authentic learning experiences

Hacking Design Thinking For Education Part 3: Design Thinking In School


Think. Design. Create. Test. Analyze. Think. Design. Iterate. Test. Solve. Improve. Solve better. Think you’re done? Think again! The Design Thinking Process is really a cycle that looks something like this: Take the iPhone. Apple releases a new model every year. Why? Profit of course! But, each version is better. It offers something new. Something […]

Can You Fit the “Good Stuff” into a Curriculum Focused on Standards?

engaged students

I don’t have to point out that today’s teachers are frustrated – that they’re too often forced to teach content, and in ways, that’s not at all helpful to kids and their future. As they prep students to meet standards and pass an endless number of tests, teachers frequently lament the fact that there’s no […]

Make Learning Real: Implementing Real Authentic Learning Experiences


An important need and big challenge is making curriculum relevant to students so that they “want” to do the work because the content makes sense to them, and has meaning through their usage beyond the classroom walls. The value of such experiences cements learning as students have a real-world reference to recall the content when […]

Young Children: Capable, if given the chance!


“It’s necessary that we believe that the child is very intelligent, that the child is strong and beautiful and has very ambitious desires and requests. This is the image of the child that we need to hold. Those who have the image of the child as fragile, incomplete, weak, made of glass gain something from […]

Building Forts… Building Memories


The best fun I’ve had recently was building a fort with my five year old grandson, Indy. We went down to the family room in his house and gathered every available couch cushion, pillow, blanket, and chair. Then, we added a couple fabric tunnels belonging to his little brother, for an entrance and exit. Inside, […]

Pathways to Science: Making Meaningful, Authentic Connections with Scientists in the Classroom


To maintain student interest in science it is crucial to keep them involved and keep the science authentic. Let’s look at two programs that give students the opportunity to make meaningful connections with professional scientists. Both are easy to incorporate into existing curriculum or for use in a club or afterschool program. We’ll start off […]

Swipe Right For Success


With 2016 being days away, I’m starting to revisit some goals that I made in the beginning of the school year. One of my goals is to be cognizant of current lingo so I’m never caught off guard in conversations. While Wikipedia or Urban Dictionary is just a click away (UD was a staple for […]

It’s worth the hair loss at deadline: Creating a newspaper program from scrap to publication

Originally presented as my project for MJE certification, this article about starting a newspaper ran in Adviser Update, The Dow Jones News Funds’ newspaper in the Fall 2009. Daunting. Overwhelming. Hectic. Crazy. These are perhaps the first words that come to mind when asked to advise or teach newspaper, the seemingly dying branch of scholastic […]

On My Way to Help Build a School In the Dominican Republic

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“Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.” – Earl Nightingale This January I will be a part of a team that will build an elementary school in Rio Grande, a small community in Constanza in the Dominican Republic. The team of volunteers will consist […]

How Will You Finish the Year?


The return to school in January for many marks the halfway point of the year, so reflection and refocusing are in order to finish the year well. When thinking about the things I want to be true of me and my classroom for the rest of the year, these five things come to mind: Less […]

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