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Seven Teacher-Tested Strategies for Finding Renewal on Your Winter Break

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 grade. I planned out my first […]

Great Design Can Begin Anywhere (6 Starting Places for Design Thinking)

For the past five days, our yard has been canvased by a thick sheet of snow — well, thick for a southwestern guy who has just moved to the northwest. I’m pretty sure my friends in Michigan would call it a “dusting.” However, my kids have been throwing snowballs and making snow monsters and sledding […]

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Six Videos to Spark Creative Thinking

Limitations and challenges can be frustrating. However, they can also be the creative constraint that leads to problem-solving and divergent thinking. Over the years, I’ve learned that students love challenges that they find engaging, intriguing and meaningful. Some of these are practical and real-world. Others are fantastical and require a bold imagination. I want to […]

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Why We’re Letting Our Sons Have a YouTube Channel

My oldest son wants his own YouTube channel. He wants to film science experiments, modify maker projects and test out different “life hacks” to see if they actually work. He wants to film stuff with drones and make up his own challenges (think bottle flip or mannequin challenge). His younger brother wants to record Minecraft videos, […]

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Fake News is a Real Problem. Here’s How Students Can Solve It.

If you like this sketchy video, I encourage you to subscribe to my channel and be the first to see my latest short videos. I used to teach a class called photojournalism. I usually referred to it as “digital journalism,” because people assumed we were a photography class. Students created videos, podcasts, documentaries, and blogs […]

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Seven Creative Alternatives to Showing Movies Before the Break

If you’re looking for a way to spark creative thinking each week, you might want to check out the free weekly creative thinking challenges. You can check them out on YouTube here. Like what you see there? Simply fill out this form and you’ll get a new video challenge sent straight to your inbox every […]

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Creating a School (on Mars) From Scratch

If you like this sketchy video, I encourage you to subscribe to my channel and be the first to see my latest short videos. A fresh start. Isn’t that what so many want in education? Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, administrator, or community member, we all have our opinions on what school should […]

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Is it time to reinvent the wheel?

It’s Thanksgiving evening and I trudge up the stairs with every anticipation of writing a post about food and family and gratitude. I pull up my chair and flip open my MacBook. A black screen appears. I tap on the buttons. Nothing happens. I click the power button. Still nothing. I stare at the screen, […]

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How I’m Using Design Thinking for My #NaNoWriMo Novel Project

A few months ago, my son came to me to pitch a story idea. “I want a story about a superhero taco.” “You mean, like a superhero that eats tacos?” “No, a superhero taco. Like a real taco, though. Not those fake hardshell tacos.” “Got it,” I said. “And his name needs to be Taco […]

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I’m Thankful for Teachers

It’s late morning on a Wednesday. I have a string of meetings and a stack of paperwork. Right now, I’m thinking of the classroom. I’m remembering the way we would do a maker project on the day before Thanksgiving. We were learning, but it never quite felt like school. It was almost sneaky, maybe even […]