Is Math Anxiety Totally Avoidable?

Math and me have had a tumultuous relationship. When I (Zach) was in high school I had a pretty bad math teacher, whose cynicism and poor teaching skills - students were meant to “discover” the solutions to problems before receiving proper instruction - played a role in my decision at the time to never pursue … Continue reading Is Math Anxiety Totally Avoidable?

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?

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

What Students Think of Their Teachers Matters

As the great Dr. Rita Pierson said in her TED talk, "Kids don't learn from people they don't like." This idea is easy for anyone to support with their own anecdotal evidence. When you look back at your school years, with whom did you learn the most? Can you still remember their names? For me, … Continue reading What Students Think of Their Teachers Matters

Stop Letting Students Think They’re Right When They’re Wrong!

When I began writing this blog post, I planned to list examples of ways that we can get students explaining their thinking in the classroom, whether that is through writing, drawing or oral expression. I jotted down a few ideas I’ve used in my own class, and then decided to do a little research. I … Continue reading Stop Letting Students Think They’re Right When They’re Wrong!

Does Hands-up Damage Classrooms?

https://youtu.be/J25d9aC1GZA?t=5m20s I recently watched BBC's Classroom Experiment with Dylan William (YouTube video above). While the program is interesting on so many levels, I was especially drawn to William's first intervention that effectively bans hand-raising from the classrooms he works with, and replaces the practice with popsicle sticks. You can also read more about it in, … Continue reading Does Hands-up Damage Classrooms?

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?

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

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