Let’s Make a Maker Space

https://hildakweisburg.com/2016/01/04/on-libraries-makerspace-magic/ Right up front I want to say that any school that has a Maker Space because that’s what great schools have, is missing the whole idea. I think playing with things and trying out things is really cool. I do. But if we haven’t thought through what we will have in our space then […]

Putting Together a Design Class in a IB World School (Part 2)

Screen Capture from – https://goo.gl/VoUfRT [NOTE: Originally written a week ago] “So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.” Willy Wonka.  Right now I’m feeling like a cross between the Scarecrow ( giving directions in OZ) and Willy Wonka these days. One minute I’m heading one […]

Which Came First PBL or Small Group Instruction?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/smu_cul_digitalcollections/ Ye Olde Chicken-Egg story. Why am I wrestling with this? Because many consider me pretty smart about Project Based Learning(PBL). And, our school which calls itself a PBL school, is pushing small group instruction. So, is PBL just a version of small group instruction? Not sure. And when you infuse a very structured form […]

Year 4 at SXSWEdu – My Schedule (Mon/Tue) Part 1 of 2

Official Logo This week will be the 4th edition of South By Southwest Education (SXSWedu) and I have been to every one of them. This year feels, somehow, different from those first three years and I’m hoping that is a good thing. The first thing I noticed (about myself) is that I am planning times […]

It’s Always the Right Time to Write

http://www.flickr.com/commons School starts up on Monday and I’ve started thinking about all of the January hurdles that are approaching. There’s “Benchmark Week” when all of our core classes will be taking benchmarks that are designed to see where we are in our progression towards the state mandated testing. It also gives our students a feel […]

Tabs I Have Open (1-2-14)

New Year resolutions can take many forms and, as I said in my recent post, I just want to get myself healthier so I can take care of myself, my family, my friends, and my teachers. But a goal I have decided to set for 2014 is to be less worried about what I put […]

21st Century Skills Must Be Taught and Assessed

http://www.flickr.com/photos/newtonfreelibrary/ It’s been a while since I wrote a PBL post and the timing is right because I am creating a PD for our teachers on teaching and assessing school-wide learning outcomes (SWLO’s). SWLO’s are those things we want our students to know how to do outside of the content specific knowledge. To many these […]

The Secret To Doing PBL in a Real School

http://www.flickr.com/photos/amberhenley/ OK, so I got your attention and you came to read this because of the title of the post. Well, to be honest, if you understand PBL and the inquiry process there isn’t any secret to making it happen in a “large comprehensive middle school” like mine. And I can tell you what needs […]

Are You Set Up For Success? We Are.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/marierleslie/ This week we will start a new school year at Decker Middle School. We have been working most of the summer so that our teachers and, in turn, our students become more successful. There are some things we have put into place for the first 4 weeks of school that should make a significant […]

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, […]