Learning Happens When You Stretch (Not When You Overextend) – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

James Clear recently shared this and I immediately started to think about my classroom. When students came into the room, they were quick to open up their device, check the do now activity, and get started with an entrance activity. Although the activities changed, it was almost always in the Zone of Automation for my students. Then there were times when I would put together a ridiculously hard/challenging test and almost every single one of my students would be…

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These 8 Books Will Teach You About Empathy – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

*Note: Closed Captioning is available on this YouTube video. Today in this short video (and podcast episode), we’re going to be talking about empathy. Yes, empathy. I’m working on a new book called “Empathy Every Day.” It is 366 short vignettes, stories, quotes, and research about listening, learning, and leading with empathy. As I’m going through this writing process, I’ve been reading a lot about empathy. Particularly, I want to share eight books that spoke to me in different…

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What Project-Based Learning Looks Like In A Middle School Classroom – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

My first full year of teaching was as an eighth-grade language arts teacher. It was my dream job at the time. I loved the energy of middle school students, and I was still taller than most of them (that changed towards the end of the school year!). My situation was even better than expected because our MS teams had two language arts teachers, and I taught three 85-minute blocks, instead of five 40-minute blocks. Although this was more “time”…

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What Project-Based Learning Looks Like In A High School Classroom – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

In the 15 years since diving headfirst into Project-Based Learning (PBL),  I’ve connected with amazing educators doing some type of project-based learning and/or inquiry-based learning (whether it be Genius Hour, 20% Time, or any other name). It’s one of the most empowering types of learning that can happen in (or out) of the classroom, and the real kicker is that we tend to follow this “inquiry-based” learning path in many other areas/aspects of our life. Yet, when I started down this path of…

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What To Do When Your Kid Becomes Passionate About Something – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

My daughter had been singing for almost two hours with no break. The song “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” from the Frozen soundtrack was on repeat, and my wife and I looked at each other. “She’s pretty good,” we both said as she added a new piece of choreography to her accompanying dance. In fact, my mind started running about how good she really was, and how great she could become. We all want the best for our…

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We Don’t Have to Change What Works (Just How It Works) – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

Blockbuster was doing everything right. They had a fantastic business. It was booming and growing each year. They would tweak something here or there. Improve customer service. Move to DVDs or Blu-ray. But the model stayed the same. Because in all honesty: the model was working. Here was the model, in the simplest terms: People want cheap entertainment People want convenient entertainment People want quick entertainment Blockbuster’s job was to give the people what they want (at scale). Netflix…

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The Most Important 21st Century Skill – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

I was recently listening to George Couros talk about Ryan Gosling in his presentation. I had seen the presentation before and loved the video he shared where a man battling cancer created these Gosling videos while in the hospital. The story struck a chord the first time I heard it, but this time it was different because of another story I heard about Ryan Gosling from author Shane Snow. Here’s what Shane shared: Ryan Gosling grew up in Canada. His dad…

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A Comprehensive Framework For Student Motivation – Education Article

A Comprehensive Gamification Framework For Human Motivation by Terry Heick When researching student motivation and gamification a few years ago, I came across the most comprehensive gamification framework I’ve ever seen. Developed by gamification expert Yu-kai Chou, it was an ambitious effort that distinguished black hat gamification (which is “bad”–think Farmville and Candy Crush) from white hat gamification (which is “good”–think Minecraft or even an ACT score). (It’s also copyrighted, but they graciously allowed us to use it.) While it is designed not…

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10 Design Thinking Activities to Get Your Group Creating – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

Reminder: This year’s Global Day of Design is on May 6, 2019. We already have over 75,000 learners signed up to participate! When John and I wrote LAUNCH, one of our main driving beliefs was around the fact that all kids are naturally creative. We started the book with this short manifesto on the need for creative classrooms: We believe . . . We believe that all kids are naturally creative and that every classroom should be filled with…

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How To Turn Any Unit into A Project-Based Learning Experience – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

I was worried the first time I tried a project-based learning unit with my students. As a young teacher, I had prided myself on running a challenging class and had focused much of my attention on getting my students prepared for what we were both going to be assessed on: the test. I was not doing test prep. I didn’t believe that giving students sample test questions would make them do any better on our state standardized scores (and still…

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Four Questions to Maximize Engagement – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

When I heard the news that Phil Schlechty had passed away it was sudden and I felt sadness. I’ve never met Phil but I’ve been deeply impacted by his work throughout the years. You see it’s one of the things I’m learning about education and writing in this whole connected place: We get to know people through their work, we get to know people through their passions, and we get to know people who we actually don’t know face-to-face. Schlechty’s…

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Understanding The Science Of Learning And Our Role In The Process – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

It is a blessing and a curse. Over the past 10-20 years, there have been numerous books, articles, and videos centered around the idea of cognitive science—or the science of how we learn. Still, many of those books and videos focused on one specific stage to the learning process and did not give a full overview of what it looked like to not know something, to know something, and then be able to use that knowledge and understanding in…

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How to Use Learning Goals to Pick the Right Technology Tools – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

Three different schools, in three different states, in a matter of two weeks. I got the same question. “How can I use Flipgrid in my class?” “Have you tried this with Flipgrid?” “Oooh, this would be perfect with Flipgrid!” It seems that Flipgrid has teachers and school leaders around the country (and world) excited to use its product for learning purposes. But, last summer I was bombarded with the same questions about Formative and Google Classroom. Before that, it…

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How To Do Project-Based Learning That Connects to Standards and Curriculum – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

There is a scene in the film, “Most Likely to Succeed”, that struck me to the core. You see, for years I wanted to be the challenging teacher. I wanted to be the one where students came into my class and left knowing and understanding much more than in any other subject. I made their tests and quizzes extremely challenging, making sure they’d have to study in order to even come close to a B or an A. And for…

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Teaching Our Kids About The Necessary Work To Have An Opinion – A.J. JULIANI – Education Article

“I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything thatI don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.”— Charlie Munger It was early on in my teaching career when it hit me: My students believed any opinion on our current text was a good opinion. They would offer up their own “thoughts”, “beliefs”, “feelings” and opinions on the short-story, and believed (wholeheartedly) that any reader response was a correct reader response. At first, I didn’t want to say…

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