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 […]

Why Balance Is Critical for Creative Work

Earlier this week, my friend George Couros wrote a wonderful post about seeing the value in balance and it had me thinking about the role of balance in creativity and teaching.  Years ago, my friend Wayne gave me some great advice about balance and self-care. Although this was about the non-profit world, I think it […]

Why Teachers Should Experience Productive Struggle

I’m sitting in front of the computer blinking, ready to press the “submit” button; knowing that if I missed this problem, the progress bar will drop down another 25% and I’ll spend half an hour trying to get back up to where I was. At this point, I have spent well over ninety minutes on […]

Seven Stages in Moving from Consuming to Creating

I used to believe that creativity began in the mind. Ideas popped in and people responded externally by making things. I would get frustrated when students came into class having only used technology to consume rather than create. I would beg them to take risks creatively. Make something different. Be bold. Branch out even if […]

Three Ways to Boost Collaboration in Student Projects

We’ve all been there before when we were students. You’d hear the dreaded words “group project,” and immediately begin calculating the additional work that you would need to do to keep the group afloat; especially if the teacher chose the members. You check the list of names on the board. You’ll be with the drifter, […]

Why Every Teacher Needs a Mastermind Group

I’m about two-thirds of my way through my doctoral program and it’s beginning to get more challenging. I’ve spent hours working through the self-paced instruction in my statistics class while geeking out about professional development in my second course. My mind is ping-ponging back and forth between ideas I want to explore and research I […]

Seven Things That Happen When Students Share Their Work

When my middle son was in the third grade, he volunteered to share a joke with a big audience at a family camp. As I watched him standing in the line with older kids and quite a few adults, I felt nervous. What would happen if no one laughed? Would he be crushed? Did he […]

7 Ways UX Design Theory Transformed My Approach to Course Design

UX Design Theory can teach us a lot about how to build community, communicate clearly, and set up effective systems as we design our courses. The following is an exploration 8 ways UX Design Theory can change the way we teach.    What Is UX Design? User experience design theory (sometimes abbreviated as XD, UX, […]