Lessons From a High Jump Dropout

I was on the track team in 8th grade. My coach put me in the high jump at every meet. I have yet to make it over the bar...   I looked like I should have been able to do it. I was a long-legged, skinny kid who came to practice every day. But if I'm... Continue Reading →

Make Science Funny Again

Do you remember doing Mad Libs as a kid (or possibly as an adult...)? I remember laughing until I cried pretty much every time. I decided I needed that in my classroom. But it can't be all belly laughs and no learning (or so I'm told), so here's what I did: Find current events or information... Continue Reading →

The December Marathon

I've never run an actual marathon... but I have been in the classroom for 12 Decembers. I'm pretty sure it's the same thing. Right? Let's break it down .  Thanksgiving break/Training: You've put in the hours. You've planned and know the big day/month is coming. You're ready... or so you think. You're a damn fool. ... Continue Reading →

Ted Talks to the Rescue!

One of the challenges of teaching STEM classes is that students have trouble seeing themselves as future STEM professionals. I believe that stereotype of the "old white dude in a lab coat" is slowly going away, but what about engineers? Tech gurus? Economists? If you want students to want to learn, they have to see... Continue Reading →

Practice Makes Better

Most of us probably have our students do presentations from time to time. We have all had students tell us that they are not comfortable doing presentations. We also hear some complaints about group members not pulling their weight during projects. So I've come up with a system to help alleviate both issues: practice presentations! ... Continue Reading →

Introducing… Teach Pair Share!

Last year I started an online teacher research group called Teach Pair Share. I am now getting ready to roll out the second year! Last year was a trial run and their feedback really drove how the group works now. Here's the gist: What is Teach Pair Share? Teach Pair Share is a year long, research... Continue Reading →

How a Cardboard Box Changed My Classroom

Cell phones in the classroom... friend or foe? I wrote about this before (check it out here). I still consider myself a phone friendly teacher. They're not going anywhere and students have to learn to use them appropriately. My go to has been having a charging station in an out of the way spots so kids... Continue Reading →

Grapes & Guilt & Compassion

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of hearing  Dr. Jelena Radovic-Fanta discuss her research. She has been studying the women working in the Chilean grape industry. What struck me the most was when she described how motherhood was used as a way to guilt these women into working well beyond the end of... Continue Reading →

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