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 →

Student Assessment of Learning in the Classroom

In my AP Psychology classroom, most of my students are great at memorizing facts and regurgitating them on quizzes/tests.  I spend a considerable amount of time introducing learning strategies to my students and incorporating them into their studying/practicing habits.  I discuss this further here and here.  Under the umbrella of discussing learning strategies with my... 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 →

Disconnect in the Classroom

Today, on twitter, I found myself reading through a somewhat comical conversation among a few edu-twitterers/teachers/researchers concerning the compiling of education research:  Tom Sherrington (@teacherhead) made a comment that these compilations must help because most teachers would not be able to search for this information via researcher’s names.  I agreed and commented that most teachers... 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 →

On My Soapbox

We’re covering developmental psychology in class...you know, from womb to tomb.  When introducing the unit, I pose the following questions to the class:  What is the best age?  When is life at its best?  When does one live the “time of their life”?  A few students choose years during toddlerhood due to the fact that... 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 →

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 →

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