Review: CK12.org for Math and Science

If you haven’t clicked on CK12.org for Math or Science content, do yourself a favor and bookmark the site immediately. Accounts are free, and the available content is high quality and dynamic. For me, the beauty of CK12.org happens after I click on a content area and look at the list of available topics. Check out, for example, this link for CK12’s Algebra offerings. The sheer volume of topics from which to choose is quite impressive.
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Recasting the “At-Risk” Student

When I first read this item from Education Week, I immediately thought of a former colleague, an urban principal, who had the same idea a few years earlier: he identified the most “at-risk” boys and girls in our high school, and then invited them to monthly meetings (the “Boys Leadership Team” and the “Girls Leadership Team”). The idea was to see if imagining students in a different context (and if getting them to see themselves in a different context) could lead to a transformation.
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Teaching to the Test Redux

“Teaching to the test,” as commonly understood, strikes me as the ultimate Catch-22: in schools where student performance lags, teachers feel a need to practice test-taking; however, these same schools with an overemphasis on test-taking are the ones with lagging performance. In other words, I’m pretty sure the best way to teach to the test is something radically different from how it is commonly conceived.
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De-escalate situations before they become discipline referrals

It can be easy, as a teacher, to blame students for their misbehavior – specifically when we are talking about broadly defined offenses like “defiance,” or “disrespect.” While students certainly must learn to be accountable for how they act and react, it’s not a bad idea for teachers to consider what role they play in molding student reactions. How can we build a more positive school culture?
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