How Can 13+ Social Media be Leveraged for Elementary Students?

I've always instinctively felt that educators are missing out on a goldmine of learning opportunities by avoiding or banning social media use in the classroom. Do a quick Google search and you'll find a large variety of opinions on social media in the classroom, ranging from "It's cool, but how to use it?" to "It … Continue reading How Can 13+ Social Media be Leveraged for Elementary Students?

10 Year Olds Ask You to Play Their Games for #HourofCode

The #HourofCode is a special time that is meant to demystify the skill of coding for all ages of learners. In previous years, my students have created a Caine's Arcade-style event for the community where the frames of the arcade machines were made out of cardboard and the screens were the students' iPads. You can … Continue reading 10 Year Olds Ask You to Play Their Games for #HourofCode

After 100 Years of the Same Teaching Model It’s Time to Throw Out the Playbook

In looking back at my parents' education in the 1950s and 60s, and my own education in the 1990s and 2000s, I worry sometimes that despite the huge advances that we've seen in technology, not much has changed when it comes to how we view learning and how we design learning environments. The transmission model … Continue reading After 100 Years of the Same Teaching Model It’s Time to Throw Out the Playbook

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

Lorraine is a newly qualified teacher of middle school math and science at Khartoum International Community School. She was actually a teaching assistant/student teaching intern in my Year 5 classroom for a year while she worked towards her certification. We recently sat down and talked about her thoughts and feelings about the profession as part … Continue reading Why Would Anyone Want to Become a Teacher – My Interview with a Newly Qualified Teacher

Empowering Students to Take Creative Action

Action can come in many forms, and, depending on the group of kids you're given, students' attitude towards action ranges from the enthusiastic to the idealistic to the unsustainable to the irresponsible. While taking action is a major component of the IB PYP, it can be tricky for teachers to get it right. https://youtu.be/WN0yCYVBD5U In … Continue reading Empowering Students to Take Creative Action

Making Required Homework More Effective: An Experiment in My Class

It is increasingly common knowledge that homework is modestly effective in the upper grades, but barely effective at all in elementary. While we all have our own thoughts and opinions on how to empower students to engage in learning activities at home, most schools have specific policies in regards to homework, including how many minutes … Continue reading Making Required Homework More Effective: An Experiment in My Class

10 Great Resources for Teaching Mindfulness

In addition to presenting about BLE design at the AEC Conference 2017 in Nairobi, Stephanie and I had the opportunity to attend a mindfulness workshop by the amazing Robyn Harwood (@rsharwood1). Since this powerful experience, I've begun to explore how teaching mindfulness can impact my community of learners. Here are some of the resources that … Continue reading 10 Great Resources for Teaching Mindfulness

5 Reflection Activities to Help Students Glow and Grow

After a recent mindfulness training by the amazing Robyn Harwood (@rsharwood1) at the AEC Conference 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya, I started beginning the day with structured and intentional mindful breathing exercises to help my students find some inner peace after their highly stimulating morning. The success of these breathing exercises to get students "in the … Continue reading 5 Reflection Activities to Help Students Glow and Grow

Evaluating Blended Learning Classroom Design

At this year's AISA Educator's Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, I had the opportunity to present some of the models that I have used and created to evaluate blended learning classroom design. Much of this work was done alongside Brad Arnold (@leybradly), and was previously discussed in my article, That digital program your school bought will never … Continue reading Evaluating Blended Learning Classroom Design

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