Month: February 2016

Portland Public Schools Partners with Inquiry By Design

We are thrilled to announce our newest partnership with Portland Public Schools! The school board voted on Feb. 23 to approve the adoption of Inquiry By Design as the language arts curriculum for grades 6-12. Click here to watch the opening discussion where a middle school teacher describes her experience piloting an Inquiry By Design unit with her students. And, if you are really into smart, detailed discussion of curriculum, stay tuned to watch the rest of the discussion.


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Stop Teaching to the Test!

Last week we ended our post with an encouragement for teachers to stop teaching to the test. We realize this is a frightening proposal to teachers and administrators whose evaluations and even paychecks are reliant on test scores. That’s why we want to continue the case this week with Kelly Gallagher’s 201 Education Week commentary, Why I Will Not Teach to the Test wherein he addresses this riddle:

“…while many states have raised their test scores over the past […]

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The Impact of High-Stakes Tests on Instruction – Part 2

New assessments have arrived.

Both Common Core and non-Common Core states, for the most part, are in the midst of a standards revolution and are subsequently adopting new corresponding assessments. I’m sure you know this. It would be impossible to have missed the uproar.

In many cases the designers of these assessments have attempted to address more accurately the kinds of rigorous work that we want students to be doing daily in classrooms, versus the shallow, formulaic and multiple-choice questions of old. […]

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The Impact of High-Stakes Tests on Instruction – Part 1

I recently had the privilege of observing a third grade classroom in Thompson School District in Loveland, Colorado. The students had read through the article “Day of Disaster” by Lauren Tarshis (Reading and Writing About Informational Texts, Grade 3 microcourse) with their teacher and had charted together the unfamiliar words and confusing moments from the text. They were brainstorming as a class what resources and strategies they might use to solve these difficulties. The strategies included things like “re-read the […]

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Transferring Great Ideas to Writing – Part 2

You may recall from last week’s post that I shared my thoughts in response to a comment I overheard from a teacher. The teacher said, “My students have great thoughts and ideas in discussions but then they don’t successfully transfer that to their writing. It just ends up being a summary.”

Along with the thoughts I shared last week, I also had a question.

My question:

Have these students been given the freedom and tools allowing them to discover and develop […]

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