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
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!
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?
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?
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
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
In a week or so, I will be presenting at AEC 2017 about blended learning design and evaluation, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to give my thoughts on the enormous responsibility that we have as trainers and presenters to differentiate for the various levels of teachers that exist in our schools. I am lucky … Continue reading When it Comes to PD, Teachers Need Differentiation
Last year around this time, I was invited to the AEC conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I took two institutes that really blew my mind. One of those was led by the fantastic Karen Boyes, and it focused on getting students to do the thinking and take control of their learning. I'm happy to announce … Continue reading Guest Article on TeachersMatterMagazine
Warning: This post is going to be about reading, and it is going to encourage you to read. You may need to go grab your spectacles. While mindlessly scrolling through my Twitter feed, I recently saw this infographic by @grantdraws: https://twitter.com/ImpactWales/status/878519866214502400 It not only had a great Quentin Blake-like look and style (compare it to … Continue reading Do Teachers Have to Be Readers?
One of the most endearing that my students are is when they are helping younger children. Preparing the classroom at the end of the year for the next group of students is considered a critical job for them, whether they are sharpening pencils or throwing out markers that no longer work. This year I decided … Continue reading 3 Fun Inquiry Math Activities for the Last Week of School