Everything Your Brain Should Know About Speeding Up Student Email Communication

Frictionless Teacher-Student CommunicationDo you have an email policy that you share with students on the first day of class?  I do, and it saves me buckets of time. The idea was “borrowed” years ago from Trey Martindale, a professor and Fellow of the University of Memphis Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. He gets more email than Obama. […]

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The Best Education Software Isn’t Education Software

How long have well-meaning adults undercut things that kids enjoy? Exchanging chocolate chip cookies with wheat germ bars (c’mon!), for example, or replacing neighborhood play with kid-friendly yoga. So it doesn’t surprise me when classroom software tries to combine arcade style gaming with skill building, or adds big buttons and garish colors reminiscent of Fisher […]

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Kids’ Global Conversations are Being Livestreamed!

We all want to help students engage in global conversations that will allow them to leverage communities and knowledge, and maybe save the world. But we’re too distracted by the centuries-old debate over how learners should be educated. One side of the debate was enacted by the Roman Catholic Church between 500 A.D. and 1500 A.D. Throughout Europe, priests transmitted knowledge (scripture) via recitation and […]

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Everything Your Brain Should Know about Teaching Grammar

The debate over grammar is not over whether it should be taught, but how.  This post introduces a number of tactics. But let’s start with the fundamentals. There are 4 major ways grammar is taught: Decontextualized Exercises – Includes worksheets, handbook exercises, daily oral language, and bellringers.Contextualized Exercises – Problems chosen from students’ essays. These can also […]

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Tentpole Teaching

In 2005, I remember telling a student that I was working on a ten-year plan. That is, I hoped to be a significantly different and better teacher in ten years. And I think I am, mostly because of tentpole teaching–where I try out a major new way of teaching each semester. If a big idea […]

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9 High School Learning Games

Games unite many of the most powerful initiatives in education: problem based learning, brain-based strategies, technology, collaboration, inquiry, and student engagement. If you aren’t paying attention to gaming, you’re missing a major transformational force for student learning.With the help of Christine Leary, I’ve assembled 9 of the best technology-based learning games–a few of them are even […]

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Talking Engagement with Edspiration

This week, I was interviewed on John Linney’s Edspiration podcast about a post that he read on this blog Everything Your Brain Needs to Know about How to Engage Students. Here are the highlights from that 30-minute interview. 1. What is a favorite quote that inspires you? Why?I customized one of those tacky silicone wristbands with […]

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10 Things Your Brain Should Know about Standards Based Grading

Why STANDARDS BASED GRADING?The purpose of STANDARDS BASED GRADING is to provide a more accurate indicator of students level of achievement or performance (Stiggins, 2008) and to accurately link curriculum standards to grading.When did STANDARDS BASED GRADING start?The national standards-based reform movement that emerged in the 1990s called for “high standards for all students” to […]

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16 Flicks about Teachers

Top Teaching DocumentariesNumber 7 It’s important for our students to see us there, and approachable, and in their community.” 180 Days: Harsville (2015) Number 6 We want technology to help us create an environment where students are active and engaged.” Future Learning (2012) Number 5 It’s the teacher’s job to point young minds towards the […]

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