How do you ditch “safe teaching” when prepping for THE test?

In a recent blog post, I suggested that what we consider “safe teaching” might be risky teaching after all. In this post, I talked about how all the traditional, overused teaching techniques — lectures, worksheets, etc. — are easy for students to ignore. And when they’re ignoring instruction, there might as well be no instruction […]

You are in the miracle business — the best business to be in

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The system is getting in the way. Sir Ken Robinson has counseled education leaders all over the world. He’s seen what works and what doesn’t. And there’s a lot we can do in the United States — and in other countries — to improve. Take standardization and competition. We’re mass-producing lessons and units for the […]

Safe teaching is risky teaching

We teachers can be pretty risk averse. We don't like to take chances. But by trying to be safe, often we're engaging in risky teaching. (Public domain image via Pixabay.com)

I remember lots of important moments from my time in all levels of school. Many of them are my times with friends, conversations at the lunch table, sports competitions, etc. I remember some lessons from the classroom. The most vivid ones are projects I did with others or collaborative activities: I remember getting worksheet packets (blech!) […]

12 ways to really make Genius Hour work in your class

Genius Hour empowers students to do something meaningful with their passions. Here are 12 ideas you can use in the classroom from an expert in innovation. (Public domain image via Unsplash)

Lots of schools and classrooms are making innovation a priority and changing how day-to-day school is done. Don Wettrick’s students take it to a whole new level. Don teaches “Innovation Class,” where students take on a project that connects with their passions. In this class, his students have created apps, designed new products and created […]

10 strategies for lightning-quick feedback students can REALLY use

Students crave feedback, but it has to be timely to matter. Here are some strategies for feedback students will WANT to read. (Wikimedia / Carla OLPC Wiki / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Using homework assignments to give feedback is pokey. Inefficient. Slow. Think about the length of the feedback loop for traditional homework assignments: Teacher assigns homework to students. Students take it home (maybe) and work on it (maybe). Students turn it in the next day. Teacher grades and provides comments that night (if not completely swamped […]

Commitment is good. Connections are better.

We can go far when we're committed, but our limitations stop us. We're unstoppable when we're connected. (Public domain image via Canva)

Inspiration seems to strike when we don’t expect it, doesn’t it? I was listening to the radio recently and during a commercial break, they played an excerpt of a speech that stopped me in my tracks. The speaker, Levi Lusko, dropped this line, this knowledge bomb, and immediately I knew I liked it. “Commitment is […]

Preparing students for a start-up, entrepreneur-driven world

As the world changes, skills necessary for start-ups and entrepreneurs are key. See how to bring them to the classroom. (Public domain image via Pixabay.com)

Jeff Hoffman created his first company as a student at Yale University. It was a software company called Competitive Technologies, and it was eventually acquired by American Express. He went on to create a company that helps consumers book travel with airlines, hotels and rental cars at a discount. You may have heard of it. […]

Digging into design thinking: 10 key ideas

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It’s well documented that the world is moving away from routine, repetitive, low cognitive capacity jobs. The “four C’s” — critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity — are on the rise. Instead of being told what to do, workers will need to do more brainstorming, more creating, more problem solving. What better way to learn […]