Category Archives: Uncategorized

About an ordinary life: Encyclopedia Part II

Remembering Dates I share a birthday with Ludwig van Beethoven, December 16. That’s probably why, when I want to play classical music on my Amazon Echo I normally ask,  “Alexa,  play my Pandora Beethoven station.”   Of course Beethoven is awesome, … Continue reading

Posted in adolescence, Educational Focus, Parenting, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

About Learning: On a snow day

Recently Long Island experienced a heavy, snowy blizzard so we had a snow day. Everybody loves snow days! After a huge breakfast of pancakes and bacon (a snow day tradition at our house) I decided we would have a digital version of the current events forum. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

About a hero: Detective Steven McDonald

The world lost a true hero recently, Detective Steven McDonald of the New York City Police Department.  Detective McDonald  was an amazing man who, in his words and in his life, embodied character and a belief in the inherent goodness … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership, Personal Best, Reflections, Teaching/Learning, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

About energy: Loving the mannequin challenge

Any middle school teacher knows that one of the most exciting but challenging aspects of the job is the frenetic pace of life with the kids here. The executive function portion of the adolescent brain, the part that slows things down so we don’t make poor decisions, hasn’t fully developed. As a consequence, middle school kids seem to be operating at 78 rpm while the rest of us are at 45rpm. The engines in their brains have more acceleration than brake.
Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged | 1 Comment

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 spelling: Could you do it?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Check out this video from the spelling bee today… Look what middle school kids can do!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a 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 an ordinary life: Encyclopedia entries

Somebody recommended this idea as a cure for writers block.   Amy Krause Rosenthal wrote a neat little book titled Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.  The book flap states that she “ingeniously adapted the centuries-old format of the encyclopedia to convey … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment