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27 November 2014 ~ 1 Comment

Doing enormous, game-changing “Moonshot Thinking”

What would you like to see a drastic improvement in? And not just a 10-percent improvement … a 10 TIMES improvement? Today is Thanksgiving for me and my family. I have so much to be thankful for — as a teacher, as a father, as a husband and more. But I’ve written that post before. […]

24 November 2014 ~ 5 Comments

Confessions of an introvert teacher

Confessions of an introvert teacher

Teaching scares me to death. I know, that’s not something that teachers are supposed to say. We should be excited for every opportunity we have to help shape the future of the kids we teach. And I am. Those opportunities make me excited. Just pretty nervous, too. Sunday nights are generally the worst — a […]

20 November 2014 ~ 4 Comments

10 lessons from my readers on badges, motivation

My readers constantly amaze me. A great conversation ensued on my recent post: “Badges vs. curiosity: What should motivate students?” They engaged in a great sharing of viewpoints from both sides of the intrinsic/extrinsic motivation spectrum. The best way to sum up everyone’s input was that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation have their place in […]

17 November 2014 ~ 10 Comments

Badges vs. curiosity: What should motivate students?

As a member of the Austin, Texas, class of the Google Teacher Academy, I’ve been fortunate to be exposed to some great professional learning already. The academy starts in just over two weeks, but I already have learned so much and feel like I know many of the people in my class. We have a […]

13 November 2014 ~ 14 Comments

Why I blog — and why EVERY teacher should

For years, I’ve been the only world languages teacher in my school district. In some ways, it’s a blessing. For example, department meetings are very easy when there’s only one in attendance! But mostly, it’s a pretty lonely road — especially as a new teacher. My first year of teaching was done on an emergency teaching […]

10 November 2014 ~ 6 Comments

Google tools to become a more organized educator

I have to brag on my wife for a second. I married very, very well. She really is a perfect complement to me (as in her strengths are my weaknesses … although compliments are nice, too!). She’s unflappable, level-headed and a great mother and wife. Oh, and she has a memory like a steel trap. […]

06 November 2014 ~ 2 Comments

Free ebook: “The Digital PIRATE,” tech and PIRATE teaching

So, I made something for you. I hope you like it! Dave Burgess’s book “Teach Like a PIRATE” has been an eye-opener for me and countless other teachers around the planet. The book demonstrates how to use passion and the art of performance to create unforgettable learning experiences. It includes my favorite part, hooks — […]

03 November 2014 ~ 3 Comments

20 useful ways to use Padlet in class now

There’s a good chance you’ve done the “write on a sticky note and put it on the wall” activity — or have seen it happen before. Padlet lets those sticky notes have images, links and videos AND be available with practically any Internet-ready device. It used to be blocked by my school’s Internet filter. This school […]

30 October 2014 ~ 5 Comments

The passion that drives me as a teacher

My family moved during the summer between my fifth and sixth grade year. That meant different surroundings. New friends. A new, traditional school that was WAY different than the Montessori-style school I had attended. Going to a new school is bad enough, but being the new kid in sixth grade stinks. Trying to figure out your […]

27 October 2014 ~ 3 Comments

Trying professional development “walkie-talkie style” with Voxer

Do you remember when Sprint announced its “push to talk” technology? Everyone wanted to use their phones as walkie talkies (even if they didn’t know how to keep the volume low enough so everyone in the room wouldn’t hear!). Voxer has made that concept new again, turning iOS, Android and Windows phone devices (and more!) […]