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)

Benefit Mindset: Transforming Students’ Attitudes of Empathy into Acts of Altruism (Edutopia featured article)

As communal creatures, we all crave belonging. Feeling understood and integral among a wide variety of people creates connections that make our lives complete. At our core, each of us is searching for the feeling that “we are all in this together.” Acceptance and affinity are especially important in the classroom, where each student’s social-emotional … Continue reading Benefit Mindset: Transforming Students’ Attitudes of Empathy into Acts of Altruism (Edutopia featured article)

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

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

A Balanced Approach to Teaching Literature: Pairing Whole-Class Novels with Independent Reading Choice

This is a companion to my Edutopia article, Getting Everyone on the Same Page. Since I believe that balance in all aspects of education is crucial, I teach whole-class novels right along with assisting my students in choosing the books they read independently. In fact, my middle school students are always in the process of reading … Continue reading A Balanced Approach to Teaching Literature: Pairing Whole-Class Novels with Independent Reading Choice

Growth Mindset Is Not Enough: Edutopia featured article

We educators may be tempted to believe that once students develop growth mindset, they are adequately prepared to face life’s challenges and changes. While in one key respect this is true, outlook and affect are not nearly enough to thoroughly outfit any person with all it takes to attain one’s full potential. Possessing a positive … Continue reading Growth Mindset Is Not Enough: Edutopia featured article

Outcasts and Underdogs: 8 More Young Adult Books that Teach Gratitude, Grit, and Growth Mindset (Edutopia featured article)

Superheroes and superstars already captivate kids, and many could teach a master class on these subjects. The fresh perspective teachers offer is how students themselves can and should be heroes. As advocates of growth mindset, teach children that heroism does not require obsession with perfection or product. When educators also value process and progress, students … Continue reading Outcasts and Underdogs: 8 More Young Adult Books that Teach Gratitude, Grit, and Growth Mindset (Edutopia featured article)