3 Takeaways from researchED Vancouver

A favorite memory from researchED Vancouver was riding a yellow school bus to-and-from Vancouver's Lonsdale Quay pier to the Mulgrave School (conference site), casually chit-chatting with presenters Tom Bennett, Robert Pondiscio, Barbara Oakley, Barry Garelick and Eric Kalenze. It was quite incredible - teachers, researchers, and presenters, all seated together on a humble school bus … Continue reading 3 Takeaways from researchED Vancouver

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“Progressive” Education is Stuck in the 19th Century

This piece explores the 200-year history of progressive education in America. Where did this movement start, what was its inspiration, and why does it persist? While the name itself implies progress, what follows will show how this educational ideology keeps tempting educators to go backwards. What Is "Progressive" Education? Progressivism was the dominant educational ideology … Continue reading “Progressive” Education is Stuck in the 19th Century

Productive Uses of Silence in the Classroom

Things beneficial to our long-term well-being are not always easy, nor are they immediately enjoyable in the moment. Sustained attention, patience, discipline, and an ability to delay gratification are difficult to cultivate, and take great training to develop.  Likewise, I've found classroom practices that benefit student learning are not immediately enjoyable and are often contrary to … Continue reading Productive Uses of Silence in the Classroom

Deliberate Practice: The Key to Improvement in Music and Teaching

I was born into a family of musicians. My father was drafted during the U.S. - Vietnam War but thankfully avoided combat by auditioning successfully for the Army Band. Later, my parents met while studying piano and organ studies together in graduate school. Starting at age four, each of my three siblings and I started … Continue reading Deliberate Practice: The Key to Improvement in Music and Teaching

Making Lessons 85% Review: The Genius Behind Engelmann’s Teaching to Mastery

This year I radically shifted my instructional focus. I made it a goal for all my lessons to be approximately 85% review of previous content, with only 10-15% of each lesson being new content. The 85% review takes many forms - lesson starters, homework checks, interleaved low-stakes quizzes -  but has had profound and far-reaching impacts … Continue reading Making Lessons 85% Review: The Genius Behind Engelmann’s Teaching to Mastery

Deconstructing Constructivism: A Widely Misunderstood and Misapplied Theory of Learning

When I completed my teacher licensure coursework only a few years back, I would have characterized myself as a die-hard believer in John Dewey, Alfie Kohn, flexible seating and student-centered learning.  I believed children learned best by doing, that teacher-talk should be limited in a "readers/writers/math workshop," and that group work and personalized technology were … Continue reading Deconstructing Constructivism: A Widely Misunderstood and Misapplied Theory of Learning

Where I Learned How to Actually Teach Reading (Hint: Not in Teacher Training)

It was 2015 and I was in the process of acquiring my K-6 elementary teaching license in Minnesota at Hamline University. I was attending classes full-time, but wanted to get experience in an elementary school as soon as possible - I just wasn’t sure how to get my foot in the door. That was until … Continue reading Where I Learned How to Actually Teach Reading (Hint: Not in Teacher Training)