Five Most Viewed Radical Reads of 2012

It’s hard to believe that another year of writing here on the Radical is coming to a close, y’all.  Every time that I sit down behind the keyboard and start clicking away, I keep my fingers crossed that I’ll churn out bits that SOMEONE will find useful.

Having spent the better part of the past 8 years learning from others who are freely giving their thoughts and ideas away online, being useful is important to me.

I want to do my part — in my own simple way — to give back.

That’s why I wanted to take a minute to spotlight the five Radical reads that were viewed the most times in the past year.  Doing so will put the content that others found the most provocative in one place. It’s like crowdsourced filtering, right?

So here are the five most viewed posts on the Tempered Radical in 2012:

What if You Flipped Your Faculty Meetings? (15,379 views)

In this post, I challenge school principals to model the kinds of learner centered instructional practices that they’d like to see happening in classrooms by finding ways to flip their faculty meetings.


Writing Student-Friendly Learning Goals (14,116 views)

Written in November of 2008, this post ranks as one of the most viewed Radical Reads of all time.  In it, I lay out a clear process for — and rationale behind — converting the clunky objectives found in state curriculum guides into language that parents and students can understand.


Using Google Docs for to Create Digital Kits for Student Projects (9,918 views)

One of the ideas that I believe in is that teachers can make digital moviemaking projects a WHOLE lot easier by assembling kits of content — pictures, music, statistics, quotes — for their students before the project even begins.

In this post, I show readers how to use Google Docs to do just that.


What if Schools Created a Culture of Do INSTEAD of a Culture of Know? (6,126 views)

A highlight of my professional year was working with Patrick Larkin, Larry Fliegelman and Kristen Swanson to reimagine schools as a part of a David Jakes presentation at Educon.

Together, we wrestled with the changes that would need to be made to turn schools into places where doing mattered more than knowing.


Writing 25 Word Stories [HANDOUT] (5,700 views)

For years, Kevin Hogdson — @dogtrax on Twitter — has been writing 25 word stories that he shares on Twitter.  Knowing that students have troubles with word choice while writing, I thought the same process would make for a good lesson.  That’s what I share in this post.


I think what I’m proudest of in this list of the most viewed Radical Reads is that all of my professional interests are represented.

I really am just as passionate about wrestling with just what our schools should be as I am about trying to help readers find ways to integrate digital tools into their work or sharing lessons that have worked in my classroom — and I’m jazzed that those passions resonate with all y’all.

And I really am thankful that you choose to keep reading.



6 thoughts on “Five Most Viewed Radical Reads of 2012

  1. Bill Ferriter

    Hey Matt,
    Thanks for stopping by and pointing out those two posts! As strange as it seems, I almost always forget about things that Ive written — and thats true for those pieces. Whats sad is that I loved them too! Both you and John are great at pushing my thinking around assessment and PLCs — and thats what happened in those two pieces. I learned as much by writing them as you did by reading them.
    Now Ive got to share them out as Reads from the Radical Archives!
    Rock right on,

  2. Matt Townsley

    My favorite post of the year (and not just because it was in response to my question) was
    You shared the ups and downs…the view from the trenches of your journey with common formative assessments. You’re a reflective guy to begin with, but reading about your journey really got me jazzed up for the work we’re doing locally.
    The second post that had a profound impact on my work in 2012?
    You said (in response to John) “If “we” are committed to figuring out what works with our kids and “I” discover something that makes a real difference, “you” ought to be willing to give it a whirl in your room.”
    In a world where it’s easy to shut our doors and assume we’re doing a great job as classroom teachers (I did it…for nearly six years) while at the same time fending off the temptation to crank out cookie cutter lessons based on rigid pacing guides in the name of increasing student achievement, your nuanced look at this topic has helped me stay grounded.
    Looking forward to reading the Radical in 2013!

  3. John Wink

    I would like to thank you for your work on the Radical. I have used your work to inspire my work as well as help me refine my own writing. Your ideas are consistently fresh and innovative, and every educator should have you in their feed. In 2013, I wish you continued success both in the classroom and in your work with educators.
    Keep rocking on,

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