How Do I Give Authentic Assessments? The Lab Practicum

I’m planning to have a lab practicum in which my students have to work in teams of three or four to figure out the composition of three mystery liquids (water, salt water, and rubbing alcohol). The content goals of this practicum is for my students to apply their understanding of boiling points (that boiling point…

Keeping Track of Your Finances: The Easy Way

SHORT STORY | The answer to all your finance tracking woes is¬† Go there, now. LONG STORY |¬†One of the issues as a new teacher, I find, is dealt with completely outside of the classroom, and that’s finances. I’m just not used to keeping track of where I spend my money or documenting anything throughout…

Changing School Governance

Charter schools have largely been a niche operation, serving few students relative to the number of students served by traditional public school systems. Successful charter schools have also generally been seen as a specific intervention, a model for another, single, excellent school. However, the conversation has shifted in recent years to charter schools as structural…

Family First

I had been in a funk over the weekend and the first three days of the week. Literally, no desire to work, breaking down if anyone probed me on how I was doing, and basically feeling like nothing was going well. It was the worst I had felt since the first week of school.


I just want to celebrate. A student who received an F for the first quarter, just got a 100% on his last quiz. There’s no better feeling, then seeing the pride he took, in doing so well. And, I’ve never seen a bigger smile. All the planning, the late nights, it’s worth it.

Why Blog?

Thank you to all my readers and friends who have contributed comments and thoughts to this blog. I love the community and the way you’ve helped me grow as a teacher, and I hope that I’ve helped you as well! Now that my blog posts are coming more frequently, I just wanted to brainstorm a…

How to Make the Most out of Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple choice questions. We’ve all had to take them. After all, they’re easy to grade. Run the scantrons through the scantron machine… 10 seconds/scantron later, you have a printout of what each student received on his/her individual test, as well as an itemized report of what percentage of students answered each question correctly. Multiple choice…

Practice Makes Perfect

I do not remember when I stumbled across this tidbit of wisdom, but to all teachers and managers of people out there, once I learned and internalized this concept, my ability to shepherd 90 5th graders to order and success skyrocketed.

Diverting the Waters

Never have I ever had a week as tough as my first week on the job as a middle school science teacher.

Why Teach For America?

My students come on Monday. I am terrified. There is nothing like it, the first day of being a teacher in my own classroom, MY classroom. I have so much to do. My long term plan (LTP) is in shambles, because I may be completely changing the order I’ll be teaching units. My unit plan…