girl in-front of laptop

Encouraging Words about Virtual Learning

Teachers shifting to virtual learning from an in-person only environment can feel overwhelmed. It’s hard not to get caught up in logins and device issues and constantly shifting requirements and keep focused on the core issues. I’ve written about steps to take to prepare for online teaching, and I’d like

Read More »
interview with gifted kid James

Interview with a Gifted Kid: James

In this installment of the Interview with a Gifted Kid series, we’ll meet James, a thirteen-year-old boy from Texas. I wish the words could convey the wry sense of humor James had. He was hysterically funny, in a very understated way. In the technical sense, James would fall into the

Read More »
prepare for virtual learning

6 Steps to Prepare for Blended Virtual Learning

Are you facing a year’s worth of learning experiences designed for regular classroom instruction, not knowing where to begin to convert it to a whole new world of learning? (But not in a cool Aladdin/Jasmine kind of way with a song and a flying carpet.) You probably aren’t describing the

Read More »
interview with a gifted kid Kassidy

Interview with a Gifted Kid: Kassidy

In this installment of the Interview with a Gifted Kid series, we’ll meet Kassidy, a twelve-year-old from a suburb on the East Coast. I spoke with Kassidy on the phone, and I kept trying to think of things to ask her because she was so fun. She’s also one of

Read More »
interview with a gifted kid Rachel

Interview with a Gifted Kid: Rachel

In this installment of the Interview with a Gifted Kid series, we’ll meet Rachel, an 8th grader from a small midwestern town. I think you’ll find her insights as interesting and powerful as I did. The Interview with a Gifted Kid Series As part of my mission to make the

Read More »
depth & complexity mistake?

Are you Making This Depth and Complexity Mistake?

Using the icons of Depth and Complexity without a strong task statement is a mistake. The task statement needs a strong through-line to the element, as well. If you just have an icon and no task statement, or a task statement that has a tenuous connection to the element represented

Read More »
girl with online class

How to Make Distance Learning Engaging

We can make distance learning more engaging for learners. I know this is true because I’ve been engaging hundreds of students simultaneously in distance learning, and I’m going to tell you all of my secrets. The key to engaging students in distance learning is energy. You know how they say

Read More »
bear hunt signs

Teddy Bear Crossing Bear Hunt Signs

Have you see the cute Bear Hunt movement that’s sweeping the country as kiddos find themselves isolated from peers and normal social interaction? How it works is that neighbors put teddy bears in their windows, and children try to spot the bears. It’s adorable. Want to see some in action

Read More »
Country's English Teacher

How I Became the Country’s English Teacher

Saturday morning at 7:28am I became the country’s English teacher. I didn’t know it at the time, of course, which is how these things usually work. The Idea for an Online Course Appears I had been thinking about the implications of school closures due to COVID-19, and my mind was

Read More »

Learning at Home Resources: Ideas for Teachers and Parents

Looking for Ways to Help Kids Learn at Home? Looking for great, free resources for learning from home? Whether it’s due to school closure, summer break, homeschooling, or just wanting to build a house of learning, I’m sharing some great ideas. Resources are available to help you facilitate learning at

Read More »
Parent Forms in clipboard - Beginning of the Year Parent Forms

Beginning of the Year Parent Forms

Sending home classroom parent permission forms typically occurs at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, no one teaches you how to do it. In college they don’t help teachers learn any of the really important stuff, like how to operate the copier or run a laminator, and I know they

Read More »
boy doing book report

Book Report Badness: Reader Q & A

Book Report Badness: The Trouble with Summarizing There is always some tension between teaching a subject and making sure that we don’t turn the subject into a source of pain and drudgery. It’s the art of teaching (and parenting, really). I’ve written about it before when I talked about the

Read More »