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Education Resources


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sharp pencil

Being a student requires a lot of studying, practicing and combining both to really excel at school. You might want to get good grades to help your future career, or just impress your teachers with your knowledge, but whatever the case may be, there’s always more to learn and more to do.

If you’re not getting that extra kick of the wits in your classroom or from the textbook, we have prepared a couple of resources that are going to indulge your knowledge tooth (yes, we just made that up). By visiting these you are going to be able to practice your skills and improve them above and beyond all your colleagues who stick to the regular methods. Keep on reading to find out which platforms we recommend to all students thirsty of improvement.


There’s nothing like a TedEd video to enlighten, inspire and teach you something new. You can find lessons on pretty much any topic you like and want to know more about and explore materials for your own educational purposes. The categories vary from psychology and business, to design and languages.

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I was a weird child. Once in second grade, I wore underwear to school thinking they were shorts. I remember that red pair of underwear. Rubber band drawn through waist. White numbers figuring prominently. Swag.

As an adult, I am still weird. In an adult sort of a way.

I mean, I don’t wear just underwear to work. And though I do wear a pair of pants every single day, they sometimes have a stain on them.

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"Frustration" is probably the best word that can be used to describe my feeling after watching the film adaptation of JoJo Moyes' Me Before You. The film centers on William Traynor, a man who sustains a disability after an accident, and who ultimately (spoiler) chooses assisted suicide over life in a wheelchair. The film came under fire by critics for perpetuating harmful, inaccurate stereotypes about people with disabilities. Indeed, Me Before You would have us believe that people with quadriplegia are asexual beings who cannot enjoy truly robust lives. And who can't visit Paris for some reason.

Me Before You was clearly written by someone who has little experience with disabilities in the same way that, say, Heart of Darkness was composed by someone who had very little interaction with Congolese natives. I wonder, though, how many students out there would be able to recognize the problematic nature of the text. Or how many would walk away from the film feeling mere pity for those with spinal cord injuries? Likewise, how many students who read John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men are troubled by the ending and skeptical of Steinbeck's portrayal of intellectual disabilities? How many see Lennie as an animal-like creature whose death was inevitable?

How many students have only been exposed to what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls a "single story" about disabilities?

Education provides us with a vehicle for breaking down stereotypes and for exploring difference - or perceived difference. Here is one activity that can help teachers to lay a groundwork for helping students to recognize and counter disability stereotypes.

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How many times have you finished a fantastic book full of so many ideas, and then struggled to tell people about it? You know the book is full of ideas you think would not only benefit you and your students but other teachers and their students. However the best you can muster up in a conversation is, "It was a great book,"  "You should read it," or "You would really like to read it." Not glowing reviews, even by Amazon's standards. 
If you are like me, chances are this has happened to you many times. I feel foolish I cannot articulate anything better than, "You should read it." (Makes me wonder how I can articulate enough to write my blogs.) And even worse, even though I know however great the book was I just read, I end up forgetting a lot of it. Sure I underlined or highlighted and made comments in the book, but those books ultimately end up on my shelf waiting for some company from the elf the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas eve. 
So what can be done to better articulate, remember, and put those ideas from the book into practice? While sketchnoting looks and sounds really effective, I am not there yet. However it does not mean I won't try that out someday soon. I think it is a great practice and something worthwhile. For now though, I like to do the following:

Wait one, maybe two days which gives me time to digest and reflect what I just read

Go back through the book and my notes

Make an outline from my notes in Google docs (this way I can access it anytime, anywhere)

Join in book chats on Twitter

Nothing extraordinary. Just simple things to help me make the book more relevant.
So far this summer, I have read Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development by Jason Bretzmann, Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller, and Kids Deserve It! by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome. All four books I think are great, and really think you should read them.) With all the ideas I want to try out this coming school year from them, I know that I will forget a lot of what I read from them, unless I take a little extra time with them. 
The Twitter book chats/conversations for the aboved mentioned books are:

Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development: #personalizedpd

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PLN Sign

This will be my 15th year of teaching coming up, and I have learned so much the past three years compared to all of my previous years of teaching. The difference? Building and engaging a professional learning network (PLN). Connecting with fellow educators from around the world via Twitter, Google+, Voxer, Pinterest, and attending conferences (on my list for this coming year is to attend at least one edcamp) has not only given me new ideas and a much deeper knowledge base, but it has also deepened my passion for teaching and learning. 

Building my PLN has been the single best thing I have done in my career so far for me and my students. After participating in Twitter chats like #paedchat, #personalizedpd, and a few others, I went into work excited every day this year past year, and I cannot wait for the next school year to begin. There was not one day I did not feel like not going in. There was not one "mental health day" I felt I needed to take. There was not one question that I did not think that could not be answered by someone in my PLN. There was not one hurdle I did not think that could not be overcome with the help of my PLN. 

So with all the fantastic ways collaborating and communicating with others has affected me, why would I not allow my students the same opportunity? If collaborating and communicating with others is such a positive and meaningful experience, why keep it to ourselves? Why are we hesitant to give up that control in our classroom? Why keep our students from working together on a regular basis when employers want employees who have good interpersonal skills and the willingness to listen and work with others?

Imagine if students were excited to come into school every day to collaborate, communicate, and learn. Imagine if students did not feel the need to try to pull the old Ferris Bueller sick day. Imagine if students felt that no question was too hard for them because they knew they could rely on their PLN to help them through. Imagine if they truly had the love for learning. Imagine if they felt they wanted to go to school, rather than had to go to school.  

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