AP Expert of the Week

21st-Century Learning Conferences: Innovating Authentic Learning

What if you turned off the bells in your school and threw away the traditional schedule for the day? What would you do for an entire day with students? How would students want to spend their time learning? (more…)

STEM: Developing Students’ Skills for Future Success

Guest post by Mary Anne Moran

Do you ever stop and wonder what the traditional high school experience is preparing our students for? Are we preparing students for life beyond the high school or college classroom? Do the hours in the classroom have a direct correlation to future success? It is time we begin to reconsider the programming that we are offering in schools to ensure that our students are prepared for their futures rather than the next classroom.

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Roundabouts—The Direction for Learning

Guest post by Paul Hermes 

 

In the early morning hours of a Wednesday in October while on my way to work, I exited off the interstate. As I reached the bottom of the off ramp, I breezed through a series of roundabout intersections that I go through on this particular route to work without having to wait or even slow down much. As I got closer to school, I came across my first traditional traffic-light-controlled intersection. I hit a red light and sat there waiting even though no other cars used the green light coming from the other direction. I became impatient and frustrated and felt like I was waiting there forever until I finally got the green light to go.

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Blanket Forts and The Future of Learning

Guest post by Paul Hermes

The value of unique knowledge and expertise is declining significantly due to the proliferation of accessible digital technology. This phenomenon has happened in history before; however, it has not happened at this pace and not to this scale. Access to information, knowledge, and each other is historically unprecedented. (more…)

When Tragedy Strikes: Tips for Coping with Student Deaths

Guest post by Paula Callan

It’s the crisis response plan we as school administrators pray we never have to implement: The sudden loss of a student. But when tragedy strikes, it’s up to school administrators to provide leadership to the entire school community and implement protocols to support the immediate family, students, and staff most affected.  (more…)

Safe Schools: Are You Ready?

Guest post by Jeff Simon

Many are concerned about the growing reports of school safety incidents. According to the Educator’s School Safety Network, U.S. schools experienced 745 bomb threats in the 2015–16 academic year. And since 2013, there have been 210 school shootings, as reported by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. This escalation of school threats and violence is generating fear and anxiety in students, parents, and educators and wasting precious learning time.

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Using Restorative Circles to Build Accountability and Empathy

Guest post by Heberto Hinojosa, Jr.

In Texas and many other states across the country, school districts are abandoning or limiting the use of traditional exclusionary discipline practices such as detention, in-school suspension, and suspension to tackle student behavior issues that affect the learning process. Instead, many campuses are turning to restorative discipline to help teachers and administrators prevent and respond to behavior problems. (more…)

The Model Classroom: A Makerspace for Teachers

Guest post by John Carder

By now, most educators have heard the term “makerspace.” The idea of a makerspace originated outside of the school setting as a place for community members to design and create manufactured work that wouldn’t be possible to create without the space. School makerspaces give students a place to work individually and collaboratively through hands-on creative projects that encourage them to design, experiment, repurpose, and innovate.  (more…)

Thinking Outside the Box with Student Leadership

Guest post by Clint Williams 

Skyridge Middle School’s Associated Student Body (ASB) program is an active organization that makes our school a great place to be. Our student leaders organize school celebrations and spirit weeks, plan assemblies and recognition luncheons, mentor our sixth-grade students, and much more. They are the face of our school and our best ambassadors. But there is one big problem with ASB: It is so popular that we have to turn away a large number of students each year who want to become leaders, because space is limited. I realize this is a great problem to have, but it is a challenge, nonetheless. What can we do to provide students more ways to get involved and lead?  (more…)

Expanding on Student Passion: Getting Creative with Career and Technical Education

Guest post by Cameron Soester

Milford High School places great importance on non-core classes. Our career and technical education (CTE) courses and organizations have experienced tremendous success over the years. Much of this success is due to the dedicated staff members who do whatever it takes to allow students to explore their passions within the curriculum. To maintain the strength of these programs, we have devoted time and effort to renew and rejuvenate our CTE programs. (more…)