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Just because the shine’s off blogging/teaching right now doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. Here’s some of the best writing I’ve read over the past few weeks.

  1. Technology and the Three Kinds of Teachers.

    Slideshare is kind of a bummer proposition for me as it doesn’t make room for intra-slide craftsmanship. My presentation expertise is most evident in how I structure fade-ins and wipes — the design of information within the slides.That said, “Technology and the Three Kinds of Teachers” is a compelling show and plays well within Slideshare’s retarding constraints. The title plays things diplomatically when a more accurate title would’ve been: “One Good Teacher and Two Sad Cases.” That good teacher, it turns out, is a cross between Jason Bourne and James Bond. Should’ve seen that coming, I suppose. [via Chris Craft]

  2. Connected School Climates – Stop, Look, and Listen.

    Greg Farr is an impressive fella.  He consistently leads the top decile of LeaderTalk posters and, to my recollection, has never written a post that was less than totally engrossing. Here he writes the definitive how-to for positively charging a school’s climate and preempting tragedies like that of Virginia Tech. Definitive. All without referencing Virginia Tech by name. The writing is just that confident.Incidentally, I’ve put his official principal’s blog in the sidebar. It’s necessarily tamer than his corner of LeaderTalk, but the writing and analysis still run circles around the blogosphere.

  3. The Secrets of Scott Elias’ Success.

    Scott writes up his seven secrets for personal and professional success, each of which strike me as essentially true. My own efforts towards productivity and something that approximates happiness are like a younger, unsteadier reflection of his. Scott is simultaneously a sidebar link, a hero, and a member of a select crowd I call, “Administrator’s I’d Buy A Beer.” (Blog banner forthcoming.)

  4. Productivity Hacks for New Administrators.

    Scott again. Get ’em, Scott.

  5. Star Teachers Grade Less

    Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn is the best blog you aren’t reading. Author H., the son of a sharecropper who could only afford a single letter to christen his son (or daughter … these pseudonyms are killing me), is also best blogger who doesn’t blog. His only post in April is a sharp and note-perfect analysis of Martin Haberman’s “Star Teachers.”

  6. Personal Pies.

    Craig Robinson isn’t a teacher but he just tossed me several lesson plans. This year I used pie graphs in some pretty bland ways. I asked my Algebra students to divide them into 4, 5, 6, etc., equal slices, getting their hands dirty with degrees, proportions, and fractions. Pretty bland. Next year I’m going to rip off Craig’s simple and super approach to pie graphs and have my student’s document their lives with their own choice of metrics. Same learning outcome with, like, twice the fun.

  7. Dashboards – A Practical Data Management Tool.

    Have I mentioned Greg Farr? His daily dashboards are one of the most creative efforts towards transparency and empowerment I’ve encountered to date. From a design standpoint, they’re fixer-uppers and will reappear in a future Design for Educators feature but, regardless, a great idea.

Thanks, everyone, for tending to the Internet while I’m taking a sabbatical.

10 Responses to “ReadMe”

  1. on 22 Apr 2007 at 9:19 ammrc

    Wow, you are reading a lot! I’ve been falling behind, with people’s RSS feeds backing up and spilling everywhere…

  2. on 22 Apr 2007 at 9:07 pmdan

    Yeah, somedays feels like all I do is hit the star key in Google Reader and tell myself to read ’em later. It gets overwhelming — so much so that one Blogger-of-Note just dropped his feed count from 181 to 20 — but I’ll take this stress over the alternative of having nothing at all to read.

    Which is how I try to see everything. My to-do list just laughs at me nowadays. I know I’ll never knock down all the qualifications of a great teacher I set up for myself awhile back. Jesus Christ is always around to tell me, by his example, that I can always stand to be a better person.

    And yet for all those stressors I find myself oddly and consistently pumped. It’s on their account I’ll never be bored ever again.

  3. on 22 Apr 2007 at 11:10 pmScott McLeod

    Dan, glad you’re enjoying LeaderTalk so much! I am too!

    Now, how do we get the word out to our administrators about what a great resource this is?!

  4. on 22 Apr 2007 at 11:29 pmdan

    Well … I guess I know of a door on my campus I should knock on, but, as for a larger outreach, a “viral” outreach if you’ll let me coin the term, well I know that sort of thing’s your specialty, Scott. Best of luck. You guys deserve it. Be sure to keep that Farr fella well-fed and writing for me.

  5. on 23 Apr 2007 at 7:40 amScott Elias

    Dan –

    You’re too kind. Next time your travels bring you skiing or hiking in the Rockies, I’ll buy YOU the beer.

    You should know that when I read your blog, I wish I could turn back the clock and start teaching math all over again. The stuff you’re doing is just that good.

    Have a great week!


  6. on 23 Apr 2007 at 4:36 pmCarolyn Foote

    Scott M,

    I’m planning to mention LeaderTalk at a workshop I’m doing this summer for administrators in Texas. Doing my part ;)
    to share a great administrative blog…

  7. […] Welcome! If you’re new here, you may want to sign up for email updates (look to your right) or subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting! I’ll let you read the excellent post yourself, but I have to quote you this from Haberman: “Star teachers spend as little time as possible on tests and grading. Apart from particular school rules that must be followed, they are generally quite disinterested in the topic. Their evaluations are based primarily on students’ effort. … [T]hey have little faith in – and place little credence on – standardized tests of any kind.” There’s some other great quotes in there for the next time your Head of Department has a go at you for not slaving over marking books rather than actually teaching. (via dy/dan) Popularity: unranked [?]Bookmark:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  8. […] I’ve been meaning to make good on a commitment I made awhile back and Scott McLeod’s recent Great Commenter commencement ceremony reminded me to get out the lead. […]

  9. […] I wrote about Greg Farr’s dashboards awhile back, his weekly airing out of the campus’ dirty laundry: non-attendance, discipline, drop-outs. “There are no secrets at Shannon,” Greg says. If I were ever to step into administration, implementing that kind of accountability would head my list of Things To Do Before I Ever Sat Down. […]

  10. […] Way back when, I called H. the best blogger who doesn’t blog, a great writer who wrote on an annual basis. She’s done with that pace now.  She’s also a weird contradiction in terms, a smart blogger with a soft voice, the sort who’ll cop to a class management deficit and then turn around to teach at San Quentin for the summer. Her recent post, Circumventing the STAR regime – some useful tips, is just savagely funny stuff, worthy of national syndication. […]