The Challenge: _________________

Fill in the blank of the title. What challenge are your students facing today.  I’ve found that no matter how we talk about a growth mindset, reflection, planning, and affirmation my students are struggling.  Learning is a continuum and I need to continue to understand that the continuum is wide, especially with 9 year olds. …

Blank Canvas: Choosing the Best Brush

How often do we have the opportunity to express ourselves? What kind of brush would you use if you didn’t have breakfast in the morning? What type of color would you use if you slept the night on the floor? What type of image would you draw if your teacher always started the day with…

Comics: The Power of Design

Calvin is having a problem. He’d like to get back to Earth safely. Design a way for him to return to Earth using only 3 items. What do you notice about the above comic? How might we use design thinking along with this comic? What ideas would you or your students have to help Calvin…

Small Cubes, Huge Opportunities 

Throughout the last year I have been experimenting with the game based creation tool called Bloxels and I have been blown away by the possibilities. What amazes me the most are the attitudes of the students as they receive feedback from their peers and revise their game creations. These little blocks pack an amazingly powerful…

What’s a Low Level Opportunity?

As I was continuing my 2nd read of the Innovator’s Mindset this week, I came across a quote that connected with me in a different way.  George wrote, “What risk might you take to change learning experiences?” I have always felt like I need to provide opportunities for students to experience learning in many different…

Do I have to work with them?

Think about that question in the title. What is that student really saying when they exclaim, “I don’t want to work with them!” Is it because students don’t want to share their ideas? Could it be that students don’t feel safe? Could it be the learning environment is not set up for collaboration? I really…

Wow! Thanks for sharing that Mistake!

I’ve been listening to the My Bad podcast recently created by Jon Harper and reflecting on how we can make these mistakes, that are all inherent in the learning process, be owned by our students. Think about all the mistakes we make throughout the day, how we reflect on those, and turn them into successes….

Ideas: What are they Worth?

Where do our students’ ideas go as they get older? What stops a 9 year old from expressing an idea compared to a 5 year old? Why do we see smiling and play in a 5 year old, but a 9 year old shows an indifference towards anything creative?     Take a look at this…

Caring and Sharing

Why should our students care about their own learning? How can we facilitate learning that is embraced by all students? When will our students begin to look at their learning as their own and not teacher directed? Who directs learning each day? What kind of classroom environment do students need that creates a culture of acceptance…

A Chance

I love building with you Dad! You are so open to my ideas and we can always try them out. These words come from my kids at home and are pivotal to how my wife and I parent. The statements that come from inquisitive children bring warmth to my heart. It shows the influence that taking…

Thinking Differently

Throughout the day we have opportunities to think differently, to value thought patterns that might not be our own, and ask questions from different viewpoints. The question that I have been wondering about is how often do the adults think differently so that students can think differently? We are in a profession that is helping…

Imagination Trumps All

Interesting title huh? Truly our imagination is what we need to be successful. Imagination is what leads us to possible options to solve many of the problems we face. Yet how many times a day does our imagination get to come out and be seen by others? I’ve started our week back with an art…