What Our Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Learning, and Creativity

I wasn’t always a dog lover. I used to be a dog-liker and most of the time a dog-tolerator. I never understood why people would get bumper stickers with their favorite dog breed and I cringed a little when I heard the phrase “he’s part of our family.” But I’ve become that guy. I have […]

Was Yoda a Good Teacher? (Happy Star Wars Day)

Happy Star Wars Day! Here’s a reflection about Yoda, teaching, and the deeply human element of being a teacher. Why Yoda Was a Bad Teacher A Fixed Mindset: Yoda took one look at Anakin Skywalker and determined that he had no future. He believed that Anakin’s current character would define who Anakin had to become. […]

The 5 Biggest Mistakes I Made with Genius Hour (and How I Fixed Them)

This post is inspired by Ross Cooper’s latest post on the mistakes he made in doing PBL. It’s a great post. In fact, you should stop reading this now and read his post instead. Go check out his book while you’re at it.  I love the notion of sharing our mistakes along with what we […]

Who Are the Hagrids in Your Building? How Are You Helping Them?

At first glance, it would seem that Hagrid has all the makings of a great teacher. He is willing to take creative risks. He has a deep and passionate knowledge of his content area. And most importantly, he cares about his students. But unfortunately, content knowledge and compassion aren’t enough to guarantee success. There’s a […]

Want Students to Be More Creative? Try Adding More Play.

We’re from Phoenix, which alternates between blazingly hot and nice. We had two seasons: football and baseball. The only thing that changed color in the fall were the license plates of all the people ditching this thing called snow, which I’m just discovering now that I live in Oregon. When we first moved here, people […]

Raising Children Who Love Reading

I love to read. So do all of my siblings. Someone asked me what my parents did to get us into reading. I’m still not sure how to answer that, but here’s a thought. Reading wasn’t rewarded at our house. We never had word walls or anchor charts or point systems. We didn’t have reading […]