Wisdom Begins with Wonder

Make time for… relationships

This is the first in a series of posts about things to make time for in your classroom, even when you don’t feel like you have time! Over-stuffed curriculum. Testing schedules. Pacing calendars. Bells. 55 minute periods. Early release. Assembly schedules. All of these things can leave teachers feeling harried.  I constantly feel like there […]

To whom are we accountable?

This is my guest post at Dangerously Irrelevant on 9/25 As a husband, I am accountable to my wife, not to the county in which our marriage license was issued. As a father, I am accountable to my children, not to the State. As a teacher, to whom am I accountable?  Am I accountable to […]

How to do inquiry Project-Based Learning (PBL Series Part 6)

This is probably the hardest aspect of PBL to describe.  How to explain how to do something that is inquiry?  How to describe something that, by nature, requires student involvement.  The key is the structures. Honestly, this is very much a work in progress for me.  I’m learning how to do this as I go. […]

Why Project Based Learning is good for students (PBL Series Part 5)

Not only is the teacher’s life unique in the PBL classroom; students have a dramatically different experience in this model too.  They may whine and complain at times, especially when a project is nearing completion, but it is really good for them.  Here’s a few reason’s why: Long-term focus Many of my students can’t think […]

The teacher’s role in PBL (PBL Series Part 4)

The teacher’s role in an Project Based Learning (PBL) classroom is unique.  I’m still figuring it out – and probably will be for years to come.  That being said, I’m confident about a few things the teacher must do to make PBL click on all cylinders. Here are 10 things a teacher should do to […]

Why my instructional approach didn’t work (PBL Series Part 2)

You may remember, when we last left our hero, he’d enjoyed a subtle epiphany.  It went something like this, “I plan all this stuff and throw it at the kids.  They don’t think it’s as cool as I do.  Now what?” There were 3 main problems with my old approach: Not enough room for student […]

Whole Class Inquiry – Whirligigs

I like to kick the year off in physics with a light inquiry lab in which the students make and test paper whirligigs.  This serves two purposes – for me, a formative assessment of students’ inquiry skills; for students, a review of the inquiry process.  It’s fun and pretty light and serves it’s purpose but […]