Student Voice

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 […]

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 […]

EVERYONE Is Writing a Book, or EVERYONE Has a Voice?

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Over the past few years the rate at which educational books are being written (mostly by connected educators), has increased rapidly. Thanks to such independent publishers as Mark Barnes and the Hack Learning Series, Dave Burgess Consulting, and EdTechTeam Press, the process of getting a book to market is now that much easier. Many of […]

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 […]

Innovation Has Many Forms – #Engage109


“Humility is not thinking less of yourself.It’s thinking ofyourself less.” – C.S. Lewis In our school district we take pride in the words and actions ENGAGE, INSPIRE, EMPOWER. We aim to do this each and every day with and for each and every student, staff member, and the community! Since July 2013 our Big 5 […]

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 […]

Before You Turn Out The Lights


Stayed at work later than usual. By the time I got home, my wife, who was sick, was asleep and my kids were playing on their mobile devices. I quickly went upstairs to give them each a kiss before heading back down to change and prepare for bed. It had been a long day and […]

Who Are We Watching?


Derek, how did you know that? What? That he just wrote Pooh and not Winnie the Pooh. I saw that it began with a P… It was the day my son became a reader. And we told him such. He disagreed with us and said that he wasn’t.But the three of us knew better. We […]

Dreading Going Back To Work? I Feel Bad For Your Students.


Many of us head back to work tomorrow after a well-deserved break. All of us need time to relax in whatever way relaxing suits one best. Based on catching up with so many over break, the adult coloring books were apparently quite the hit and a major source of relaxation. I was speaking to a […]

Why I Teach Books with Cursing and Sex


The Things They Carried Brave New World Of Mice and Men Walk in Room 128 on any given day, and my students could be reading these books. Add The Catcher in the Rye to the list if it makes it through our approval process. These books are all on the top 100 most frequently banned […]

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