11 Books to Start a Book Club for Teachers

I love professional book clubs. If schools are serious about teacher agency and differentiating professional learning for teachers, administrators should consider teacher book clubs as an option. The following is an updated list of 10 books for professional book clubs that I've had the pleasure of either facilitating, attending, or just think could be great if … Continue reading 11 Books to Start a Book Club for Teachers

Does Design/MakerED/STEM even need a curriculum?

I get the sense from some in the creative subjects that the simple practice of putting something down in the form of a written curriculum is too restrictive or too cold and methodical to be worth doing. While schools tend to provide math and reading teachers things like off-the-shelf resources, scope and sequences, and pacing … Continue reading Does Design/MakerED/STEM even need a curriculum?

What constitutes “Balanced Literacy” depends on who you’re talking to.

I recently finished reading Dan Willingham’s book, Raising Kids who Read: What Parents and Teachers can do. Of particular interest to me (Zach) was the chapter in which Willingham described the infamous “Reading Wars”. Having just facilitated design thinking around literacy at my school, during which we started a discourse (Described in this recent post) … Continue reading What constitutes “Balanced Literacy” depends on who you’re talking to.

3 Big Ways Schools Can Enable A Culture of Creativity and Design Thinking

Recently I had the opportunity to present at ETC 2019 in Bangkok with my colleague in MYP Design, Nik Madalinski. Our workshop, called Cre8 Design, was a weird one. We gave participants the chance to pick from 8 micro-presentations around current trends and topics in design technology over the course of 80 minutes (If time … Continue reading 3 Big Ways Schools Can Enable A Culture of Creativity and Design Thinking

How would your students grade you on Rate My Professors?

I recently had the chance to distribute a survey to students in my design classes, one of those school-wide ones that all students have to complete on all of their teachers. I was happy with the results. It included questions such as "My teacher likes me" and "My teacher takes time to speak with me about … Continue reading How would your students grade you on Rate My Professors?

Was The Oregon Trail the Peak of Educational Gaming?

Do you remember the game The Oregon Trail? Did it spark something in you that had you playing it for days on end? Something I share with a lot of nineties kids is the nostalgia for a game that made learning about a relatively brief historical phenomenon fun. On an old Macintosh computer my friends … Continue reading Was The Oregon Trail the Peak of Educational Gaming?

Learning Lists Underwater: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Design

In 1975, a couple of phycologists confirmed an interesting hypothesis: If you send a learner underwater in a scuba suit to memorize a list of words, they will remember those words better when tested underwater than when tested on land. But if the learner learns the words on land, they will remember them better on … Continue reading Learning Lists Underwater: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Design

Turning the Tables on The Ed Podcast

I recently had the opportunity to sit and chat with Shane from The Ed Podcast, a show that focuses on conversations surrounding the teaching life and profession. It was a great experience, and one that I think documents pretty well where I am in my career at this moment in time. Listening to podcasts like … Continue reading Turning the Tables on The Ed Podcast

Why Would Anyone Want to Become a Teacher – My Interview with a Substitute Teacher

Jim Stewart Allen is a standup comedian from Tacoma, Washington. He has also been a substitute teacher for the past three years and loves it. As a part of our Why Would Anyone Want to Become a Teacher? series, we asked Jim a few questions to try to figure out why he does what he … Continue reading Why Would Anyone Want to Become a Teacher – My Interview with a Substitute Teacher

3 “Super Factors” of Effective Instructional Coaching

Many schools are developing instructional coaching programs with the intention of improving the quality of instruction in the classroom. One effect of this growing phenomenon is that improving K-12 teaching and learning is no longer solely the responsibility of the principal, but is distributed across a host of leaders (Neumerski, 2013). The purpose of this … Continue reading 3 “Super Factors” of Effective Instructional Coaching