Design Learning: The Rising S-Curve in the Classroom

The most successful classroom experience [e.g., consistently engaged students; enriched content; meeting student needs; increasing teacher effectiveness throughout the school year] demands that the teacher abandons a lock-step approach: by “lock-step,” I mean a class whose curricular speed is constant and advances exactly according to a pre-fixed 36 week calendar. Unfortunately, there continues to be… Continue reading Design Learning: The Rising S-Curve in the Classroom

Whole Child Pathway to Highly Capable Students

As an educator who is striving to mobilize faculty and staff to fully address the complex needs of a wide range of learners, one area that emerges as both frustrating and very promising is how we address the needs of the highly capable students. Let me speak first about these two terms: “highly capable” and… Continue reading Whole Child Pathway to Highly Capable Students

Creativity in Teaching—Taking Wisdom from a Dance Choreographer

What can a dance choreographer tell us about instilling creativity in our teaching? An enormous amount, actually. Let me recommend a book I picked up a while back on the subject of creativity—it’s called The Creative Habit, by one of the world’s leading dance choreographer’s Twyla Tharp. Having seen several of Twyla Tharp’s dances over… Continue reading Creativity in Teaching—Taking Wisdom from a Dance Choreographer

Teachers’ Positive Attitude Linked to Greater Intrinsic Motivation in Students

A long time ago, teachers saw the business of teaching as centered on the delivery of information and knowledge in a manner that was mostly strict, largely drills-based, and often coercive.  Then came along folks like John Dewey, Rudolf Steiner, and Jean Piaget, whose educational philosophies moved schools more toward a child-centered and whole child… Continue reading Teachers’ Positive Attitude Linked to Greater Intrinsic Motivation in Students

Seven Steps To Strengthen Work Ethic in Students

For quite some time in the educational world, teachers and school leaders have witnessed a gradual diminution of the work ethic among students. This is not surprising to any parents who take a moment to step back and survey what is happening—with their own children and their children’s peers. There is so much operating at… Continue reading Seven Steps To Strengthen Work Ethic in Students

Faster or Deeper? Right-Sizing Challenge in the Math Classroom + 10 Great Math Sites

I often encounter this teacher’s dilemma when it comes to their highly capable math students. It doesn’t matter if the classes are “levelled” or if the curriculum includes “honors” and “regular” sections of math; this is the core tension that will emerge regardless of the school’s classroom structure: Should we give our (truly) highly capable… Continue reading Faster or Deeper? Right-Sizing Challenge in the Math Classroom + 10 Great Math Sites

The 79.4% Teacher

Chances are if you’re a parent of a school-aged child, you know of a teacher that, no matter how much your child plugged away at a lesson, a project, or a full semester’s worth of coursework, was fixated on keeping your child from earning at least a B on whatever was being graded.  It’s just… Continue reading The 79.4% Teacher