Why Should I Care? Engagement through Authenticity

Why should I care? Engagement through Authenticity

This is the question that educators must address, as the answers can determine the level of engagement by students for curriculum experiences. The best answers are not explanations but learning experiences that are authentic to the learners’ world beyond the classroom. In Michigan, 1st and 2nd graders design and maintain a greenhouse to grow vegetables […]

Easy Peasy Comprehension Builders and Boosters!

Happy Back-To-School 2019! I’m so excited for you! Just in time, sharing some of my favorite strategies, time-tested ways to build kids’ understanding when they read. Snap! These hacks work. What do ‘good’ readers do? Comprehension is the goal of all reading.  Children make sense of their world through discovery. Meeting new friends, taking trips […]

Instead of Anticipating the Next Tragedy, Let’s Look Back to Where It May Have All Begun

Every day, we are seeing our teens and young adults expressing so much anger, desperate and unnerving demands for attention, self-destructive behaviors, and acts of terror against other people. We ask why… and wait helplessly for the next time. Instead, let’s examine what we know about human development and specifically the development of infants and […]

Three Students You Need to Reach Right Away

Don’t the first few weeks of school always seem to fly by? It usually takes you a week or so to get back into the routine of waking up early—but before you know it, you’re up before the alarm even goes off. Depending on the size of your class or classes, you are getting to […]

Reading Success Secrets That Make a Difference!

Raising readers is a joy forever! Our mission is sure, no matter how we get there. There’s not a pony in every yard anymore. Imagine how many kids learned to read with Dick and Jane readers, life was different in those stories, couple sight words and colorful pictures on a page, and there you go. […]

Worried About That Student on Your Class List?: Just Remember These 5 Things

You don’t like what you are thinking. How you are feeling, They’re somebody’s kid. Someone’s world. But you can’t help it. Seeing her name on your class list has you worried. All you can think about are class disruptions, interrupted instruction and stand-offs. Please know that that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. We’ve all […]

Back to School Season Have You Feeling a Bit Nervous? (Here’s Why You’re Going to Be Okay)

It’s okay. You’re not the only one who gets a little nervous when the back to school ads start rearing their head. I’ve been in education for more than two decades and I still get nervous this time of year. And I am pretty sure that we are not alone. In fact, I think we’re […]

New Superintendent? Welcome to the Shark Tank

If you didn’t know, I’m from Jersey (New Jersey for all of you formal folks out there). I’m not related to the Sopranos, have no relationship to the cast of the Jersey Shore, and had Governor Christie put our state on the national spotlight for 8 years. Most of us in the Garden State go […]

The #1 Rule as a Superintendent: SAFETY

Serving as an Armed Special Police Officer, I had to shoot twice a year in order to carry my weapon.  Someone asked me recently why I am different from other Superintendents. I shared that I have a 13-year law enforcement background serving as an armed Special Police Officer. In New Jersey, officers have to shoot […]

That Kid at the Back! Scholar In Waiting, Now Scholar!

There is always a kid at the proverbial back, that one kid. The one who needs us most for a variety of reasons, maybe social, emotional, academic or human to human. There’s always one, sometimes, more than one, a lot more. That kid who makes us laugh, maybe shed tears of frustration at the emotional […]