Spark Curiosity and Help Students Ask Better Questions Blog Post

In the previous article, we explored the Look, Listen, and Learn phase of the LAUNCH process for design thinking. In this article, we explore the second phase,  Ask Tons of Questions.  When students are able to ask their own questions, they can chase their curiosity…

Letting Students Ask the Questions Page

Student inquiry is at the heart of student choice. When students are able to ask their own questions, they can chase their curiosity and tap into their own interests. They can build on their prior knowledge and build a bridge to new information that they…

Ending the Semester with a Student Blogging Project Blog Post

December is exhausting for teachers. The days are shorter. The weather grows colder and (at least here in Oregon) wetter. Students are anxious — whether it’s a buzzing excitement for vacation or a sense of dread that some kids feel in homes that are unsafe…

9 Teacher-Tested Ways to Build Student Ownership into Informational Reading Blog Post

When we think of choice-based reading, we often imagine silent reading with novels. However, we can take a student-centered, choice-based approach to non-fiction as well. In this article, we explore nine different areas of student empowerment within informational text reading. Listen to the Podcast If…

Empower symbol with fist and lightning bolts

You Don’t Have to Be a Martyr to Do Student-Centered Learning Blog Post

It’s been quite a year so far in American education. Between school board battles over Critical Race Theory to protests over mask mandates, we are seeing significant social strife playing out in the context of our schools. We’re also seeing school staff shortages, leading to…

10 Creative Risks to Take With Your Students This Year Blog Post

We aren’t sure what this year will look like. With the spike in Covid cases, it might involve more hybrid or virtual learning. Or it might be more of a “return to normal.” But regardless of the situation, we do know that teachers will continue…

Sometimes Student Choice Isn’t the Answer in Reading Blog Post

In my previous articles, I’ve explored how we can empower students with voice and choice in reading. However, today’s article provides some nuance. While we need to empower readers to own their learning and we need to create extended periods of choice-based independent reading time,…

Every Student Deserves Access to Project-Based Learning Blog Post

Years ago, my friend Chad (who tragically passed away from cancer last year) started the 21st Century Classroom initiative in our district. Teachers would be part of six-person teams where they would attend professional development, receive state-of-the-art technology, and have a learning coach who would…

Four Ways to Boost Collaboration in Student Projects Blog Post

Creative collaboration can be challenging at every every level of education. Sometimes the issue is work imbalance, with one student doing the majority of the work while others slack off. The term organizational psychology is “cognitive loafing.” In some cases, it can feel like one…