The Perfect Lesson Plan

Creating The Perfect Lesson Plan: 10 Steps & 8 Essential Elements

So let's begin with the basic premise that there is no one perfect lesson plan or format. That's simply because there are a variety of different needs across subjects, ages, and ability levels. The best lessons are personalized for the needs of your students, so some cookie cutter lesson is bound to be shortsighted. In fact, many of the … Continue reading Creating The Perfect Lesson Plan: 10 Steps & 8 Essential Elements

What Makes a Good Teacher – 20 Keys to Effective Instruction

Personal History of Learning For a large portion of my life, I wanted to be anything but a teacher. I still functioned in teacher-like roles (children's theatre, coaching a company team, etc.), but I ignored that in my blind aversion towards education. I ran away from teaching for many years. Part of it was I … Continue reading What Makes a Good Teacher – 20 Keys to Effective Instruction

Innovative Leadership

20 Takeaways From the 1st Annual NYSCATE Digital Leadership Conference I had the opportunity to attend the 1st Annual Digital Leadership Conference sponsored by NYSCATE and the Educational Administrators Association. There were sessions led by Thomas Murray, author of Learning Transformed, Jason Green, the author of Blended Learning In Action; as well as notable administrators and educational … Continue reading Innovative Leadership

The Future of Education: The 7Cs, 3 Rs, & 3 Ms of 21st-Century Learning

I remember taking an online course about 21st-century learning about a decade ago about when MySpace started fading, so 21st-century. So it's been spoken of in numerous courses, books, and diatribes, so what could I possibly add (other than my sparkling wit and charm, he said sardonically). I suppose I just wanted to add my … Continue reading The Future of Education: The 7Cs, 3 Rs, & 3 Ms of 21st-Century Learning

It Takes Children To Raise A Village-The Essentials of Social Emotional Learning

While the "it takes a village to raise a child" quote is oft overused and misattributed to an entire continent, it does still hold valuable insight about the challenges involved in making a child a worthwhile member of the community. The opposite though holds value as well in that the wholeness of a generation of … Continue reading It Takes Children To Raise A Village-The Essentials of Social Emotional Learning

Profiles For Playful Learning

This article is the original version of an article that was modified to appear on EdSurge as part of their larger discussion on personalized learning. As a special education teacher, I work with students who struggle academically and generally have a low tolerance for frustration—but the same kid who gives up after trying a math … Continue reading Profiles For Playful Learning

What Is Differentiation Really?

This post provides an overview of the differentiated instruction (DI) model. For more insight on DI, see my posts Is Differentiation a Dirty Word? or The 4 Ways to Differentiate Instruction. An Overview There seems to be a lot of confusion about what differentiation actually entails. There are problems with conflicting definitions. In one sense … Continue reading What Is Differentiation Really?

Is Differentiation a Dirty Word?

This post addresses many of the challenges presented by those who oppose the differentiated instruction model. For an overview of differentiated instruction, see my post on What Is Differentiation Really? and The 4 Ways to Differentiate Instruction. Having worked with some of the most severely challenged students for the vast majority of my teaching career I have found … Continue reading Is Differentiation a Dirty Word?

School Un-Safety: Can Classrooms Be a Safe Space In a Nation Where Shootings Are Commonplace?

You can read the related posts on the Teaching Your Children & Students About Tragedy, Teaching Your Children & Students About the 2nd Amendment, The Problem With Kids Today Is…, and 12 Ways To Create A Safe and Effective Space For Student Learning. The BackgroundNearly every aspect of American society has become overtly politicized (for good/for … Continue reading School Un-Safety: Can Classrooms Be a Safe Space In a Nation Where Shootings Are Commonplace?

The Problem With Kids Today Is…

I gave a Ted talk related to this topic that you can view. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WKUAhJHcN8&t=31s Expectations What do you expect to finish that sentence? Should we blame violent movies and video games, that 'misogynistic hip-hop music', poverty, the lack of discipline, selfishness, cell phones and the internet, or just good old-fashioned godless heathenism? Is there any … Continue reading The Problem With Kids Today Is…