I’m Not a Techie

Technology Cow via http://goo.gl/XR2MYi In 1976 I went to the University of South Carolina to be a dual Math and Computer Science major. I got my math degree but gave up on computers after spending hours at the card punch machine at late hours on the university’s one computer (that also had to do research and […]

A Chance of a Lifetime

Student Photo MNTHS The fact I got to see President Obama was not a given. I’m not teaching at Manor New Tech (MNTHS) any more. Yes, I do a lot with PBL in our district but the fact is I am not a teacher at the school being visited by the President.  But Steve Zipkes, […]

Fighting the Education Reform Battle

A Guest Post by Steven Zipkes, founding Principal/Director at Manor New Technology High School in Manor Texas (Originally posted on Facebook – February 20, 2013 )     My head hurts from constantly fighting the educational reform battle. It is not about extending the school day, or mandatory Saturday school, nor selecting the “right”students or […]

You Want Me To Do What? Creating School Culture.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelkeen/      Last week I sat down and took a serious look at what I need to do between now and the first day of school and I had to pause and shake my head (while saying “holy crap!”)  It was one of those days.      So, this transition thing – how hard […]

It’s That Time of Year, Again

http://www.flickr.com/photos/us_army_rolling_along/      I had a conversation with a teacher today that was very refreshing and revealing.  It seems I’m not alone in feeling like I am giving up on some of my students.  The last few years I have really just gotten tired around the first of May and there are some students who […]

Sometimes You Just Have to Drop Back and Punt

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rogersmith/      This week we came back to school and we were in mid-project.  When my co-teacher and I met on the return teacher work day we discussed the fact that we were not really happy with how the project had gone and we determined that we might just have to wrap it up […]

Four Posts to Get You Ready (part 4 of 4)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/huppypie/ (Part 4 of 4)  You have read and re-read recipes for success in a PBL unit.  You have gathered the standards and you have the scenario ready for the entry event.  You have selected how you are going to assign groups and you have an outline for each day of what you want to […]

Four Posts to Get You Ready (part 3 of 4)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/huppypie/ (Part 3 of 4)   You’ve gotten yourself in over your head and you have decided that you are about to do a PBL unit with your class.  Well, how long does it need to be?  How do you start it going, how do you complete it, and how do you give it pushes […]

Four Posts to Get You Ready (part 2 of 4)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/huppypie/ (Part 2 of 4)  “I don’t have a good imagination!”  “How do you get started with PBL?” “Do you have to start with the standards?”  These are all things I have heard when talking PBL with teachers.  And, like writing a letter (or a blog post), it is that first step that is the […]

Four Posts to Get You Ready For the PBL New Year

http://www.flickr.com/photos/huppypie/ (Part 1 of 4)  2012 is going to be the year!  You have been thinking about using PBL.  You have been reading about it and/or there’s a teacher in your school  using PBL in the classroom.   But where to start?  My suggestion is to treat it like a recipe.  The first thing you […]