By Mike Thomas

There are many metrics for judging school success—test scores, advanced coursework and so on.

My metric is hands in the air. When you walk into a classroom and see hands in the air, quivering and shaking, silently pleading with the teacher to “call on me,” it translates into enthusiastic learners.


It’s hard to overestimate the value of buy-in from the kids in the classroom.

At Dayspring Academy, in classroom after classroom, the hands are figuratively flapping in the breeze.

In Barbara Naporano’s second-grade class, the kids sometimes grow impatient, forget formalities and simply blurt out answers. And these are to math questions, no less.

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Mrs. Beck Differentiated learning group