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Chad Ostrowski | @chadostrowski

Chad Ostrowski | @chadostrowski

After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree In Biology, Chad Ostrowski or “Mr. O” as his students fondly call him, set his sights on education. He was chosen as one of only 50 individuals in the state of Ohio to be granted the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship through the Ohio STEM Learning Network.  Through this fellowship he received his Master’s in Science Education and gained intensive training and expertise in STEM education, Problem Based Learning, Inquiry based instruction as well as other cutting edge educational research and modern pedagogical theory.


 


 


 


Ostrowski has since presented research at the NSTA National Conference on Problem Based Learning in the Gifted Classroom and Continues to develop and research modern innovative educational practices. Chad has been teaching  Middle School Science in a high needs urban district for 4 years. In that short time, due to his dedication to teaching, innovative teaching methods and educational leadership he has been named Science Department Chair within his building, Building Leadership Team member and District Co-chair of Middle School Science Curriculum.


 


 


 


It is through these foundations that he has created and developed  the The Grid Method - Mastery Learning System in order to synthesize his knowledge of best practices in education into a system that allows ALL of his students to meet and exceed  their potential.


 


 


 


Chad has now left the classroom to shre his innovative practices, techniques and strategies with educators all over the country. He does this through speaking at conferences, providng teacher development and workshops, as well as producing blogs, and videos.

Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

Have you fallen out of love?

I know that title is a little corny but, if you are in a place right now where you are having to drag yourself out of bed and into your classroom, you need to keep reading.

How Did This Happen?

You might be wondering how you got to this place. When you first started your career you were passionate, energetic, couldn't wait to change the world through education. You spoke up in meetings, shared inspirational quotes about learning and student achievement on social media, and wanted to make a difference.

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Posted by on in Education Technology

You’ve finally got that requested tech…now what?

So you’re school just got 1:1 tech, or you just got your request for iPads granted on an online funding site you signed up for (congrats! that’s awesome!) For a lot of teachers that I talk with, it seems like they think as soon as you get that tech in your room the world will change and all of your problems will disappear. To be honest, when I got some additional tech for my room, I thought the same things was going to happen.

The Reality

When I first received some additional tech that ended up being 1:1 after a hodgepodge of some laptops here, iPods here, and tablets over there, I thought everything was going to just magically improve in my classroom. The reality of it was that I just had another tool to help my students, NOT a “cure all” for all of the issues that exist in my classroom.

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Posted by on in Project-Based Learning

PBLFail

The Power and Pitfalls of PBL’s

Alright, lets just get this part out of the way first: I realize there are drastic differences between project based learning and problem based learning experiences, but for the purpose of this post I am going to hybridize the two concepts because the content of what you are about to read is relevant for both project based, as well as problem based learning experiences.

PBL’s are a great learning tool. They can increase engagement, help connect students to larger concepts, and enable teachers to show cross-cutting or cross-curricular concepts in a way that students can really buy-in to. I use PBL’s all the time, but I see others stumble, fall, and curse the name when they are implemented improperly.

The problems with PBL’s (haha…get it?)

Let me preface this by saying that there is no definitive “right” way to implement problem based learning, but I would strongly argue that there are plenty of wrong ways to do it. Often, when teachers start implementing PBL’s they think that they are going to provide an awesome “artifact” or engaging “hook” and in 2 – 3 magical weeks the students will have produced these amazing products of learning. The problem is that they don’t plan the day-to-day and just assume that the PBL will run itself.

It is in the facilitation of problem based learning that the majority of learning occurs. If you expect students to “connect all the dots” alone and without your guidance (and without well thought out planning) you’re most likely in for a struggle. The end result will most likely be a chaotic few weeks and products that are less than stellar with little concrete evidence of learning or growth.

Things you can do to make your next PBL Great

When you design and implement problem based learning, think about how you will structure the learning experience. Think about providing daily check-ins and exit discussions to monitor progress. You can also break the project into tasks and organize it into a self-paced system to allow students the freedom to work but with the accountability of formative check-ins or assessments.

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Posted by on in School Culture

no excuses

This Might Get Ugly...

I'm going to start by fully understanding the vulgar gestures you may want to make towards your computer screen or the nasty emails you might write to me after reading this, but I think it needs to be said. But I believe that, by the end of this, you will at least partially agree.

First, let me admit

As a teacher I know it's one of the hardest jobs in the world. I fully admit that trying to educate students who are lacking necessary skills, two to three grade levels behind, unmotivated, and we'll just say "challenging" can be extremely challenging. And let's not forget all those ridiculous management issues you shouldn't have to deal with, but do very day because "hey, it's part of the job." Trust me, I get it. I really do.

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Posted by on in General

homework stress

It's The Age Old Debate

Depending on which camp you belong to, you are either starting to get fired up about students needing practice at home, OR you are thinking "down with homework!"

To be honest, I see the merit of both arguments and there is a lot of research out there that supports practice and also says additional work doesn't improve student outcomes. I could reference and review all of this research but you probably don't want to read it and I'd really like to get to my primary point here. The real debate shouldn't be"practice v. no homework." It should be about what KIND of work you are assigning. 

Is What You're Assigning Worthwhile for YOU and Your Learners?

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