As a kid, I got all the way to the top of Cub Scouts, but I never became a Boy Scout. I quit before I made the jump. Why did I quit scouts? I’ve thought about this a lot recently as I see friends’ kids become Eagle Scouts. Why didn’t I go all the way […]
Working with a student who is bored in math? Quickly finishing lessons? Needs something more? Here are three ways you can get started differentiating in math. 1. Accelerate Gifted students are, by definition, ready for thinking and content beyond their current grade level. This research from several different states found that 11% to 30% of […]
Acceleration is a cheap and simple way to differentiate for students who are ready for something more. It can mean skipping a whole grade but is more commonly accomplished through subject-specific acceleration. Lots of people have weird arguments against acceleration, but the research shows that it works (when done well).
I love Dorothy Frayer’s 1969 model for developing a deep understanding of a concept: The Frayer Model! It really illustrates how insufficient a mere definition is when trying to explain an idea.
The Across Disciplines prompt asks students to note how the topic they’re studying intersects with other fields as well as with other topics within the same field. Across Your unit on Weather has natural connections to social studies, language arts, and math. 📚 Across Disciplines reminds us to think broadly and note that weather has […]
The Depth and Complexity thinking tool ⏳ Change Over Time does exactly what it sounds like: gets students looking at a topic across multiple time periods. I love to introduce this with old photos of Mickey Mouse, McDonald’s storefronts, and (of course) pictures of me growing up. However, don’t keep this prompt at the surface-level. […]
Early in my career, I mixed up “topics” with “lesson.” Here’s how I learned to plan real lesson objectives, not merely list my topic.
A central repository for all of the little apps I’ve written here at Byrdseed, including my Random Emoji Generator, The Differentiator, Paragraphy, and more.
While the official depth and complexity icons look great, they lead to all kinds of problems in the digital world and also take ownership away from students. Emoji are an elegant solution to both problems.
Merlin Mann stated that employees’ motivation increases when they get to “build a robot” once in a while. That is, do something creative beyond regular work. Can we do this at school? Offices have “casual Fridays,” can we have “curiosity Fridays?”