UDL is a Standards-Based Curriculum Design

All too often, when I speak with teachers about integrating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into their classrooms, I get feedback that it simply isn’t possible. “I can’t provide options; I teach math.” “I have standards I need to meet,

Growth Mindset: Teaching Your Students to Be Expert Learners

Growth Mindset: Teaching Your Students to Be Expert Learners

When I taught English years ago, I was dealing out tattered paperbacks of the classics like it was my life’s calling. The whole class read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and then the whole class read Old Man and the Sea. I excitedly

The Redesigned is SAT coming. Be prepared.

On January 15, I attended a presentation by Alan Bernstein, Senior District Director, K12 Services, at the College Board. The presentation focused on the release of redesigned SAT in spring 2016. Given what I learned, we, as educators, need to

UDL. Why now?

We are lucky enough to live in a world that is becoming increasingly more inclusive. By inviting all learners in our classrooms, we are teaching students valuable lessons in diversity, acceptance, and the value of inclusion. Most importantly, we are providing

The Interrater Reliability Protocol: A Must-Have for Writing Assessment

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) require writing across the content areas, which places a renewed focus on the meaningful assessment of writing. Although rubrics are valuable for both teachers and students, there are two potential errors that can lead

Lesson Plan for Beowulf

Right now I’m feverishly trying to keep up with an awesome #ECET2 Twitter chat. I just got a question about using all 9 UDL Guidelines (teaching strategies) in each lesson, so here is an example to show how it’s done.

Close Reading and Shared Reading: What’s the Difference?

Adoption of the Common Core in ELA has become synonymous with close reading. Many teachers are left to wonder, Does close reading replace shared reading? Is it the same thing? Can you do both? To answer those questions, I read

How to Balance Common Core Shifts and ELA Instruction

Having the Common Core Standards led me to modify instruction in a number of ways. I’ll discuss the major changes based on the instructional shifts outlined for the Common Core ELA standards: Shift 1: Balancing (how cute is that elephant?)

Education and the Employment Gap

I just read the newest data from the National Center for Educational Statistics and the stats are alarming. Among 25-34 year olds with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 95.1% are currently employed.  Compare that to only 57.7% of 2012 high

Free Common Core posters!

A while back, I posted a photo on Twitter of posters I designed for teachers in grades K-4 with all ELA standards. Below are the files if you’d like to use them. For poster size, ask Staples or your local

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