A Question to Center Reading Joy

I have been thinking a lot about reading experiences of kids lately. If you follow my writing, you know that this is something I think about a lot. Perhaps it is because I finally have big classes of kids in front of me rather than small cohorts. Perhaps it is because we have only 7 … Continued

To All the Tired Educators

Dear Pernille, and perhaps so many others You have been losing a lot of sleep this past year. The world has felt so heavy, so hard at times, and when you finally have found your stride, life has thrown yet another turn your way. Events that will shape you the rest of your life, experiences … Continued

8 Elements of Effective Coaching

I absolutely love coaching educators in small groups.  During these sessions, I get to see firsthand how they are implementing ideas and strategies into practice to grow.  While giving keynotes and facilitation workshops is something I love, both lack an on-going component, which is one of the most critical aspects of professional learning that leads … Continued

Differentiating in the Personalized Classroom

I love visiting classrooms around the country to not only support but to see educators in action.  In my opinion, I learn just as much, if not more, from them as they hopefully do from me.  During the spring of 2020, I connected with the Juab School District in Utah and began what would be … Continued

The Power of Collaboration

There is nothing more gratifying, in my opinion than watching people work together to achieve a common goal.  In a previous post, I shared how members of the 4th-grade team at Red Cliffs Elementary School in the Juab School district collaborated to create a personalized experience that combined choice and data to differentiate.  I was … Continued

Learning Recovery Through Acceleration

There is an emerging sense of relief amongst educators as more and more schools are welcoming back students or that the most difficult year is finally coming to an end.  With this excitement comes renewed fears of where many of these kids are academically or will be by the beginning of the next school year.  … Continued

Organize, Streamline, and Empower Learning with Hāpara

The world has radically changed in unprecedented ways. Educators navigate uncharted waters that continually fluctuate as a result of COVID-19 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Even with all of these challenges, opportunities have arisen to take education in a different and better direction to create a new normal that better meets learners’ needs. Teachers have … Continued

5 Reflections on Teaching This Week

1. Discovered the polling feature in Zoom and I am excited to start trying to use it to facilitate Peer Instruction (PI) during distance learning. Perhaps use it for PI during face-to-face instruction as well?2. Contemplating the use of Jamboard for peer collaboration in the online learning space as a supplement to Padlet. Padlet for final product presentation … Continued

A Free Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison Printable Activity

Looking for some free reading comprehension practice for your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students?  Or are you wanting to introduce your students to Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Edison?  Or perhaps you want some paired passages to help students analyze two similar texts.  This free pdf can help with all of those things. Free Reading … Continued

Cinderella Books from Around the World: 9 Multicultural Stories

  Let’s start with something familiar:  the story of Cinderella.   Then let’s take a trip around the world and transport this classic tale to many different settings and cultures.   Let’s use the story of Cinderella to teach point of view, theme, compare and contrast, and summarizing. Doesn’t this sound like a fun reading unit?  … Continued

Using Reading Interest Surveys in 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade

One of the first steps to getting your reluctant readers excited about reading is getting to know what interests them as readers.  A reading interest survey is a great way to do this. Reading Interest Surveys – Through Conversation, Paper, or Digital You can get to know what sorts of books interest your 3rd, 4th, … Continued

Double defence

In a past life I worked with a fellow named Jim who was very good at what he did. As what I would term a “trainer”, he was well versed in face-to-face delivery and widely respected in the business as a subject matter expert. He had also racked up quite a tenure at the company, … Continued

Skills of the present

The meaning of the phrase skills of the future is variable. Like so many other terms in our profession, its definition depends on who you ask. According to my own heuristic, a “skill of the future” is a capability for which demand will grow disproportionately over the next 5 years. (While the future extends beyond … Continued

Great and small

English is a funny language. Coloured by countless other languages over centuries of war, politics, colonialism, migration and globalisation, many words have been lost, appropriated or invented, while others have changed their meaning. In Australian English for example, fair dinkum means “true” or “genuine”. Linguaphiles speculate the phrase originated in 19th Century Lincolnshire, where “dinkum” … Continued

5 Books for Families Who Are Rethinking School

For many families the pandemic brought school home giving them a birds eye view into what their children are learning. While some parents are seeing their children thrive, others are frustrated by what they see. They find it hard for their children to sit all day working on screens. They are discovering a lot of … Continued

Podcast Playlist – 10 Podcasts for Innovative Educators

While some people Netflix bindged during the pandemic, I choose another form of entertainment: Podcasts. Podcasts are great for multitaskers like me. Whether you’re jogging, cleaning, driving, flying, doing yoga (don’t judge me) or out walking your dog, a podcast provides a great way to keep the learning going while you’re doing something else. Check … Continued

Be your own champion!

I think most educators are familiar with the TED talk by Rita Pierson. She boldly stated that every child deserves a champion. “Kids today” need adults to guide them, encourage them, and help them to become more than the child ever thought he or she could become.  What I’ve come to realize through many years … Continued