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February 24, 2021
Do This One Thing To Encourage More Grit In Your Students

I was waiting for my flight at the Detroit airport and just before boarding the attendant called me to the counter. I was being upgraded to first class. For the record, I have never been upgraded to first class before, nor since, this flight - and pre-pandemic I flew A LOT!  In somewhat of a […]

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February 23, 2021
Why Most PD Leave Us With More Work

My education hero is Paulo Freire. Pedagogy of the Oppressed literally changed my life and turned my ideas and aspirations as a teacher on their head. When you engage with Freire you see the world differently. One thing he speaks of is praxis as the interplay between theory and practice. This is important because what […]

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February 22, 2021
4 Reasons Why Starting Class With A Quiz Does Not Work

Simple, Shared, Classroom Routines During a school visit a few years ago I encouraged the staff to adopt common classroom routines to help their students be more successful. During my presentation to the staff, one teacher challenged me. He felt that committing to common classroom routines school-wide was “taylorism”. This particular teacher made it clear […]

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February 22, 2021
Simple, but Shared, Classroom Routines

I have the honor of speaking with educators around the country and for the most part, we’re a kind and decent brood. Even if we don’t see eye to eye, we usually let the person giving a talk at a training finish before interjecting. Usually… It was a warm spring day in Oakland, CA, I […]

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February 22, 2021
When Navigating The EL Labyrinth, Routines Make All The Difference

One day after class, just before lunch, I overheard a colleague consoling a very distraught student. She was sobbing and as the tears raced down her cheeks, I could understand a little of what she shared. My colleague was her Primary Language Biology teacher, which was taught entirely in Spanish. From their conversation it was […]

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February 18, 2021
What if Classes Were Called Teams?

Just as I realized in my K12 years (and undergrad for that matter), many students approach their education, with no plan. They have no strategy because they lack agency. If you’ve never sat in a classroom with that feeling that everything is going on around you, or happening to you, but you don’t quite understand […]

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February 17, 2021
Swirling Leaves, Student Agency, and Believing (Part 2)

"Learning sometimes occurs because someone insists that you recognize the excellence in yourself." RIta Pierson In Part 1 of this article I shared the story of when I first believed I could be a successful student. This paradigm shift happened not because I earned an A on an exam or an assignment, or in the […]

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February 16, 2021
Swirling Leaves, Student Agency, and Believing (Part 1)

“…by making it possible for people to enter the historical process as responsible Subjects (subjects denotes those who know and act, in contrast to objects, which are known or acted upon)…enrolls them in the search for self-affirmation…” Paulo Freire  Subjects vs. Objects Growing up I rarely felt comfortable at school or in the classroom. I […]

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February 15, 2021
Creating The Perfect Education Smoothie (Part 4)

Put It All In The Blender In the first three parts of this article I make the case that students need explicit daily modeling and practice with noncognitive skills and habits. I suggest that this happen from within learning environments that are blending analog resources with technology. And because educators are so short on time, […]

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February 14, 2021
Creating The Perfect Education Smoothie (Part 3)

My assertion in Part 1 of this article is that students are more successful when they gain competency with noncognitive skills and executive functions. That students are more likely to gain this competency when they get routine practice employing these skills, not avoiding them. In Part 2 I pointed out that moving students online because […]

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