A few years back, I noticed something weird – kids sometimes, maybe even often, learned more when I did less. One unexpected side effect of our spring semester 20Time experience was that I saw kids taking more ownership of information when they were the ones doing the research. This started me thinking about, and changing, how I present all sorts of material. Continue reading

In my first few years of teaching, I didn’t want to use my sick days. If I woke with a fever, I foolishly believed it was more trouble to pull the day’s sub materials together than to just drive to school and face the day. In the spring of my first year, a ruptured ear drum didn’t even keep me from school. It wasn’t until an allergic reaction to the antibiotic launched an angry, blotchy rash all over my body – and, like an idiot, I still came to work – that the principal’s secretary took one look at me, shook her head, and sent me home. Continue reading

Always on the prowl for fresh resources to help students build their critical thinking skills, I came across a gem of a new documentary, uploaded to YouTube and Hulu earlier this month. Billions in Change is a 43-minute profile of 5-Hour Energy founder Manoj Bhargava and his decision to spend 99 percent of his $4 […]

Micro Fiction – Flash Fiction – Two-Sentence Stories – Sudden Fiction – Twitter Tales Whatever you want to call them, super-short stories are a super-fun way to spend a single class period, as you introduce your teens to the idea that an entire story can exist within just a few lines. Micro fiction can pack […]

When you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is pull together a sub plan. This year, be prepared for the inevitable bout of flu (or need for a mental health day – oh, I’ve been there) by keeping a lesson on hand that’s truly evergreen and will work with all of […]