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 […]

How Do You Say Good-Bye? Legacy of Love.


“Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, commited citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead. Well, it’s official, I graduated. Preschoolers are now ready for Kindergarten in the fall. Last night I happened to see one of the littles with his family at a Mexican restaurant. […]

Miss You! Family Grad Reunion

It seems these days, families live so far apart. I’m sure that’s the way it is for most of us. Keeping connected takes a lot more effort than it used to. I don’t think it is just me and my loved ones. Screen sharing is not the same as being together in real time, although […]

Student Voice, NOT Choice: Allowing Learners to Drive their Achievement Paths


While visiting a high school in Michigan, I talked to students about their learning experiences. Understanding what they saw as valuable could have an important impact on how the teachers may strive to further elevate student voice in the school. One senior shared a perspective that I repeatedly heard from others. “I want more times […]

This Ain’t No Industrial Age Homie: Teaching In The Information Age, Part 3b: Steve Would Have Wanted It This Way


Being Foolish Is Okay It takes time to learn how to approach people. All people are different in the way they see, experience, and interpret life, and students are people. I’ve failed at understanding and applying this many times before in life and in the classroom. Hell, I’ll probably fail a few (dozen, hundred?) times […]

5 Reasons Why Coaches Make the Best Teachers


It’s no secret that countless students eagerly wait for the final bell to ring—not to go home, but to play a team sport. Why is that, and how could we get students to show similar enthusiasm for learning during the actual school day? Great coaches have an edge when it comes to inspiring today’s youth […]

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 […]

Let’s Get Excited (Again)!

photodune 9147848 excited girl xs

This past summer I had the opportunity to hear Glenn Wiebe’s (@glennw98) closing keynote at Podstock in Wichita, Kansas. At one point he said, “Kids start school in kindergarten excited, but they don’t usually end school the same way. We have to change that.” Mr. Weibe’s words made me reflect on my own time as […]

Fun+Free+Nonfiction…What’s Not to Love?


During a field trip several years ago, I watched my students pile off the bus at a rest area. Instead of heading to the snack machines as I expected, however, they stood around a brochure display stand,trading travel pamphlets and discussing tourist attractions with enthusiasm. Intrigued, I began to gather brochures for my classroom. In […]

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