2 Evidence-Based Learning Strategies

The following article originally featured on Edutopia January 23, 2018 at the following link:  https://www.edutopia.org/article/2-evidence-based-learning-strategies Spaced and retrieval practice help students retain content and give them a sense of what they know—and what they don’t. I often say to my students, “If a test is the first time you’re made to think about or with the class material,... Continue Reading →

Effective Debate in Edchats

I’ve been on the blogging scene for just over a year.  Due to my beliefs on what education should look like, what it should represent, and how it should be conducted, I find myself generally agreeing mostly with educators in the UK.  This is a little odd, due to the fact that I live in... Continue Reading →

365 Days As A Blogger

Exactly one year ago today, my first ever blog article was published by the wonderful researchers/educators, The Learning Scientists.  Since that day, I’ve had the bug...the reading research-writing-learning-growing bug.  It’s been an amazing journey so far.  A world of education, that I never knew existed, has been exposed to me and it’s changed everything about... Continue Reading →

A Day at researchED NYC

I recently returned from my first researchED experience in Brooklyn; perhaps you saw the hashtag #rEDNY17 floating around twitter lately.  Like a lot of education conferences, speakers presented information for which they are knowledgeable.  Unlike a lot of education conferences, there was no expo or product to buy.  No one wanted me to purchase the... Continue Reading →

Assessment Isn’t A Bad Word

Earlier today on twitter, Tom Bennett (@tombennett71) launched a small thread on assessment.  You can check it out here. Essentially, he argues that testing doesn’t have to just mean an end of unit/chapter or course assessment and courses shouldn’t exist simply to focus on or teach to the test.  I completely agree.   I believe... Continue Reading →

Dear Students, You’re Not #1.

Dear Students, Please read carefully and completely before passing judgement.   You’re not the #1 priority in my life.  That spot is reserved for my family.  I love my wife and three children more than just about anything.  You’ve been in my class and heard my stories...you know.  I show you our weekend excursions on... Continue Reading →

Advice for New Teachers in the Classroom

Dear New Teacher, Congratulations on your new job and commitment to the future of the world...a bit dramatic, but whatever.  I want to give you a list of advice for your first year at the helm of your classroom.  This isn’t your usual list...its purpose is to be completely honest; from one educator to another.... Continue Reading →

The Value of Simplicity in the Classroom

One of the most flattering compliments I’ve ever received, in reference to my teaching, came in December of 2006. I was a member of a lovely cohort, finishing up our third and final semester of our Master’s of Education degree. During our last meetings together, one of the professors who instructed us along the way,... Continue Reading →

Back to the Future of Education

I try to make it a habit to participate in edchats whenever possible for two reasons: It helps me to stay ‘plugged in’.  Most of the time, I genuinely enjoy the chat.  Even if I don’t agree with most of what’s being said, the vibe of it all has a nice energy.  Although, I believe... Continue Reading →

In Defense of the Curator

In the not too distant past, on Edutwitter, there was a discussion of ResearchEd.  Of course, like all things education, there were supporters and detractors.  One particular thread centered on the topic of researchers versus curators in the world of education.  In my best estimation, researchers were defined as those actually conducting the studies...pretty straight... Continue Reading →

A Reply to Anya Kamenetz and nprEd

In one of your latest articles, “4 Things We Don’t Know About AP Tests”, you discuss some of the unknowns of AP classes; citing there has been little independent research on the subject due mainly to the difficulty in conducting the research successfully.  You then follow with 4 important questions the experts still don’t know... Continue Reading →

11 Life Lessons to End the Term

*The following letter was written to one of my AP Government classes a few years ago.  A few edits have been made to remove any comments specific to the class.  Feel free to pass this along to anyone you see fit. Hey guys/gals, You are awesome and I want you to know that. You are... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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