Homework not effective? What about distance learning?

Homework is one of those contentious things that divides teachers as well as parents. John Hattie's research leads to the conclusion that homework in primary school has an effect of nearly zero.  But the reality is that many schools have policies that require homework to be assigned to students on a daily or weekly basis. This … Continue reading Homework not effective? What about distance learning?

Podcasts are Great Way to Develop Speaking and Listening

If you've ever checked out our Friends of Educationrickshaw.com page, you may have seen mention of my best friend Jim Stewart Allen's ongoing podcast project, Historiography!. While the content is geared towards adults, we were able to collaborate on an episode that made it into my classroom:     In the episode, Jim makes a … Continue reading Podcasts are Great Way to Develop Speaking and Listening

The Power of Digital Manipulatives

I wanted to share this Infographic by MIND Research Institute today, as it confirms some of my experiences with digital manipulatives in my classroom. My biggest takeaway from the infographic is the idea that you can scaffold the concepts by first starting with physical manipulatives (we do learn with our bodies!), and then transitioning to digital … Continue reading The Power of Digital Manipulatives

3 Old School Elementary Events That Still Have Value (but Need to Change)

In a never-ending quest to innovate in the classroom, it can be easy to shun the traditional elements of Western education in favor of those that feel more trendy. Try posting a photo of a Science Fair on Twitter and you'll get far fewer likes than if you post about students coding video games for a … Continue reading 3 Old School Elementary Events That Still Have Value (but Need to Change)

“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

Teachers Need Tech Sandbox Time

Have you ever met a teacher that had too much planning and nothing to do? Me neither. We fill our planning times and the cracks in between being extremely busy with a litany of time-consuming tasks. That's why administrators and instructional coaches like myself need to give teachers time to just play around with all … Continue reading Teachers Need Tech Sandbox Time

Using Keynote to Teach the Scientific Method

I love teaching science to my students. You get to play, use your hands, and discover new things. For those of you who aren't teachers, I have to emphasis how incredibly fun this actually is. I spent an hour today with my students fashioning scissors, raising flags on pulley systems, clicking together wheel barrels and … Continue reading Using Keynote to Teach the Scientific Method

Teacher Toolkit For Seesaw

Many teachers are using @Seesaw for student portfolios or as an online work journal. Here are some resources that I've cooked up for how to go beyond simply posting student work to creating an environment that facilitates learning. Click on any of the below articles for a thorough write-up on ways to use Seesaw in … Continue reading Teacher Toolkit For Seesaw

Introducing Subtraction with Regrouping Through Inquiry

A few weekends ago, I went to a great workshop on ‘Teaching and Learning through Inquiry’ by Kath Murdoch and came back to work inspired. My class was ready to start using regrouping to subtract 3-digit numbers, and I wanted to help my students get a deep understanding of why we regroup. Inquiry learning is … Continue reading Introducing Subtraction with Regrouping Through Inquiry