differentiated instruction

Where Is Differentiation? Schools Are Still Forcing Square Pegs Into Round Holes

When I was still Director of Cherry Preschool, a parent whose child was a total delight in preschool shared a very sad story with me. When her child started kindergarten in public school, he was tested and found to be lacking the skills that would make him a reader by the end of kindergarten, a […]

The 1st Truth about Differentiation


In the past, I’ve written several articles about the myths that prevents many teachers from using Differentiation as an integral part of how they meet learner needs. Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction: 3 Myths and 3 Truths There’s No Time to Differentiate: Myth Busting DI, Part 2 Differentiating is just too difficult: Myth-Busting DI Part III Teachers […]

Google It! – An Easy Collaborative Classroom Activity

Hiya friends! I switched to coffee shop style flexible seating in my chemistry classroom, which means that: Students face each other and not necessarily me or the front of the classroom. I have to be intentional about building collaboration into my lessons and teaching students to collaborate.. I have to change the way I deliver […]

Are Shy Children Unnoticed in Classrooms?

shy student

I hate to admit that, in 36 years as an educational consultant and nine as a radio host responsible for finding topics to explore, I hadn’t given shy children any thought – until I came across a book called Quiet at School: An Educator’s Guide to Shy Children. That’s when it occurred to me that […]

Can Teaching Boys Be a Joy?


When asked how the school year is going, if a teacher responds, “I have mostly boys in this year’s class,” no further explanation is typically required. The message is clear: the teacher has more challenges than usual! But why is that? Are boys just inherently more disruptive? Harder to teach? I asked these questions – […]

Does Active Learning Penalize Introverts?


The promotion of active learning is a big part of my work. Of course, student-centered learning is too. So it was rather upsetting when I came across Michael Godsey’s article, “When Schools Overlook Introverts,” about the potentially negative impact of active learning on introverts, and realized it had never crossed my mind. That’s why I […]

Google Classroom – A Differentiation Strategy


The “make a copy for each student” option in Google Classroom is magic. However, differentiation and group work can require different students and groups to turn in different products. Making a copy for each student in differentiated assignments can produce an assignment folder full of unused files. Even in a simple group assignment with one […]

All Students Every Day


“In teaching others, we teach ourselves.” – Proverb Meeting individual students’ needs is an often-elusive goal for American educators. For as long as I can remember, we’ve been learning about and promoting “differentiated instruction,” or providing different students with varied approaches to learning. Certainly a lofty goal, but our industrial-era school system was designed for […]

Creating Trust and Personal Connection with Students


More and more research indicates that relationships matter in classrooms. Relationships between you and the students and among the students themselves. They foster more academic success and can change the way kids feel about coming to school every day – for the better. I hope you’ll listen to the wonderful discussion I had with Dawn […]

I Am a Teacher! ( Screamed My Heart)


I overheard a conversation today. I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, but given my profession, I was immediately drawn in. My son and I were waiting for our late breakfast. We took a sick day off today – due to South Texas weather, which I am publicly blaming, mind you. I am sitting directly behind a […]