June wraps up my 3rd Fellowship Year at the Foundry Makerspace, and the 11 month have flown passed with ups and downs.  I have enjoyed working with all the amazing teachers at John Harris and SciTech, as well as building connections to other schools through the amazing work with other Fellows at the Foundry.  This year’s take away has been the relationships between school and community.  I’ve talked about this in past blog posts, but what has tra...

"unencumbered by the thought process"

I have to admit that I like to develop obscure titles for my blog.  I arrived at this month's title because I love to refer back to Malcolm Gladwell’s idea of the 10,000 rule from his 2011 book Outliers, which has been rightfully dissected/dispelled in many ways.

For me the 119,600 hours represent the 20 years since graduating from MIT on Friday, at the June 4th ceremony in Killian Court.  The Commencement Addr...

Spring brings a mindset of renewal.  There is Earth Day (this year it is on 190422M,) which brings about a thinking of how to care for the Earth.  It is a reflection of the past, being in the present, and much future thinking of what our impact will be in the decades to come.  This April has represented a time of rebirth around Harrisburg.  Particularly on April, 13th, there was the 7th Annual Great Harrisburg Cleanup.

This blog foc...

This is the time when teachers are keenly aware of time.  First, they are seeing the changes in daylight and weather affecting student’s interest in the subject matter.  Second, the end of school becomes a countdown. Third, the stress levels rise because of “testing season.”

All of this impacts learning and should be recognized as such.

I quoted the lyrics this month from the Scottish alternative band Del Amitri, because the song Nothing Ever...

March 11, 2019

21 Century skill development has become an essential ingredient for success in current and emerging markets.  As technology and business concepts become more innovative the need for students to develop skills that will help them thrive in these markets is paramount.  As a senior fellow working to build capacity for 21 century skill development within public education I have become more and more aware of the need for ongoing opportunities for this...

March 3, 2019

Students at Cougar Academy are about to embark on a creative journey to design a mural for their hallway. The theme of their mural will center on culture, specifically the culture of their city, bringing together the individuals, architecture, scenery, and artifacts that define Harrisburg in the mind of each student. As they begin the design process and collaborate to build a mural that is cohesive and eye-catching, students are expected to give...

Ben Franklin Elementary School has been overrun by lions, monkeys, whales and sharks as students learn about the relationship of biotic and abiotic factors of different biomes. Students from every class helped decorate the halls with art and fascinating facts about animals in a biome that was chosen by what class they were in. There were tropical rain forests, oceans and deserts all in a single hallway. The students then chose a specific animal i...

The month of February was filled with snow interrupting 3 of the 5 weeks - Accuweather.

1/31R - Closed

2/1F - Early Dismissal

2/11M - Closed

2/12T - Closed

2/13W - Closed / Teacher In Service

2/18M - President’s Day, District Holiday

2/20W - Closed

2/21R - 2hr Delay

While this impacted teacher’s lesson plans, I was able to slow down and do some more thinking about the projects and process.  That was the focus from the Foundry Winter Retreat that was held...

When we think back to our grade school days, several student archetypes may come to mind. These archetypes follow us through high school, into college, and go beyond just teachers’ pets and class clowns. What kind of student were you?

What kind of student was I? 

In middle school, my binder was complete with page numbers and a table of contents. Every page was in a protective sleeve to preserve the uniformity and look of the overall binder. I even...

A key aspect of PBL (project based learning) is student agency. What's student agency, you ask? Student agency means that the student has the active role in the learning. They are the driver and are doing the heavy lifting. When students have agency, they are building, making, collaborating, questioning, and creating in ways that are meaningful to them. They have a voice and choice in the what and how of learning. This very much aligns with...

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