active learning

The (Not) Problem of Repetitive Play

In my work, as in the work of many people, I imagine, there are themes that come up again and again. Sometimes I get asked a question and I can point to a blog post I wrote or an article I read months or years earlier that touches on the same subject. Little kids have […]

Virtual Reality Learning

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The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless. – Jean Jacques Rousseau We say “a picture is worth a thousand words” and then ask our students to imagine things they cannot see. In chemistry, we show two-dimensional representations of atoms, create crude drawings of molecules on classroom boards, and use […]

Success Is Not About What You Know

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Success is less about what you know now and more about how quickly and effectively you can learn and use new information. This is the most important thing I learned in my 15 years or teaching and mentoring teens. Success depends on skills. Build up a skill set and help others do the same and […]

7 Ways to Make Learning Impossible in Your Classroom

We talk a lot about how to increase student achievement and improve learning in our classrooms. A lot of these conversations are centered around what needs to be added or changed in a classroom, NOT what should be removed. Many of the practices that still exist in classrooms across the country are not only outdated, […]

Why Students Learn Better When They Teach (+ 4 Activities)

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When You Teach Something You Get To Learn It Twice – Jim Kwik Cameron, a former student of mine,who is now in college, commented on my recent post about efficient and effective learning titled Too Much What, Not Enough How. Here’s what he wrote on Facebook: As a student who graduated with a GPA well […]

Why We Need to Stop Telling Kids to Think Outside the Box

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Tripping on ‘shrooms in Prague once I stopped by an art gallery window and saw it. It was an orange dog; the tiniest of canines. A stain of fluorescent orange paint in the bottom right corner of a sizable painting of some natural scenery. I remember the grass, the trees, and the people in it […]

What Motivates Students?

There is a question that I’m getting more and more at workshops and trainingsand that is “how do I motivate my students to work?” I hate to break it to you, but there is no “magic bullet” solution to this. Every student is going to have their own solution to getting motivated. However, there are […]

How To Keep Lesson Design Simple, But Powerful

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It’s simple really. Use the Power of Three when designing lessons. The Power of Three (also called the Rule of Three) is the idea that when we group things in threes they are more doable, more memorable, and more fun. It helps me keep things simple, but powerful. In this blog, I want to show […]

5 Steps To Better Memory And Understanding

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Practice makes permanent. This is what we’ve become conditioned to say in recent years. It’s a true statement no doubt, but what kind of practice are we talking about? And, how do we teach our students to practice to attain better memory, understanding, and ultimately deeper learning? Here’s the method I use: 1. Get Good […]

4 Learning Strategies To Stress With Students

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Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash Let’s be honest. High school, middle school, elementary; most students don’t know how to learn effectively. It’s because they are rarely taught about their brain. They know it’s there. They use it. And yet… They don’t know how to guide it. Few consider how to leverage their brain to […]