Our school is finishing up All School Reads 2018 with the book Saving Wonder by Mary Knight.  In this multi-layered, wholesome teen read, Curley Hines and his best friend Jules are trying to save their mountain and their favorite tree from being blown apart by coal mining.  Teachers shared music, videos, current events, and more […]

I’d like to share Guerin’s “9 Valuable Ways to Make Learning Irresistible,” all of which can be accomplished using either a high-tech or low-tech option.  (Comments in parentheses are from me.)   Learning involves choice.  Learners need greater ownership and opportunities to make choices regarding time, place, path, and pace.  (Think about allowing students to […]

More Vibrant Schools

March 1, 2018

The best article from the March 2018 issue of the journal Educational Leadership is entitled, “Fostering More Vibrant Schools” by Susie Fitzhugh.  This article really speaks to me.  It addresses the fact that what parents and students really look for in a school is an environment that fosters “wonder, playfulness, laughter, movement, creativity, and adventurous learning.”  […]

Why Teens Like Dystopia

January 2, 2018

I’m often asked by parents why I recommend dark novels to students.  My 8th grade book club tried to read one novel in particular, Ember Burning by Jennifer Alsever.  I asked for permission slips because the book does include many young adult themes that might be better suited to high school, but we discussed those […]

The Instructional Gourmet

September 12, 2017

If cooking is your passion, you know it helps to add the right stuff to make the dish taste better.  That’s why my husband, a gourmet chef, has a list of four different balsamic vinegars on his birthday gift list. On the other hand, if a standard knife will do the job of slicing cucumbers […]

A recent news article reminded me there is a down side to using devices in the classroom: Learning software in classrooms earns praise, causes debate: https://apnews.com/620924b7d5544841a0b0398dfb9c6e7d The question, it seems to me, is the same question all parents have grappled with since … well, since parenting became a thing we do here on planet earth. […]

Recently, a fellow teacher came to me elated because her students did exactly what they were supposed to do the previous day, when there was a sub in the room.  She spent the day full of anxiety because her class, broadcast journalism, requires every student to be doing something different with all kinds of equipment […]

Make Learning Personal

March 2, 2017

This book, and its companion, How to Personalize Learning, are pretty much the “bible” for understanding why schools are making the switch from computer labs to devices in every hand.

My library is no longer a tribute to Dewey-Decimal symmetry.  It is a not-quite bookstore model/Dewey hybrid that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever … unless you happen to be an actual patron.  That’s because I have re-imagined the question of “where should this go” by looking at the picture from a student’s point of view. […]

I hear from many teachers who wish for something that will never happen — 1:1 devices for every student.  Not only will there never be a budget for this at my school, but I would not prefer it anyway.  Our aim is personalized learning.  Personalized learning is … well… personalized.  Imagine being asked to use […]