Beyond the Red Pen: Meet Kevin, High School Science

Meet today’s grading expert, Kevin. He teaches several different types of science in Charlotte, North Carolina. Read on to find out how he uses Pandora, timers, class points to increase engagement and achievement! What is your current location? I teach at the LIFT Academy, an alternative school that is a part of West Charlotte High…

Beyond the Red Pen: Joel, Middle School Math

Introducing our newest blog feature, Beyond the Red Pen. Every Thursday, we’ll showcase awesome teachers, doing amazing things— and most importantly, their grading secrets so we can grow from each other. This is an effort to demystify teacher lifestyle and to pull us teachers out of silos and share trade tips and tricks! Meet Joel,…

Re: Success Without Tests

Danville Independent School District is looking to sidestep standardized state testing in favor of performance assessment. The Kentucky district of 1,800 students has applied for an exemption from this spring’s state tests in favor of “multidisciplinary, semester-long research projects that students present to panels of teachers plus outside observers, in the manner of a PHD…

A Standards-Based Learning Chat with @WHSRowe

At our pizza party last month, we had the pleasure of meeting teacher named Rik Rowe who has taken standards-based grading, teaching, and learning and has run with it. Mr. Rowe teaches high school math here in Massachusetts and was kind enough to share his standards-based practices with us. He co-moderates an #SBLchat (formerly #SBGchat)…

Ebony Oshunrinde

tellmewhere2start: Amazing 16-Year-Old Girl Created a Beat for Jay-Z’s New Album Canadian teen Ebony Oshunrinde, who aptly goes by the moniker WondaGirl in the studio, has just finished the 11th grade. She’s also just been credited as a producer on “Crown,” a track on Jay-Z’s new album “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” Her story is insanely inspiring and…

Edwards Middle School in Charlestown


Happy Monday!  We’ll start you off with an excellent Edudemic video which takes an in-depth look at a middle school just a few miles away from our office at MIT.  Edwards Middle School in Charlestown has had tremendous success with their extended school day, and this video will show you why.


Implementing Expanded Learning Time: Six Factors for Success

Amrita Sahni, director of instruction at Edwards Middle School in Boston, writes that lengthening the school day was “one of the best things we could have done to help reform our school model and improve student outcomes.” The schedule — three extra hours of school time four days a week, and half-days on Fridays — led to improved academic achievement and engagement. She also lists several tips to make expanded learning time successful, including getting buy-in from students, unions and educators.

Nikhil Goyal: Nobel Laureates Never Stop Playing

Play helps everyone — adults and students.  Do you need another excuse?  Or are you still waiting to finish classes?

We dare you to find at least one way to play today.

We did a dance break.  How about you?


Tech executive Linda Stone has a nice interview with James Fallows in this month’s The Atlantic Magazine:

LS: Self-directed play allows both children and adults to develop a powerful attention strategy, a strategy that I call “relaxed presence.”

Nikhil Goyal

I met Nikhil at the MIT Media Lab about six months ago and think the conversation he’s sparking among students is awesome.  If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will. imagininglearning: edzedomega: 17-year-old Nikhil Goyal, in GOOD: Last March, Esquire revealed what it called the current “War on Youth.” In July, Newsweek dubbed millennials “Generation…