Breaking Silence

Today in school, I was silent. For the second year in a row, I participated in GLSEN’s Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a student-led event that happens in schools across the country, bringing awareness to the silencing effects of anti-LGBTQ+ name-calling, bullying, and harassment. Students (and teachers) from middle school to college… Continue reading Breaking Silence

Move to the Middle

Recently, I wrote a little about a concept I’m playing around with called Highly Responsive Teaching. Basically, it is centered around the idea that the teacher “moves to the middle”. I first heard of this phrase in Hacking Leadership by Joe Sanfelippo and Tony Sinanis, where they talk about being the link that connects people… Continue reading Move to the Middle

The Plan is Not to Plan

The school year is off and running, and I couldn’t be happier with my new batch of scientists. They are an eager bunch with a lot of great skills, and I cannot wait to see where they go. One of the things I find most fun about being a teacher is having to adapt to… Continue reading The Plan is Not to Plan

Creating a Culture

I often catch myself looking around my room and thinking, “This is awesome. This is exactly what it should be.” Granted, I don’t feel this way every day. There are definitely some rough patches and some whirlwind hours. The wonderful adolescents that I work with are bound to have a few not-so-wonderful days (both individually… Continue reading Creating a Culture

The Struggle is Real

My students are starting a project this week that I am incredibly excited about. It’s a physics project where they identify a real-world problem and design a solution to it. I’ve done if for the past for years, it is so unbelievably cool, and I cannot wait for them to get started.   Knowing this… Continue reading The Struggle is Real

All In How You Frame It

In a recent conversation in my room, we talked about the connections between the students' language arts class and science class. We were on the cusp of a major project that has communication as its main objective (a skill that is very important to acquire for scientists of all ages). We started with the why… Continue reading All In How You Frame It

Get Out of the Way

Today, I took a moment out of each of my classes to stop and look around the room.  Everywhere, there was activity and discussion, invention and debate, as well as reflection and perseverance happening in droves.  Heads were focused on their work, hands were pointing or gesturing in explanation, and exclamations of excitement were happening… Continue reading Get Out of the Way

Feedback FOR Learning

My students are starting to wrap up their first project of the school year, which is to create a model of a food web.  They are doing some amazing work ... and I couldn't be happier with all they have accomplished so far.  At this point in the process, we start peer reviewing to get… Continue reading Feedback FOR Learning

Be Together. Not the Same.

Ever looked at student work and thought it all looked the same? At some point last year, I remember flipping through something the students had worked on and thinking, "Man, that's interesting. These are all the same thing". I immediately went back and looked at the rubric. Of course it all looked the same, the rubric… Continue reading Be Together. Not the Same.

Why Don’t Report Cards Look Like Social Media?

Imagine it for a second.  What if report cards looked like Twitter?  Or Facebook?  Or Instagram? I've heard a few people toss this idea around recently.  At first, I couldn't wrap my mind around it.  But the more I pondered the idea, the more it started to make sense. Think about it.  It could be really… Continue reading Why Don’t Report Cards Look Like Social Media?