Spotlight: Bruce Johnson – Inspiration to Really Support Each Student

Bruce Johnson is a physics professor at Arkansas State University. This picture went viral in 2018 when one of his students, Kristen Black, posted the picture on social media. The student had a daycare conflict and Bruce just told her to bring the child to…

Teaching Practice – What is an Authentic Task or Authentic Assessment?

The word authentic is thrown around a lot. What does it really mean? The main point of an authentic task might be to get the students to a point where they are finding ways to solve problems themselves within a real-world context. The difference between…

Teaching Practice – Why Shadowing a Student Should be Compulsory

Teachers and students live in two realities. There is overlap but there is no real knowledge and little understanding. Let me illustrate. When teachers give homework, do they have any idea as to the context of that homework for the student? Do they know: The…

Teachers as Leaders: Five Lessons in Teacher Leadership

As teachers, it is hard to set yourself up as an expert amongst your peers. We don’t want to feel “better than” others. We don’t want to appear to be arrogant. We might also occasionally have a colleague who has been around a long time…

Spotlight: Charlotte Mason

As we start another new year, we put our spotlight on a January baby, Charlotte Mason, born January 1st, 1842. She is another great and innovative educator who helped change the way we think about children and their upbringing. She published the 6 volume Original…

Teaching Practice: Mistakes and Success – Example from Dan Meyer and Mathematics

In a recent blog, Dan Meyer offered the following example of a table with answers filled in. The question sheet may have looked something like this: Marbles Water Level  0 609 1 626 2 643 3 ? 10 ? 15 ? The students’ answers, and…

Teaching Practice: Scaffolding for The Expert and the Beginner Student

What does scaffolding look like for students who are experts and those who are beginners? And here we are talking about students in the same class. Let’s look at some of the issues involved. If students are having a good time, it is easy to…

Teaching Students: Understanding Your Teenage Students

Much of this material is taken from Blakemore’s The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain. The article is inspired by Laurence Steinberg’s statement in Age of Opportunity (2015): “American adolescents are not doing well…Adolescent’s drug use is on the rise, as is attempted suicide, bullying,…

Spotlight: Two New Year’s Resolutions for Each Month

January I will keep my hands, feet, and other objects to myself when non-teachers tell me how to run my classroom; instead I will learn one new teaching technique between now and the end of the year and ask students what they think of it….

Teaching Practice – Teachers Leading in a Professional Learning Community

Being a teacher leader within a Professional Learning Community is a critical and valuable task as we move towards the 3rd decade of the 21st century. It is one key to creating an equal playing field where all learners can achieve high performance outcomes. This…

Teaching Practice – Design Questions for the Learning Journey

Marzano, in The New Art and Science of Teaching (2017), identifies 10 design questions that can be used by teachers in lesson and unit planning with a focus on student outcomes. He claims that the “specific mental states and processes that should be present in…

Teaching Students: Reporting Achievement

The report card is eagerly greeted by the “best” student and generally dreaded by everyone else. It is inevitably used as a means for comparison represented by the presentation of valedictorian and salutatorian awards at end of year ceremonies that tend to emphasize the reality…

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