Feb 28

This 3-Second Change Could Have a Huge Impact on Your Students’ Learning

February 28th, 2018 by Austin Butler

Have you ever noticed that you can gauge a person’s wisdom by how quickly they respond to questions? Sometimes you ask someone a question and without even a second of thought they’re blurting out an answer. On the other hand, there are those individuals who calmly take their time to consider a question carefully before composing a response. In most...

Feb 21

How to Encourage Students to Take Risks

February 21st, 2018 by Austin Butler

In a classroom environment where students' grades often depend on obedience and towing the line... it's easy for students to develop a strong aversion to risk. But that could be detrimental to their future careers. As the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Studies show that individuals who are willing to take risks are much more likely to get promoted,...

Jan 16

3 Teaching Strategies to Get Every Student Participating

January 16th, 2018 by Austin Butler

One of the most challenging aspects of teaching is getting all students to participate. On the best days hands shoot up in response to a question but on the worst days, it can feel like pulling teeth. And in my years of teaching, there were plenty of these teeth pulling moments. There are lots of reasons kids don’t participate. Sometimes...

Dec 20

The Secret to Building Intrinsic Motivation in Students: Mastery

December 20th, 2017 by Austin Butler

Learning a new language can be both frustrating and exciting. One minute you think you've got things down, and the next you've forgotten how to introduce yourself. So what helps people stick with the process? It’s the little signs of progress. Like the first time you understand something you hear on the radio, or the first time you successfully order...

Dec 13

The Secret to Building Intrinsic Motivation in Students: Autonomy

December 13th, 2017 by Austin Butler

Why do people strive to obtain power? Traditionally, most people have thought that a quest for power comes from a desire to control other people, to be in charge. A recent study from Columbia University, though, turns this idea on its head. According to the study, people who seek power do so not because they want to control others, but...

Dec 6

The Secret to Building Intrinsic Motivation in Students: Relatedness

December 6th, 2017 by Austin Butler

Anyone who’s spent any amount of time working in education has likely heard of the achievement gap. The achievement gap describes the fact that in our country, students from minority backgrounds and low-income households tend to perform worse in school than their peers from wealthier homes. Countless researchers, non-profit organizations, and policymakers have dubbed this the civil rights movement of...

Nov 21

How To Create Lifelong Readers

November 21st, 2017 by Austin Butler

Many teachers will tell you that there are two phases of reading instruction. Learning to read and reading to learn. While our early years of schooling are spent learning to decode words and make sense of what’s on the page, the rest of our reading life is spent using the skill of reading to access information. I’d venture to say...

Nov 14

Take Home Learning Series: Active Listening

November 14th, 2017 by Austin Butler

I studied French for years in school, but don't remember a word of it. In my thirties, though, I moved to Puerto Rico, and without even trying or taking a class I was able to pick up a basic level of Spanish. Speaking with others who have lived abroad, I know I’m not alone in my experience. THE most effective way...

Oct 31

8 Amazing Kids that Remind us of What Students are Capable of

October 31st, 2017 by Austin Butler

If you ask most people what is the purpose of K-12 education, you’ll get a variety of answers. One of the most common answers is that we want to prepare students for college, the workplace, and to be successful adults. While this is definitely true, I’ve always hated this answer for one reason. I feel like it sells kids short...