09 December 2009

Troubled Teens Explore Their Artistic Side

Program for juvenile offenders fosters creativity, literacy, and freedom of expression through hip-hop.

Hip-Hop Helps Teach Everything from English to Algebra

Like many 16-year-olds, Amir Ali spends a lot of time after school talking with friends about sports, girls, and music -- specifically, hip-hop music. But last year, during his sophomore year at Lynwood High School, in Lynwood, California, Ali noticed a drastic shift in these spirited afternoon after-school conversations.


Students learning math lessons using hip-hop

check out this project based learning ...

08 December 2009

$3.5 Billion in Title I School Improvement Grants

.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the final requirements for $3.5 billion in Title I School Improvement grants to turn around the nation's lowest performing schools. The applications are now available.


What Makes A Teacher Qualified

NPR: American schools have been trying for decades to improve teacher quality, with mixed results. Over the next year, we will explore those efforts, and look at the latest crop of teachers entering the profession.


07 December 2009

Mental Imagery Aids Perceptual Learning

Perceptual learning -- learning by repeated exposure to a stimulus -- can occur by mental imagery as much as by the real thing. http://www.educationreporting.com/viewArticleDetails.php?id=839

04 December 2009

Free Packets: student participation, teacher development

If you want to get some new ideas, without spending any money, then check out two packets for K12 teachers. One focuses on service learning and the other provides strategies to improve student participation.


31 August 2009

Bring reality to your classroom and having fun too

I have two gems to share with you today .....

1. Making math real: "How can four friends share six cookies equally?"

2. Five star teacher blog: from toys to tools - how to use cell phones in class.


30 August 2009

The invisible key is relevance .......

I'm displaying 15 links below to provide lesson relevance and skill building for K12 teachers...

..... no worries about your political party these days ..... seems everyone has gripes about the Feds "improving education" and what they do ... or don't do ..... been dat way ever since the Dept. of Ed got created.

..... with K12 ed our kids suffer the losses as nothing gets done to produce, enforce, and fund sutainable K12 improvements ..... as more and more double sided rhetoric gets stimulated.

... unfortunately our government - like any large corporation, or even school district, that's outta control - has become bloated with 1) powerful folks voting their own agendas instead of what serves a sensible solution, 2) domineering special interests groups wanting to take control, and 3) disturbing political agenda groups twisting facts and figures....it gonna be a while to see what's capitulated.

No doubt, there is a bumpy road ahead for K12 education while teachers are left to steer the course and dig the trenches. Well, the Los Angeles school district has taken matters - a link to that news is below - into their own hands ....let's see what they're gonna have articulated.

Click here to read the newsletter.

The project learning and service learning RSS feed is updated with new resources;


29 August 2009

Teaching and innovation - the right mix - with evidence

I'm combing the web to bring you the nuggets that juice up teaching skills to electrify lesson and jolt critical thinkin' opportunities ....

.... no worries about your time .... it won't take hours to read thiese and grab some insights.

1. Segway inventor Dean Kamen highlights the flaws in American science education as he discusses how to use innovation in class rooms. Click Here.

2. The strong performance of Cleveland's schools using innovation schools are compared to other public schools citywide. Click Here.

3. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina four years ago brought with it many changes for this city, but perhaps its most enduring mark may be the new charter school system that came cascading in during the storm's aftermath. Click Here.

You can get thousands of free learning games resources here http://www.educationreporting.com/Education_Games.xml


Teachers keep workin' while everyone else is ....?

I've done the research - you save the time and reap the rewards.

.... the 15+ links below will surely blow some fresh breezes in a few classrooms across this world - no doubt.

I've had three of my own major myths revealed to me - so far this year .....

......one, robots can never replace teachers - I covered this in an earlier issue.

...... two, technology won't shift the shape of K12 classes too, too much.

....... three, no sustainable and equitable effort is .... or will be made..... to educate young people by public institutions - across the K12 curriculum.

Last week I discovered the Open Education Resources (OER) and the Open Language Learning Initiative (OLLI)........so much for the floor of my myth #3. You have a link to 'em both -and other FREE K12 courses, and higher education as well - below.


26 July 2009

Teachers: Seven Top Replete Resources & Strategies

Time to begin gearing up for classes and building those dynamo lessons ....

You've had a well deserved summer break, ready to start thinking about lesson ideas and learning strategies for this new year? You don't wanna just use what you did last year or even the year before.

Hey, we would have never stepped foot on the moon, it ain't no hoax, doing the same ole stuff year after year.

Yep, I encouraging you to break outta da box - starting now!



Teach using projects or service learning feed: http://www.educationreporting.com/greenschool.xml

Teach with online games feed: http://www.educationreporting.com/Education_Games.xml

21 July 2009

Mechanics of experiential education in K12

Today, competent and competitive businesses don’t succeed using ideas or technology from yesterday. K12 schools are no different. The makeup of classrooms varies considerably from the past: students are digital, a growing number express restless behaviors, and class sizes swell as schools struggle with shrinking budgets. Experiential education, as I used it when teaching high school science, is an excellent method to combat lethargic learning behaviors and support students in building critical thinking skills, i.e., lifelong learner habits.

Read the article @ http://www.educationreporting.com/article-how-to-teach-with-ee.htm

16 July 2009

Innovation - anyone can teach math program - research included

John almost failed first-year Calculus in the university, but his love of math and his belief that everyone has great mathematical potential led him to found JUMP Math as a kitchen-table tutoring group in 1998.

Here is the street cred: Dr. Mighton completed a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Toronto and was awarded an NSERC fellowship for postdoctoral research in knot and graph theory. He is currently a Fellow of the Fields Institute for Mathematical Research and an Adjunct Professor of mathematics at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mighton also lectured in philosophy at McMaster University, where he received a Masters in philosophy.

Honestly, I am impressed with the approach the program takes to include all students, at their learning speeds, using relevant materials and methods. He says his programs works for teachers, parents, and tutors - I believe him.

Link to material at "JUMP Math": check out "JUMP Math" http://www.educationreporting.com/curriculum.php#mat

15 July 2009

Sizzle of service learning: helping students shine and extend their reach

I didn’t wake up one day and say, “I’m going to do a Service Learning (SL) project with students.” The neighborhood of my school is recognized as the poorest area in the state, most students don’t speak English as the primary language at home. Over 80% of students take advantage of the free lunch program and just a small percentage will get to college; even fewer will graduate with a degree. When I first considered sponsoring an after school club to do recycling, I thought a few students might be interested. I had to gear myself up to deal with the overwhelming student participation, which was all volunteer on their part.

Read the article, get my top six service learning resources, at http://www.educationreporting.com/article-sizzle%20-of-service-learning.php

14 July 2009

Teachers - easily - tweak your tech skills

Two free and simple to use resources allow you to fortify your lessons, in any content area, using technology. This is not rocket science, all you have to do is find the best fit for your classroom or campus. Doing this over the summer means you can save time later. Plus, show off your skills when school opens. Here they are:

1. Digital Storytelling
Not to worry, there are step by step instructions on setting this up and rolling it out. You can also browse some examples. On the second page (click arrow at botton of first page) are the detailed answers to all the potential "how to" questions. http://www.educationreporting.com/viewArticleDetails.php?id=681

2. Learning with online games
Thousands of free games that can be simply used over the internet - no special software required. This is a big win-win: students learn the subject content and technology skills.

13 July 2009

New study reveals best methods to improve student scuccess

When students are underachieving, school policymakers often examine class size, curriculum and funding, but University of Missouri researchers suggest establishing relationships may be a powerful and less expensive way to improve students' success. In a review of the research they show that students with positive attachments to their teachers and schools have higher grades and higher standardized test scores.

An new study reports that the best method for improving student success is relationships.

Effective teachers practices are no mystery

Knowledgeable, innovative, skillful, fun-loving, caring, supportive, task and pupil centred – it’s official – the most effective teachers are in a class of their own. Two year study on Effective Classroom Practices (ECP) yields results that articulate effective teacher practices. Click here to read article.

Hundreds of free online game resources for learning K12 subjects:

09 July 2009

Watch this and you'll weave it in too

Yep, this is the best - 20 minute video - that simply shows the complex issues of our global village: health, quality of life, earning an income, and leaving something for future generations.

Every teacher I've talked to about this says they're going to use it as a resource.

Check it out, "The Story of Stuff" video at http://www.educationreporting.com/greened.php#cla

08 July 2009

How to uncork creative instruction

Effective teaching and learning opposes the drive-thru mentality our culture broadcasts. K12 teachers with learning going-on in their classes are capturing student attention with innovative strategies and engaging material. My intention with this article is to equip educators with three easy to implement strategies. I've used them and so have thousands of other successful teachers. But, putting them into service without laying the foundation fundamentals won't do much good.

Read the entire article http://www.educationreporting.com/article-how-to-uncork-creative-instruction.php

01 July 2009

RSS Feeds: Fun, Free, Educational

I just updated these two feeds. Both are full of free information to use in K12 classes.

Learning games: http://www.educationreporting.com/Education_Games.xml

Green Learning, which includes service learning resources: http://www.educationreporting.com/greenschool.xml

Share 'em with a friend. :-)

30 June 2009

Teachers: free & potent - 27 resources to juice lessons

July is almost here, summer break is in full burn. Well deserved, it's time away from the office - no students, administrators, or cajoling parents. Yet, it's worthwhile to peek at the hill looming on the horizon. I have some quick and easy professional development ideas you can peruse from the comfort of your lawn chair to ease the climb. Why? I think they'll satisfy that thirst for improving your teaching skills without taking dollars from your pocket, and they won't reduce your leisure time. Heck, you can even use 'em to fulfill your Professional Development Plan (PDP) for 2010!

Nope, what I'm suggesting is not languishing away in a classroom or even attending a vendor sponsored seminar. What I'm talking about is an hour or two a week - or less - in the comfort of your own schedule to consider improving the architecture of your instruction techniques. That's correct, my intention is to have you grow these three core teaching abilities:

1. Classroom management skills: this influences every aspect of teaching for both new and experienced teachers.

2. Multimedia resources: time to start putting technology to work for you, in whatever capacity you have available in your classroom or school.

3. Pedagogy ideas: taking stock of what you're doing and listening to the experts provides new window(s) for improving student performance.

Let's be real, acquiring additional skills in these abilities makes you better equipped to capture student attention. When you're doing that, you have engaged students, which means they're more adept at building lifelong learner skills.

Capturing student interest is no mystery. I know this first hand from my high school teaching experiences. When students are interested in class material; student disruptions almost disappear and class time flies finer than the stealth bomber. Lesson material that works with digital students makes concepts relevant to life outside of class. Research shows this is best accomplished using hands on activities, integrating technology, creating and managing student collaboration, and accenting important ideas with video clips (15 minute maximum). As you raise the bar on your lesson making ability you demonstrate your commitment to excellence.

Like I said, all the resources I'm about to mention are absolutely free. Need software to be more productive? This package works on any computer and is in multiple languages; use it to make and distribute documents, slides, or spreadsheets: Open Office.

1. Tune up classroom management strategies
Without a solid set of classroom management skills, learning happens by luck. Effective teaching isn't completed by winning personality contests or being the student's buddy. Instead, learning occurs in a safe environment where students are curious and there is an atmosphere of respect. Just like a business has a set of rules and procedures to produce quality products for its' customers, a teacher must have a clearly defined set rules and procedures to conduct class. An extensive set of ideas and procedures can be found at this scale of social competence site. Another source for some tips and techniques is this RSS feed, beware it also wants to sell you a book at the end. The Empower A Child blog has 10 excellent tips for teachers. On the left hand side of the Cooperative Learning Network page there are several useful articles worth your review. My favorite there is Teaching Social Skills. I had to adjust it somewhat for my high school class but those ideas definitely worked for me. Of course, The First Days of School, by Harry Wong, is the perfect resource for every teacher library. Every time I pick it up I select one or two new ideas to use with students.

2. Tweak your multimedia skills and resources
One picture is worth a thousand words. Images quickly validate obtuse concepts and put the brain in gear. For example, students may not get the verbal aspects of biotic and abiotic, but show 'em pictures of people, plants, and fire; now they have a window to apply what is being discussed. There are plenty of ways to use multimedia besides just using PowerPoint or slide presentations. Thinking is an essential ingredient learning at any age, using the Big 6 you gain a critical thinking resource and a web site that offers a ton of worksheets and presentations. Start using media kits to supplement your lesson resources. You can find one for any subject across the K12 curriculum by visiting the Orange County DOE site. Some other favorites of mine: listen to famous speeches, find any sound and download it, and then the perfect music to spice up classroom atmosphere or to add on your web page. If you, or your students, are going to be using online much at all you probably want an avatar. You can easily build one at YourManga and it's available in multiple languages. The next step is exploding your video library resources. Use one of these qualified sites to fulfill your video cabinet with thousands of professional clips to enforce class concepts: National Geographic, Learner.org, and Teachers Domain. When you want to bring context of the past, present, and/or future to your class, check out the tons of streaming video (no downloads here) at TED and Fora TV , or scour How Stuff Works for material galore on any subject in an encyclopedia set.

3. Dust off your pedagogy schemes
Each educator has their own teaching style, refining that art of instruction never ends. Just like professional athletes always train to be on top of their game; superior educators look for ways to refine teaching methods. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. One way is reading current research on education. The Internet Public Library (IPL) has an array of reading material on education reform and measurements and assessments. Another way is fine tuning the methods used to do actual instruction. One of the most comprehensive sites I've seen is provided by Intel. They've assembled substantial material to support building student collaboration in classes and improve student critical thinking skills. Project learning is a proven technique for getting students actively learning in classes. Eutopia provides a RSS feed with studies validating this methodology. They also have an extensive video catalogue for educators covering a range of topics on effective K12 learning. The Global SchoolNet is a project exchange site. It's a myriad of projects teachers and students have contributed from around the world. The content at Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education is aligned with math and science standards and it offers clearly defined projects. Their goal is to have classes use their projects to do cross-curriculum work. Students contribute from their local area, giving students in other areas an opportunity to learn about new areas while also exploring unique data contributions. At Merlot, teachers post their lessons and then get reviewed by peers. Covering all content areas, you can dig into high caliber lesson material for your new lesson or to revise an existing one. Another option is participating in a variety of quality academic communities.

I encourage you to share this article with other educators and participate in our reaching out to 25,000 teachers. To obtain additional free resources to support K12 teaching, visit my portal at http://www.educationreporting.com.

Steu Mann, M. Ed., an education journalist, is retired from careers in teaching and project management. He owns Education Reporting ™ Inc and works with teachers to implement experiential education curriculum.You can reach him at educationrebel@gmail dot com (.com).

25 June 2009

Lift the lid on innovative teaching

Great resources here for discovering something fresh about teaching.

Check out "After Ed TV" that has tons of video clips on the changing face of education. http://www.educationreporting.com/globaled.php#tea


Help me reach 25,000 teachers

Free on line learning games

Press release: K12 Ed Portal Fortifies Teaching

23 June 2009

Help me distribute free education tools, ideas, and ed research

Teachers, no membership required to gain 100% access into K12 portal that explores experiential education resources, ed research, classroom tools, pedagogy, instruction, project learning, innovative teaching ideas, service learning, and educating the whole child.


Happy Tuesday, Jack

11 May 2009

On the table - four day school week

I know that everyone will have a "pro" and/or "con" on this one, but the bottom line is cash.

School districts are strapped for it, so out comes the "four day school week" option.

It's workable ..... some schools have been doing it for years.

But, it's out of da box and we all know that the big ship of education struggles with progressive ideas.

Here are my top three ideas for budget cuts in school districts....

1. reduce the number of staff at district headquarters
2. improve (revise) principal and assistant principals responsibilities to include more school fund raising ideas by networking with local business and community organizations, without pawning it off to teachers. NOTE: Imagine a world where principal and assistant principals managed the campus and teachers managed education in their classes using Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).
3. outsource critical district responsibilities to organizations at a fixed cost expense (aka standard business procedure)

BTW, here is a link to that news on the four day school week....

Happy Monday! Jack
I have updated the directory resources on the front page http://www.educationreporting.com/
PS: tweet me: http://twitter.com/cathriving

10 May 2009

Celebrate Teaching & Learning

Neat web site I found today while updating my project lesson feed .....

Celebrate teaching and learning: the link below is to the blog section where one of the speakers is talking about future of classrooms and how technology will blowout "traditional" classrooms and instruction. He got me out of my box .... thinking computers will never reach all students in all places ....


Happy Mom Day, Jack

PS: here are links to both of my newly update feeds:

1. Learning with games

2. Project learning resources

09 May 2009

Social media in primary school - seriously

BBC is reporting that twitter and blogs are replacing standard curriculum materials in UK.


This kinds education news is refreshing! Jack

Check out my updated project learning resources: http://www.educationreporting.com/#project

21st century tutoring

Amazing true story of how this ordinary tutoring began and the success it's having. A video you can watch while you multi-task makes this an easy one to imbibe.


Happy Saturday! Jack

PS: I have updated my ed reports page: http://www.educationreporting.com/edreports.php

30 April 2009

The Rise Of Social Media - Have We Reached A Global Threshold In 2009?

Here are the stats and numbers for myspace, facebook, youtube, twitter and all the other key players. Plenty of trend here - a very informative article. Now you see why K12 students are truly "digital kids" and all the implications that carries. Read this one slow 'cause this article is packed.


Have Fun, Jack

Check out my classroom tools at: http://www.educationreporting.com/#class

28 April 2009

Spice Up Service Learning

Teachers, now you can add some recognition to your service learning by using President awards.

When I was coordinating the Blue Planet Society after school the students did it for fun and for learning too. If I had the chance, I would have signed up then as a partner on this new program and given each student an award.

Kinda cool, and something they can keep ... plus ..... an experience they'll never forget.

Check it out at http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/

Happy Tuesday, Jack

I have a bunch of new service links here too: http://www.educationreporting.com/#service

26 April 2009

Social Meida - useful in a classroom?

TED is one of my favorite resources for class. The speakers are top notch and they cover stuff that I've not found anywhere else.

This clip is another example, the fella is talking about how blogging and other social media expands our ability to perceive, think, and understand the world around us.


Have great week, Jack

Check out the new design layout on my site at http://www.educationreporting.com

22 April 2009

Math Treasure Chest

I stumbled upon a real teaching wonder today. This site have been a leader of math programs and teaching tools for over a decade. I guess all math teachers know about ... but they never told me.

If you aren't as sharp at math as you wanna be (me) or want some fresh tools for class this is your place.

BTW, it has more than 500 direct resources that I counted.....

http://www.educationreporting.com/edtools/lisitng-subject.htm#math (last one on the page)

Happy Wednesday, Jack

21 April 2009

Resource that's gold

This site is so good, teach using real world examples for science, math, and technology in primary and secondary schools. For example, using the zoo to teach math. There are hundreds of free video clips that show real world scenarios teaches can use in a variety of ways. Check it out at... http://www.thefutureschannel.com/index.php

Another hot day at the beach, Jack

PS: check out all the new logos, and the learning cartoon, on my Ed Tools Directory ..... http://www.educationreporting.com/edtools/

20 April 2009

Grant money - expires April 24

Here is great opportunity to get some teens involved and get grant money to do it ....

The Institute for Global Education and Service Learning has funds available that will provide training grants to local education agencies interested in bringing a team of students to the National Urban Service Learning Institute.

Click here to get the scoop - deadline is April 24.

Wishing you the best, Jack

19 April 2009

Twitter for Academia

Here's a great post by a K12 teacher who used twitter in a class assignment for the first time..... and the results.

Also on this page are additional links to ideas and programs that use twitter in class.

.... it's a new week starting tomorrow ...... a perfect time to start using a new idea for a lesson!

What would your students say if you told 'em they'd be tweeting for the next assignment?

Check out the twitter tips here....

Have a great week, Jack

17 April 2009

FIVE STARS - Earth Day Lesson Ideas

Earth Day is around the corner and hopefully every class can spend 15 minutes next week just covering the concept....

...or, hopefully a full blown lesson !

In my classes I found that students are interested in doing something about the environment because they see the results .... they directly impact something in a positive way and that's a mega boost no matter what the scio-economic class floor is.

Courtesy of the Wilderness Organization ..... here are some cool activity ideas - RELEVANT to REAL LIFE - and the materials to get 'em done with class.

Teachers lounge (materials) http://earthday.wilderness.org/teachers/classroom.htm

Here's what some teachers have done in the past: http://earthday.wilderness.org/teachers/postings.htm

Best link list I've seen for Earth Day: http://earthday.wilderness.org/links.htm

Happy teaching! Jack

PS: check out my green school RSS feed at

14 April 2009

National Environmental Ed Week: three mind expanding lesson resources and ideas that are relevant - have to check 'em at http://ping.fm/TZ6xJ

13 April 2009

K12: Good News & Teaching With The Lights On

It's more fun to talk about the reality of teaching .... ya know ... hard working - honest folk who are ready to take some action based on their belief for the good of the cause....

For starters, teachers in the UK ... I luv their gusto and bravado..... have had enough! Haven't all teachers in every country?

.... but the UK folks are saying so out in the open .... and they are ready to do something - a novel idea!! Kudos to them!

1. They are threatening to strike over being fedup with the low pay and testing requirements ....

2. Apparently some schools hire bouncers to be in classes that substitutes teach because of unruly students ....

Next in the room with the lights on.....a national curriculum .... the issue has been raised again in the UK. I can't remember when it's been discussed in the USA .... I guess it's more enriching and costs less to have each state do education a different way ....boy, I betcha if
a national curriculum bill ever hit that floor for a vote it'd have some serious pork on it.

Until going to graduate school and studying education I was always AGAINST a a national curriculum .... but I now think it's a main strength of getting the USA out of the quagmire that education now is. Read more about the UK debate here ... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7982215.stm

...and now the good news ..... for all USA teachers....
Jamba Juice is donating 20% of all sales to the school of your choice between April 13 and May 24 ... so visit this URL and tell 'em where to send the check .... http://www.jambajuice.com/school_bananananza/

Hope your week is off to a brilliant start! Jack

PS: check out the best class resource center on the web at http://www.edtoolsdirectory.com/

11 April 2009

Your digital practices....

Let's face it ....

The digital world is here to stay.

Teachers use it or lose face ... your students are already there and hearing you boast about how you don't need to twitter, or that your blogless.... even that you don't have a myspace or facebbok .... only makes YOU LOSE credibility.


If you don't like that - too bad. This is a new world.

Get in or get out.

Now, here is my point ... an excellent news source ....

Mashable, the social media guide ... this is so complete with info - it will open doors for everyone .... no longer how long you've been doing - or not doing - your digital practices. Check it out at http://mashable.com

Have a great weekend! Jack

Ed Tools Directory - now boasting discounts on over 8,000 classroom products and free shipping too...

10 April 2009

Who is choosing what "material" works in K12 classes.....

What you're about to read here is true and uncensored ....

... it came to me from a fella I admire and respect that writes math software programs for K12 students.....here is his story:

1. Click the link below (to FL school district) and view a math problem....

2. Please look at the Second Problem and the Answer should be n/4 = 7
but they wrote 1/4n = 7
The correct writing would be (1/4)n = 7 or n/4 = 7

The Definition of a Rhombus is :
A Quadrilateral with four equal sides .
But Math.com has a different Definition :
A Parallelogram with four equal sides.
This is the Definition of a Wet Water !!!
Do you know a dry water ???
It is clear that a Rhombus is a Parallelogram

Here is the correct Definition:

4. My Programs for Color Mathematics
have been elected by a School in Sarasota
Florida. The School Principle and Teachers
contacted me by e-mail and reported
their Choice of Color Mathematics Programs.
After one month they wrote me that the
Donator of the 2000 Computers for various
Schools in Sarasota did Not agree to install
"Color Mathematics" but to install "Math.com"
The official Reason : the Program must be Online - this is the most important thing
for a Good School Program !!!
The Computer is Online - is NOT enough !
The Program must be Online !
Have You ever heard of such Nonsense !!!
These Companies are trying to control
the Schools and where is the Ministry
of Education ???
I am sorry that we have reached such
Nasty Situations re-Education !
Teachers - Parents and even Universities
have NOTHING to say anymore !
Companies decide about Education and
what is Best for our Children !
The Evaluation by Teachers of Math.com
is much lower that the Evaluation of
"Color Mathematics"

There you have it folks, big business in education over quality products. Here is a link to the colors Mathematics program.... http://geocities.com/Athens/6172/

Wishing you a safe weekend, Jack

Ed Tools Directory: http://www.edtoolsdirectory.com/

08 April 2009

K12 Project Based Learning – Top Best Resources

"These cover all the content areas and are FREE to use."

Project Based Learning (PBL) provides opportunities for students to collaborate on specific tasks to resolve one or more challenges. The effort is driven by asking questions that feed the investigative processes where students do some level of research to collect data and then draw conclusions by summarizing what they found.

Read the article and reduce your learning curve on PBL ... share it with your colleagues and get all the students at your school on the best track.

This ain't just 'bout your class, it's how you prepare your students for better careers as life long learners.


Happy Hump Day, Jack

07 April 2009

Five star share for any K12 class

Found a site worth sharing for two reasons .....

1. It a great form of project based learning that covers all subject areas.
2. The sponsor, Intel, did a great job of organizing the content plus it's not a cookie cutter deal. I detest those sites where lesson are just a cut and paste. This one gives you enough information and resources to get you running, but you'll have to do some work to tie it down to your class needs.

......oh yeah, it's free too. :-)

Check it out and kudos to Intel for "giving back" in an effort to getting young people doing some critical thinking with relevant lessons!


Tomorrow is hump day, Jack

Best class poster yer ever gonna find are here....

06 April 2009

Brain has wisdom .... or ?

Studying education at the university was about understanding the cognitive process and behaviors ....
a good goal was a lesson with (hopefully) multiple metacognitive opportunities built into it by the teacher.

Today, the news is saying that the brain alone - by design - is the source of wisdom.

It details that certain parts of the brain are used for moral dilemmas and other parts are used for rational thought and primitive emotions.

I left this reading being confused.... this seems like another attempt to cut and dice something without taking into account the "whole" picture.

.... no doubt, fairly soon there will be a study saying why some people have better connections to one part of the brain or another .... then we can classify the smarter folks by the conditions that make one connection better than the other .... you see where I'm going?

I'm a whole kinda guy.

The whole person has to be considered when talking about education. Not just the brain.
Heck, I know a lot of smart people that can't teach what they know - how smart is that?

Fitting "wisdom" into a system of connections in the brain makes about as much sense to me as saying that every green XYZ car will get 20 MPG. Well that ain't so becuase you have to consider the traffic being driven in, the condiditon of engine, weight in the car and so forth .... you get the idea.

There are a lot of smart education efforts out there .... they focus on educating the "whole" person.

Kudos to you and don't let this news stuff get ya down.

You can read the article here http://www.educationreporting.com/viewArticleDetails.php?id=602

Happy Monday, Jack

Get 10 class or school posters for $11 each, I pay the shipping and sales tax...

05 April 2009

Always a choice.....

A quiet Sunday morning .... good time to reflect on what the driving force of life is!

I always tell my students that the only thing anyone has "real" power over in life is their attitude.

Yep, I roll that way ... not just talkin' it but I live and breath that power.

I've had different careers and work experiences..... none had the remarkable opportunity to share the future of this work like teaching does - every day.

The pay does make it valuable, the conditions are trying and can be volatile .... but the inner satisfaction of just seeing one student grasp a new idea ... think in an expanded way .... or genuinely experience their own epiphany....are priceless and timeless.

Teachers, aka time shifters, have a great week!

Wishing you the best, Jack

150+ class/school posters: http://www.educationreporting.com/edtools/lisitng-posters.htm

Classroom management ebooks: http://www.educationreporting.com/edtools/lisitng-classroom.htm

Professional development resources: http://www.educationreporting.com/edtools/lisitng-professional.htm

03 April 2009

K12 Lesson Strategies - Three Easy Tweaks

Today the K12 education world has tons of experts analyzing and measuring infinite nuisances. There are plenty of learning theories old and new. Students face a raft of assessments to supposedly measure what they have learned or are capable of learning. Yet, every school day the fact remains, there is a teacher in a classroom – doing the trench work – to carve out learning in the lives of students. I’ve been there and I’ve done that successfully. Being a K12 teacher is an unforgettable experience and an awesome responsibility. Here are three easy and simple tweaks that can be done in any classroom, around the world and in any language, to expose learning opportunities and shape lifelong learning skills in the future leaders of our world.

The three easy tweaks are here:

Have a great weekend, Jack

02 April 2009

The brain in education - go figure....

I'm sure, from teaching in classes and living my life, that each of us IS - NOW - a whole being.

We have a brain and feelings ..... the cognitive and behaviors ... they mix and match producing what "drives" us to do and determines how we perceive.

You've heard this before, if five people watch the same apple fall from a tree ... you're gonna hear five different/similar stories ... created from five unique experiences.

Those "unique experiences" are what makes classroom teaching so much fun and fustrating too (for me).

Anyways, here's an article on how the brain is arriving back on scene in the "education research" world. It's a good read, but for me the fact still remains .... each of is a "whole being" and too much slicing and dicing takes us off the path of perceiving how education occurs.


Ciao, Jack

31 March 2009

Privacy in classrooms

This is real and not a hoax .... something worth noting for sure:

Reuters is reporting... Canadians find vast computer spy network...
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Canadian researchers have uncovered a vast electronic spying operation that infiltrated computers and stole documents from government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

The alarming part of this article for me is that spying can take place in a room from a computer......
"The network they found possessed remarkable "Big Brother-style" capabilities, allowing it, among other things, to turn on the camera and audio-recording functions of infected computers for potential in-room monitoring, the report said."

Teachers and students now have a another level of privacy concerns in classes around the globe.

Caio, Steu

27 March 2009

K12 means cloud computing and smart objects?

The New Horizon Project (2009) was released ....

It was full buzz concepts like ....
.......Collaboration environments (increasing since professionals are expected to work across geographic and cultural boundaries)
....Cloud Computing ...the emergence of large-scale “data farms”)
....Mobiles (cell phones)
....Geo-stiff.(good ole GPS)
.....the Personal Web. ( desire to reorganize online content rather than simply viewing it)
.....Smart Objects. (aA smart object “knows” something about itself — where and how it was made, what it is for, where it should be, or who owns it, for example — and something about its environment.)

But the only this I really can apply to a k12 class that I ever taught were the challenges identified ....

...There is a growing need for formal instruction in key new skills, including information literacy, visual literacy, and technological literacy.
....Schools are still using materials developed decades ago, but today’s students come to school with very different experiences than those of 20 or 30 years ago, and think and work very differently as well.
....Teachers are expected, especially in public education, to measure and prove through formal assessment that our students are learning, including collecting and measuring data. But, exiting systems are not capable of managing and interpreting real time information flows on the scale that is anticipated.

The challenges I can relate to 100%. I also get that collaboration environments (Project Based Learning) work to help students assimilate knowledge ... but I don't see the other technology trends impacting K12 classes .... do you?

Cheers Jack

PS - read the report here: http://www.educationreporting.com/2009-Horizon-Report-K12.pdf

Learning Games - thousands of K12 games in all content areas

Ed Tool Directory

Earn Extra Cash - Help K12 Education - work from home part time

Green Education Resources - resources for ecology and project learning

26 March 2009

Radio show - looking for teachers


I am hosting s radio show discussing innovative ideas being used in K12 classrooms around service learning and project based learning.

More specifically, I want to interview some K12 teachers or organizations that work with K12 teachers/campuses in those two approaches.

I'm eager to meet a few folks who can donate 10-15 minutes being interviewed over the phone for the show episodes.

Personally, I'm a big believer in service and project learning since I used them when I was a teacher so I'm hoping to find current K-12 teachers who can volunteer a few minutes to spread the word (your successes) - you'll be helping other K12 teachers! :-)

If interested, please go to this link (click here) ... complete the (confidential) form and I'll call you.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Jack Harrington
research: http://www.educationreporting.com/

Teaching is supposed to be fun....

..... where has all the fun gone in teaching?

My classes were rigorous .... I had the students working.

....today these digital kids have so much energy ... I figured ou tthe hard way I have to use energy to my advantage or else they're a fast moving train that's 'bout to run me over.

I was talking to a teacher friend the other day and we were reminiscing ...... we had both been reading and talking to other folks .... all we were hearing ....from many different sources .....was about the pain of teaching ......

This fella and I have similar tastes in learning ... we made the kids do the work. We like to be a guide for students .....

...being the sage in class just doesn't work for us.... apparently it's not working for a lot of teachers nowadays.

I want my students leaving class exhausted ... so I use every tidbit of conversation to fire up critical thinking ... once that fire is burning ....

...all I have to do is stoke it with questions.

Students will get to the learning opportunity with the appropriate guidance.

...and when I'm giving that kinda guidance .... teaching is fun!

If you want some free scoop (research and step-by-step guide) on an effective critical thinking technique then click this link ....


Wishing you the best life has to offer,

22 March 2009

Classroom WIP

Several weeks ago when I introduced teacher WIP, I got a bunch of emails telling me some interesting stories about classroom projects, some good and some scary ones too.

Teaching, my opinion, is a conundrum.

There is no recipe that fits all teachers or every classroom of a certain subject. When I read some of the efforts underway to improve education, they strike me as efforts to homogenize classes not improve scores ….. or better yet improve learning.

For me, WIP is the one global aspect of every classroom, because classes have work in progress.
Here are two excellent WIP examples…

- teacher presentation
When I’m delivering a lesson I tweak it from class to class. No presentation is perfect and being aware of what didn’t work in last class period, can bring a lot more learning to this class period.

- teacher tools
When I first started teaching the older, experienced teachers brought me lots of worksheets and paper resources. AS time and classes went by, I found out how much student attention rebels with those so I had to expand my horizons on resources to produce more effective lessons.

…..more on WIP later.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Ed Tools Directory

Education Learning Games

Green Education Resources

20 March 2009

Two ideas to enhance your success

….. through a stroke of synchronicity, a few weeks ago, I reconnected with Greg Nath whom I met while getting my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. He is making the offer to fatten your wallet possible! I like his idea because while you earn some extra cash, you are also helping improve K-12 education. Nope, he’s not asking you to purchase anything and there are no hidden fees.

The second idea is for enterprising folks who want to put their product or service to K-12 teachers, K-12 administrators, K-12 students, or K-12 students.

Check it out at http://cli.gs/Jg3QsB.

Happy Friday, Jack

14 March 2009

Successful Teaching Tools &Techniques For 21st Century Students

San Diego, CA (ER) March 10, 2009 – Statistics show that more than 50% of new K-12 teachers are leaving the profession in their first five years. One contributing factor is student behavior. Teachers without the materials and classroom management skills necessary to sustain engaging lessons end up with classes full of behavior problems. Teachers want to make a difference not babysit students. ER offers a substantial remedy with its’ Education Rebel ezine.

Read the entire press release.

13 March 2009

Accelerating Class Participation

I want you to have the scoop on the importance of building classroom collaboration.

In my classes collaboration fueled learning and definitely helped improve test scores.

Professional Learning Communities (PLC) are the proven method for teachers to share knowledge, so it figures that students can learn the same way we adults do …… with proper classroom management techniques …… you agree?

Collaboration can be used in two ways: class activities and group projects. My goal is to give you some tools that will boost your lesson building skills so they include more student participation. We all know when students are engaged the opportunity for learning is exponential.

…..many of you already acquired my FREE Orchestrating Classroom Participation ebook, now I have another goodie for your classroom…

…..my well respected Education Rebel ezine subscription (12 months) is now only $49.95.

You gain 100% access to my 15 years of expertise and research to 21st century education research, lesson accent material, and experts that rocket your understanding of helping students learn. Yep, I do the behind the scenes work and serve it to you in my online ezine every month…. you’re definitely not going to find this quality resource anywhere else.

With my ezine you have a one stop data mine with scores of video clip resources, professional development resources, content specific web sites, and much more.

The last time you visited Education Rebel the annual ezine subscription was $99.

My special offer to you today is a 50% price reduction!

That’s right, you’ll receive 12 months for one dollar and some pennies per week.

When you subscribe in the next 24 hours I’ll send you - absolutely free - Building Learning Successful Environments. This top notch ebook has the templates, detailed instructions, and comprehensive techniques to fuel student curiosity and explode class participation.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Click here to subscribe

PS: I have only a limited supply of Building Learning Successful Environments to offer so act today to receive yours now.

Education Rebel web site

Elephant in the classroom

One overlooked and always present variable in classrooms is peer pressure.

Every student has a lot of attention and concern on what other students think or perceive of him/her. Yes, it was that way for me too when I was younger.Why not put that concern of what others think about you to good use in learning? Every day I do some sort of activity where students are working in small groups, and they’re not always the same groups. After two months, all the students have worked together at one time or another.

Current research proves it and I have heard it from the mouths of students, students learn a tremendous amount from each other when they work together.

Teachers, your job in this type of activity is to be a facilitator. Make sure students: 1) understand the tasks before starting and 2) stay on task. There is a caveat, digital kids today are for the most part good multi-taskers. They can talk about what is going on after school and do their work too. Give students plenty of room to participate with each other and you’ll see their concept understanding grow.

Parents, find out from your teachers how much group activities they do in your child’s class. If all that is going on is reading textbooks and doing worksheets – then I don’t blame the students for acting up or being disinterested. Better yet, ask your child what kind of activity they do in class and compare their answers to the what the teacher reports.

Putting the power of peer participation to use in K-12 classes is an essential ingredient for learning.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Checkout my research here.
Teachers, get my free ebook here.

12 March 2009

Measuring Curriculum Checklist

We know that every school and classroom has a curriculum, but how can you measure it?

Everyone will agree, both parents and teachers want the curriculum to develop students.

Traditionally, curriculum will focus on academics. With all the high stakes testing taking place, which starts in middle school, it makes logical sense to focus daily lessons on testing material students will see. I know, I did that when I was teaching.

As a parent, I want my kids to develop the skills to be a progressive thinker. Ya know, be able to think a situation through by examining the circumstances from different perspectives and considering the different variables/outcomes. Then, use that information as a foundation for the choice being made.

Let’s be honest, all us grownups can remember at least one or two bad choices we made. I’m not saying it’s impossible to stop making bad choices, I just want my kids to be equipped with the thinking skills to reduce bad choice making.

I have developed two methods; one for teachers and one for parents to measure curriculum for their unique education requirements. Teachers can use it for developing and delivering more potent lessons. Parents can use it to evaluate classes and student performance, discussions in teacher-parent conferences, or in choosing a school.

I’ll be talking about my methods here for a few weeks. If you want me to send you a free five point Curriculum Measuring Checklist (CMC) send me an email:

Teachers, get your free CMC by sending an email to: edrebelteducators@gmail.com.

Parents, get your free CMC by sending an email to: edrebelparents@gmail.com.

I have already done the classroom work and education research. The way to a better world is by educating our future leaders today, and that is what I have: the nitty gritty on what it takes to develop students. My information drill downs into the core of what works and doesn’t work in educating the whole child during the K-12 years.

Wishing you the best life has to offer, Jack

Visit my education research site here.

06 January 2009

Best and Worst Jobs - 2009

Hey, what's the best way to point kids in the direction for life after school?

Tell 'em that the work today is preparing them for that all essential and necessary "career" ....

Click here to see the top 10 careers and worst 10 careers.

Education Guiding Principles: Diversity

One thing I heard over and over during my elementary school was that this country is a melting pot. We have cultures and ideas from around the world that all contribute to making this the great country it is. And, even though I grew up in an inner city neighborhood in the Midwest, looking around my classes all I saw were pretty much other white kids.

Now, so many years later, when I talk to my students about what they learn in their Social Studies classes, they don’t hear about that melting pot, but just look around any class and you’ll see it.

Diversity is here to stay in our culture, which includes our classrooms. As a teacher, it takes on a new aspect in the effort of learning. Why? Because students have different moods and behaviors each day. Because students have different learning skill sets. Because students have different emotional needs. Because students have different perspectives….. and so on and so forth until, as a teacher, I realized the most important ingredient about my classes is the diversity of the students. With the appropriate teacher effort, the diversity of students in class can provide students with real life examples of "the outside world" every day during studies..... aka building social skills while building also building academic skills.

So why am I carrying on about diversity as a teacher? I think the national curriculum we are promoting in schools, even though no one officially calls it such, is pushing teachers to homogenize classes and lessons. This is our 21st century response to better education - mass producing students using a test gauntlet that begins in middle school. Nurturing student diversity, thus classroom diversity, is a key to enhancing the learning skills and social skills of students.

The Blue School is an example of very naturally including diversity in learning. If you get a chance to review their mission statement and results you’ll be amazed, like I am, at what the concentrated effort of a few people can produce.

Happy 2009! Jack

PS: Wanna start the new year with an excellent teacher read? Try Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto who is an an award winning teacher In New York.