EdCampSTEAM on Classroom Close-up NJ

EdCampSTEAM on Classroom Close-up NJ

Still don’t know what EdCamp and the un-confernece is all about?  Check out this great piece produced by the award winning series Classroom Closeup on NJTV.  Hopefully these five minutes can open some eyes. Growing. Learning.  Changing the Education Game. Meaningful, positive, productive professional development.  ONWARD!  -JE

Exhaust All Options

Brad is consistent in nailing the bullseye. For those of you that chair and / or on an I&RS Committee, read this….

Engaged and Relevant

Recently I had the pleasure of taking part in a I&RS (Intervention and Referral Services) meeting for a struggling student. Basically a team of teachers, parents, administrators, guidance counselors, child study team members, and others convened to problem solve student deficiencies. Many ideas were shared and an action plan was developed. The passion in the room was truly remarkable, especially the professional manner in which our staff conducted themselves. Each member of the committee took the “exhaust all options” approach in order to put this child in a position to succeed.

Below you will find a sampling of strategies that will be instituted at home and in school.

•Encourage student to utilize personal computer in the school setting for organization and curation purposes.

•Utilized the Dragon Dictation App so that the student can highlight their oral abilities on paper and/or computer screen.

•Increase mental agility at home while at the…

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Yes, Virginia, there is a hill worth dying on… but ‘A Christmas Carol’ isn’t it!

So I’ve always been to the point. I hate stupid administrators who hear one buzz word completely freak out. Buzzwords like ‘Christmas’.

I’ve had my fair share of dealing with parents who disagree about certain novels. I’ve heard  The Hunger Games = violence, “Harry Potter” = witchcraft, and of course the infamous “The Catcher in the Rye”.

…but “A Christmas Carol”?

I was catching up with a teacher over the weekend who informed her that their Supervisor (whom now I will refer to as “Stupid-visor”) did not want a lesson on “A Christmas Carol” on the day before break because it has nothing to do with complex reading, ELA Common Core Standards, and is religious.


I worked with someone who was a legend at speaking in idiom to the point that we pretty much spoke to each other like that all day. One of his many famous phrases was “There are hills worth dying on; this is not one of them.” I could not agree more in this case.

“A Christmas Carol” is literary staple around the world.  Countless themes, superb characters, and a simple plot allows millions to understand.  I think you could adapt it to any holiday for that matter.  The message wouldn’t change.  Anyway, do a simple search of “A Christmas Carol common core lessons and ideas” and you will come up with THOUSANDS of ideas and designs.  Students can easily engage in the story and can prepare to discuss and write in-depth responses about an excerpt. I came across one website that had  Grade 7 ELA Common Core Standards for reading literature, writing, and speaking and listening:

• READING: LITERATURE – RL.7.1-4, 6-7, 10
• WRITING – W.7.1-10

The stupid-visor then tried to pose the argument that it is a public school and this is a religious biblical propaganda.  I was dumbfounded.  It always amazes me to see who sits in these leadership positions… and we really wonder sometimes?

I told that teacher to call the Stupid-visor out — and that this is non-sense.  The teacher did, and the Stupid-Visor dug shoes deeper into the sand.

Stuff like that gets out really quick.  Anyone looking to move up or around a new position and people catch wind of this?!  Congratulations, you’re iced out.

There are indeed educational hills worth dying on – saying that ‘A Christmas Carol’ is not appropriate for middle school students because it is not aligned with CommonCore and is uber-religious is not one of them.