engagement

Singing from the Heart

When my daughter was in second grade, in the ‘80s, the second-grade teachers started the morning with a piano, a teacher who played, and children sitting on the floor around, singing. The interactive song, The Cat Came Back, by Fred Penner, was much requested. Where are the routines that involve singing for the pure joy […]

#getoutside in Higher Education: Walking Challenge Accepted

During World Creativity & Innovation Week (April 15-21, 2018) I had the pleasure of moderating a week-long conversation on imagination with the Google+ Creative Higher Education (#CreativeHE) community. My imaginative colleague Jailson Lima from Vanier College, Quebec, moderated with me. You can read the whole week of conversation on Google+ in the Creative Academic community […]

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 […]

5 Lessons from the Stage for Teachers

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Today I was working in a busy kindergarten classroom. I arrived to a room full of activity, bustling with energy, teaming with learning. The students were engaged at play, active and joyful with the noise of conversation and materials interacting. A group of boys had build and obstacle course/pathway and they were challenging themselves to […]

3 Easy Ways to Increase Student Engagement Today

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Have you seen the video games that kids play these days? They are absolutely amazing! Maybe not always appropriate, but amazing! I can remember when I thought that Atari’s Tanks and Space Invaders were incredible. And at the time, they were. Besides video games, kids today have access to technology the likes of which we […]

5 Reasons to STOP Using Your Textbook

As I continue working with more and more teachers I’m often surprised at how many I still see “page turning” to plan instruction. “Page turning” is a form of lesson planning that a teacher uses, that is simply opening a textbook and continuing where they left off during the last lesson. Now don’t get me […]

Innovation Doesn’t Have to Be Complex: A Simple Tip to Make Practice/Review More Meaningful

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How can I learn about my students and help them review concepts in a way that is engaging, empowering, and helps them build relationships? Help students review and practice while observing students’ skills as formative assessment by using a technique called “Answers Around the Room”. Students complete a worksheet-type practice set, and the answers to […]

Pokémon Go, One Quick Thought…

The other day, when I was talking to one of my educator friends, I voiced something to the effect of, “If I were still in the classroom, I’d find a way to fit Pokémon Go into my teaching!” In my opinion, this app is the perfect example of when it’s appropriate to begin planning instruction […]

Tips for Imaginative Educators: #3 Evoke Mental Imagery with Words

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Warning: Reading this post may leave you feeling compelled to talk to people around you about what you just learned.This tip in the Tools of Imagination Series is about the great power of mental imagery for learning and for making all concepts meaningful and memorable to students. As you well know, mentalimagery has indisputable cultural […]

How Lightning Taught Me to Love Science: Adults and Children Must Learn Together

When I was little, I was afraid of thunder and lightning, and you can be sure there was plenty of that in Northern Ohio, where I grew up. Lake effect storms were common, coming down as rain or snow. As I cowered from a storm, my father bid me come to the screen door to […]

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