5 Scandals in Education

Steven WeberBlog, Differentiate Better, Engage Better, Grade Better, Lead Better, Lesson Plan Better, Manage Better, Reflect Better

TL;DR: Scandals exist in schools. Teachers and administrators must analyze their schools to see if they exist or have the potential to develop. There are 5 scandals in education: low expectations, lack of instructional leadership, culture does not emphasize formative assessment, curriculum alignment is left to chance, and students are not required to think. Throughout history, scandals have been documented. … Read More

Planning Plinko

Martin SilvermanBlog, Connect Better, Differentiate Better, Engage Better, Innovate Better, Lesson Plan Better, Manage Better, Reflect Better

TL;DR: Sometimes teachers plan lessons or units that are disconnected to their desired student outcomes, like the Plinko effect. It’s important that you consider the pegs and barriers that exist with your students. It’s better to look at individuals and groups of students, and determine how to remove barriers so that the chip can fall into the desired slot.  The … Read More

Curriculum Design: Maximizing Student Understanding

Steven WeberBlog, Lead Better, Lesson Plan Better

TL;DR: Curriculum design teams should begin with the end in mind. Empower curriculum design teams by providing time for them to become crystal clear about the standards before debating essential skills, key concepts, content, or assignments. When a district team identifies transfer goals, it will support teachers across schools.  Formative assessments will support decisions about teaching and learning. Make sure … Read More

Breaking the Barriers of Curriculum Design

Steven WeberBlog, Lesson Plan Better

TL;DR: There are many potential barriers to curriculum design. Potential barriers include absence of a curriculum framework, change, communication, products, funding, hidden curriculum, time, and tradition. Strategies for breaking the barriers are shared. Curriculum design is a rewarding process that provides educators with the opportunity to discuss what is essential. My experiences with curriculum design and observing the work of … Read More

Let Spoken Word Transform Your Poetry Unit!

Teach Better TeamBlog, Lead Better, Lesson Plan Better

Let Spoken Word Transform Your Poetry Unit

Don’t Fear the Poetry Unit. I don’t know about you, but the loudest collective groan to ricochet off the four walls of my classroom occurs the moment I announce the start of our poetry unit. Without fail, students go into panic mode. They offer to do double the homework for a month if we could just read another novel. I … Read More