Picture of Army Congressional Medal of Honor
EducationGovernmentLesson Plans

Lessons for Veteran’s Day and Beyond

November 11th is Veteran’s Day in the United States; it is a day where we honor all veterans living or dead.  To observe this day I thought I’d share a nice resource that has made its way across my desk.  It is the Medal of Honor: Lessons of Personal Bravery …

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Critical ThinkingEducationLesson PlansPedagogy

Teaching the nuance of “wrong”

I teach children aged 12-15.  This borderland between childhood and adulthood is filled with both physical and mental upheavals. Mentally it is a transition from thinking in a concrete manner to thinking in a more abstract and nuanced manner.  Into this quagmire I step boldly and try to teach science …

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Education

When the Rules Change: Dissolution of Philadelphia Teachers’ Contract

Let’s say you sign a contract with someone.  You hold up your end of the contract and do what you agreed to do, and you are compensated by the terms of that contract.  When the contract expires you begin to negotiate a new contract with the other person, but the work …

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clock with hands approaching midnight
EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Deadlines

This pop quiz is apropos because it is about deadlines and I am late with posting this post. One of the things that I try to do in my class is to make the consequences for failing to meet deadlines based in reality.  When you work at a job and …

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EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: College Teachers always the Bridesmaid

I have seen this series of e-cards posted to the right around the interwebs for a while, and it has always stuck in the back of my head for a number of reasons.  The first is I like how it evens out.  There is this weird notion in some people’s …

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A flag picturing the earth on a blue background
AtheismEducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Liberty and Justice for All

Yesterday Librarienne posted a link in the Tuesday Required Readings about the American Humanist Association launching a campaign to encourage people to sit out the Pledge of Allegiance until the phrase “under God” is removed.  This is a purely academic issue for the vast majority of American citizens.  Beyond school …

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A person in a tyvek suit and mask
CultureEducationScience

I am fascinated by Infectious Disease

When I grow up I want to become an epidemiologist. Don’t get me wrong I love teaching. I find change from year to year challenging and exciting, but there is something about disease that tickles my fancy.  Now I know this is not the most common of interests, and at first …

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Shaking hands awkwardly
Pop QuizPrimary EducationSecondary Education

Pop Quiz: Back to School Night

I dress to the nines.  There is not a single dog hair on me, there are no wrinkles in my clothes (which if you ever met me you’d realize how big a deal that is), my shoes are professional, but not as practical as I normally wear. This is my …

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