Wisdom Begins with Wonder

“It’s complicated. And we need to move on.”

Michael Doyle (Science Teacher) inspired this post with his post “If Randall Munroe were Secretary of Education” If you don’t know who Randall Munroe is, he is the creator of the brilliant web comic xkcd. The crux of Michael’s post: “It’s…complicated. And we need to move on” kills inquiry, kills science, but apparently not science […]

Make time for… FRUSTRATION!

My students were frustrated yesterday and today. I let them wallow in it. This is a good thing. Yesterday, I started the group on a whole class inquiry challenge with minimal direction from me. Students had to lead their planning discussion while I observed and took notes. This discussion didn’t go very well – especially […]

Make time for… conversation

Who does the speaking in your classroom? When students speak, to whom are they speaking? When students are talking to each other, what are they talking about? These are absolutely critical questions. The answers to these questions speak volumes about the level of student engagement in a class. Who does the speaking in your classroom? […]

Whose education is it?

We often send kids mixed messages.  Many of these messages actually create barriers to student learning. “I want you to think for yourself”‘ vs. “Follow my instructions (obey my orders)” “No talking when I’m talking” vs. “I want you to participate in the discussion” “You are here to learn” vs. “You got an F because […]

UNgrading – the early returns

This is the third in a series of posts about UNgrading.  The previous two posts were: Why I’m UNgrading my students and How I’m UNgrading my students. We are about to begin week 6 of the school year and I’ve not given my students a grade.  Sometimes I feel a little like I’m neglecting part […]

Why I’m UNgrading my students

I couldn’t call it DE-grading, now could I… It couldn’t really be this easy, could it? Increased motivation to learn for the sake of learning More time on task A rise in creativity and critical thinking Improved work completion A much more positive classroom culture No angry calls from parents I’ve seen all of these […]