The Gods of Education. Are They Worth It?

Brian MillerBlog, Connect Better, Innovate Better, Lead Better, Manage Better, Reflect Better

TL;DR: Schools, like cathedrals, have gods that they worship, which shape their values, priorities, and practices. The gods of education can be both burdensome and dangerous, demanding sacrifices and affecting the unintended consequences of serving them. Identifying the gods in education allows for a critical examination of their impact and whether they are worth prioritizing, as they are tools that … Read More

Connection Over Compliance

Robin ShrumBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better

TL;DR: Student engagement goes beyond compliance and involves attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion for learning. Authentic engagement requires establishing connections with students to create a safe and supportive learning environment. Strategies for fostering connection in the classroom include showing genuine interest in students, providing choice and voice, conducting morning meetings, being intentional in planning, incorporating real-life connections to content, … Read More

Motivating Without Grades

Mike SzczepanikBlog, Connect Better, Differentiate Better, Engage Better, Grade Better, Lead Better, Manage Better

TL;DR: If the task requires critical & creative thinking, then autonomy, mastery, and purpose are better motivators than rewards and punishments. Students today have to do more cognitively challenging work than they did in the past. Ten ways to motivate students without grades are provided. There are other benefits to using these techniques. In the last post But They Won’t … Read More

Boosting Student Engagement in the Spring

Rachelle Dené PothBlog, Connect Better, Differentiate Better, Engage Better

TL;DR: Trying new ideas at the end of the school year can increase student engagement and help retain content. Versatile methods like choice boards, creativity tools, game-based learning, and interactive lessons boost engagement and curiosity. Incorporating student input, STEM activities, and problem-solving challenges further enhance learning experiences and promote essential skills development. Why try new ideas? With the school year … Read More

STEM and STEAM Are a Part of Your Everyday Life

Becky SchnekserBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Innovate Better, Lesson Plan Better, Manage Better

TL;DR: STEM and STEAM are integral to our everyday life and we encounter many challenges that require these skills. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, while STEAM adds Art or Architecture. A problem with a door latch at home is an example of STEM and STEAM in action, involving science, technology, engineering, art/architecture, and mathematics. We can intentionally … Read More