1412, 2015
  • STEAM-ERseries

STEAM-ER Series: Engagement

By |December 14th, 2015|

Welcome to the STEAM-ER series! Over the next few weeks we will be discussing Engagement through Rigor for each of the STEAM content areas. In the STEAM-ER introduction I shared five areas that encourage Engagement through Rigor: higher level thinking, engagement, deep inquiry, demonstration, and quality over quantity (see full intro article here). 

Last week we took a look at higher level thinking through Bloom’s Taxonomy and Depth of Knowledge.    This week we will look […]

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3011, 2015
  • steamer

Introducing the STEAMER Series

By |November 30th, 2015|

The use of the word rigor in education today is almost as frequent as the words Common Core.  In fact, in some instances they might even seem synonymous.  But what is rigor really?

The denotation of rigor is: (a) Harsh inflexibility in opinion, temper, or judgment: severity. (b) The quality of being unyielding or inflexible. (c) An act or instance of strictness, severity, or cruelty.  Is that what we really mean?  Harsh, inflexible, and cruel don’t […]

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2610, 2015
  • character reflections

Character Reflection

By |October 26th, 2015|

One important aspect to education that has quickly been pushed aside to make way for more testing is character building.  The arts are a great place to house these valuable skills, because we innately build character through arts presentation.  Whether stepping on stage for a dance performance, a one-act play, or a music concert, student artists are building their character traits on a daily basis.  Highlighting these traits through reflection will help students to make […]

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1910, 2015
  • student generated projects

Student Generated Projects

By |October 19th, 2015|

We have all heard of Project Based Learning (PBL), and some of us may have even dabbled in building PBL curriculum and classrooms, but with the time constraints of standards, testing, pacing guides, and mandated curriculum how can we possibly find the time?  Moreover, how can we ensure that students are learning the information needed to be successful on standardized assessments, which unfortunately still drive our educational system?  So often we revert back to the […]

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710, 2015
  • behavioral literacy-2

Behavioral Literacy through Drama

By |October 7th, 2015|

Behavior management is the big bugaboo for many a teacher.  It can make or break you since without good management you cannot create a positive learning environment and get to the business of teaching.  Many years ago I discovered something called Responsive Classroom and I fell in love with the approach because it centers on empowering the child, it stresses the importance and power of language used by the teacher and it reminds the teacher […]

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510, 2015
  • smooth structure

Top 5 Strategies for a Smooth Structure

By |October 5th, 2015|

After a month in my new position, I have had the opportunity to observe many classrooms each with varying teacher personalities and even more student dynamics.  But with each classroom, I found that there are a few things that work in just about every situation.  I have compiled the top 5 strategies, for new and veteran teachers, to building a smooth structure in the classroom.

 Every Student Every Day
The first, and most important, strategy for a […]

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2909, 2015
  • pd periscope

Periscope PD: Expanding Sentences Strategy

By |September 29th, 2015|

Who couldn’t use a new arts integration strategy to put in their bag of tricks?  Today’s Periscope PD is from the session I shared last Tuesday evening all about the Expanding Sentences strategy.  In this short, 10 minute video, I explain how we can take a common reading strategy and use it to help our students take their artistic work to the next level.

What’s great about this is that you can use it as a way […]

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2809, 2015
  • building leadership

Building Leadership in the Classroom

By |September 28th, 2015|

Building leadership in the classroom is an amazing way to really place responsibility, ownership, and accountability into the hands of the students.  However, it is essential that all procedures are well established before proceeding to building student leadership.  If you need help with establishing procedures check out my last three articles:
Back to School
Practicing Procedures Part I
Practicing Procedures Part II

A mentor once told me “don’t do for the students, that which they can do for themselves,” […]

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2109, 2015
  • practicing procedures II

Practicing Procedures: Part II

By |September 21st, 2015|

Procedures are essential to the structure of the classroom, without them the majority of our time will be devoted to putting out fires instead of igniting curiosity.  If you find yourself running into some procedural roadblocks, it’s not too late to develop and practice the class structure.  Last week we took a look at some ideas for procedures in Practicing Procedures Part I.  This week we will continue looking at the 10 procedures presented in […]

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1409, 2015
  • practicing proceducres

Practicing Procedures: Part I

By |September 14th, 2015|

For most of us, we are moving into the second week of school.  Classes are starting to level out, most of the schedule changes have been made, and we are beginning to delve into our favorite part… the content!  However, if you find yourself running into some procedural roadblocks, it’s not too late to develop and practice the class structure.  This week we are going to take a look at some ideas for each of […]

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709, 2015
  • back to school!

Back to School!

By |September 7th, 2015|

Welcome Back!!!

Two words streaming though campus hallways across America.
With these words comes the anticipation of a new school year and the reality of the work that is ahead.  For me, these words hold a new meaning as I step into my first full time position as an Instructional Coach.   As my responsibilities have shifted to coaching new teachers on campus, my weekly articles too will start to adapt to these new experiences, while maintaining a […]

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707, 2015
  • be your own superhero

Be Your OWN Superhero

By |July 7th, 2015|

I have a confession to make: I have TERRIBLE stage fright.  As a musician, this is a real challenge.  Even now – after almost 30 years of performing experience – my knees knock uncontrollably whenever I start to sing.  I don’t dare play the piano in public because my hands shake the minute I know people are watching.  Want to know a secret of performers everywhere – this is actually more common than you might […]

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2303, 2015
  • coaches' corner #2

Coach’s Corner: The Art of Lesson Planning

By |March 23rd, 2015|

A couple weeks ago I posted my first Coach’s Corner article addressing some of the prevalent issues my new teachers are facing, and I received a wonderful comment on the post from Brad Foust, he commented, “Surprisingly, far too many teachers, including veteran teachers, simply don’t write lesson plans anymore. They either use the teacher’s edition plans that come with whatever book they’re using, or use worksheets in the place of self-constructed lesson plans. When […]

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2302, 2015
  • coaches'-2

Coaches’ Corner

By |February 23rd, 2015|

Recently I have taken on a new position, that of instructional coach for our first-year teachers, and it has been an exciting transition, but the more I work with our new teachers, the more I remember the craziness of first year teaching.  This is the motivation for my new series “Coach’s Corner”, where we will explore the authentic situations first year teachers encounter, provide valuable tips and tricks for the first year, and offer new […]

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1802, 2015

An Artful Way Through Testing

By |February 18th, 2015|

Ah, testing.  It is a regular fact of life in today’s public school classroom.  One of the great challenges I found when I was a classroom teacher during testing was fatigue.  We want our students to stay motivated, stay alert and stay focused.  We also want them feeling good about themselves and relaxed enough to do their best work.  The arts have so much to offer to have our students in the best frame of […]

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