One thing that surprised me during last spring’s testing season was the heavy use of computer-voice instructions and listening passages on our state’s Common Core-style exam, the SBAC. I hadn’t really taught listening as a specific skill set, yet my students’ scores told me that they needed help there – badly. Continue reading

It’s Saturday morning. I’ve been up since before the sun, working my way through three sections of essays on “The Scarlet Ibis,” a gut-wrenchingly sad short story by James Hurst. For the 22nd time this morning, I read clumsy attempts of freshman brains trying to symbolically connect the crushed red body of a tropical bird […]