Category Archives: Teaching

Wednesday Writing: Discussion Guide

I am very excited to announce that I can unveil the teacher’s guide for GOLDEN BOY! I’m really, really happy with how it turned out. The questions range from easy find-the-answer-in-the-text to really pretty deep (“How does a person’s upbringing … Continue reading

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Tuesday Teaching: No More Novels?

Earlier this month, The Washington Post published an article titled “Common core sparks war over words,” in which it worries that the adoption of the Common Core State Standards in English (by 46 states & DC, to date) will lead … Continue reading

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Monday Media: Writing on the iPad

Last year Burlington High School went “one-to-one,” meaning that they provided a web-enabled device to every student and teacher in the high school. In our case, this device was an iPad. As a foreign language teacher, having browsing availability in … Continue reading

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Tuesday Teaching: International Protests

  A story currently in the news covers a strike by teachers in Chicago where school professionals are picketing over issues of teacher pay, evaluations, benefits, and other in-school issues. While working conditions are frequently the root of discontent, something … Continue reading

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Tuesday Teaching: Nurture Shock

This week I head back into teacher training and setting up my classroom. Next week, the kids are back and the school year starts up again. I’m not sure how much I will manage to do differently, but one book … Continue reading

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Tuesday Teaching: Girl Talk

Okay, so this is not *entirely* about teaching, but I do think it has some nice parallels, especially if you’re teaching younger children. I recently bumped into a co-worker and his completely adorable 3-year-old daughter. I instantly scrunched down to … Continue reading

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Tuesday Teaching: Standardized Testing Around the World

As a teacher I am frequently part of conversations about the benefits and drawbacks of standardized testing. I was fascinated to find two short movies from the New York Times telling the story of college entrance exams (standardized tests that … Continue reading

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Monday Media: High-Low Fiction

The problem: A terrifying percent of high-schoolers can’t read. (77% of 8th graders read below grade level in CA.) The solution?  Write books for teens at a 3rd-grade level. The LA Times reported that Saddleback Educational Publishing is launching a … Continue reading

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Tuesday Teaching: Editing Essays

As I grade the final essays for my Spanish 2 class this evening, I am remembering how awful assigning peer-edited essays used to be. It seemed I had only two options: Have students “peer edit” each other’s essays and get … Continue reading

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Monday Media: You are Not Special

This past weekend, David McCullough spoke at the Wellesley High School Graduation, delivering the key message that, well, you are not special. “Think about this, even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion, that means there … Continue reading

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Friday Feature: Monica Paulson Priebe

This week: fabulous friend and international activist Dr. Monica Paulson Priebe! And, oh yeah, it’s her birthday tomorrow too! (I swear that is not my selection criteria for this column!) Hi Monica, what are you up to these days? Hi Tara.  … Continue reading

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Tuesday Teaching: Cooking Commands

This project idea was given to me by Renee Dacey, Spanish teacher extraordinaire at Burlington High School. I just used the BHS 1-to-1 iPads and a class YouTube channel to spice it up a little. LESSON: Given a unit in … Continue reading

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Monday Media: Should kids use Facebook?

The Economist just ran an article titled “Facebook and children: Let the nippers network” in which they maintain that “with appropriate safeguards, children should be allowed to use social networks.” The article reasons the following: Kids are already doing it: … Continue reading

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Friday Feature: Eithna Sullivan

Okay, yes, my second Friday Feature is my mom. But this is again for two very good reasons: First, it turns out she is a really Interesting Person too. Second, her birthday is next Wednesday. So again, wish my parents happy … Continue reading

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Tuesday Teaching: Musical Subjunctive

My Spanish 3 class is deep in the throes of learning the subjunctive, that wonderful tense in Spanish that you use whenever the resulting action may or may not occur. It is not the easiest tense in the world for … Continue reading

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