What does Real Professional Development Look Like During a Pandemic?

Teaching in the last year has been like riding out a hurricane in a treehouse. As seasoned educators, we tried to come prepared. We knew our student’s emotional needs would be our top priority, we strived to make school feel “normal”, but from the beginning, it was clear that the 2020 - 2021 year would... Continue Reading →

Design Thinking in Humanities

The 8th grade students are tasked with creating an American History museum that will cover the 1800 - 1945. The idea is overwhelming at first. Full student autonomy, research, engagement, scaffolding, the initial project outline is missing the HOW. Students are used to being told how to work, what to design and when to design... Continue Reading →

Scaffolding an Agile Learning Experience

150 years of content in five weeks? Yeah, no problem. The students were in charge.  In a lightning speed brainstorm with the founder of L-EAF, Jeff Burstein, the way unit planning was typically done flipped on its side.  Instead of spending weeks meticulously planning every movement and learning path in the classroom I developed one... Continue Reading →

Game Design – Sprint Retrospective

How reflection creates student agency. Game day was an overwhelming success. The students spent one day playing each others games and offering evaluations. Students then had time to review the feedback from their peers and make changes before their work was graded. Throughout the project students prototyped their games and collected data to make sure... Continue Reading →

Applying our knowledge

As we round the circle at the end of our Constitution unit the room is buzzing with energy. Students are out of their seats, holding their laptops like busy waiters during dinner service while chatting away to their peers on zoom, and pulling through the junk drawer of creative supplies. The time to put all... Continue Reading →

Student Voice Drives Curriculum

Reading the U.S. Constitution is not a priority of my 8th grade students. At this point in the year their genuine interest has built about the Constitution, but the actual want to read a document written in 1787 is not on this "Must Do" list. This year we have the extra challenge of students transitioning... Continue Reading →

Boston Massacre Trial

SET THE STAGE One of the major skills I teach is argumentative writing. One would think that taking naturally argumentative pre-teens and harnessing that energy with be easy, unfortunately it is not. Students that can argue over grades, the pros and cons of wearing leggings at school and which football team will reach the Super... Continue Reading →

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