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The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast

237 EpisodesProduced by Jennifer GonzalezWebsite

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, a… read more

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215: Seventeen Tweaks That Make a Big Difference in Group Work

October 1st, 2023


Cooperative learning can be a powerful learning strategy, but only if it works well. In this episode Connie Hamilton, author of Hacking Group Work, …

214: Nothing's Going to Change My Mind: How Unconditional Positive Regard Transforms Classrooms

September 18th, 2023


At a time when student behaviors and attitudes seem more troubling than ever before, we may need to approach their behavior in a different way, too. In this episode, Alex Shevrin Venet returns to talk about …

213: Using Learning Stories for Student Reflection

September 3rd, 2023


Giving students time for reflection on their learning is so good for them: It builds their metacognitive capacity, it teaches them to take agency for their own learning, and it helps them and YOU see more clearly what …

212: Untangling the Debate Over Reading Instruction

August 20th, 2023


When it comes to teaching kids how to read, what is the big debate about? And what does research say we should be doing? In this episode, literacy …

211: Supporting Intermediate English Learners in Every Subject

May 21st, 2023


Students who have learned enough English to do well socially may still need scaffolding to thrive academically. In this episode, I talk with Tan …

210: Integrating Arab Narratives Across the Curriculum

May 3rd, 2023


Positive, accurate representations of Arab voices and contributions are largely missing from our classrooms. In this episode, four educators — Sawsan Jaber, Reem Fakhry, Fatma Elsamra, and Abeer Ramadan-Shinnawi — teach …

209: Unpacking Trauma-Informed Teaching

April 18th, 2023


Trauma-informed teaching has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, and my guest, Alex Shevrin Venet, is a wonderful guide to help us better …

208: What Is the Secret Sauce for Deeper Learning?

April 3rd, 2023


Do you ever feel like you're just marching through your content, trying to get it done? Like your students are just regurgitating it back, but not …

207: The Youth Boxing Club That Is Changing Lives: Jamyle Cannon and The Bloc

March 19th, 2023


The core activity of this after-school program is boxing, but it offers so much more to students. In this episode, I talk with Jamyle Cannon, …

EduTip 22: Stop asking questions to the whole room.

March 12th, 2023


When we ask a broad question to a large group — students, an audience, attendees at a meeting — we often get nothing in response. Plenty of the people probably have something to say; they just haven't been asked the …

206: The Thinking Classroom: An Interview with Peter Liljedahl

March 5th, 2023


In too many classrooms, our students aren't really thinking. What they're doing instead is more like mimicking, and my guest Peter Liljedahl is determined to change that. In this episode, we'll learn about his Thinking …

EduTip 21: Bring some drama with an anticipatory set.

February 26th, 2023


Anticipatory sets — quick preludes to your lessons — are a creative way to get students interested in what's to come. They are not an absolute …

205: How to Use ChatGPT as an Example Machine

February 20th, 2023


To learn any concept well, students need to experience multiple, varied examples of that concept, and coming up with those examples can be a …

EduTip 20: Don't give out your slides.

February 12th, 2023


Many teachers give out copies of their slides as a supplement to a lecture or presentation, but this practice leads to terrible slides and …

204: Authentic Group Discussions with the Real Talk Strategy

February 5th, 2023


After years of listening to shallow, perfunctory student discussions, ELA teacher Jessica Cannata found a way to make those conversations more natural, more interesting, and more real. In this episode, Jessica explains …

203: What Happens When Two Schools Experience the Street Data Process?

January 29th, 2023


In episode 178, we learned about an approach to school change called Street Data. I believed so strongly in this methodology that I asked the two …

EduTip 19: Help students learn each other's names.

January 15th, 2023


The time students spend in your classroom may be the only opportunity they have all day to engage with other humans in any meaningful way. And it's …

202: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2023

January 11th, 2023


A messaging platform that translates messages into any language, a daily curation of current events, the one everyone's talking about that writes …

201: How to Build Psychological Safety in Professional Development

December 17th, 2022


Learning requires us to be vulnerable, and in order to do that, we need to feel safe. In this episode, I talk with Elena Aguilar, author of The PD …

200: Ten Ways to Give a Better Lecture

November 16th, 2022


Two factors have given lectures a bad name: overuse and poor execution. In this episode we'll deal with both of these issues, considering when a lecture might be the best choice, then looking at ten things you can do to …

199: How to Personalize Instruction with Seminars

October 17th, 2022


Offering small group mini-lessons that students only sign up for if they are interested is another great way to offer personalized instruction. Author and writing instructor Melanie Meehan returns to share how she has …

198: Where to Find Real History in the Anti-CRT Era

October 4th, 2022


We are living in a time where a segment of the population is working as hard as it can to keep our students ignorant of history. Dozens of states are …

EduTip 18: Avoid assignments that are TOO open-ended.

September 25th, 2022


While it's true that student choice has a lot of value, it's possible to give so much choice in an assignment that it kind of backfires. When a task has little to no structure at all, students often respond with …

197: How to Leverage Multisensory Learning in Your Classroom

September 18th, 2022


Our sensory systems have a HUGE influence on how we learn, serving as building blocks for regulation, engagement, exploration, safety, movement, …

EduTip 17: Repeat audience questions.

September 11th, 2022


When a student or audience member has a question, repeating it before you answer allows everyone else to hear it and gives you a chance to clarify …

196: Four Models for Doing Blended Learning in Your Classroom

September 6th, 2022


Even though many of us are back in physical classrooms this year, blended learning offers a way to weave together online and offline learning to position students at the center of the learning process. Instead of …

195: Five Fantastic Ideas for Collaboration Projects

August 13th, 2022


Collaboration is great as long as you have high-quality projects for students to work on. In this episode, we'll explore five unique ideas for …

EduTip 16: Do a smooth first read.

August 1st, 2022


Stopping while you read a text out loud might be necessary in order to explain, dissect, or analyze something, but those interruptions can really mess up a listener's experience of the text. Next time, start with a …

194: Finding the Funk: 3 Ways to Add Culturally Responsive Critical Thinking to Your Lessons

July 24th, 2022


Critical thinking is something usually reserved only for advanced classes, but if we want our students to receive an equitable education, they all …

EduTip 15: Set aside time to set norms.

July 17th, 2022


If too many of your classroom plans go off the rails, you might need to add more norm-setting, where you clarify expectations in detail before starting an activity. It's a step some of us skip, but the time you spend on …

193: Creating Language-Affirming Classrooms for Code-Switching Students

July 10th, 2022


Language shapes so much of who we are, but not all students feel they can bring their whole selves into the classroom. Even the most well-meaning …

EduTip 14: Find teachable moments in the downtime.

June 26th, 2022


We spend a LOT of time with students, and quite a bit of that time is not used for direct instruction. This "downtime" offers plenty of tiny opportunities for teaching, assessment, and relationship building—we just have …

192: How to Use Backward Chaining to Differentiate Instruction

June 20th, 2022


We've covered a lot of differentiation strategies over the years, and here's one you may not have heard of: backward chaining. It allows students to start a task a few steps ahead, allowing them to experience a sense of …

EduTip 13: Add novelty to boost learning.

June 8th, 2022


Adding an unexpected ingredient to a lesson makes students more likely to remember the thing they were supposed to learn.

You can find full written …

191: In Support of Trans Athlete Inclusion in Women's Sports

May 31st, 2022

Whether or not you're involved in athletics, all teachers will have transgender students in their classrooms, and understanding the issues that …

190: Why so many teachers are leaving, and why others stay.

May 13th, 2022


Teachers are leaving the classroom in larger numbers than ever, and many are breaking contracts mid-year just to get out. What can school leaders do …

EduTip 12: Model EVERYTHING.

April 24th, 2022


There are so many things we ask our students to do in school that they would do so much better if we just modeled it for them. While modeling is …

189: Eight Principles for Supporting Students with ADHD

April 21st, 2022


Many teachers don't know enough to effectively meet the needs of students with ADHD. In this episode, we'll take a look at 8 principles you can apply to your teaching that can help these students thrive.

EduTip 11: Replace general praise with something specific.

April 10th, 2022


When we say something generic like "good job," it might make a student feel good, but that's about it. What has a lot more impact is specific praise …

188: Uncovering Your Implicit Biases: An Exercise for Teachers

April 3rd, 2022

An essential first step toward becoming an anti-racist educator is uncovering your own implicit biases—attitudes and beliefs about certain groups of people you may not even realize you have. In this episode, Hedreich …

EduTip 10: Use music to buffer "silent" activities.

March 27th, 2022


True silence is almost impossible to achieve in the classroom, and extraneous noises can be distracting. Adding background music creates a sanctuary where sustained concentration is more likely to happen.

You can find …

187: Contrasting Cases: A Simple Strategy for Deep Understanding

March 20th, 2022


This activity can be plugged into any lesson when you want students to go beyond surface traits and consider deeper connecting principles. My guest Sarah Levine shows us how it works.  -------------------

Thanks to 

EduTip 9: Use an antiseptic bounce to prevent off-task behavior.

March 13th, 2022


When you see early signs of off-task behavior, you might think your only choices are to ignore it or address it directly. The antiseptic bounce gives …

186: Using Gallery Walks for Peer Feedback

February 27th, 2022


Peer feedback can be an incredible tool for student growth IF students are trained in how to do it well. In this episode, English teacher Marcus …

185: How Teachers Can Support Arab-American Students

February 15th, 2022

Even when they appear to be navigating school successfully, Arab-American students aren't thriving like they could. In this episode, I talk with Dr. …

184: Lessons that Build Students' Media and News Literacy

January 30th, 2022


Our students can access information on any topic in seconds, so we need to build their media and news literacy. In this episode, I talk with Common Sense Education's Kelly Mendoza about their Digital Citizenship …

EduTip 8: Don't take anything personally.

January 23rd, 2022


So many things don't go our way throughout the school day, and if we can learn how to take a step back, to depersonalize these situations, we'll be …

183: Six Tech Tools to Try in 2022

January 18th, 2022


This year's picks include a video conferencing platform that feels more like a physical space, a database of books where the main characters are black girls, a career exploration platform, math lessons that students …

EduTip 7: Stop popcorn reading.

January 10th, 2022


Popcorn or "round-robin" reading has been around forever, even though it's not supported by research and can actually slow down students' reading …

182: Eight Ways to Grow Students' Vocabulary

December 12th, 2021


Building a robust vocabulary is an essential part of any education. Students will learn new words in our classes no matter what, but if we're …

EduTip 6: Try a tiered activity for simple differentiation.

December 6th, 2021


If you want to do more differentiation, but you feel overwhelmed by the idea of creating lots of individual lessons, try creating a tiered activity. This simple differentiation strategy gives students an appropriate …

181: Teachers are being silenced. What can be done about it?

November 27th, 2021


How is the anti-CRT movement harming and silencing teachers, what damage will it ultimately do to students, and what can be done to fight it? 

For a …

EduTip 5: Use huddles to communicate during group work.

November 7th, 2021


When students are working in groups, and we need to get their attention, shouting over the noise certainly gets the job done, but huddles work so …

180: Make Units More Inspiring with Vision Boards

October 31st, 2021


Planning instructional units can be less than exciting when all you have to deal with is words and more words. Creating a vision board at the beginning of a unit can generate fresh enthusiasm and help you focus on what …

EduTip 4: Hold off on most feedback until AFTER a task is done.

October 24th, 2021


When we see students making a mistake, we may be tempted to stop them and offer a correction. It might be best to resist that temptation, at least …

179: Teachers are barely hanging on. Here's what they need.

October 20th, 2021


Teachers are saying this is the worst school year ever. In this episode, I'll explore the reasons why, offer some solutions, and also share a few …

EduTip 3: Distract the Distractor

October 10th, 2021


This subtle little teaching move stops off-task behavior in a class session and gets things back on track without drama! 

You can find full written …

178: Street Data: A Pathway Toward Equitable, Anti-Racist Schools

October 4th, 2021


Many well-intended efforts to make schools more equitable often fail because we're trying to make them work inside a system that's a terrible fit for …

EduTip 2: Don't yell at another teacher's class.

September 26th, 2021


When you come in and rescue another teacher from a misbehaving class, you think you're being helpful, when really, you're just disempowering them. …

177: How to Find, Read, and Use Academic Research

September 20th, 2021


You want to know that your instructional decisions are supported by research, but you're not exactly sure where to find that research or how to read …

EduTip 1: Don't make them read and listen at the same time.

September 12th, 2021


Welcome to EduTips, a side project of the Cult of Pedagogy podcast where I share one quick tidbit of educational research, teaching ideas, classroom …

176: Suicide Prevention: What Teachers Can Do

September 6th, 2021


What factors are most likely to contribute to suicide in young people, and how can teachers recognize the signs? In this episode I talk with Anne Moss Rogers, mental health and suicide prevention speaker, about how …

175: Introducing the HyperRubric

August 22nd, 2021


Most rubrics only tell students where they are right now, but a HyperRubric marks their progress as they go, then points them to tools that can help …

174: Why You Should Bring Podcasts Into Your Classroom

August 8th, 2021


There's a good chance you're already sold on the value of podcasts. But have you brought this incredible medium into your classroom in a substantial …

173: How ELA and Special Ed Collaboration Can Produce Great Student Writing

July 25th, 2021


Writing is one of the most challenging academic tasks we ask of our students, and it can be especially difficult for students with learning …

172: The Importance of Maslow's Fourth Tier

July 11th, 2021


What we call "attention-seeking behavior" is a sign of a deficit need. In this episode, my guest Connie Hamilton shares specific strategies we can use to help students meet their esteem needs—the fourth tier of Maslow's …

171: Does Your School Need a Literacy Check-up?

June 14th, 2021


Literacy is arguably the most valuable asset we develop in our students, but many classrooms are missing some of the most effective literacy practices. In this episode, author and educator Angela Peery shares a set of …

170: No More Easy Button: A Suggested Approach to Post-Pandemic Teaching

May 16th, 2021


Now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel of Covid-19, we have an opportunity for a fresh start in schools, and we can't waste it. Let’s …

169: Revolution School: When "Reimagining School" Actually Happens

May 2nd, 2021


Revolution School is a fantastic new high school in Philadelphia where students co-create their education around experiential learning, community …

168: Mistake Analysis

April 18th, 2021


Wrong answers can be an incredible tool for learning and critical thinking. In this episode, Thinking Like a Lawyer author Colin Seale teaches us …

167: How to Co-Construct Success Criteria with Students

April 5th, 2021


When we include students in the process of defining quality work, they are more likely to rise to those standards. In this episode, educator Starr Sackstein explains how she co-constructs success criteria with her …

166: UDL as a Key to Equity

March 22nd, 2021


Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that rejects one-size-fits-all teaching by offering students options for how to engage, what …

165: Setting Up Mastery-Based Grading in Your Classroom

March 7th, 2021


It's a terrible feeling when you know some of your students didn't really learn the content, but you move them on anyway. Mastery-based grading …

164: The Elegance of the Gray Area

February 22nd, 2021


An argument for spending more time practicing subtlety and nuance and complication in our thinking.

This episode is sponsored by Kialo Edu and Kiddom

163: It's Time to Give Classroom Jobs Another Try

February 7th, 2021


These fresh ideas for student jobs will invigorate your classroom and get you and your students excited about school again—even if you teach …

162: Up-Down-Both-Why: A Funds of Feeling Approach to Literature

January 24th, 2021

Students often struggle to make meaningful connections to literature and put those connections into words. The Up-Down-Both-Why technique, which …

161: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2021

January 11th, 2021


The yearly roundup of tools includes an audio feedback tool, sites to combat racism and media bias, and an app that lets you Google things in mid-air.

160: Fire Up Your Students with a Campaign Unit

December 6th, 2020


Whether it's real or fictional, putting students to work on a campaign for a cause is a powerful way to get them writing persuasively. In this …

159: Connecting Students in a Disconnected World

November 23rd, 2020


Breakout rooms, collaborative projects, games—whatever we do, it's crucial that we do something to get our students talking to each other. In this …

158: How to Create a Self-Paced Classroom

November 8th, 2020


In a self-paced classroom, each student is met where they are, is given an appropriate level of challenge, and grows at a steady pace throughout the …

157: What's Possible with Green Screens in the Classroom

October 25th, 2020


Green screen technology allows students to create videos where they travel just about anywhere, virtually. This simple, affordable method offers so …

156: Subversion: An Essential Tool of the Master Teacher

October 12th, 2020


Sometimes, to do right by their students, good teachers have to break the rules. In this episode, I talk with Melinda Anderson, author of Becoming a …

155: How to Teach When Everyone's Scattered

September 30th, 2020


Some of your students are in school. Others are at home. Some days they might switch. Your students are all over the place, and you're supposed to be …

154: Hexagonal Thinking: A Colorful Tool for Discussion

September 12th, 2020


If you've been looking for a fresh approach for getting students to think outside the box and collaborate with each other, this may be just what you …

153: Four Laws of Learning

September 1st, 2020


Teaching is complex. It's dynamic. Every day we learn about new tools, strategies, and programs, and it's easy to lose our way. When you start to …

152: Creating Moments of Genuine Connection Online

August 17th, 2020


One of the most important things we need to accomplish as we move forward into the school year is building relationships with our students. But if …

151: Historically Responsive Literacy: An Equity-Centered Approach to Curriculum

August 2nd, 2020


Despite many attempts at improvement, school is still not working for many of our students, especially students of color. My guest, Dr. Gholdy …

150: A Few Creative Ways to Use Student Blogs

July 19th, 2020


Since blogs first showed up on the internet, they have really evolved as a genre, and they're a smart choice for a robust, long-term assignment. In …

149: Nine Ways Online Teaching Should Be Different from Face-to-Face

July 5th, 2020


Chances are you're going to be doing at least some online teaching in the upcoming school year. What shifts do we need to make in our face-to-face …

148: Backward Design: The Basics

June 22nd, 2020


Are we planning with clear, measurable, meaningful learning goals to guide us, or are we just keeping students busy? Backward design helps us make …

147: Why White Students Need Multicultural and Social Justice Education

June 7th, 2020


Some educators wonder if multicultural and social justice education are relevant if most of your students are white. The answer is yes. In fact, they …

146: Reopening School: What it Might Look Like

May 24th, 2020


Some thoughts on what post-COVID instruction might look like when schools reopen. (Spoiler alert: None are as good as face-to-face, a few aren't too …

145: Flash Feedback: More Meaningful Feedback in Less Time

May 10th, 2020


We all want to give more high-quality feedback to students, but there's never enough time. In this episode I talk to Matthew Johnson, author of the book Flash Feedback, about three strategies he uses to get high-impact …

144: Making Great Screencast Videos

April 26th, 2020


If you are moving some of your direct instruction to video, whether it's by necessity or by choice, knowing how to create a good screencast is essential. In this episode, blended learning mentor Kareem Farah gives us …

143: To Teach Social-Emotional Learning, Start with Yourself

April 12th, 2020


While most teachers recognize the value of social-emotional learning, many struggle to fit it into their curriculum. But one of the most powerful …

142: Distance Learning: A Collection of Resources for Teachers

March 30th, 2020


A general overview of the nuts and bolts of distance learning, including general tips, advice on tech, and troubleshooting some common problems.

141: Getting Rid of "I Don't Know" in Your Classroom

March 15th, 2020


How often do you hear "I don't know" in your classroom? For some students, this phrase becomes a crutch that stops them from learning. In this episode, I talk with author Connie Hamilton about how we can teach students …

140: Nine Ways to be More Inclusive of Diverse Students

March 1st, 2020


Although well-intended, some of our efforts to include students from diverse backgrounds can make them feel anything but welcome. In this episode, my …

139: How to Create a Project Based Learning Lesson

February 17th, 2020


If you've been wanting to try Project Based Learning but have been unsure about exactly how to do it, this is the episode for you. PBL expert Jenny Pieratt takes us step-by-step through the planning of an 8-week PBL …

138: Making Cooperative Learning Work Better

February 4th, 2020


If cooperative learning hasn't really worked for you in the past, don't lose hope. In this episode we'll explore tons of solutions to four of the …

137: How Afterschool Staff Can Take Your Class to the Next Level

January 19th, 2020


How connected are you to the afterschool staff in your school? If you're like a lot of teachers, it's probably not much. In this episode I talk with …

136: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2020

January 7th, 2020


It's a new year and it's a great time to try out a few new tech tools. Here's my annual round-up of apps and sites I think are worth a look, plus two …

135: The Time I Made a Fart Sound During a Test

November 24th, 2019


Just a little story for you; the title says it all. 

134: Repairing Harm: A Better Alternative to Punishment

November 10th, 2019


Detentions and suspensions don't really change behavior. What's much more effective is having students work to repair the harm done by their actions. In this episode, I talk with Brad Weinstein and Nathan Maynard, …

133: How One Makerspace is Meeting Students' Social-Emotional Needs

October 27th, 2019


Our students need more social-emotional support than ever before, and schools are coming up with creative ways to meet that need. In this episode, I …

132: How to Spot Dyslexia, and What to Do Next

October 13th, 2019


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 …

131: How World Language Teaching Has Evolved

September 29th, 2019


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 …

130: Tips for Starting a Podcast

September 15th, 2019


Producing your own podcast is easier than you might think. In this episode, I share the tools and processes I use to produce my own podcast, plus …

129: Let's Make Better Slideshows

September 3rd, 2019


A lot of you are out there giving lectures, presentations, and workshops, and your slideshows need work. These seven tips will help.

128: When You Get Nothing But Crickets

August 19th, 2019


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 …

127: A Few Ideas for Dealing with Late Work

August 4th, 2019


The problem of late work never seems to go away. In this episode, I share eight smart solutions teachers use to manage it with their students.

126: Student-Created Graphic Novels

July 21st, 2019


Graphic novels are wonderful for reading, but when students use the graphic novel form for their own writing, incredible stories can emerge. In this …

125: Think Twice Before Doing Another Historical Simulation

July 7th, 2019


Historical simulations can be a powerful teaching tool that fully immerses students in an experience, but when it comes to traumatic or violent …

124: A Closer Look at Open Educational Resources

June 23rd, 2019


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 …

123: Four Research-Based Strategies All Teachers Should Be Using

June 9th, 2019


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 …

122: A Simple Trick for Success with One-Pagers

May 26th, 2019


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 …

121: Is that Higher-Order Task Really Higher Order?

May 12th, 2019


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 …

120: How One District Learned to Talk About Race

April 28th, 2019


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 …

119: "We're a Family" and Other School Norms that Can Cause Burnout

April 14th, 2019


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 …

118: To Boost Learning, Just Add Movement

March 31st, 2019


Physical movement makes learning stick better. In this episode, we'll explore six different ways to add more movement to your classroom.

117: Five Ways to Improve Your Rubrics

March 17th, 2019


If you use rubrics, this episode is for you. I talk with administrator Mark Wise about five guidelines that can help make your rubrics more effective.

116: Mastery Learning with Khan Academy

March 3rd, 2019


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 …

115: Time to Take a Look at Your Dress Code

February 17th, 2019


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, …

114: Let's Give Our Teaching Language a Makeover

February 3rd, 2019


To master this craft, we need to choose our words carefully. This mini-makeover shows how revising our language in four common classroom scenarios …

113: Global School Play Day: One Day. Nothing But Play.

January 20th, 2019


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 …

112: Six Tech Tools to Try in 2019

January 6th, 2019


This year's collection includes a discussion monitor, a tool that analyzes writing, a virtual reality tour maker, and my favorite new game.

111: Teaching Note-Taking with Stations

December 16th, 2018


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 …

110: Ten Ways Educators Can Take Action in Pursuit of Equity

December 2nd, 2018


Awareness of educational inequity is important, but we also need to take action. In this episode, professor and activist Pedro Noguera shares ten …

109: Get Students Talking with Ongoing Conversations

November 18th, 2018


High school English teacher Jeff Frieden shares his Ongoing Conversations strategy, a simple, effective way to get students to have rich, one-on-one …

108: To Learn, Students Need to DO Something

November 4th, 2018


In too many classrooms, we're expecting students to learn material without asking them to do much of anything with it. Why is this a problem? Where did it come from? And what can we do to fix it?

107: The Best Ways to Use Leveled Texts

October 21st, 2018


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 …

106: The Danger of Teacher Nostalgia

October 7th, 2018


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 …

105: Voice of Witness: Bring the Power of Oral History to Your Classroom

September 23rd, 2018


Voice of Witness is an organization that curates oral histories, stories told by people whose voices are rarely heard: Migrant workers. Refugees. …

104: What the Research Says About Note-Taking

September 9th, 2018


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. 

103: Deeper Class Discussions with the TQE Method

August 26th, 2018


Want your students to have rich, complex discussions about the texts they read? In this episode, high school English teacher Marisa Thompson shares a …

102: A Look Inside a Teacher Fellowship Program

August 12th, 2018


Imagine a professional development scenario where you are given funding, choice, and time to collaborate with others in your specialty area who …

101: A Step-by-Step Plan for Teaching Narrative Writing

July 29th, 2018


The ability to tell a good story is one of the things that makes human beings extraordinary. Here's the process I used to teach my own students how to do it.

100: Lessons in Personhood

July 22nd, 2018


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 …

99: Quality-Check Your Tech: 6 Strategies

July 15th, 2018


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 …

98: Improving the Way We Teach About Slavery

June 17th, 2018


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 …

97: The Principal's Pet: A Cautionary Tale

June 3rd, 2018


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 …

96: What's the Point of a Makerspace?

May 20th, 2018


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 …

95: Twelve Ways Teachers Can Build Their Emotional Resilience

May 6th, 2018


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 …

94: How accurate are your grades?

April 22nd, 2018


Grades impact everything from college admissions to whether students get to go on certain field trips. With so much at stake, how can we make sure …

93: Eight Things I Know for Sure About Middle School Kids

April 8th, 2018


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 …

92: Frickin' Packets

March 27th, 2018


Are your worksheets contributing to meaningful learning, or just keeping students busy?

91: Twelve Ways to Upgrade Your Classroom Design

March 18th, 2018


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 …

90: OMG Becky. PD is Getting SO MUCH BETTER.

March 4th, 2018


The sit-and-get, one-size-fits-all model is disappearing. Taking its place are these 9 alternative models for teacher professional development.

89: Restorative Justice in School: An Overview

February 18th, 2018


With its focus on building relationships and repairing harm, rather than simply punishing students for misbehavior, restorative justice is being …

88: Are you a curator or a dumper?

February 4th, 2018


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 …

87: Moving from Feedback to Feedforward

January 21st, 2018


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 …

86: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2018

January 7th, 2018


One of them is super trendy. One takes you into the past. Three can be used in a dozen different ways. And one you're going to want to try right away. Come listen.

85: The Magic of Validation

December 18th, 2017


In schools, where our work demands constant interaction with other people, conflicts are always waiting to happen. By practicing validation with our …

84: How to Stop Killing the Love of Reading w/Pernille Ripp

December 3rd, 2017


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 …

83: What is an Innovation Class?

November 19th, 2017


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 …

82: Making School a Safe Place for LGBTQ Students

November 5th, 2017


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 …

81: The Great and Powerful Graphic Organizer

October 22nd, 2017


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 …

80: When Students Won't Stop Talking

October 8th, 2017


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 …

79: Retrieval Practice: The Most Powerful Learning Strategy You're Not Using

September 24th, 2017


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 …

78: Four Misconceptions About Culturally Responsive Teaching

September 10th, 2017


Some teachers think they're practicing culturally responsive teaching, when in fact, they're kind of not. In this episode, I interview Zaretta …

77: What Teachers Want Administrators to Know

September 5th, 2017


After years of hearing teachers' stories, I have reached the conclusion that there is one element that makes the difference in whether the teachers …

76: When Your School is Short on Tech

August 27th, 2017


From work-arounds to fundraising to Wi-Fi on the bus, this episode explores 11 creative ways schools are addressing the digital divide.

75: Making the Most of a 90-Minute Block Class

August 13th, 2017


Whether you're brand-new to block scheduling or you've been doing it for years, this episode will have you handling those 90 minutes like a boss.

74: How to Deal with Student Grammar Errors

July 30th, 2017


Teaching grammar in isolation is not only ineffective, it can actually make student writing worse. So when students make mistakes, what should …

73: How One Teacher Started an Urban Gardening Revolution

July 16th, 2017


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 …

72: What is an educator mastermind, and why should you join one?

July 2nd, 2017


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 …

71: Why It's So Hard for Teachers to Take Care of Themselves

June 19th, 2017


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 …

70: How HyperDocs Can Transform Your Teaching

June 11th, 2017


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, …

69: Three Surprising Reasons Students Don't Get into Top Colleges

May 21st, 2017


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 …

68: Twelve Ways to Support English Learners in the Mainstream Classroom

May 7th, 2017


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 …

67: What to Do on Lame Duck School Days

April 23rd, 2017


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.

66: Why Curation Should be Your Next Class Project

April 15th, 2017


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 …

65: Five Ways College Teachers Can Improve Their Instruction

March 26th, 2017


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 …

64: Four Ways Teachers Can Support Students of Color

March 12th, 2017


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 …

63: Teaching Students to Avoid Plagiarism

February 26th, 2017


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 …

62: 21st Century Learning at the Apollo School

February 12th, 2017


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 …

61: Seven Systems that Work for Outside-the-Box Learners

January 29th, 2017


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 …

60: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2017

January 22nd, 2017


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 …

59: Runaway Youth: How Teachers Can Help

January 1st, 2017


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 …

58: Six Powerful Learning Strategies You MUST Share with Students

December 11th, 2016


Can studying be taught? I interview cognitive psychologists Megan Smith and Yana Weinstein about six high-power, research-based learning strategies …

57: Nine Simple Solutions for Common Teaching Problems

November 27th, 2016


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 …

56: Creating a Welcoming Classroom for Special Ed Students

November 20th, 2016


So many regular ed teachers feel inadequately prepared to serve the needs of students with special needs. In this episode, special educator Jam …

55: Your Top 10 Genius Hour Questions Answered

November 6th, 2016


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. …

54: Is Your Lesson a Grecian Urn?

October 30th, 2016


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 …

53: How to Approach Your Teaching Like a Master Chef

October 16th, 2016


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 …

52: Is Your Classroom Academically Safe?

October 2nd, 2016


So much of learning depends on whether your students feel comfortable taking risks. In this episode, I share some suggestions for making your classroom an academic safe space.

51: CommonLit's Online Library of Free Texts

September 18th, 2016


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 …

50: Using Playlists to Differentiate Instruction

September 4th, 2016


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 …

49: How Dialogue Journals Build Teacher-Student Relationships

August 21st, 2016


Dialogue journals are a simple but powerful tool for building trust with your students and sustaining that relationship all year long. In this …

48: Implementing a Classroom Management Plan that Works

August 7th, 2016


An interview with Michael Linsin, creator of the Smart Classroom Management website. Michael shares his insights about how to design and implement an effective classroom behavior plan.

47: Black Girls and School: We Can Do Better

July 3rd, 2016


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 …

46: The Gut-Level Teacher Reflection

June 5th, 2016


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 …

45: Ten Ways to Sabotage Your Classroom Management

May 26th, 2016


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 …

44: Bring Podcasts Into Your Classroom with Listen Current

May 15th, 2016


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 …

43: How to Make Better Use of Twitter

May 1st, 2016


For 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 …

42: Kindergarten Redshirting

April 24th, 2016


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 …

41: Student-Made E-Books

April 11th, 2016


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, …

40: How to Stop Yelling at Your Students

April 3rd, 2016


Do you yell at your students (or your own children) more often than you want to? I'll share some techniques that can help you stop yelling, and the …

39: How to Plan Outstanding Tech Training for Teachers

March 20th, 2016


What are the best practices in tech training for teachers? In this episode, I interview three technology integration specialists to hear what they've …

38: The Library that Increased Student Use by 1,000 Percent

March 6th, 2016


To adapt to changing student needs, some school libraries are reinventing themselves as makerspaces. But the principal of one Ohio middle school had …

37: How to Motivate Students: Five Questions for Teachers

February 20th, 2016


If we know what works to motivate students, why are so many students still unmotivated? These five questions will help you determine if your practice is really in line with research.

36: How I Teach Argumentative Writing

February 8th, 2016


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, …

35: Six Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2016

January 25th, 2016


While working on the update of my book, The Teacher's Guide to Tech, I learned about a whole lot of tools that can make your teaching more efficient …

34: Starting a Teaching Job in the Middle of the School Year

January 9th, 2016


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 …

33: Five Powerful Ways to Save Time as a Teacher

December 26th, 2015


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 …

32: How and Why We Should Let Our Students Fail

December 12th, 2015


Is it better to rescue our kids every time they make mistakes, or let them experience the consequences of their actions? In this episode, I interview Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure: Why the Best Parents …

31: The Power of Being a Dork

November 25th, 2015


Can being more dorky make you a better teacher? Can it make the world a better place? I say yes.

30: How One Teacher Manages a Self-Paced Class

November 12th, 2015


Is it possible to differentiate instruction so that students truly move at their own pace? My guest, middle school math teacher Natalie McCutchen, …

29: Four Things I've Learned About Teaching from CrossFit

October 29th, 2015


What can CrossFit, a fitness movement that is quickly growing in popularity, teach us about learning and motivation? As a new and very low-level …

28: Class Discussion Strategies

October 15th, 2015


Do you need some fresh ideas for class discussions? When it comes to helping students practice speaking listening skills, are you stuck? In this episode, I describe 15 class discussion strategies you can start using …

27: Interview with an Instructional Coach, Part 2

October 1st, 2015


What is it like to be an instructional coach? To learn more about the challenges of instructional coaching, I asked two coaches to explain what they do, how they approach their work, and what they have learned about …

26: Interview with an Instructional Coach, Part 1

October 1st, 2015


What is it like to be an instructional coach? To learn more about the challenges of instructional coaching, I asked two coaches to explain what they do, how they approach their work, and what they have learned about …

25: When a Student Hates You

September 16th, 2015


Despite our best intentions, sometimes teachers make decisions that alienate students beyond repair. In this episode, I share stories of mistakes I made that damaged my relationships with three different students, and …

24: Five Teaching Practices I'm Kicking to the Curb

September 3rd, 2015


Are any of these ineffective teaching methods still part of your practice? I have done them all, but now I know better. In this episode, I'll explain …

23: How We Say Our Students' Names...and Why It Matters

August 19th, 2015


Every teacher has had students whose names are hard to pronounce. Some of us shrug this off, saying we're just no good with names, or we give our students nicknames instead. In this episode, I talk about the message we …

22: Three Hacks that Solve Big School Problems

August 5th, 2015


When we try to solve school problems with committee meetings, district-wide initiatives and new policies, change can be slow as molasses. But we are …

21: Make It Stick Author Peter Brown

July 15th, 2015


Are we taking the wrong approach to learning? The book "Make It Stick" presents new research that shows how some of our most common studying and teaching practices don't have any real research to support them. In this …

20: Dogfooding

June 10th, 2015


What is dogfooding, and why do teachers need it? In the Season 1 finale, we explore the essential practice of doing your own assignments -- to find and fix problems -- before giving them to students. 

19: Goal-Setting for Teachers

May 27th, 2015


The list of ways a teacher can improve is a mile long. Since you can't do it all at once, here are eight paths you might take toward professional growth.

18: How Ordinary Teachers Become Activists

May 9th, 2015


A lot has changed in education over the last decade, and many teachers will tell you those changes have not been good for anyone, least of all students. But what can a teacher do about it? Is it possible for teachers to …

17: Tools that Help Students Follow their Passions

April 25th, 2015


Not long ago, if you wanted to record and distribute music, publish a book, produce a film, sell your art, or reach an audience with your voice, …

16: Job Interview Advice for Teachers

April 8th, 2015


Are you preparing for a teaching job interview? In this episode, I talk to five experienced administrators about the things prospective teachers …

15: A Teacher's Coming Out Story

March 25th, 2015


After teaching elementary school for years without revealing that she was gay, Jessica Lifshitz finally decided it was time to come out at school …

14: Seven Easy Ways to Support Student Writing in Any Content Area

March 6th, 2015


Helping students improve their writing skills is no longer solely reserved for English language arts teachers; educators in all content areas are …

13: Could You Teach Without Grades?

February 20th, 2015


This year, Starr Sackstein made a drastic change in her high school English and journalism classes: After years of feeling as if students cared more …

12: How Your Nonverbals Impact Your Teaching

February 6th, 2015


How important are nonverbals when it comes to your effectiveness as a teacher? In this episode, I talk with Teaching for Success CEO Jack Shrawder about the specific non-verbal behaviors that make teachers less …

11: Avoiding the "Wait 'Till Your Father Gets Home" Trap

January 25th, 2015


For some teachers, it has become a habit to send the majority of discipline problems elsewhere: Either we write up an office referral, threaten to …

10: In Praise of Think-Pair-Share

January 12th, 2015


Sometimes the simplest techniques are the most effective. Think-Pair-Share is a humble but powerful teaching strategy that's due for some attention. …

9: How to Connect with Your Students

December 17th, 2014


How important is the relationship you build with your students, and how can you make that relationship better? James Sturtevant, author of the book You've Gotta Connect, joins me to talk about why the teacher-student …

8: Talking about Race in the Classroom with José Vilson

December 3rd, 2014


What are the most productive ways for teachers to talk to their students about the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the incidents that have occured in its aftermath? In this episode, I talk to José …

7: Should You Give Timed Math Tests?

November 26th, 2014


When she gives her son timed math tests, a homeschooling mom notices his anxiety and wonders if she's taking the right approach. I pull together some …

6: Our First Call-In Advice Show!

October 30th, 2014


Welcome to our very first installment of "Ask the Cult," our call-in advice show for teachers and anyone else with questions about teaching, …

5: What is 20 Percent Time? A Conversation with A.J. Juliani

October 16th, 2014


Whether it's called 20 percent time or genius hour, more teachers are starting to carve out instructional time to allow students to pursue their own …

4: What the Mother of an Autistic Child Wants Teachers to Know

July 21st, 2014


In the 10 years she's been raising a daughter with autism, Leigh has had good and bad experiences with teachers and schools. In this honest, funny, …

3: The Montessori Method

November 29th, 2013


What makes a Montessori school so different from a traditional public or private school? How is the Montessori philosophy -- which many only …

2: Why One Teacher Left the Profession

September 10th, 2013


In Episode 2 we talk to Carrie, a former elementary school teacher who recently left teaching to pursue a different career. She talks about the …

1: Best Practices for Teaching English Learners

August 15th, 2013


Kim, a passionate ESL teacher and our very first guest, talks candidly about the complexities of teaching English learners: the power imbalance that arises when the kids speak English but the parents don't, why ELL …

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