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

100% Female Names for My Tests Next Year

I can’t remember where I saw it but the fact that math books portray way more men than women in the problems offered seems like a real truth that I had simply never given any thought to. I knew instantly that I would be digging into this problem and doing something about it. What I didn’t know was the statement that I decided to Make … Continue reading 100% Female Names for My Tests Next Year

Give Your Student a Pencil – Ultimate Guide Why We Give Pencils, One Tweet at a Time

If you are reading edutwitter, I’m sure to bet that you have seen a slow-burning debate over pencils or even this article from tolerace.org. More precisely, “Should teachers unconditionally give a student a pencil in class?” I have collected more than 100 Tweets and have curated the conversation with some amazing responses for you to enjoy. First of all, we must reside in two camps, … Continue reading Give Your Student a Pencil – Ultimate Guide Why We Give Pencils, One Tweet at a Time

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)

Design For: Student Privacy

A student raising their hand to request permission to use the bathroom or to get a drink of water is so common practice, most of us who teach haven’t thought to challenge it’s wisdom or utility. I am lucky that I teach in a private international school, so challenging that wisdom should be easy. Except, it wasn’t. Well, it wasn’t until the challenge to that … Continue reading Design For: Student Privacy

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