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Mon, Jun 12, 2017
Thursday was Brooklyn-Queens day, the NYC-specific holiday that excuses students from school, and gives the teachers a professional development day. Our school was attended the 7th annual Transfer School Conference along a thousand or so other transfer school educators. These are high schools that serve kids who needed to transfer from their original high school for many dozen reasons. Our schools are spread out all around the city, so there was lots of warm greetings among distant friends as we filed into the auditorium of Brandeis High School for the keynote. My colleague and I were talking about the conference when I saw that the opening keynote would be delivered by Chris Emdin. Chris Emdin is a rising figure in education who recently secured a position at Columbia, speaking gigs at TED, SXSW Ed and every in between, and a New York Times best seller. When I saw his face looking Read the full post...
Coast2Coast Multifeed
Thu, Jun 01, 2017
I like the idea of a sneaky project, that creeps up on kids. For example, I've started a unit project by asking my unsuspecting students the following question on the board: What would you do with a million dollars? The project, linked here, leads students to learn about budgeting for an economics class I taught. Students reply to this with the typical fantasies. I'll buy a new car, and some new Jordans, and a new house! But by adding a few caveats, we're able to grab all of these kids wildest dreams and smash them against the rocks of reality. The main caveat is that students have to survive for 20 years off the million dollars, and they have to pay taxes. They first have to choose whether to receive the money all at once, or over 20 years. Kids immediately go to calculating the tax bracket and realizing that receiving all the money Read the full post...
Coast2Coast Multifeed
Fri, May 19, 2017
We did our fourth circle in the cycle, and things are now rolling right along. These circles, which are covered in an earlier post, involve me and the kids sitting around in the circle talking to each other. The kids are all pretty used to the routine, and I keep coming up with ways to relate it to what we are learning. It isn't going to stop any time soon, so what better time for a little update! Structure Each circle begins with a chairs in a circle, a talking piece (a ball or something), and each kid has a white board, a marker, and recently erasers. I sit near a piece of chart paper for to writing down the results of each students question to the group. My prompts have involved kids asking questions of each other. So far I have done: Week 1: What is a yes or no question you want Read the full post...
Coast2Coast Multifeed
Mon, May 08, 2017
My class ends. I erase the board, tuck the unused worksheets on top of the folders and head out into the hallway when I see Benjamin. He has not been to class once, so there is no way I can't go call him out on it. “You know, the reason I'm trying new material is because you signed up for the class.” Benjamin was in my class last cycle, and when he signed up I told him I initial told him he couldn't take it because I had already taken this course. Then I caved. Both because he's awesome to have in class, and because I like coming up with new stuff. “Why not just repeat the class from 2 cycles ago…” Benjamin replied “it'd be easier for the both of us.” What Ben is saying there is that today's class was a struggle. You know it's bad when even Read the full post...
Coast2Coast Multifeed
Tue, Aug 09, 2016
One of the reasons I haven't kept up with blogging is because I always want to wait until I have the final, perfect draft before I post to my blog. But the thing is, I never have final perfect drafts of anything. So I have to get over that. What I do have is a lot of decent ideas and thoughts in the Notes App in my iPhone. Yesterday, as I pushed my five-month-old around the neighborhood, I wrote out 4 goals for this school year in my Note as she slept. Now mind you, this is a draft. But the beauty of sharing it before it's finalized is that I can get feedback from all the (zero) folks reading my blog. So what I have here are my goals and shorter “titles” for the goals. Neither is an expanded version of the goal, but if I wait until Read the full post...
Coast2Coast Multifeed

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