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…

The Power of Student Conferencing Blog Post

If we want to empower students to own the assessment process, we need to incorporate meaningful self-assessment and peer assessment into our lessons. However, students still need guidance from their teachers. This is why I love five-minute conferences. Unlike a deep dive tutoring session or…

Designing Socratic Seminars to Ensure That All Students Can Participate Blog Post

Socratic seminars are a democratic, student-centered, approach to class discussions. They can be used at any grade level with any subject area. In a Socratic Seminar, members meet in a circle (or more likely an oval, because, let’s be real, circles are really hard to…

Taking a Gradual Release (GRR) Approach to Student Choice Blog Post

Over the last month, I have been sharing practical ways that we can empower our students to own the learning from day one. This is the core idea that AJ Juliani and I wrote about in our book Empower. It’s a journey I began in…

Three Ways to Empower Students to Own the Classroom Culture Blog Post

When AJ Juliani and I co-wrote the book Empower, we focused on the ways that students could own the learning process. It’s the core idea of shifting from being teacher-centered toward being more student-centered. We often talk about what it means to move from compliance…

Getting Started with Student Portfolio Projects Blog Post

When I was a senior in high school, our AP Government teacher chose not to give us a final exam for the end of the first semester. Instead, we would create our own portfolios. Our portfolios had to include what we had learned and what…

Five Reasons Students Should Own the Assessment Process Blog Post

For years, I held a very teacher-centered view of assessment. I would grade student work and use that to modify lessons and pull small groups. Students would receive a grade, which would then motivate them to work harder. Later, I started realizing that my feedback…