Category Archives: Educational Focus

These are posts on important issues in our school and other schools. Some of these issues may be important to speak to your child about.

About EdCamp, Friends and Family

You’ve all been to conferences. You sign in. Get a name badge that was printed for you in advance. Everyone has a neatly prepared badge — with their name — title — school district — all proudly displayed on their badge, neatly protected in a plastic case — hanging — from a lanyard.

And there’s Sharpy-Boy over there with his sloppy sticky label Continue reading

Posted in edcamp, Educational Focus, Leadership, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

About envy: Using mentor texts

We guide students to use “mentor texts” in their development as writers. Ralph Fletcher explains that mentor texts are, “…any texts that you can learn from, and every writer, no matter how skilled you are or how beginning you are, encounters and reads something that can lift and inform and infuse their own writing. I’d say anything that you can learn from – not by talking about but just looking at the actual writing itself, being used in really skillful, powerful way.” Continue reading

Posted in Best Practice, Educational Focus, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, reading, Reflections, Teaching/Learning, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

About professional development: EdCamp is the better way!

Here’s a confession, I’ve been responsible for some pretty horrible professional development (PD).  When I think about the faculty meetings I ran when I was a new principal, I am embarrassed.  Often, my faculty meetings were the Don Gately Show. … Continue reading

Posted in Best Practice, edcamp, Educational Focus, Leadership, Personal Best, Reflections, Teaching/Learning | Leave a comment

About Muhammad Ali: Let your kids rebel … a little

Our most enduring memories are forged during our middle school years.  I was very saddened by the passing this year of former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.  I feel like I grew up with Ali.    I was ten when The Fight … Continue reading

Posted in adolescence, Educational Focus, Parenting, Personal Best, Reflections | 1 Comment

About a teacher: Not just a “Regular Guy”

Last spring I had the opportunity to attend the world premiere of a film by a young and astounding filmmaker. Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion is a documentary about the history of the 1964 World’s Fair and especially the New York Pavilion. The filmmaker is a teacher from our school, Matt Silva. Continue reading

Posted in Best Practice, Educational Focus, Inside the Middle School, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

About a song: What does it “mean”?

This was only a brief snapshot of a terrific learning moment but I promised myself I would share what I observed because, at our school, we are all LEARNERS! Thanks Bess! Continue reading

Posted in Best Practice, Educational Focus, Inside the Middle School, Leadership, Personal Best, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

About violence and children: What’s a big number?

My daughter is only five years old; she’s in kindergarten. The other day we were watching the news and there was a story about a fire that occurred in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn. Tragically, two people perished in the fire. … Continue reading

Posted in Educational Focus, Leadership, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

About Connected Leading/Learning: You’re a LEARNER!

Everybody has a version of this dream. You’re not prepared to do a speech. You’re supposed to be flying an airplane and you don’t know how to do it.  There’s a test and you forgot about it, you didn’t study … Continue reading

Posted in Educational Focus, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

About assessment: Why are they raising their hands?

How do you think our classrooms will look different in 10, 20, 30 years? This post considers a most common classroom practice for formative assessment. Continue reading

Posted in Educational Focus, Leadership, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

About Technology: Never, sometimes, always?

It can be overwhelming to contemplate all the technology that exists in the world to assist us in our work with children.   I saw this at a faculty meeting recently.   Before the winter break, we had a meeting at which … Continue reading

Posted in Educational Focus, Personal Best, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments