Keeping a Focus on Learning      At Decker Middle School I have a principal who understands the difference between a focus on teaching and a focus on learning.  And, I don’t have to say that because I want a raise – I am being sincere.      He has really opened my eyes to the difference between these […]

Power Standards to Project Planning

At Decker Middle School we are using a Power Standards Protocol to choose those state standards that have the most bang for the buck.  Since we are in Texas we don’t need no stinkin Common Core Standards, but you could do the same thing with those standards. So, you’ve selected your power standards and you […]

Using A Power Standard Protocol Many teachers get stuck at the project ideation stage when they consider using PBL in their classes.  What standards will they use?  How do they convert the standards to a step or concept in a project?  Should they come up with a project idea and then figure out what standards “fit” the project?  What […]

It’s That Time of Year, Again      I had a conversation with a teacher today that was very refreshing and revealing.  It seems I’m not alone in feeling like I am giving up on some of my students.  The last few years I have really just gotten tired around the first of May and there are some students who […]

The Cost of Field Testing      This week our Freshmen students took the first two tests in the latest version of Texas’ standardized testing program STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness).  At the same time our Juniors were being tested in a field test on the same subject areas.  I had the opportunity to be one […]

What A PBL Teacher Does on Vacation       Today is the first day of my Spring Break and I am relaxing by watching NCAA Basketball, keeping tabs on SXSWi, thinking about how I will be mentoring a school doing a school-wide pbl, and planning my classes for when the break ends.      There are teachers who will not do […]

Manor Plays the State Assessment Game      Today I attended our district’s meeting to lock in details for how the state’s new End of Course (EOC) exams will effect our students.  We met to discuss key issues concerning how we would convert the scale score to a grade and how (or if) these exams would effect the Grade Point […]