The Four Crucial Components of Collaborative Learning

Any teacher who wishes to have their students interact and work together must keep in mind four overarching aspects of collaborative learning. 1. The Group Work Litmus Test A good test for whether group work is even necessary for a particular assignment is this: After you have provided your students with the essential knowledge and … Continue reading The Four Crucial Components of Collaborative Learning

Ten Essential Tips for Marketing a Class Blog that Gets Seen and Shared (KQED featured article)

If you’re looking to take your students’ work to the next level, creating a class blog is a great way to motivate students to produce their best work — precisely because with a class blog, your students, who are usually limited to an audience of peers, parents, and teachers, are now exposed (and strategically marketed) … Continue reading Ten Essential Tips for Marketing a Class Blog that Gets Seen and Shared (KQED featured article)

Should Students Be Branding and Marketing Themselves Online? (KQED In the Classroom featured article)

My niece Nina, a high school senior, recently showed me her new website and YouTube channel offering tips about makeup. Her homepage alone boasts more than 50 photos of creative ways to apply eyeshadow! When I discovered this was all part of her AP English Literature assignment, however, I began to ask more questions. Nina’s teacher had explained to … Continue reading Should Students Be Branding and Marketing Themselves Online? (KQED In the Classroom featured article)

Fads or Foundations?: Class Dismissed Podcast interview

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Nick Ortego for the Class Dismissed Podcast. The subject was my article for Education Week, "Enduring the Educational Pendulum", and my latest book, Talented Teachers, Empowered Parents, Successful Students!  Listen to the interview here. (You can fast forward to 21:30 for my twenty-minute interview.) Educators are tied to … Continue reading Fads or Foundations?: Class Dismissed Podcast interview

Classroom Strategies for Including All Families as Allies in Education

Shouldn’t every parent be a teacher’s greatest asset and ally in nurturing and educating all students? Shouldn’t every teacher actively include and empathetically engage with all parents, especially those who seem the most clueless, careless, or cantankerous? Robert Ward's latest book, Talented Teachers, Empowered Parents, Successful Students, provides educators with a wealth of creative strategies, practical solutions, … Continue reading Classroom Strategies for Including All Families as Allies in Education

Educators to Read, Follow, and Learn With in 2018

In 2017, I began my 25th year teaching middle school English, and it has been my best year in classroom ever. My career as an author and blogger also hit some high notes: In June, my Rewarding Education blog was honored as one of  the Albert Index's 2017 Top Blogs in Education for Parents and … Continue reading Educators to Read, Follow, and Learn With in 2018

The Super-Ordinary Hero Project: Matching Growth Mindset with Benefit Mindset

"If more people follow their superpowers-- and everyone has one-- then we're going to be better as a society" (Adam Neumann, founder of WeWork, in Time magazine, 2016). Try this inspiring, interdisciplinary culminating project that works well with students at any grade level. Since kids of all ages are obsessed with superheroes, channel their natural interests … Continue reading The Super-Ordinary Hero Project: Matching Growth Mindset with Benefit Mindset

The Advantages of Teaching Whole-Class Novels (Edutopia featured article)

English teachers are typically literature lovers, so it is natural for them to share their passion for reading with their students by introducing them to great books. However, some teachers find the prospect of reading and analyzing an entire novel with their classes overwhelming or problematic. Teachers' most common concerns center around these questions: How … Continue reading The Advantages of Teaching Whole-Class Novels (Edutopia featured article)

Twitter Education Chats: Expanding your Personalized Learning Network (Edutopia featured article)

Teachers must be models of lifelong learning, but besides occasionally reading books and blogs and attending conferences and collaborating with a handful of colleagues at school, how can we extend both the reach and frequency of interacting with our fellow educators? Twitter education chats (EdChats) are the answer for an increasing number of teachers and … Continue reading Twitter Education Chats: Expanding your Personalized Learning Network (Edutopia featured article)

The Myth of the School-to-Prison Pipeline

The term "school-to-prison pipeline is an unfair way to describe what's happening because the schools just don't have the resources to be the intervention against poverty that they need to be." Anna Deavere Smith, actor and author of Notes from the Field. The next time you are inclined to seek scapegoats, stupid slogans, and simplistic "solutions" for … Continue reading The Myth of the School-to-Prison Pipeline