May 3

Helping Unruly Kids By Making Them Feel Safe in the Classroom

May 3rd, 2018 by Austin Butler

In a perfect world, every student would have two loving parents, a comfortable home in a safe neighborhood, and all their basic needs met. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. While we may not like to think about it, many of our students encounter trauma of some sort. Trauma may stem from poverty, violence, neglect, loss, or an...

Apr 24

Boston Schools Experiment with Play

April 24th, 2018 by Austin Butler

There’s a saying that has spread through the education sector in the past several years that “kindergarten is the new first grade”. With the adoption of more rigorous standards and the increasing emphasis on standardized tests, schools are eager to get students reading and writing from the first day they walk in the door. There’s one school district, though, that’s...

Apr 17

4 Different Approaches to Project Based Learning

April 17th, 2018 by Austin Butler

There’s no doubt that “project-based learning” is something of a buzzword in education right now. Teachers of all subjects and grades are finding ways to engage students in meaningful and open-ended learning tasks. But a closer look reveals that a huge spectrum of activities fit the criteria for “project-based learning”. From hour-long science experiments to semester-long research projects, inquiry-based learning...

Apr 3

4 Steps to Your Dream Self-Running Classroom

April 3rd, 2018 by Austin Butler

Envision your perfect classroom filled with students. What would it look like as students learned new material? What would it sound like as they developed new skills? While obviously, the answers to these questions will vary from teacher to teacher and subject to subject, there are often commonalities that most teachers can agree on. We want students to be genuinely...

Mar 27

How to Get Students to Put Effort in to Their Own Learning

March 27th, 2018 by Austin Butler

Imagine trying to build muscles by going to the gym every day. But instead of lifting weights, you merely watch your personal trainer lift. Needless to say, this wouldn’t get you very far in your quest for strength. We often equate the brain to other muscles in our bodies in that the more use it gets, the stronger it will...

Mar 20

How to Get Parents On Board with Promoting Reading at Home

March 20th, 2018 by Austin Butler

There seem to be no certain answers when it comes to parenting. For every sure-fire approach to raising healthy and happy children, there is an alternative or even opposite theory with just as much evidence. So what if we said there is one thing parents can do that is scientifically proven to help children be more academically successful, have fewer...

Mar 14

This Young Entrepreneur is Revolutionizing Mental Health Education in the US

March 14th, 2018 by Austin Butler

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a very impressive entrepreneur who has created an educational character that is now being viewed across the nation on Florida PBS and the Children’s Television Network which is the in-house station at children’s hospitals. The most amazing part is that the creator of this project is only 13 years old! Adam initially created...

Mar 13

What to do When a Student Gets an Answer Wrong

March 13th, 2018 by Austin Butler

How many decisions do you think you make every day while teaching? While researchers have found a range of answers to this question, many agree that teachers make around 1,500 educational decisions during an average school day. Assuming about 6 hours of instructional time, that averages out to 4 decisions per minute! While some of these decisions can be planned,...