5 Reasons to Pilot Student Podcasting Projects

I just learned that New York City doesn’t actually have alleys. Okay, they have a few private alleys. However, after listening to the latest 99% Invisible podcast, I learned that the idea of alleys throughout NYC is a bit of a myth. Does this matter? Probably not. But it’s what I love about podcasts. I love […]

Seven Strategies for Building Empathy in Students

A few days ago, my son said something that surprised me. He said, “Dad, we have the best cafeteria lady at our school.” And I said,  “Wait, what?” But then he went on to describe how this woman chose to memorize every students’ name in his middle school and how she knows his order each […]

The Power of a Mid-Year Reboot

So, it’s the beginning of the year and all around I’m hearing conversations about New Year’s Resolutions. One friend is going Paleo, another is doing Cross Fit, and still, another has decided she’s going to read 100 books in a year (which might be doable if you include graphic novels and audiobooks–which I think are both totally […]

What Our Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Learning, and Creativity

I wasn’t always a dog lover. I used to be a dog-liker and most of the time a dog-tolerator. I never understood why people would get bumper stickers with their favorite dog breed and I cringed a little when I heard the phrase “he’s part of our family.” But I’ve become that guy. I have […]

Finding Renewal on Your Winter Break

Originally written on December 18, 2017 I still remember my first winter break in my first year of teaching. I scratched out Christmas Eve and Christmas as true “days off,” but then I worked the rest of the time. I read two books on teaching. I took home a giant box full of papers to […]

10 Teacher-Tested Strategies to Engage Reluctant Writers

A few years ago, my son opened a Google Document and started typing. I asked him about it and his eyes lit up as he described the shared story he was writing with classmates. This was the first day of summer break but he was choosing to write for fun. It might not sound like […]

Ten Creative Alternatives to Showing Movies Before the Break

Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of this post to download the Ten Creative Ways to End the Semester Resource Pack. This is a post I first wrote a decade ago, when I was teaching middle school. Each year, I have revised it and updated it. Let’s just put it out there. December is […]

4 Surprising Truths About the Creative Journey

About a year ago, I watched La La Land for the first time. It was as enchanting and mesmerizing as people had told me. And it struck a chord, in terms of the deeply human longing to chase your dreams, captured in the lines: Here’s to the ones who dream Foolish as they may seem Here’s […]

Making Time for Project-Based Learning

I’ve been at the college level for a little over three years and every time I visit one of my college students in the midst of their practicum, I am struck by how fast time moves in a classroom. It’s easy as a professor to forget the frantic pace, with the bells and the announcements […]

A Thank You Letter to Teachers

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I created a thank you video for teachers. Feel free to share it with friends, colleagues, or your own children’s teachers. You can find it here on YouTube or on here on Facebook. If you haven’t already, you might want to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and follow my Facebook […]