On Eclipse Day: 5 Ways Natural Wonders Make Us More Creative Blog Post

In a few hours, we will begin observing the eclipse. No handouts. No close reading exercises. Just a bunch of families in the neighborhood gathering together to break bread, eat bacon, and then see the shadows change and the stars appear and the temperature drop….

Using a Wonder Week to Spark Student Inquiry Blog Post

My friend George Couros once said, “If students leave school less curious than when they have started, we have failed them.” I tend to agree. I’ve never heard of a cosmologist who says, “I’m done with the universe. No more questions here.” I’ve also never…

The Maker Monday Challenge: Begin Each Week on a Creative Note Blog Post

One of the key take-aways from Moore’s Law is that technological developments tend to double every six months. Products that sounded like science fiction a generation ago are now so commonplace we take them for granted. We are in an era of rapid changes in…

How do we bring wonder back into the classroom? Blog Post

A few years ago, I had the chance to teach science in a self-contained classroom (teaching all subjects). I scoured the Internet for examples of great demonstrations that would captivate my students’ attention. It worked at first. I did the typical experiments. You know, add…

Teachers Need a Genius Hour, Too Blog Post

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. Made famous by Google, this process actually began at 3M, where they allowed employees to spend…

Seven Reasons to Pilot Genius Hour Projects Blog Post

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. This…

4 Ways to Craft Choice Menus in Distance Learning Classes Blog Post

I have three kids ranging from older elementary to high school. Each one of them is handling distance learning differently. My daughter, who is also the youngest, initially felt overwhelmed at the list of assignments that popped up each Monday and the scheduled meetings twice…

Empowering Students in Distance Learning Environments Blog Post

Student engagement can be a real challenge in this sudden shift toward distance learning. But one way to improve engagement is by empowering students. In this article, we explore how to improve equity and access and how to shift toward student ownership. Listen to the…

How to Make PBL a Reality in a Distance Learning Environment Blog Post

If you think about your most powerful learning experiences, there’s a good chance at least one of these experiences involved a project. This is where you learned how to research, how to ideate, how to work with others, how to engage in productive struggle, and…

10 Free Classroom Activities for Your Distant Learning Classroom Blog Post

In my last article, I wrote about using a vintage innovation approach to create meaningful distance learning lessons. Being creative often means designing these activities and projects from scratch. However, creativity doesn’t always work this way. When we think of creativity, it’s easy to picture…

There’s No Single Right Way to Do Distance Learning Blog Post

The last week has proven to society something that we, in education, already know. Teachers care deeply about their students. I’ve seen so many examples of teachers making phone calls to families, having class Zoom meetings to just do a pulse check on each child,…