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 […]

Who Owns the Learning in Your Classroom?

It took me years to transform my instruction toward a more student-centered approach. This is my story where I share my journey toward student ownership through student choice. Note that this is a revision of a post I wrote last year. I’m taking a few weeks off to work on a novel (which I can’t […]

Five Ways to Boost Student Engagement with Flow Theory

If we want students to develop a maker mindset, we need to empower them to hit a state of creative flow. Flow Theory explains what happens when we hit that place of “optimal experience,” where you are fully engaged, present, and focused. The following blog post explores what it means to help students reach a […]

Seven Ways to Help Students Embrace an Entrepreneurial Mindset

This post is loosely based on a chapter from my latest book Empower. Thank you to everyone who has helped make it a number one best-seller on Amazon! Thank you to anyone who has left a review on Amazon and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat. It’s been so cool to watch people respond […]

What’s Your Legacy as a Teacher?

On Saturday afternoon, I felt my phone buzz. It was a message from George Couros. “Congratulations guys, your book is up.” Our new book Empower was officially live on Amazon. Terror set in. What would people think of it? How would people respond? Would they like the visual-oriented style or would they mock it? See what […]

Teachers Need a Roadmap, Not an Instruction Manual

Last October, A.J. Juliani shared an idea for a book we should write together. After we had talked about student choice, voice, and ownership, he said, “I want to do a follow-up to Launch called Empower. Let’s make it a why book. Let’s make it a book about a big idea.” We decided to make a different kind of […]

7 Things That Happen When Students Own Their Learning

The best way to prepare students for the future is by empowering them in the moment.   A Snapshot of Student Ownership Right now, my middle son is at the computer typing away on a shared Google Document that he and three of the neighborhood kids created for a collaborative story they’re all writing. They […]

Here’s How to Empower Students While Also Hitting the Standards

Student ownership sounds like a great idea but what about the standards? How do we teach all of the standards while also empowering students with voice and choice?  An Epic Project (That Also Hit the Standards) Trevor Muir makes a powerful point about student ownership. If you do nothing else, take three minutes to watch the […]

The Five Biggest Fears that Kept Me from Empowering Students

I recently wrote about my journey toward empowering students through ownership. It began with a “throw away” week during state-wide testing when I felt the freedom to do something different. From there, I ultimately embraced this idea of student empowerment. However, I was afraid along the way. I’d like to explore some of these fears […]