That digital program your school bought will never transform learning

It seems like most teachers and students have access to a paid-for digital learning program. You know the kind - RAZ kids, IXL, Spelling City, any one of those listed in the featured image of this article - and they all promise to raise achievement while making learning "fun". These CAI (computer assisted instruction) programs … Continue reading That digital program your school bought will never transform learning

Student Inventions Face Evaluation in the Shark Tank

This week, my students will be presenting their inventions to an audience of parents and community members. Instead of doing a traditional exhibition, where students stand for an hour and answer questions next to their display, we are doing something different: A Year 5 Shark Tank. Many of us already know the reality show, "Shark … Continue reading Student Inventions Face Evaluation in the Shark Tank

Ways to Enhance Reading and Writing Workshop with Technology

Our school recently made the switch to Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Although Stephanie and I received some surface level training on the project in our previous school, this has been the first time that we have been asked to follow the program with a high level of fidelity. Like with any … Continue reading Ways to Enhance Reading and Writing Workshop with Technology

What Does a 21st Century Classroom Look, Sound, and Feel Like?

Part of a technology coach's role these days is to convince teachers that their job description has changed. The industrial model of education is well past its expiration date, and the generation of students born today are going to graduate into a world that will look completely different than our own. In order to train … Continue reading What Does a 21st Century Classroom Look, Sound, and Feel Like?

5 Quick Projects That Make Use of Green Screen

It might come as a surprise to some teachers that all it takes to replicate the green screen effects that we all see in the movies and on the news is a free green screen app and some green butcher paper. Once I put up my own DIY green screen in my classroom, my students … Continue reading 5 Quick Projects That Make Use of Green Screen

“The What” vs. “The How” of Education

After reading the above tweet, I've been thinking a lot about this idea that we may very well spend too much time talking about what we should teach rather than how we should teach. And the more I think about it, the more I crave conversations that concern the how of education. Learning-focused conversation is learner and … Continue reading “The What” vs. “The How” of Education

How to Set Up a Week of Free Inquiry for Anywhere, Anytime Learning

When I was just a first year teacher, I placed a lot of value on my ability to control student behaviors. While students were quiet and well-behaved to the passing observer, I could sense that I was not facilitating the kind of learning experiences that I wanted from my teachers during my own education. The … Continue reading How to Set Up a Week of Free Inquiry for Anywhere, Anytime Learning

5 Books To Start a Book Club for Teachers

There is something special about book clubs that you don't get from other forms of teacher PD. I love the feeling of finally being able to share what I've read with a group of likeminded individuals, all of whom have a different perspective on the same source material. In book clubs, everyone comes in as … Continue reading 5 Books To Start a Book Club for Teachers

5 Fun Idea Generators to Get Kids Writing

Before 1:1, I used to take lists of writing prompts or story starters that I found online and cut them out into small strips for the students. It was time consuming, and when they were all used up, I had to go find some more. Nowadays, I rely mostly on online random generators to create … Continue reading 5 Fun Idea Generators to Get Kids Writing

Teacher Draws 180 Unique Whiteboard Illustrations: One for Every Day of the School Year

I wanted to write about something different today, and I hope that it inspires you as much as it inspired me. Lately, I have become interested in teacher creativity, or perhaps the lack thereof in education today. In a profession so concerned with developing our children's creative capacities, the average school can be a shockingly … Continue reading Teacher Draws 180 Unique Whiteboard Illustrations: One for Every Day of the School Year