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18 September 2014 ~ 6 Comments

How to change this classroom habit we’ve gotten wrong for years

How to change this classroom habit we've gotten wrong for years

For a long time, I’ve called myself the “King of the Stick Figure” in my own classroom. If we’re telling a story in my Spanish class or practicing with vocabulary terms, they’re usually all over the board. They’re what I’d call “modified stick figures” or even “glorified stick figures” with accessories: shoes, hair, a cane, [...]

15 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Walter Elias Disney’s wise words for teachers

A trip to Walt Disney World this summer for my family kept my three kids’ eyes wide open. They rode rides, met Mickey and Minnie and saw a lot of the sights that I saw when I visited as a child. The trip was eye-opening for me, too. For one, it got me thinking about [...]

11 September 2014 ~ 4 Comments

The 30 Day PIRATE Challenge: Hooks everywhere!

The 30 Day PIRATE Challenge: Hooks everywhere!

Passion. Enthusiasm. Excitement. The unexpected. If you haven’t read Dave Burgess’s book “Teach Like a PIRATE”, you’re missing out on the inspiration and the great practical ideas to create memorable experiences in class for your students — and greater learning. I was fortunate to hear Dave (daveburgess.com) speak at two conferences this summer and have [...]

08 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

How sketchnoting has changed my thinking as a teacher

How sketchnoting has changed my thinking as a teacher

Last spring, I started sketchnoting. (You know, visual notetaking … where you gather ideas visually on a sheet of paper or, in my case, a blank iPad screen.) It’s been a great experience. I’ve been able to grab ideas from several great keynote speeches I heard at conferences over the summer. I can pull together [...]

04 September 2014 ~ 6 Comments

Creating the schools we need: Learning from Chris Lehmann

Creating the schools we need: Learning from Chris Lehmann

When Chris Lehmann didn’t see the qualities he wanted in schools, he didn’t just turn to Twitter to complain about it or sit idly. He created the school he envisioned. Lehmann is the founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy, an inquiry-driven, project-based modern high school in Philadelphia. It is one of the 10 Most [...]

01 September 2014 ~ 3 Comments

10 great obscure Google tricks for school, life

Google is such a behemoth. It’s next to impossible to count all of the apps it has produced, let alone all of the extra services and goodies that hide within its catacombs. Google has a unique work atmosphere. It’s famous 20 percent time program (where employees have had freedom to pursue projects that interest them [...]

28 August 2014 ~ 4 Comments

10 ways to electrify class with Kahoot!

10 ways to electrify class with Kahoot!

My students have begged for it almost every day. I’ve used it to entertain family and my children (8, 6 and 5 years old) love to play it. It’s educational and engaging. Oh, and it’s FREE. It’s Kahoot! (getkahoot.com), and if you haven’t heard of it, it could be your new favorite digital tool of [...]

25 August 2014 ~ 2 Comments

Four ways to create a Disney-quality magical experience in your classroom

Four ways to create a Disney-quality magical experience in your classroom

There’s a reason Disney Parks have the slogan “Where Dreams Come True.” There’s magic everywhere, from the entrances to the parks to the little details that children uncover to the big experiences everyone looks forward to. The reason that pixie-dust feel permeates everything points right back to the founder, Walt Disney. He was an innovator. [...]

21 August 2014 ~ 19 Comments

12 great ways to start using Google Classroom now

12 great ways to start using Google Classroom now

After waiting all summer, Google Classroom is finally available to all Google Apps for Education teachers and students. Google’s venture into the world of learning management systems seems to be a pretty solid one. My first impressions: It looks and feels like a Google product (which it should and which is a good thing) It’s [...]

18 August 2014 ~ 4 Comments

10 timeless tips for teaching with technology

10 timeless tips for teaching with tech

For me, it was the timeless classic Oregon Trail. When I started teaching 10 years ago, it was webquests. Today, it’s iPads, social media and creation tools on the Web. There are three certains in life: death, taxes and changing technology. What students are using today will be way out of style when most of [...]