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 […]

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 […]

Taking Choice Menus to the Next Level for Student Ownership

Recently, I asked my students (pre-service teachers who are currently in their practicum) about the ultimate goal of education. Some described the need for raising democratic citizens who will think critically about the world. A larger group described the need for preparing students for the global economy. Others wanted students to develop into life-long learners. They […]

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 […]

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 […]

Seven Reasons to Pilot Genius Hour Projects

Genius Hour (or 20% Time) projects begin with a simple idea: give students a dedicated period of time to pursue their passions, interests, and questions in a creative way. In this blog post and podcast, we explore the benefits of doing Genius Hour projects. Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d […]

Five Structures for Helping Students Learn Project Management

If we want students to think like artists, entrepreneurs, and engineers, they need the chance to design real projects. But this also requires students to learn how to engage in project management. The following is a short video on the project management process: Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d like […]