Grading Smarter Not Harder

Dueck, Myron. Grading Smarter Not Harder: Assessment Strategies That Motivate Kids and Help Them Learn. Alexandria: ASCD. 2014. Of all the complaints I myself have and hear from my colleagues, grading is probably the most frequent and most frustrating topic. Low achievers are unmotivated; high achievers care only about "points"; and parents get upset with us … Continue reading Grading Smarter Not Harder


Online Discussions for Deeper Thinking

I recently had an unplanned absence from my classroom for an entire week. Although I was going out of town, I knew there would be down time allowing me to work remotely. Naturally, my biggest professional concern was what to do about my class. My high school seniors would certainly enjoy the unscheduled time, but I didn't want to lose momentum in this sustainable public policy course.

Designed with the User in Mind

John Spencer is a very thoughtful teacher, writer, and thinker, with a penchant for design considerations. Before you click away, (caught you didn't I?), this particular post by Spencer is about user experience design. For those of you who know me well, you can probably guess where I'm going with this one. His simple phrase, … Continue reading Designed with the User in Mind

One App to Explain Everything

This is an excellent overview of an excellent tech teaching tool. Enjoy!

teaching meets technology

One App to ExplainEverything



It is time to rethink your typical classroom presentations… think Explain Everything. This app allows teachers to create by providing an interactive whiteboard and a screencast tool in one place. Using this app, presentation slides can include a variety of media- from websites and drawings to pictures and videos- Explain Everything has it all. Sharing your creations is simple, and screencasts can be shared and exported as videos, PDFs, and Explain Everything project files to programs like Dropbox, Google Drive, and YouTube for viewing on and off of the Internet. Explain Everything offers different presentation formats to meet the needs of all learners. Flexible viewing options also allow the teacher to control how screencasts are viewed. Teachers can provide students with the option to control the pace at which a Presentation is viewed, or it can be viewed and paced at the teacher’s timing.

View original post 318 more words

“Aha!” moments, baby steps, and  Tomorrow’s Lesson Plan

One day long ago, after the AP exam had finally arrived, I assigned a research paper to my classes.  One "4.0 student" didn't hand it in and got a poor grade for submitting a very late, poorly researched, rush job. How could this be?  I realized that my course largely consisted of sit down tests … Continue reading “Aha!” moments, baby steps, and  Tomorrow’s Lesson Plan

Review: Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools

Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools by Michael B. Horn & Heather Staker My rating: 4 of 5 stars Blended provides an excellent overview of what is being done today to blend online and face-to-face (F2F) learning in U.S. schools, both private and public. While Horn and Staker admit that their categories — Rotation, Flex, … Continue reading Review: Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools