Month: April 2014

Technology and Innovation

I’m the first to admit it: I’m a technophile. I subscribe to Wired magazine. I love my iProducts. I enjoy networking with other educators through social media. And I am a techie-teacher–I’m always experimenting with new technologies in my classroom! It’s not that I think technology can solve all of our educational problems or make us into …

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The Power of Connectivity: I Gotta Guy

Growing up in Chicago, we had a colloquialism when asked for a recommendation. This colloquialism displayed how deep your roots went in the neighborhood and how connected you were. And like any Chicago colloquialism it is not meant to refer to a specific gender, but rather to someone who is a great professional, trustworthy in …

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Getting Real about Differentiation

This past year, I was privileged to attend the Association for Middle Level Education conference. This is a huge, national conference in which thousands of educators interested in teaching young adolescents come together to share ideas and strategies and stories of life in the middle. One of the best sessions I had the chance to …

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Considering Innovation: Part 1

Does the word innovation bring positive or negative associations to your mind? Does it bring to mind hopefulness, promise, and excitement or fad, “the latest and greatest,” and “this too shall pass?” What can truly be considered innovative when we know, as Proverbs tells us, that there is “nothing new under the sun?” Why mess …

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Heart-Shaped Leadership

As I have observed various organizations over the years, I have repeatedly seen how critical leadership is to the health and flourishing of the organization. One of the most important aspects of leadership in a Christian organization is the spiritual passion/vitality of the leader – it truly does flow down from the top to the …

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Integrating Faith Outside of the Classroom: Part 2

How we operate and build our facilities is another way we can do things in a distinctly Christian way.  Our values of community and fellowship ought to be evident in the way we plan and build. Both aesthetic value and biblical virtue should be considered. “Frugality” is not often heard in the church today and …

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Integrating Faith Outside of the Classroom: Part 1

A lot has been written about biblical integration in the classroom. Many valuable conversations with excellent educators in biblical worldview teaching and new texts on Christian worldview instruction are getting new coverage and encouragement that has schools more attentive to this than ever before. And, as CARDUS research shows, biblical integration has a real impact …

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The 60% Rule

Do you have a favorite teaching strategy? What is your best approach in the classroom? Do you lecture with passion? Do you involve your students in collaborative groups? Do you have students complete stacks of worksheets? Do you use project-based learning? Do you have students craft personal, creative responses to demonstrate what they have learned? Do …

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Math Homework

What’s Your Homework Policy?

Oh…homework. What shall we do with thee? I wonder, wonder, wonder about the value of homework. At different times in my teaching practice, homework has taken very different roles. Early in my teaching career, I assigned a lot of homework; my middle school math students had an assignment almost every day with a few dozen …

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Excuses: A Reflection on “Calling” from Jeremiah 1: 4-10

The problem with certain questions is that they tend to assume too much.   “When will you be starting a family of your own,” the well-meaning aunt asks the recently married couple, assuming first that these newlyweds will surely want to have children and second that their marriage to one another is somehow not already …

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