To the Student Sleeping in My Class

I’m not going to lower the standard.  You will be expected to finish everything your classmates complete; with the same deadlines and with the same grading scale.  When they’re graded for collaborative work, you’ll be expected to work within your group and complete that material, too.  The culminating project at the end of the semester? … Continue reading To the Student Sleeping in My Class

The Teaching Method Doesn’t Define the Classroom

Teacher A:  Tell me about your class. Me:  Well, I use mainly direct instruction and really focus on learning strategies to help students retain information. I immediately feel judged.  As teaching methods go, I increasingly find myself in the minority.  I’m “old-school”.  My desks are in rows.  For the most part, I lecture.  There’s almost … Continue reading The Teaching Method Doesn’t Define the Classroom

Dual Coding in the Classroom

Let me begin by saying that dual coding, or at least my initial understanding of this learning strategy, is completely foreign to me.  I am the antithesis of creative.  While others were playing with action figures and creating distant galaxies to be conquered in their mind, I was outside playing some sport.  Add to this … Continue reading Dual Coding in the Classroom

Retrieval Practice in the High School Classroom

One of the largest gaps in my students’ learning that I encounter regularly is a lack of study/learning skills.  I am extremely fortunate to teach at a school that has high expectations for all and produces some amazing kids.  About 90% of each graduating class attends a 2 or 4 year college/university every year with … Continue reading Retrieval Practice in the High School Classroom

Are Our Teaching Methods Hindering Our Learners?

  As I begin a new semester, part of the unwritten curriculum that I attempt to instill in my students is learning strategies.  So often, my Advanced Placement students graduate, attend college, and are quickly met with their inability to properly study.  I believe they are great a memorization, and therefore coast through high school. … Continue reading Are Our Teaching Methods Hindering Our Learners?

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss — It’s Bias

*The following article first appeared as a guest post on The Learning Scientists blog on January 3, 2017.  As schools begin another term, some teachers will have new classes with new students; a fresh start and a blank canvas to create a masterpiece...or not. The first few days of class are key to establishing rapport with students and … Continue reading Ignorance Isn’t Bliss — It’s Bias

Potential Positive and Negative Effects of Similarities in the Classroom

One of the most important aspects of teaching is the relationships formed with the students.  The saying “students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” certainly rings true.  Even now, as I think back to the teachers who most impacted my life, I don’t think about a great lesson … Continue reading Potential Positive and Negative Effects of Similarities in the Classroom

7 Reasons Introduction to Psychology Courses Provide the Best School Environment for Learning

Let me begin by apologizing.  If you are a teacher of any other discipline, I’m sorry.  By saying that psychology class is the best environment for learning, that isn’t saying that other disciplines’ environment isn’t great.  Surely, a lot of courses contain many of the reasons listed below, but it is just my belief that … Continue reading 7 Reasons Introduction to Psychology Courses Provide the Best School Environment for Learning

The Positive Effects of Blogging on Teachers

Much consideration has been given to the effects of blogging in education.  Usually; though, the research considers blogging from the standpoint of the learner:  How does blogging enhance a student’s learning environment?  Does online interaction between students and/or teachers improve the student’s understanding and educational experience?  While most of this research returns positive results, surprisingly … Continue reading The Positive Effects of Blogging on Teachers

Defeating Bias in the Classroom: Lessons Learned from the Army

  We all fight biases.  Some are learned through interactions with peers and family; others are more intuitive and somewhat unknowingly cloud our judgement.  At a minimum, biases have the ability to negatively affect our perception of others’ disposition and lead to false beliefs and judgement.  Biases also shape the classroom.  Expectations of teachers and … Continue reading Defeating Bias in the Classroom: Lessons Learned from the Army