The "Cow Paths" of School Improvement & Maintenance – Design Thinking

“Society’s institutions change at a slow pace.” Bud Selig – “For the Good of the Game” Cows, deer, and other large animals carve a path in grass and earth from one point to another though repeated use. Should an obstacle appear along that path such as a tree falling across it, the cows will carve a bend in the path around the tree. This is … Continue reading The "Cow Paths" of School Improvement & Maintenance – Design Thinking

Design Assessments to Leverage Cognitive Bias

A group of middle school students are reading well below grade level, different schools take different approaches: School A: Baised and imprecise – These teachers love the latest unproven brain research, they want to train for brain balance, train vision one eye at a time, some want to meditate still a few others want to train brain stamina with reading. A theme exists, but is … Continue reading Design Assessments to Leverage Cognitive Bias

Jim Ellis – By the Numbers (40)

I turn 40 years old today. I’ve lived in three countries and visited 27 countries. I’ve taught six different subjects in middle school; Math, History, EAL, Science, Technology, Reading. My mate and I have had 12 years together, so far. Hospitalized twice, both while 18 years old. Thrown more than 800 bowls on a pottery wheel. In the United States, I’ve lived in only a … Continue reading Jim Ellis – By the Numbers (40)

The “Too Many Good Ideas” Problem

Educators and schools are awash in too many good ideas flowing in at all times and it is hard to be in a position to know what good ideas to choose.   Not every good idea will work in every classroom or school Too many good ideas being implemented will fragment a school program, a faculty and fragments student participating in a course or school, “a … Continue reading The “Too Many Good Ideas” Problem

That Terrible Gamification Problem

An old and very bad idea I had was the gamification of the overland trails and something called the Indian Removal Act. Yes, I made the same mistake 20 years ago and is what John Meehan is selling today in his new book, “EDrenaline Rush.”  Yes, it is actually called Edrenaline Rush and this picture is from his Twitter Profile. And yes, you guessed it, … Continue reading That Terrible Gamification Problem

Set Meaningful Goals With Students

Goals help focus all of this data presented to the student as a way to put it all into action. Most importantly, they can create a perfect opportunity for reflection about their achievements. Now that students have two graphs to reflect on and their own pretest it’s now time for them to make goals based on that information.  Some goal topics that students might chose … Continue reading Set Meaningful Goals With Students

Use of Data with Your Whole Class – Super Effectively

I first clued into the power of what simple data can do to a class my first year teaching. One day I tallied up the scores to a test and wrote onto the whiteboard how many students received an: A, B, C, D, F or below. This suddenly took each section of science I was teaching to near silence. This was uncommon in my class … Continue reading Use of Data with Your Whole Class – Super Effectively