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Showing posts from May, 2019

Do I Really Wanna Know

As my school year winds down, I try to take a little time to reflect on my year. I try to do this while things are still fresh. Things are so fresh in fact, I still have another week and a half left in school. While this time of year is crazy and so many kids are checked out, i thought it might be nice to get feedback from students on all of the changes i have made this year. Of course when I think of all the work I've put into those changes, the natural question becomes "do I really want to know students opinions?" The natural answer all of us are taught to say is yes, of course we want feedback from all stakeholders and students should have a say in their education. Of course that sounds good in theory, but in practice, it can be much harder. Realistically, it is hard not to take it personally when a kid says they don't like the system you set up. I wouldn't want to gather data as a show of valuing student opinions while they feel pressure to compliment me, so …

Arts Madness Round 2

I am about half way through the second round of voting in my Arts Madness tournament. It has been a tremendous success so far. I am seeing students come in asking about who is still in it and who has been eliminated, I hear students talking about who they think will win and discussing why they pick one work over another.


I was really surprised by some of the giants of art history who were eliminated in the first round. Picasso, Warhol, Rembrandt and Pollock were all knocked out. Students were delighted when I shared that Pollock was actually eliminated by his wife, Lee Krasner. I didn't think of this when I first started the tournament, but it has provided a hook to get students more interested when I can share tidbits and connections among artists.

My entry routine for a few years has been for students to come in and there would be a 5 minute student-led discussion about a work of art on the board. From now until the end of the school year, students come in and scan a QR code on …