Asking “Why” At Your School Can Be Dangerous. (Lean on a Design Process)

Forget simply trying to deal with Cow Paths, the sacristy of time and resources makes many schools an act-now-ask-questions-never environment. Schools have limited time for teachers work with peers as much of a teacher’s time is with students, rightly, but that creates an issue, “Is our teacher/peer time a place to consider and study our problems or a place to act quickly?” Sadly, organizing teacher … Continue reading Asking “Why” At Your School Can Be Dangerous. (Lean on a Design Process)

When to say “Why Not‽” To Be Daring On Your Campus with Design Thinking

This is Part II of the blog post “Asking Why? at you School Can be Dangerous” Daring to do something doesn’t mean knowing what to do I don’t have the answer about how to dare to do this in every school, each time. I only know to lean on a process, develop knowledge, to read, to surround myself with those interested in these big problems … Continue reading When to say “Why Not‽” To Be Daring On Your Campus with 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

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 one of … 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

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