AMLE 2017 Round Up!

A few weeks ago, I was able to go  to the 2017 AMLE Conference in Philadelphia (along with our entire middle school staff – how cool is that??). I learned A LOT. It was inspiring, thought-provoking, and overwhelming in terms of the amount of information I was processing. After taking some time to digest, here are my favorite takeaways and the next steps I developed from the sessions I attended: Continue reading

PBL Basics #1: Challenging Problems & Questions

114017bNote: This series of posts is inspired by Larmer, Mergendoller, and Boss’s (2015) recently released book, Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning.  It is a great book for anyone looking to get into or learn more about project/inquiry based learning.  These posts are just a small sample of the pedagogical tools you will find inside.  A full review will be up after this four-part series is complete. Continue reading

What Bloom Would Say About My Curriculum

Now that the school year is coming to a close, I’m starting to reflect on the year as a whole, what I will keep the same and what I’ll change.  This year was a big step forward for me in terms of curriculum development.  I created a standards-based curriculum in which I analyzed the learning anchors and devised units that would allow students to learn them one or two at a time.  As I look back on how the curriculum played out this school year, I find myself asking the question, “What would Bloom say about my curriculum?” (“What Would Bloom Do?” bracelets patent-pending.) Continue reading

Memorization in Moderation

In grad school, we focused a lot of attention on what Paulo Friere – one of the all-stars of educational philosophy – calls the “banking model” of education and, specifically, how to avoid treating students like “empty vessels” within which we as teachers simply disperse knowledge.  With this mindset, I entered my first year of teaching, opposed to memorization, believing it would dehumanize my students and turn them into robots, albeit, robots with extensive vocabularies. Continue reading

Some Words to Remember as a First Year Teacher

A little over a year ago, I remember sitting in one of my first ever grad school classes.  We were discussing with our professor what it’s like when you first start teaching.  To paraphrase one of the main points from that discussion, he told us that our first year, we would not be good teachers.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Let me explain. Continue reading