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Showing high-school students why math is relevant

Developing…This podcast is now live on your favorite podcasting app. Check back for a written summary. Resources mentioned in the Bright Idea Segment. Here are some helpful links where students can explore the application of math in their area of interest. All Rights Reserved. Class Dismissed Podcast 2017 – 2019


How this teacher stopped grading at home

A Resolution Worth Keeping A few years ago, Catlin Tucker made an ambitious New Year’s Resolution. She decided to no longer bring grading home. The California English Teacher says she loved her job, but she resented having to grade papers during her personal time. “It really robbed me of the time that my kids want with me. You know, I have a nine and a ten-year-old and they want my attention. And it robbed me of that time and space and ability to relax and be creative that drives a lot of my...


Why it's perfectly normal to be a "Late Bloomer"

We live in a world where we applaud kids that do amazing things at a young age, but Rich Karlgaard is not focused on those early achievers. Karlgaard is the publisher of Forbes Magazine and author of Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement and he wants to start a national dialog about why it's important to recognize that some people's prime comes a little later than others.. Late Bloomers begins with Karlgaard highlighting a 53-year-old woman named...


A Florida teacher revamps remedial reading classes

Rebranding the assignment Amanda Lacy will admit, she was not excited when her principal assigned her to teach a group of high school students that were struggling with reading. Her new class consisted of juniors and seniors who had failed the state test as tenth graders. "I was hoping they made a mistake. I went into the principal's office and said, 'Oh, you wrote the wrong thing down on this piece of paper,'" said Lacy. Lacy says teaching the course is a difficult job. The kids are...


Why this teacher is building tiny homes ​with his students

Going big with a tiny home For the past two years, Joe Romano and his students have been building tiny homes to provide housing for those experiencing homelessness in Washington. The Architecture and Design educator teaches ninth graders at the Annie Wright School in Tacoma. His lessons show students how to give back to the community through thoughtful design and construction. Romano will admit, that before this ambitious project his background in construction was limited. "I personally have...


Doing away with homework for struggling math students

In 2013, math teacher, Karine Ptak and her colleagues at Frederick High School in Maryland faced a significant challenge. Their students had an "alarming failure rate" on the Maryland State High School Assessment in Algebra with Data Analysis (HSA). Ptak and three of her colleagues knew they had to create a new approach. They targeted what they called the "middle range kids." "Kids who defintly have the ability but somehow have been left behind," says Ptak. The educators started surveying a...


Why school leaders and administrators​s should still teach

Educator, author, and consultant, Jeffrey Benson, is making a case for educators in a position of leadership to carve out time and jump back into the classroom. Even if it's on a limited basis. Benson is speaking directly to "anyone whose job it is to change other peoples way of working." For Benson, this means instructional coaches, assistant principals and possibly principals. Why jump back in? Benson argues that getting back in the classroom builds credibility and leverage with your...


How to help your students build a digital portfolio

Showcase your students progress The idea of a student digital portfolio is for the pupil to collect their achievements as digital artifacts and then display those online — often that’s a website. The practice is growing in popularity across the country, and Class Dismissed tracked down a district that’s seeing results. “It’s the idea of having a showcase place or place where students can curate their work. Their successes, their failures, the things they care about, some of their classwork,...


Ep. 93: Testing doesn’t have to be a bad word

Developing...This podcast is now live on your favorite podcasting app. Check back for a written summary.


Ep. 92: The case for leading with laughter

Duncan Lyon and Olaf (Ole) Jorgenson are experienced leaders. Each guide independent schools in California and both know the importance humor can play when leading a team of educators. "I start every faculty meeting with something humorous," says Jorgenson. "Usually these meetings are at the end of the day and everybody is tried and not everyone likes meetings. For whatever the reason, starting with laughter just lightens everything." Lyon and Jorgenson know that most people would not argue...


Episode 91: Tips for securing your school district’s data

Cybersecurity Incidents Strike Often A recent report highlighted on EdSurge says a new cybersecurity incident strikes K-12 schools nearly every three days. Now more than ever, school districts are reliant on using computers and servers to store student and employee data and burden of securing that data is a massive undertaking for educators. For most districts, the challenge of protecting data is a chief responsibility for the director of technology. The person charged with guarding that...


Ep. 90: Coaching the overwhelmed teacher

For the past 20 years, Elena Aguilar, the founder and President of Bright Morning, has worked as a teacher and instructional coach for educators. During that time she's witnessed and experienced something that many teachers know all too well. The feeling of being overwhelmed. As part of an ongoing series, Aguilar recently published: "How to Coach the Overwhelmed Teacher." In it, she offers five tips for working with a colleague or employee when they feel overwhelmed. Describe itRecall...


Ep. 89: The Marshall Memo – The State of Education in the United States

Kim Marshall spent decades monitoring education in the United States, so we asked him how we're doing. For 50 years, Kim Marshall has been deeply involved in education in the United States. Between 1969 and 2002, Marshall served as a teacher, policy advisor, speechwriter, director of curriculum, and a principal for Boston schools. Once retiring from public education in 2002, Marshall started serving as a coach for principals, and he started writing the Marshall Memo. A weekly publication,...


Ep. 88: Why this teacher taught a book she never read

How to spark a love for reading Dina Leygerman was tired of having her high school students pretending to read the classic novels assigned in her class. She knew many of them were using SparkNotes and other shortcuts online and she guessed that some had probably never read a novel cover-to-cover. So Leygerman set a new a much loftier goal. She aimed to spark a love for reading amongst high schoolers. With the support of her principal, Leygerman decided to take a break from the classics. She...


Ep. 87: Live From MECA

Podcasting live so educators can learn Each winter educators from around Mississippi gather in Jackson for the Mississippi Educational Computing Association, better known as MECA. Recording a live Podcast from the event is becoming somewhat of a Class Dismissed tradition because it allows for us to interview the MECA keynote speakers. It's also an opportunity for those of us at Class Dismissed to teach educators how they can set up a podcast for themselves or their students. Our Guests This...


Ep. 86: How schools could save millions with open textbooks

A Better Way with Open Textbooks Each year public schools spend millions of dollars on copyright protected textbooks. Districts do this even though we now live in a digitally dominated world, which is full of open textbooks. Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. School districts around the world are currently exploring Open Educational Resources (OER), and they're finding out that the cost-saving results can...


Ep. 85: The argument​ for gaming with your kids

"The New Childhood" The unknown surrounding new technologies often cause concern. In the case of iPhones and Xboxes, parents worry their kids are over-engaged. But Dr. Jordan Shapiro is offering a different perspective. In his new book, "The New Childhood" Shapiro argues that everyone needs stop worrying about our children's device usage and instead harness that usage for good. Shapiro, who teaches the Intellectual Heritage Program at Temple University, says the reactions to smartphones and...


Ep. 84: Why students need to see themselves in a book

"What does it mean if you never see yourself in a story?" - Jennifer Buehler "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a beautiful story, and it is one of the most commonly taught books in the secondary curriculum. But educator, Jennifer Buehler, can't help but wonder how many students relate to the characters. "At the end of the day, that book represents white America's vision of racial progress and injustice," says Buehler. "It's a really different thing to get a story that asks questions about racial...


Ep. 83: Meet the teacher determined to end “book deserts”

Project LIT Back in 2016, English teacher Jarred Amato read an article in the Atlantic about "book deserts;" areas where printed books are hard to obtain. The story stuck with Amato. So much so, that he shared the article with his class at Maplewood Highschool. The conversation with his students was enough to spark the beginnings of Project LIT, a movement that has swept across the nation. "I don't think I understood the scope of the problem," said Amato. "It was eye-opening." Are book...


Ep. 82: Can you measure​ curiosity and creativity? These MIT researchers​ say yes.

Can you measure what matters?When companies look for employees, they look for candidates that are curious, creative and persistent. So logically, these are the skills we should be teaching and measuring in our school system. But how do you measure curiosity or creativity? YJ Kim is a project director at the MIT Office of Open Learning, and she's been working years to answer this question. "When we started talking to teachers more about it, we quickly realized that teachers do want to...