Author: Dave Mulder

Dave taught in Christian schools for 14 years before joining the Education department at Dordt College in 2012. He has experience working with learners at every level from Kindergarten through graduate school, but spent much of his career teaching a variety of subjects for grades 5-8. He loves curriculum and instruction, has a mild obsession with educational technology, and is always excited to discuss reflective practice, school culture, and faith formation. Dave blogs at iteach-and-ilearn.blogspot.com

God Loveth Adverbs: Teaching (and Living) “Christianly”

One morning in May of 2015, I had the opportunity to sit in on a conversation with a hero-of-sorts for me: Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff. He was in the area for some other speaking engagements, and arrangements were made to have him on campus to share some of his thoughts on Christian higher education in an …

Read more

Prensky Quote

Becoming a Digitally-Competent Teacher

It kind of drives me crazy when educators try to argue that they don’t need to be tech savvy. Yes, it takes work to keep up with rapidly changing technologies. No, not every new tech tool (toy?) needs to be adopted into a formal education setting. But it’s not 1989, people. I think it’s safe …

Read more

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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more

Teaching the Way They Learn

Throughout my teaching career, I’ve made bold claims about my students and my beliefs about who they are. I’ve often said things like, “I believe my students are unique image-bearers of God, created with individual gifts, talents, strengths, and weaknesses.” Do you believe that about your students? Have you ever made a similar statement about …

Read more

Content Knowledge

There are countless of quotes floated about attributed to Albert Einstein. I’m sure many of them–probably most of them–are authentic. Some are probably not. To his credit, he did have a lot of good stuff to say about a great many topics beyond physics. I think the above is a good example, and a worthy …

Read more

Grumpy

Don’t Smile ’til Christmas

Fellow educators: what was your number one growth area during your first years of teaching? I know what mine was: Classroom management. As a beginning teacher, I felt pretty confident in planning lessons. I knew my content. I believed myself to be a competent assessor. But classroom management? Not my strongest suit. To be honest, I …

Read more

Scantron Test

Improving Testing

My students in Introduction to Education recently had their first exam of the semester. Some came in very confident, others very nervous. One student admitted to me, “I just get so anxious every time I have to take a test!” I thought that was an important comment–very honest! Many students are fearful of tests. Test …

Read more