Hot Issues


We Should Make It Easier–Not Harder–To Be A Teacher

Recently, I tweeted a reflection about the challenging nature of being a teacher....


30 Inspiring Messages For Students

The premise is simple enough here: What are the kinds of messages that inspire students?
We’ve talked about student engagement and motivational videos for teens, in addition to ‘good class rules.’...


Teaching Is Establishing The Need To Know

The above image comes from a presentation from Jesse Stommel, an Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities at University of Wisconsin-Madison. And it makes an interesting point...


What Is A Better Alternative To Grading Student Writing?

This is a quick post that just occurred to me while writing about–well, writing about writing.
I was brainstorming ways to use technology to help students improve their writing and realized that over and over again, I was thinking about the process of writing and how crucial it is to quality of whatever the writer is left with at the end...


Let’s Think Differently About Writing In The Classroom

Among the biggest changes in modern academic standards is the shift in the burden of general literacy. Rather than only ‘writing teachers,’ teaching reading and writing, now all teachers across all content areas are being asked to do so...


Why It’s Important To Teach Kids Why To Read

Preface: I’m writing under the assumption that the ‘child’ in question has access to some form of mobile technology, and that’s a problematic assumption that causes problems for my thesis, here. Nonetheless, addressing both ‘sides would require a far more extensive essay than I have time to research and write. Keep this distinction in mind if socio-cultural paradigms tangle the extraction of ideas for you...


A List Of Reading Response Questions That Work With Most Texts

Though I’ve been busy with TeachThought over the last decade or so, my original ‘trade’ was teaching English (literature, writing, digital media, etc.) ...


A Gamification Framework For Human Motivation

When researching student motivation and gamification a few years ago, I came across the most comprehensive gamification framework I’ve ever seen. Developed by gamification expert Yu-kai Chou, it was an ambitious effort that distinguished black hat gamification (which is ‘bad’–think Farmville and Candy Crush) from white hat gamification (which is ‘good’–think Minecraft or even an ACT score). (It’s also copyrighted, but they graciously allowed us to use it.) ...


How To Reduce Creativity In Your Classroom

In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, where the daily tasks required in a large number of jobs require not repetitive button-pushing but independent and complex thinking, we are often exhorted to ‘be creative’ or ‘use some creativity.’...


What Out-Of-The Box Assessment Strategies Should Every Teacher Know?

Most teachers and current textbooks offer varied approaches to the material to be learned so the teaching can be brain-compatible with the varied student learning styles...


PBL Spotlight: 5th Grade Restaurant Math Tipping Guide

Every year since their kindergarten years I have extended my offer to teachers of my daughters to help out in any way they might find useful. Some of them have taken me up on my offer and asked me to chaperone a field trip or help with some minor classroom activities on special occasions, and I was happy to help...


What Is A Literature Circle?

Literature Circles are a way for students to assume a specific role in the study of something (usually a text)
Though almost always associated with the content area of ‘Literature’ or ‘Language Arts’ in North America, the concept of studying a topic in groups by assigning functional roles for each group member can be applied in the study of almost anything (something I will cover in an upcoming post on how to teach with Literature Circles)....


Why Every Teacher Needs A Professional Learning Network

According to Marc-André Lalande, “a Personal Learning Network is a way of describing the group of people that you connect with to learn their ideas, their questions, their reflections, and their references.”...


90 Retailers That Offer Teacher Discounts

It’s no secret that back-to-school shopping can get expensive for teachers.
If they’re not shelling out money for art supplies and paper, they’re off buying fresh clothes and shoes. Luckily, the retailers below want to help. From Apple to J. Crew, these companies offer teacher discounts on just about everything a teacher could possibly need for the new semester!...


What Advice Could Save Your Teaching Career?

Simple premise, as titled: what sorts of ‘things’ make teaching unsustainable, and what sort of advice can help teachers reflect on these ideas to mitigate any damage and make the profession more enjoyable, and thus sustainable...


Use Technology To Engage Students With These 4 Simple Ideas

Summer provides an opportunity to relax, but is also a time to explore new ideas and reflect on the previous year. We have to ask ourselves what worked and what did not. With the start of each school year, teachers begin by establishing classroom procedures, getting to know the students, and then starting their instruction...

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