Memories of a warm-strict “DI-KR” teacher

My first grade teacher's name was Ms. Wee. Other than her last name, there wasn't much else funny about her. Ms. Wee was someone I would characterize as a warm-strict, traditional teacher. I still remember the contrast between how carefully she controlled our entry into the classroom on the first day of school compared to … Continue reading Memories of a warm-strict “DI-KR” teacher

Thanks, But I’ll Keep My Scientific Research

I recently tweeted the rather innocuous statement, How do we shift the focus of professional learning from “what we believe works” to "what the science suggests is likely to work"? https://twitter.com/MrZachG/status/1395067611591766020?s=20 For most who joined the discussion, this was an opportunity to contribute ideas for solutions, such as building professional learning communities at the school … Continue reading Thanks, But I’ll Keep My Scientific Research

Solving Problems is an Inefficient Way to Learn How to Solve Problems

I am the Director of Educational Technology at an independent school, which in normal times means I do a lot of coaching and strategizing around technology-enhanced instruction. I chair a department and a committee of pedagogically savvy EdTech coordinators and teachers, and we work on ways to improve the academic program. However, due to some … Continue reading Solving Problems is an Inefficient Way to Learn How to Solve Problems

Are PBL and Direct Instruction Compatible?

A tweet from Edutopia titled, "Dispelling Myths About PBL and Direct Instruction" had me quite confused today. In the tweeted video, the speaker, Dr. Darling-Hammond, explained how it would be incorrect to assume that Project-Based Learning (PBL) and direct instruction are antithetical because they are actually complementary instructional techniques that mix well. If direct instruction … Continue reading Are PBL and Direct Instruction Compatible?

5 Research Articles for Amplifying Assessment and Feedback

I'm excited to announce that I am contributing a chapter on assessment and feedback for the upcoming book, Amplified Learning: A Global Collaborative! The book has quite an interesting concept: Each chapter begins by capturing the experiences of the contributing teacher through vignettes and examples before transitioning into the supporting research on a particular topic … Continue reading 5 Research Articles for Amplifying Assessment and Feedback

Should Teachers Know How Learning Happens?

I was recently invited to speak on the From Page to Practice podcast about the book How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice by Paul A. Kirschner and Carl Hendrick. The first author does a great job of introducing the book at the beginning, and my lovely voice … Continue reading Should Teachers Know How Learning Happens?

Cognitive Load Theory, Executive Function, and Instructional Design

I recently attended a conference about teaching students with executive functioning challenges. Executive functions are a set of essential cognitive capabilities and skills typically encompassing the three areas of self-control, flexible thinking, and working memory. Depending on which executive function skill or capacity you're targeting, students can be supported by changing the environment, changing the … Continue reading Cognitive Load Theory, Executive Function, and Instructional Design

Asynchronous Learning: The Answer to Mid-Year Monotony and Teacher Burn-Out?

By far the most popular blog on this site (in recent years) is the The Unproductive Debate of Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning post that I wrote right as COVID hit, a post that already seems out of date. In a close second is the Scheduling Remote Learning to Allow for “Flow”. In both posts, I … Continue reading Asynchronous Learning: The Answer to Mid-Year Monotony and Teacher Burn-Out?

5 EdTech Myths We Should Leave Behind

This week I led a reading group session at my school on the article, "Have Technology and Multitasking Rewired How Students Learn?" by Daniel Willingham (here). Having led a lot of these, I'm convinced that reading groups are a more effective and enjoyable form of professional learning than ones that do not focus on a … Continue reading 5 EdTech Myths We Should Leave Behind

Why the Genius Hour Fad Died

When I first started teaching 9 years ago, there was a palpable buzz in the air around a pedagogical approach called "Genius Hour," also known as "20 Percent Time." This is where students choose a project that excites them, such as crocheting or building a rocket, and work on that project, unguided, every week during … Continue reading Why the Genius Hour Fad Died