The Strange Reality of Engagement

The Strange Reality of Engagement

The reality of “student engagement” hit me square in the face yesterday as I sat in an ASCD presentation by Alison Zmuda and Robyn Jackson. In it, they shared their keys to engaging students in the classroom. During the session, I couldn’t help but compare with…

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Full Speed Ahead Down the Road to Nowhere

Full Speed Ahead Down the Road to Nowhere

Part of my job as a curriculum supervisor involves doing professional development with teachers about curriculum and instruction in mathematics. With implementation of the Pennsylvania Core Standards (based on the Common Core State Standards) coming quickly, we are…

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Why Digital Learning Day is Important

Why Digital Learning Day is Important

Three years ago, I toured the Library of Congress for the first time. Today I am here again, this time for Digital Learning Day. Although I have been involved with helping to organize this event since its inception in 2012, and have had the privilege of attending the…

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Gifted Education Needs to Be a Struggle

Gifted Education Needs to Be a Struggle

NPR aired a piece on Monday morning about how Japanese schools (at least in the elementary grades) promote struggle as the pathway to learning and understanding. It was a profile of work by psychology professor Jim Stigler. The essence of it, and a nice parallel with…

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Learning as Cuisine

Learning as Cuisine

As I’ve been working on my session for this Saturday, I’m referencing a metaphor for thinking about learning in terms of food, one of my favorite topics. Since I won’t have the time to explore this idea thoroughly in the session, I decided to expand on it here. But…

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Faster and More Intense

Faster and More Intense

It was May of 1977. My dad and I sat in our seats at the Eric’s Place theater in Philadelphia as the house lights dimmed and those now-​famous words appeared on screen: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.…” I was ten years old and for me, Star Wars was an…

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The Ultimate Secret to Education Reform

The Ultimate Secret to Education Reform

Yesterday evening, I was speaking with Tony Baldasaro who noticed a theme running through several of the ASCD sessions he had attended. That theme echoed one I had been noticing as well, and which I have reflected on several times in the past. “It’s all about…

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Edcamp as PD: Shifting Mindsets (Part 2)

Edcamp as PD: Shifting Mindsets (Part 2)

To follow up my earlier post with a thought that was still marinating before, another thing that I have been working on at school is creating more professional development that looks like the kind of learning we want to see in our district classrooms. As a leader, I…

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Edcamp as PD: Shifting Mindsets

Edcamp as PD: Shifting Mindsets

I just attended a session by three of the founders of Edcamp, Kristen Swanson, Ann Leaness, and Christine Miles. They shared an interesting statistic: in the two years since the first Edcamp Philly, there have been 101 separate Edcamp events around the world. There…

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Connectedness and Uncomfortable Thinking

I am attending the ASCD annual conference in Philadelphia, and spent yesterday in a day-​long pre-​conference session by Bobb Darnell about encouraging an environment for high achievement for all students. During the session I learned some new things and gained some new…

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Hacking the Math Curriculum

You know it’s not your typical inservice day when you find the Assistant Superintendent playing Monopoly with a group of third and fourth grade teachers. That is exactly what you would have seen last Friday, however, as some of our elementary teachers learned how to…

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