Teaching strategies, classroom management, education reform, educational technology -- if it has something to do with teaching, we're talking about it. Jennifer Gonzalez interviews educators, students, administrators and parents about the psychological and social dynamics of school, trade secrets, and other juicy things you'll never learn in a textbook. For more fantastic resources for teachers, visit http://www.cultofpedagogy.com.
Students with special needs are spending more and more time in mainstream classrooms, so all teachers need to learn how to support them well. In this episode, special educator Lisa Brooks helps us learn to identify students who may have dyslexia. She then shares ways we can do a better job of supporting students with this learning difference that's far more common than you might think.
French class doesn't look the same as it did when you were in school. In this episode, veteran French teacher Rebecca Blouwolff walks me through six key shifts that have changed world language instruction for the better.
You ask your group a question, and you get nothing back. What's up with that? In this episode, we'll talk about some of the reasons your students (or audience members) aren't participating the way you want them to, and some new things you can try to get a better response.
Graphic novels are wonderful for reading, but when students use the graphic novel form for their own writing, incredible stories can emerge. In this episode, I talk with English teacher Shveta Miller about how she teaches this process to her students, and why this particular genre allows students to share some of their most important stories.
Historical simulations can be a powerful teaching tool that fully immerses students in an experience, but when it comes to traumatic or violent periods, like slavery, there really isn't a good way to do them. My guest Hasan Kwame Jeffries talks with me about why teachers should avoid these kinds of simulations, and what to do instead.
OERs have gotten really good over the last few years, but in order to steer clear of the crap, you have to know where to look. In this episode, I interview curriculum evangelist Karen Vaites about where teachers can go to find outstanding materials—from single-use resources to full-year curricula—that are 100% free.
Cognitive scientists are learning more all the time about what strategies really work to help people learn, but teachers don't always know how to apply that knowledge in the classroom. In this episode, I talk with Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain, authors of the new book Powerful Teaching, about the four research-based teaching "power tools" that can be used in any classroom to boost student learning.
A one-pager is a highly engaging, visual tool that allows students to synthesize learning, but some kids don't think they're creative enough to make them. My guest, Betsy Potash, host of the Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast, shares her simple solution to this problem, along with a step-by-step plan for using one-pagers in your classroom.
Ask any group of teachers if their goal is to simply have students regurgitate facts, and every one of them will say no. Despite that, it keeps happening. In this episode, we'll look at two of the most common errors teachers make when planning lessons for higher-order thinking, and some ideas for what to do instead.
When you've done lots of diversity training, but something is still missing, it might be that people still aren't comfortable having honest conversations about race. In this episode, I talk with Glenn Singleton, creator of the Courageous Conversations About Race online course, and David Watkins, Director of Equity and Diversity for Broward County, Florida, where the course has already helped over 300 teachers get more comfortable having these conversations.
Is it a reflection of a warm school culture, or a subtle way to get teachers to volunteer more time? If you suspect it's the latter, it's time to push back. In this episode, I talk with Angela Watson, author of the new book Fewer Things Better, about three popular school norms that can ultimately lead to teacher burnout, plus some specific ways teachers can push back on those messages.
In this episode, I talk with Khan Academy's founder, Sal Khan, about the platform's new mastery learning feature, which allows learners to get personalized practice, filling much needed skill gaps and advancing at their own pace. And it's all completely free.
Many dress codes unfairly target students in certain populations, doing more harm than good. Is your dress code due for an upgrade? In this episode, equity writer Coshandra Dillard helps us learn what to look for when revising dress code policy, and high school principal Marcus Campbell shares his experiences in changing his own school's dress code.
Could your school stop its normal routine for a full day and devote it entirely to unstructured play? That's what thousands of schools all over the world do every February for the Global School Play Day. In this episode I talk to GSPD founders Eric Saibel, Tim Bedley, and Scott Bedley about why play is so important for people of all ages.
Quality note-taking is a powerful learning tool, but to do it well, students need to be taught how to do it. In this episode, I talk with instructional coach Peg Grafwallner and chemistry teacher Abby Felten about a fantastic station-rotation lesson they developed to help Abby's students learn to take better notes.
Awareness of educational inequity is important, but we also need to take action. In this episode, professor and activist Pedro Noguera shares ten specific things educators can do to pursue equity in schools.
High school English teacher Jeff Frieden shares his Ongoing Conversations strategy, a simple, effective way to get students to have rich, one-on-one conversations about what they're learning—and get to know each other a little better in the process.
There's a lot of confusion about how to use leveled texts in the classroom. In this episode, I interview literacy expert Jen Serravallo about the mistakes teachers and administrators make with leveled texts and which practices Serravallo has found to be most effective.
When we blame our teaching problems on the collective inferiority of a generation, we only make things worse. In this episode, we explore the problem of teacher nostalgia, why we give into it, and how we can stop it.
Voice of Witness is an organization that curates oral histories, stories told by people whose voices are rarely heard: Migrant workers. Refugees. Prisoners. Factory workers in developing countries. Undocumented Americans. Their stories, in their voices. In this episode, I talk with Voice of Witness education program director Cliff Mayotte about the books and free classroom materials that can help you bring the power of oral history to your classroom
In classrooms all over the world, students take notes every day. What does academic research tell us about the best ways to use note-taking in our classrooms? In this episode, I'll share 8 important take-aways.
Want your students to have rich, complex discussions about the texts they read? In this episode, high school English teacher Marisa Thompson shares a method she calls TQE, which requires almost no prep or grading and leads to the kinds of classroom discussions you thought only happened in college.
Imagine a professional development scenario where you are given funding, choice, and time to collaborate with others in your specialty area who energize and inspire you. That's the basic gist of a teacher fellowship program, and in today's episode, we're looking at how one of these programs work. My guests are Megan Roberts and Ashraya Gupta from Math for America, a fellowship program for exceptional teachers of math and science.
To mark the milestone of 100 episodes, I'm sharing one of my favorite posts, Lessons in Personhood: 10 Ways to Truly Lead in Your Classroom. Thank you to everyone who has appeared as a guest on this podcast, and to everyone who has listened, reviewed, and recommended it. I have lots more to come!
Is your tech tool doing the work you think it is? Or could it actually be widening the same gaps you're trying to close? In this episode we explore the problems that can arise when a tool isn't carefully scrutinized, then look at seven strategies educators can use to deeply assess a tool for its impact. My guest is Rupa Chandra Gupta, who is the founder of the ed tech company Sown to Grow.
American Slavery is a difficult topic to teach, and for decades, we haven't been doing a very good job of teaching it. In this episode, I interview history professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries about the Teaching Hard History framework, a free set of resources aimed at giving our students a more comprehensive look at how slavery started, its fundamental role in our country's history, and how it continues to impact our society today.
No one likes it when an administrator plays favorites. But what if the favorite is you? In this episode, I share a story about one of the most difficult periods of my teaching years, and some advice to help teachers and administrators avoid a similar situation.
If you're like me, you've been a little slow to warm up to the idea of makerspaces in the classroom. In this episode, John Spencer helps me understand what a makerspace is, how it can add value to any classroom, and what steps teachers can take to start and manage a makerspace of their own.
To do this work and stick with it long enough to get good at it, you need a level of emotional resilience most other jobs will never require. In this episode, my guest Elena Aguilar shares 12 habits teachers can develop that will build the resilience they need.
Middle school students are a special breed, and I was lucky to teach them for years. In this episode, I'll share my own advice about what makes them tick, and how to work with those qualities, not against them.
Money and space are nice, but they are NOT prerequisites for learning-friendly design. In this interview with learning space expert Bob Dillon, we explore tons of simple things teachers can do to make their classrooms better places for students to learn.
With its focus on building relationships and repairing harm, rather than simply punishing students for misbehavior, restorative justice is being adopted by more schools every year. In this episode, RJ practitioner Victor Small, Jr., helps me understand the basics of restorative practices and how interested schools can get started.
You have so much good stuff to share, but to get anyone to actually look at it, you need to give it some polish. In this episode, we look at why the brain prefers good curation, some school-related situations when good curation skills would come in handy, a set of curation guidelines to follow, and a short list of tech tools that can help you curate digitally.
Traditional feedback looks back on a past that can't be changed, and that's one reason it isn't always well-received. But when we shift to a practice called feedforward, where our focus is on the future, we can have a much more powerful and positive impact on our students, peers, and other people in our lives. In this episode, I interview Joe Hirsch, author of The Feedback Fix, about how the feedforward approach works.
In schools, where our work demands constant interaction with other people, conflicts are always waiting to happen. By practicing validation with our students, their parents, our co-workers and administrators, you'll find that some of your most difficult conversations get a whole lot easier. In this episode, I'll share three simple steps to practice validation in any conversations.
In an effort to boost test scores and close gaps, too many schools are using more reading "activities and programs" and cutting back on time for actual reading. In this episode, teacher and author Pernille Ripp tells me about how she completely changed her approach to reading instruction to help students become life-long readers, and how other teachers can do the same.
Most of us recognize that schools need to change to meet the demands of the information age, but we don't have many models to follow for making that change happen. In this episode, I interview Don Wettrick, who launched an innovation elective in his high school six years ago. He tells me how the program works, why all schools need an innovation class, and how you can start one in your school.
Discrimination and harassment are still a daily reality for many LGBTQ students. In this episode, I share 9 specific things teachers can do to help these students feel safer and more accepted in the classroom and within the wider school culture.
Graphic organizers can pack a strong instructional punch if you know how to use them. In this episode I review the research on why graphic organizers work so well, list 10 creative classroom uses for them, and offer a few tips so you can implement them effectively.
One thing they don't teach in our education courses is just how freaking much students talk, and how hard it can be to quiet them down. To tackle this problem I went to Michael Linsin, the creator of Smart Classroom Management. In this episode, we look at the reasons students talk when they shouldn't and what you can do about it.
The research is clear: Retrieval practice is one of the most powerful ways to learn. In this episode, I talk to Pooja Agarwal about what retrieval practice is and how teachers can start incorporating it into their teaching tomorrow.
Some teachers think they're practicing culturally responsive teaching, when in fact, they're kind of not. In this episode, I interview Zaretta Hammond, author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, to identify and correct four common misconceptions teachers have about how to best help our diverse students thrive in school.
After years of hearing teachers' stories, I have reached the conclusion that there is one element that makes the difference in whether the teachers in any given school will lean toward positive and productive or desperate and crushed: That element is the administrator. In this letter, I share the things teachers wish administrators would do to help them become the best teachers they can be.
Teaching grammar in isolation is not only ineffective, it can actually make student writing worse. So when students make mistakes, what should teachers do? In this episode, I outline a simple system for teaching grammar within the context of meaningful writing.
You thought you knew project-based learning? You haven't seen anything yet. In this episode, I interview Stephen Ritz, a Bronx teacher who has spent the last decade developing an incredible school-based gardening project called the Green Bronx Machine, which feeds the local community, builds student knowledge in multiple content areas, and creates strong cooperative bonds with local businesses and other stakeholders. Every teacher who has ever thought they didn't have the resources to give their students an outstanding education needs to listen to this.
Educators, especially those in leadership roles, spend far too much time in isolation. An educator mastermind gives us a group of peers to help us problem-solve, set goals, and support each other in the incredibly challenging work we do. In this episode, I interview Daniel Bauer of the Better Leaders, Better Schools podcast about the educator masterminds he facilitates, and how you can start your own.
Why is it that so many teachers have a hard time taking good care of themselves? In this episode, I interview teacher productivity expert Angela Watson about the reasons we struggle to make time for self-care and four specific things we can do to change that.
By using HyperDocs, digital lesson plans that pull together all of a lesson's resources into one place, teachers can make room for more interactive, personalized, and student-directed learning. In this episode, I interview Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis, authors of The HyperDoc Handbook.
For many students, getting into a highly competitive college drives most decisions about where to spend their time and energy. But what if some of these decisions actually hurt their chances of getting in? My guest Shirag Shemmassian, who helps students get admitted to highly selective colleges, shares the three mistakes students make when trying to make themselves stand out in the application process, and what they should be doing instead.
So many teachers have English language learners in class, but the teachers have no training in how to support them. In this episode, I gather tips from three ESL teachers for the most effective ways regular classroom teachers can support these students.
The last day before vacation. After-testing days. The day when the fire drill messes up your plans. What do you do when class is in session, but actual teaching may not be in the cards? I have thirty fantastic ideas.
A digital curation project is a fast way to engage critical thinking in any content area. In this episode, I explain how it works. For links to all the resources mentioned in this episode, visit http://cultofpedagogy.com/curation
Most people who teach at the college level do so without any formal training. In this episode, Norman Eng, author of Teaching College: The Ultimate Guide to Lecturing, Presenting, and Engaging Students, shares five strategies college teachers can use to be more successful in the classroom. To read the full blog post, go to https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/teaching-college
In far too many cases, schools do not support students of color in ways that help them grow to their full potential. My guest, Dena Simmons, shares four specific things teachers could be doing in their classrooms to change this.
Plagiarism is a serious problem for many teachers, and to beat it, we need to go beyond looking for new ways to threaten, catch, and punish students for it. We have to work on prevention. The 5 research-based exercises I describe in this episode will teach students how to avoid plagiarism and weave information from outside sources into their own writing in elegant and ethical ways.
Many of us like the idea of personalized learning, but we don't have many models for making it happen. In this episode, I interview the founders of the Apollo School, a project-based, personalized program built inside a public school that offers a hybrid of English, social studies, and art in one block of time. You'll definitely want to see how they make it work and possibly do the same thing at your school. Thanks to Wes Ward, Greg Wimmer, and Jim Grandi for sharing their experiences with me!
Most teachers struggle with what they might call lazy, unmotivated, or disorganized students. What really works with these learners? In this episode, I interview executive function coach Seth Perler about the systems he uses to help these kids finally reach their potential in school. To read the full blog post that goes with this episode, including links to all resources mentioned, visit 7 Systems that Work for Outside-the-Box Learners.
Here they are: My six favorite ed tech tools for this year. They are not all brand-new, but I don't think any of them are getting the attention they deserve. Each one has the potential to make a real difference in your teaching. And there may just be one or two surprises at the end...
How significant is the runaway problem in the U.S.? What resources are out there to prevent running away and help those who do it? I interview Maureen Blaha, Executive Director of the National Runaway Safeline, to learn about how teachers can help.
Can studying be taught? I interview cognitive psychologists Megan Smith and Yana Weinstein about six high-power, research-based learning strategies most teachers don't know about. These can be used in instruction and should be taught to students so they can use them in their own studying. If you enjoyed reading "Make It Stick" last summer, you're going to love what you learn in this episode!
This episode is a goody bag for everyone! My buddy Mark Barnes, publisher of the Hack Learning series, shares some of the best ideas from all nine of the books in his series. If you don't walk away from this episode with something new to try, then I'll refund you the price of the podcast. Just kidding. It's free. But you get what I'm saying, right?
So many regular ed teachers feel inadequately prepared to serve the needs of students with special needs. In this episode, special educator Jam Gamble shares five ways regular ed teachers can make their classrooms more welcoming for special ed students.
Genius Hour has exploded in classrooms over the last few years, and teachers who want to try it have a lot of questions. In this episode I ask A.J. Juliani, creator of the Genius Hour Master Course, the top 10 questions teachers have about Genius Hour, and he gives me some great answers.
I've got a bit of a rant to share with you in this episode, and it has something to do with Grecian Urns. Chances are you have one or more of these in your lesson plans, and in this episode I'm going to help you find them and get rid of them.
If we want to make our content really relevant to students, we need to design our instruction the way a chef orchestrates a good meal. Rather than giving in to the educational equivalent of processed food, we could be putting more thought into preparing our lessons, from the appetizer all the way to dessert. In this episode, I interview John Stevens and Matt Vaudrey, authors of the book The Classroom Chef. They talk about how they evolved from teaching uninspired, by-the-book lessons to preparing learning experiences that truly engage students. If you're starting to feel like you're phoning in your lessons, you won't want to miss this one.
If you're always looking for short, high-quality informational and literary texts to use in your classroom, you are going to love the free online library at CommonLit. In this episode, I interview CommonLit founder Michelle Brown to talk about why she started the platform and walk through all of the wonderful features that help teachers get the most out of this growing library of texts.
If you're trying to figure out an easy way to manage differentiated instruction, this episode will be a big help. Teacher Tracy Enos explains how she uses student playlists--customized, digital lists of assignments she assigns to students based on their individual needs. A playlist might contain links to videos, online articles, or interactive lessons that live somewhere online. It could also include reading assignments from actual physical books or even written exercises that come from a station or center in the classroom. Playlists could be used for any grade level and any subject area.This is definitely a system worth considering for any classroom!
Dialogue journals are a simple but powerful tool for building trust with your students and sustaining that relationship all year long. In this episode I talk with teacher Liz Galarza about how she uses these journals in her classroom and the research she's doing about how they shift the power dynamic in the classroom.
Are we meeting the needs of black girls in our schools? In this interview with author Monique Morris, we talk about her book Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, the 2016 selection for the Cult of Pedagogy Summer Book Study. Dr. Morris explains how far too many teachers lack the cultural competence to understand and meet the needs of black girls, the damaging long-term effects of this dynamic, and what we can do to change this.
If you're trying to figure out exactly what you need to improve about your teaching, it helps to listen to your body. In this episode, I walk you through 5 questions about key areas of your teaching to help you uncover trouble spots, then create a plan of action to improve them.
If you’re finding that your classroom management seems to be a problem no matter what you do, there’s a good chance you might be doing something to get in your own way. Here are 10 mistakes teachers make that can undermine even the best classroom management system.
If you've ever thought about using podcasts as classroom texts, but didn't have time to find the right ones, you're going to be blown away by Listen Current, a website that curates the best podcasts of public radio and wraps each one with classroom-ready materials. In this episode, I talk to Listen Current founder and CEO Monica Brady-Myerov about what the site offers to teachers.
educators, Twitter is part of an essential 21st
century toolkit, but so many people don't know how to use it
well. In this episode, I share six ways to make better use of
Twitter. I'll also tell you about a new online course I have
created that shows you exactly how to do those six things, plus a
whole lot more.
Many parents opt to "redshirt" or delay their child's entrance into kindergarten. This practice is generally seen as beneficial to a child's success in school, but how does it impact their overall happiness later in life? In this episode, I interview Dr. Suzanne Jones, who studied the perceived life satisfaction of adolescent boys who were redshirted at kindergarten compared with those who could have been, but were not.
When choosing end-of-unit or end-of-year assessments, we often fall back on essays, presentations, or tests. In this episode, I'll teach you how your students can easily create PDF e-books to demonstrate their learning, and 12 different ideas for the kinds of projects they can do with these.
What are the best practices in tech training for teachers? In this episode, I interview three technology integration specialists to hear what they've learned about the most effective methods for planning and delivering ed tech training in schools. Thanks to Sarah Thomas, Rodney Turner, and Craig Badura for sharing their experiences!
To adapt to changing student needs, some school libraries are reinventing themselves as makerspaces. But the principal of one Ohio middle school had something slightly different in mind. In this episode, I interview two educators who completely changed the function of their school library and saw its average daily student use grow from 10 to over 100.
Hundreds of thousands of teachers are required to teach students the art of argumentative or persuasive writing. As an experienced writing teacher, I want to share my own best practices in this area. In this episode, I'll take you step by step through my process for teaching argumentative essay writing.
So you got a new teaching job. Congratulations! The only catch is, you're starting in the middle of the year. This survival guide will help you figure out what to focus on right away so you can hit the ground running without falling down.
Teachers never seem to be able to find enough time to get their work done AND have a healthy, balanced life outside of school. And until now, I had very few solutions to this problem. But that was before I heard about Angela Watson's 40 Hour Teacher Workweek. In this episode, she shares 5 of her incredible time-saving strategies for teachers...and everyone else.