Teachers (and writers)! Free Class Next Monday on How to Teach Narrative for the Common Core

If you feel a bit lost or anxious about how to teach narrative for the new core, especially stories, I think I can help. I’m an educator in the private sector and an award-winning novelist and short story writer. I’ve been teaching authors in various venues how to write for the last five years. I’ve been on

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Florida education results – wow!

Jeb Bush oversaw what appears to be an amazing transformation in education results in Florida from 1999 to 2007. He came to Utah to talk to legislators to share those results and what Florida did to achieve them. The Deseret News summarized some of it. However, anyone interested in education needs to learn more. Luckily,

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Why we should treat schools like movie theaters

Here is a slightly altered version of a letter I just sent to my state senator, state congressman, and local school board members. The Utah House is discussing HJR3: Joint Resolution on Teacher Performance Pay, which sounds wonderful but fails to address the heart of the issue. Furthermore, it appears to open the gates to

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Ack! It’s English class

Junior High and High School English = grammar, spelling, and reading Cliff Notes. Wrong. It all depends on the goal. The NY Times recently published an article about a whole other approach to language arts. Nellie is one of those who is trying this new approach with her 7th and 8th graders. She’s had experienced similar

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Literary reading rates on the rise

What great news!!! Washington, D.C. — For the first time in more than 25 years, American adults are reading more literature, according to a new study by the National Endowment for the Arts. Reading on the Rise documents a definitive increase in rates and numbers of American adults who read literature, with the biggest increases

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Building Expertise by Ruth Colvin Clark

When we find a great teacher, we prize them not only because what we learn improves our lives but also because good learning can be one of the most exhilirating things we experience. Unfortunately, a lot of teaching stinks. It’s boring, rambling, forgettable. I’ve made a study of teaching. I’ve had to. For almost 20 years I’ve taught and

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What Separates the Gifted from the Schlubs and How Praise Can Backfire

What makes someone gifted? Raw talent? Sure. An apptitutde for something always helps. But it appears it’s not enough. True expertise takes work. And those trying to help (i.e. parents, teachers, coaches) can hinder if they give the wrong kind of praise. I wanted to share three articles reporting the results of a number of interesing

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