Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2017

An Inconvenient Truth

Younger students struggle with disappointment or unmet expectations. How to handle adversity is often the computational skill students need to learn most.

At times I thought students struggled with problem solving because of their prior experience with technology. If children only ever play games on computers, then they do not see devices as high-end computational tools. It's easy to blame parents who use computer games to entertain rambunctious children.

Or perhaps students cannot comprehend high-end computations yet, so their understanding is still primitive. I've also thought it might be students' developing emotional skills that cannot differentiate between real world and digital outcomes. Or perhaps younger students have an immature problem solving skill set. I might be observing a complex combination of all these possibilities!

But now I believe the real problem that younger students are expressing is a spiritual one. Computers perform exactly as instructed, not alw…

Purdue STEM Workshop Slideshow Posted

Amazed at the response to my #2017STEMConf workshop last Thursday. To view my slideshow from the workshop, scroll to the bottom of the RPE website.

I estimate there were 50+ attendees at my presentation. Several took notes and four teachers stayed after to ask some excellent followup questions.

Since this workshop was only 45 minutes, I wished we could incorporated more hands on role play. Several teachers already use ClassDojo, so it was good sharing ideas with them on expanding and incorporating the Dojo system into a larger classroom narrative.

I was able to attend several other workshops and enjoyed hearing Buzz Aldrin give the keynote speech. As I continue to process through all my notes, I'll try to share some thoughts in additional posts.

Related Link:

Collecting Classroom Book Reviews

If students struggle to choose free reading books, try creating a card catalog.

Today at lunch while talking with a reading teacher, she mentioned that several students struggle to choose a free reading book. It's not for lack of choices, instead they are having difficulty discerning if the book is worth their time.

Why not create a way to share book recommendations between students?

While the tech side of me thinks Microsoft Access would be a fun way to do this, I recognize most teachers wouldn't know where to begin in creating a digital database. But it wasn't that long ago when libraries used a simple card catalog system for tracking books. A simple tweak of the system can help a teacher collect book recommendations.

Using 3x5 index cards, have students write the name of the book at the top, then the author underneath. The first student should write a short description of the book without spoilers! The finish the card with their name and a 1-5 star rating.

If another stu…