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Never Underestimate the Importance of Informal Assessment

Documenting student reading behavior has always been a challenge, and with the stress now on formal reading assessments, it's important to remember that reading is a distinctly personal process--and to remember that we're not teaching reading; we're teaching children.
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Pinky Promises

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, forget for a moment about tests, NCLB, and what our kids can't do; instead, think about what your kids are capable of doing, what they're really thinking about the things we throw at them, and the various blessings they offer you.
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Problem Solving: More than Meets the Eye

Math teachers have long struggled to find methods to help students focus not just on getting the right answers, but on how to solve problems. In fact, problem-solving skills are becoming more and more of a hot topic in math instruction. So how exactly do you teach a child to think through the elements of solving any given problem?
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But Why Do We Read?

If we can agree that most adults who are responsible for children's education want children ultimately to read independently for multiple purposes, to feel agency in how they think about what they read, and to get some enjoyment out of reading, then why is it that so much of what we throw at them at school seems counter-intuitive to accomplishing those things?
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Separate the Chaff from the … What? – The Irony of Reading Research

"Scientifically-based reading research" (SBRR) is a term that has been widely used since the passage of NCLB and the Reading First Act, and the publication of the National Reading Panel's five essential elements of reading instruction in their report "Teaching Children to Read." Unfortunately, SBRR today, as informative and unbiased as it sounds, is not used by the powers that be to truly tease out the very complex nature of reading and learning to read.
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Are Students Inheriting a Fear of Math?

Math anxiety is a common problem. It's a large part of the reason students fail to take important upper-level math courses. But maybe talking to our students about their math fears isn't all we need to be doing. Maybe some of that fear is inherited, passed down from parents with their own math anxieties. Maybe it's time for the schools to address the math anxieties of the parents as well.
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