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Should we fight to reclaim kindergarten?

lisawagon w:text

Scholars at the University of Virginia recently published an article entitled “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?” (full paper available here).  By tapping into two large, nationally representative data sets, these researchers were able to compare survey responses provided by… Continue Reading

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Do you want to be a primary grade teaching superstar?

A material girl, fer sure!

When you hear the word “superstar,” whose face pops into your mind? Madonna? Michael Jordan?                 Justin Bieber? Would you like to be a superstar? What about becoming a primary grade teaching superstar?… Continue Reading

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Surprising New Research Reveals Teachers’ Top Strategy for Success

BRILLIANT Taylor can't believe it!

Did anyone else notice the significant subtext woven through the Response to Intervention (RtI) evaluation report (http://(http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20164000/) that was published last week?  Although the report’s purpose was to provide a large-scale evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of RtI, I believe this report, which… Continue Reading

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Do Teachers Look Dumb in New Response-to-Intervention Research?

Teacher w/reading group- young man

  Currently, 70% of U.S. school districts integrate aspects of Response to Intervention (RtI) on their campuses, and most practicing teachers are already familiar with RtI.  Last week, the most comprehensive federal evaluation of Response to Intervention to date was… Continue Reading

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Testing, Teaching, and Learning: The Surprising Truth

Pencil boy thinking

“Testing action plan” appears and disappoints In late October, the Obama administration recommended U.S. schools voluntarily adopt a newly developed “testing action plan” designed to limit the amount of time students spend taking state-wide standardized achievement tests. The testing action… Continue Reading

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The Honest Truth About Teachers’ Decision Making

Kitty High Five

Teachers’ decision making is constrained by a persistent paradox.  Today, many administrators prioritize uniformity in teaching—for example, they want all teachers in a given grade to be “on the same page.”  However, by demanding conformity they automatically eliminate creativity in teaching.… Continue Reading

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Kindergarten and the Common Core: A problematic pairing

Boys in their jellyfish and octopus habitat hats

The Common Core is Srs Bzns.  Everyone knows the Common Core is serious business, replete with rigor and weighed down with supporting evidence drawn from the text.  The Common Core is intended to produce college-and-career-ready high school graduates who are… Continue Reading

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Will play help your students learn the Common Core with joy?

Superhero play

An article recently published in The Atlantic described learning experiences of Finnish children in their play-based, child-centered public school kindergarten classrooms:  some students took shovels outside to dig in the mud and build dams; other students staffed a pretend ice cream… Continue Reading