School & District Management Opinion

Wrapping Up 2016: A Blogging Year in Review

By Starr Sackstein — December 26, 2016 2 min read
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Covering topics about grading and the many peripheries associated with it, I’ve been on a tireless crusade to help folks understand that we must put student learning first.

Beyond the conventions and traditions of education that are all too familiar, this year’s most-read posts often challenged those closely held beliefs, helping educators reconsider how we treat learning.

Posts from throughout the year looked at the way we define ourselves as educators as well as what we learn from the fiction we read in every day life.

Check out the top 10 posts of 2016 for the first time or as a refresher or share them with a colleague who can use a little nudge.

  • Teachers vs Educators: Which Are You? - How often do we meet people who leave a lasting impression? How many of those people were educators who spent time helping to sculpt us into the people we are today?

  • 10 Lessons Learned From Harry Potter: When I was sorted into the Gryffindor on Pottermore, it was no surprise. I probably should have been a Ravenclaw, but I told the sorting hat, Gryffindor and so it was, after all, the sorting hat does take your wants into consideration.

  • Student Self-Assessment Practices That Work: Self-assessment is a valuable tool as it gives students the ability to really consider their learning and equally as importantly, share that understanding with the teacher. Once we understand what students know and can do, both demonstrated in the work and their ideas about the work, we can adjust instruction and/or class pacing as needed. The more adept students become with this tool, the better tailored class time and assessments can be.

  • Laying the Groundwork for the #1st5days: August is a turning point in the summer. Generally, July is a relax and not-think-about-school month, (excluding conferences and writing, but usually not working specifically on school), where I decompress and give myself time.

  • This is Us ... Too: The Need for Gifted Education : a guest post by Angela Abend. Gifted educators are often the first to validate and help these students and families understand the complexities of giftedness. Please open that door a bit wider and let them know they are far from alone.

  • Google Form Updates Help With Student Accountability: As technology continues to improve, so do the tools we have to improve the classroom experience. If you want to give up grades and have a simpler way of maintaining student growth, forms is a great solution.

  • 10 Offers of Wisdom From Fictional Characters : Literature is a cozy escape for many that offers refuge from an often cruel world. As we read, we’re engulfed in new realities that can make the “real” world a little more manageable.

  • The Perils of Late Work and How to Make It Count : Late work is always symptomatic of something bigger. So let’s fix the bigger problem and cut it off before it ruins students’ experiences in school and in life to the point where they start labeling themselves in negative ways.

What were the highlights of your year? Did any of these posts make you rethink something you’re doing? Are there any topics I didn’t cover that you’re curious about? Let me know.

The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.