In this vlog post, published through Eduplanet21, I share a story about a student who seemed motivated but wasn’t really self-motivated. She was always seeking my approval: “Is this okay? Is it good enough?” I tell about how I helped
Don’t look now, but the end of the school year isn’t far away. Of course, we know how important the first weeks of school are, but what about the last weeks of school? Surely, this is just as important a
As schools welcome more and more students back through their doors, we’re all trying to figure out the best way to do so. It seems as though there are two wildly different needs we must address. As I talk with
As educators, we all want our students to be motivated. Teachers and schools often pour immense amounts of energy into trying to motivate students, yet often it seems like the more we try, the less kids care. What’s going on?
Teacher language can be a great focus for a New Year’s resolution. After all, we all use language with students, and we all surely have some habits that could use some refinement. Often, some of our language habits don’t line
You want at-home learning to feel purposeful and engaging for students, but you don’t want to further overwhelm yourself with work. What if there was a way to both boost student engagement and reduce the daily assigning, correcting, and keeping
Games can boost engagement and learning for students while also reducing teacher workload--a win-win!
What if there was a learning strategy that boosted student engagement, had many (many!) academic benefits for students, and reduced teacher planning and correcting/grading time? Great news! There is–and it’s a tried and true strategy you have probably been using
After the abrupt ending to school last year, the hope and goal was to begin the 2020 – 2021 school year ready to thrive in whatever format teaching would occur. Many teachers were feeling more comfortable with remote teaching and
Last week I had the privilege of teaching two online workshops for teachers about getting ready for the upcoming school year. They were both so much fun! We played games that teachers can use with their students (either in person
This has been a spring that few of us anticipated. As we now look to the end of the year, many of us are aching for our favorite end-of-the-year moments—that final awesome read-aloud, the class gathering with families, the spring
You’ve spent the whole year building a community of learners. You’ve established rules and routines to help learners manage themselves and work well with each other. Now, with schoolwork potentially moving offsite, you still want to support your students as
Is it time to try something different with your students? Is there something you’ve been trying over and over again that just isn’t working? One year, I remember it taking me way too long to realize that I needed to
The Dilemma You want to offer students choices about what they learn or how the learn it. Engagement would be higher and you could offer differentiated options to meet the needs of various learners. However, you’re saddled with a scripted
A teacher recently reached out to me about PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports) and reward systems. It’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot as I work with teachers across the United States. I am in a district
Is there a more controversial issue in schools right now than grading? If it’s not at the top of the list, it’s certainly close. As many schools move away from traditional grading practices and toward standards-based (proficiency-based or competency-based) ones,
A teacher recently wrote me an email asking for some advice about student motivation. She graciously agreed to let my answer morph into a blog post. I just finished listening to your ASCD webinar about language. I found your presentation thoughtful,
There is much debate about what kind of role homework should play in schools. Research on the topic is mixed. It has negative impacts on the achievement of younger children, positive impacts at the high school level, and mixed results
Are incentive systems used in your school? Do kids get handed tickets or fake money (to be spent at the school store) for walking quietly in hallways? Are gem and marble jars used to motivate kids to raise their hands
Tell a story that you would want your students to tell about your class at the end of the year. This compelling challenge was posed by Bena Kallick on a recent video interview I had with her and Allison Zmuda.
If you teach reading and/or writing, there’s a good chance that when introducing a new concept or skill, you begin your lesson by saying some variation of, “Good readers….” “Good readers pay attention to context clues.” “Good writers add
As the school year winds down, it can be hard for students (and teachers) to keep their positive energy high. With the end in sight, it can be hard to stay motivated to do work. With worries about the end
One of the most deeply held beliefs of many educators is that we should praise students—a lot. Many of us were taught, early on in our careers, that the more we praise our students, the better they’ll feel, and the
Childhood anxiety is on the rise. According to research cited in a recent Washington Post article, the diagnosis of childhood anxiety in children ages 6-17 has jumped 20% in recent years.
Traditional praise (such as "Good job!" and "I love the way you're..." can do more harm than good. Read on to find out what to say instead!