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

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 […]

10 ideas from Google’s 2016 Education on Air Conference

Students and teachers are doing amazing things with Google tools in the classroom. They’re collaborating. They’re creating. They’re sharing. They’re doing things that would be pretty tough — or impossible — without those tools. Some people look at all that innovation and think, “That’s all well and good … but I can’t dream up all […]

20 ways to use Formative for awesome assessment

When I return graded homework to students, I sort of cringe on the inside. I’m never sure where all that hard work and meaningful feedback is going to end up. Sometimes it’s in the trash (or recycle bin). Sometimes it’s on the floor of the hallway. The worst for me: half-torn and sticking out of the […]

Ditch That Textbook on hiatus until August

Congratulations on arriving at the end of another school year! Getting to June may signal a busy time of your life if you’re like me. For me, it means teaching swimming lessons, coaching a summer swim team, coaching coach-pitch baseball, presenting at conferences and tackling projects I couldn’t do during the school year. As I’m […]

BYOT: Bring Your Own Technology

I teach in a small, rural Midwestern school district where poverty is an issue. Thankfully, we have a technology staff that has been very active in procuring grants for technology, and we are ahead of many school districts like us. However, plenty of poverty-stricken school districts don’t jump into the new world of educational technology […]