Developing Focus Questions That Stimulate Thinking

If you spend enough time with a three-year-old child, you will at some point get into a question loop that is driven by one query: “why?.”  If they ask it once, they will likely ask it a thousand times, because they are trying to make sense of the world that is still quite new to … Continue reading Developing Focus Questions That Stimulate Thinking

A FIRME Response to Assessment

Assessment is an integral component of the teaching and learning process, and as such, teacher response to assessment data is critical. So how should teachers respond to assessment data? Take FIRME action! In the book Questioning for Formative Feedback: Meaningful Dialogue to Improve Learning, author Jackie Acree Walsh shares the following from the work of … Continue reading A FIRME Response to Assessment

Making the Intangible Tangible

If you follow professional sports, you may have heard commentators say something like, “That player has many intangibles that make him/her great at the game.” What it means is the player has something a little extra special in his/her performance, ability, or understanding of the game that is difficult to qualify and quantify. In the … Continue reading Making the Intangible Tangible

Set A Goal!

Author and speaker Jon Acuff hosts a weekly podcast called “All It Takes Is A Goal.” I really enjoy listening as he talks with his guests – usually successful authors, entrepreneurs, and creators – about their work and how they came to be successful. The overarching theme is – you guessed it – setting a … Continue reading Set A Goal!

From Struggle to Strength

I lift weights. You can stop laughing now. I really do lift weights on a rather regular schedule. I’ve done some weight training in a fairly consistent manner since I was a college freshman. What I have learned in those years is to build strength you have to set up a struggle. The struggle doesn’t … Continue reading From Struggle to Strength

No Mic Drops Without Mic Checks

The mic drop has become a big thing in recent years. If you’re not familiar with the concept, here it is in short form: You grab the microphone, you say something powerful and poignant, and then you drop the microphone and walk off. (By the way, please stop dropping microphones. The impact of such a … Continue reading No Mic Drops Without Mic Checks

Make Your Classroom A Greenhouse

I have a buddy in the greenhouse business. They design and build structures of all shapes and sizes to accommodate the needs of customers all around the country. Flowers, vegetables, grasses, and trees can safely grow year-round because the company creates spaces that maintain ideal conditions for growth in spite of the environment outside of … Continue reading Make Your Classroom A Greenhouse

Helping Students Fail Forward

Author and speaker John Maxwell has written a number of books about success. One of my favorites is Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success. In the book, Maxwell shares stories of a number of prominent people who experienced significant failures and then moved on from those failures in dramatic, positive ways.  In … Continue reading Helping Students Fail Forward