I have recently been shocked at the fact that educators don’t really see the need for a rubric. They either find them too specific or too vague. But, I am not really sure they are seeing the big picture on this one. Rubrics are great for students and teachers.

Here are a few benefits:


What else would you add? How have they helped you?


Online Discussion Tips.

The online discussion board has received differing reviews. Many believe it is a place that students simply write mini-papers, with little to no feedback. Others believe that it is a true learning tool for online courses.

Here is a simple infographic for both side of the argument.

How do you interact with your students on the discussion board? What would you add?

Online DB Tips


I would like to say that my 4 children inspire creativity in me more than anything else. I admit that the ocean is a close second, but my children are inspirational.
The current inspiration is my (almost) 16 year-old’s gingerbread house. It took me 15 years to perfect this. It took her minutes…. Iove you, baby girl!

20131202-211711.jpg and… My awesome hubby took this picture!

A Fun New Video

My 11 year old daughter and I were talking about what makes science exciting. She said, “the teachers, for sure!”
Then we made a video…

better viewing…

For more on what the second teacher does, look up flipping the classroom and problem based learning.

Why is My Teen So Forgetful?

David Wilcox, of Musings on the Middle Years of Education, and I have worked together to create an infographic about the teen brain. It is based on a blog post he wrote over a year ago (Click here for that post) to tackle the issue of Why Teens Forget. Through lots of research, checking facts, and rechecking facts, we have found that teens forgetfulness may be due to major changes in their brain. These changes can last into the college years.

While there is research that demonstrates the increased forgetfulness of “teens,” we also found that research suggests this time period is an awesome explosion of learning and discovery that takes them into adulthood.

Thanks, David! It was a great experience to collaborate on these and to learn how I can better help my students.


This is the infographic divided into 3, so we can share it with our families with teenagers.





Scaffold Like an Ant- A simple scaffolding example

I am teaching a class where I allow the students a set amount of time to draw out what they know about a subject. Today, the students did their pre-class work, then came to class, and we began to draw things out. At first they look at me a little funny when I ask them to draw. Then, they dig in and explain what they think the subject is all about. Usually it takes about 25% of class time to get them through this phase. Today, they wanted to remain in this drawing/ scaffolding phase. They were going deeper than any class has ever gone in their reasoning and understanding of a difficult subject. It was pretty cool.

Here is what I do in my classes… (the ant is an analogy, I don’t get to teach about ants).

Ant Scaffolding

What would you add?