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It’s 4:25 p.m. and I’ve been working nonstop since 7:00 a.m. this morning. Actually, that’s not entirely true. On three separate occasions, I close my laptop, lace up my running shoes, and head for a walk in the brisk fall air. I absorb the sun’s... The post Designing PBL to Decrease Cognitive Load appeared first on John Spencer.…
 
In my latest podcast episode, I interviewed Scott Witthoft, who shared an expanded view of what it means to prototype. I’ve written extensively about design thinking but his latest book This is a Prototype? challenged my thinking while also providing several new strategies I plan... The post Scott Witthoft on the Curious Craft of Prototyping appear…
 
If we want to empower students to own the assessment process, we need to incorporate meaningful self-assessment and peer assessment into our lessons. However, students still need guidance from their teachers. This is why I love five-minute conferences. Unlike a deep dive tutoring session or... The post The Power of Student Conferencing appeared fir…
 
Socratic seminars are a democratic, student-centered, approach to class discussions. They can be used at any grade level with any subject area. In a Socratic Seminar, members meet in a circle (or more likely an oval, because, let’s be real, circles are really hard to... The post Designing Socratic Seminars to Ensure That All Students Can Participat…
 
Over the last month, I have been sharing practical ways that we can empower our students to own the learning from day one. This is the core idea that AJ Juliani and I wrote about in our book Empower. It’s a journey I began in... The post Taking a Gradual Release (GRR) Approach to Student Choice appeared first on John Spencer.…
 
I stare at the blinking cursor — an apt term for the blank page rhythmically lulling me into a curse of nothingness, slowly gaining inertia with every passing second. It’s a silent metronome counting down the time I haven’t written. It’s a quiet loop on... The post Creative Habits Versus Creative Momentum appeared first on John Spencer.…
 
In my latest episode, I interviewed Elena Aguilar about coaching, equity, and transforming teacher practice. She asked me a question that had me thinking about my own answer for days — and question what that means for my teaching practice. Elena is a true expert... The post Elena Aguilar on Coaching for Equity appeared first on John Spencer.…
 
This would be the year. I would be a fully project-based social studies teacher. After reading every PBL book I could read and attending PBL sessions at a few summer conferences, I had a vision for a new way of teaching my subject. My third... The post Sprints, Mini-Projects, and Project-Based Learning appeared first on John Spencer.…
 
Mike Kaechele and Dr. Matinga Ragatz are the co-authors of a newly released book, Pulse of PBL: Cultivating Equity Through Social Emotional Learning. Full Disclosure: I am a co-owner of Blend Education, the publisher of their book. It has been an incredible opportunity to witness... The post Mike Kaechele and Dr. Matinga Ragatz on the Pulse of PBL …
 
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