Christina Carey - I appreciate the formal and informal ways that you work to empathize with your students and show them that you care for them. As awful as it is that they shared so many terrible words and slurs they hear on campus, I'm glad that they have you- hearing them and standing up with them. I also think your findings about how students use space are informative. I know that Rashida Haveliwala worked on furniture purchases last year- I wonder if that is still available now that you know more about what your students need?
Gray Bae -It is so interesting to see how two different students can have such opposite reactions and needs in class (preferences for group work, etc.) I appreciate the courage to open yourself up to your students' honest feedback and your realization about the needs of your quiet students. I'd love to hear how that realization is translating into changing the dynamic in your room- AND how we might share what you're discovering with other teachers.
Melanie Westover - The topic of, 'My teacher said, "I could not make up the missing work"' and the impact of zeros in a grading scale has been a recent focus of conversation among my colleagues. One of our Instructional Coaches, Dawn Nogueiro found a remarkable article from ASCD that illustrates the problem of zeros that kids are not allowed to fix. The article also proposes alternate views and methods of grading that can lessen the impact of a zero and put the focus back on student learning and progress. I know your topic is bigger and broader than just this issue, but I thought you might want to check out the article Dawn found: http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/117010/chapters/The-Zero.aspx