The Importance of Happy Students: Summer Book Report on The Happiness Advantage

Recently a colleague (and friend!) recommended a book by Shawn Achor called The Happiness Advantage. The premise of the book is that happy people are successful; not that success leads to happiness, as is commonly believed. Achor works with Fortune 500 companies to maximize their effectiveness and subsequently their profits. And while profits and business …

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Solution Resolution Conclusion

David Brooks’ article, “Everyone a Changemaker” struck a chord with some of the goals I feel education should strive for. Brooks refers to Bill Drayton, a “legend in the nonprofit world” to describe the need for “changemakers”: “Drayton believes we’re in the middle of a necessary but painful historical transition. For millenniums most people’s lives …

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Compass Tool for Capstone

“Systems thinking enables educators to help their students develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to participate in a complex and interdependent world.” (Mike Johnstone - Compass Education) One of the many things that I love about teaching Capstone Seminar is that the course requirements push students to think about problems from a systems perspective …

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Peer Review that Worked

This year I am challenged with teaching a new course: AP Capstone Seminar. It’s a course that really captures what teaching should be like: skill development such as reading and analyzing a variety of texts; inquiry based learning where students are guided to come up with their own research questions; group and self directed projects …

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Teachers as Facilitators

Some of the best teaching moments are really just moments of facilitation. It sure makes teaching sound unromantic but really, we facilitate opportunities for our students to learn and grow. If we work hard, and the facilitation is successful we are happy to watch from the sidelines as our students become the lead actors in …

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Pecha Kucha: Student Presentations Revamped

Most English standards, such as the Common Core Standards stipulate the development of presentation skills. The Common Core “Speaking and Listening” category specifies that students “make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest” (Common Core). …

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English & Biology: A Collaborative PBL

At the recent Live Curious Conference,  I attended an inspiring session on Global Collaborative Learning. The teachers presenting showed us the incredible learning experience their students in Mexico had collaborating with a teacher in the United States. It was incredible to hear about stereotypes being dismantled as students got to learn from students in other …

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