Using a Wonder Day Project to Spark Student Inquiry Blog Post

My friend George Couros once said, “If students leave school less curious than when they have started, we have failed them.” I tend to agree. I’ve never heard of a cosmologist who says, “I’m done with the universe. No more questions here.” I’ve also never…

Wonder Day and Wonder Week Page

Please leave your email address below and click the yellow subscribe button to receive the free inquiry-based Wonder Day / Wonder Week project. It includes the process and the handout you can use with students. I will also send you a weekly email with free,…

On Eclipse Day: 5 Ways Natural Wonders Make Us More Creative Blog Post

In a few hours, we will begin observing the eclipse. No handouts. No close reading exercises. Just a bunch of families in the neighborhood gathering together to break bread, eat bacon, and then see the shadows change and the stars appear and the temperature drop….

Life is a Vapor (My Birthday Reflections) Blog Post

“Cross out the word ‘vanities’ and replace it with ‘vapor.’ It’s a vapor of vapors. Life is temporary. Nothing lasts,” my professor explained. I waited for him to continue the lecture but instead he said, “Go on, do it. Now. Everyone. Find the mis-translation and…

The Maker Monday Challenge: Begin Each Week on a Creative Note Blog Post

One of the key take-aways from Moore’s Law is that technological developments tend to double every six months. Products that sounded like science fiction a generation ago are now so commonplace we take them for granted. We are in an era of rapid changes in…

How do we bring wonder back into the classroom? Blog Post

A few years ago, I had the chance to teach science in a self-contained classroom (teaching all subjects). I scoured the Internet for examples of great demonstrations that would captivate my students’ attention. It worked at first. I did the typical experiments. You know, add…

Starting the Semester on a Creative Note Blog Post

I’m sitting in my office right now with a web sprawling out all over my whiteboard. I’m planning out my five courses that start in the next few weeks. But even if I weren’t designing new courses, I would be dreaming up new ideas. For…

Teachers Need a Genius Hour, Too Blog Post

In my hardest year of teaching, we had a toxic school culture after a leadership change. I had panic attacks in the parking lot. Eight teachers quit by December. I had a stretch of nineteen days where I had no prep period. For me, community,…

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…