Mars Science Laboratory: Curiosity Rover

Because my neighbor is a dairy farmer, I’m familiar with methane and other organic compounds, so a recent article in the NY Times about the mission of the Mars Science Laboratory’s (MSL) rover named Curiosity that began with the sentence …

Student Gifts Come From the Heart

What’s so special about two green candles? If you are Alabama teacher Kristy Terry Black, the answer is simple – everything.

It was more than a decade ago that a student with extremely limited financial means cleaned out two used …

Idle Minds — Word Games and Puzzles as “Brain Training”

My 7th grade math teacher used to say that idle minds are the devil’s playground. She must have repeated it often because I remember it. She was an old fashioned teacher from New England who amused us with arcane vocabulary: …

A Holiday Writing Project

Late Christmas Eve in Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory,” Buddy’s older cousin tells him that she can’t sleep: “My mind’s jumping like a jack rabbit.” My mind jumped for weeks before Christmas when I was a kid. I knew I’d …

Archaeology: Online and Hands-On

A colleague and I used to simulate archaeological digs in our social studies classes. Students created artifacts, wrote descriptions of their significance or use, and then buried them in designated areas on the school grounds. We taught in a rural …

What We Gain from Reading Fiction — Lesson Plan Ideas

When I began reading fiction, I read for adventure. Adventure fiction let me experience things virtually that I couldn’t in actuality. I progressed from Franklin W. Dickson to Ian Fleming to Hemingway. Non-fiction narratives provided a similar experience. There’s plenty …

When Nature Gives You Leaves, Make Compost

Autumn has always been my favorite season. Here in Central New York, the leaves turn and for a short while the hills glow. Harvest and food is another part of my liking. I’ve discovered that a pie or cake can …

How to Teach Students About Sunprints and Pinhole Photography

I had three friends in high school who were photographers. At least one became a professional. All three built darkrooms in basement corners and developed and printed their own 35mm B&W film. I spent many hours in the dark agitating …

Halloween Ghost Story Resources for Teachers

Years ago, a good friend gave me a copy of Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories by M. R. James. I’d read “The Mezzotint” before, but the remaining stories were all new to me. It was a happy meeting. …

Why I Became an Elementary School Teacher

Each Monday, my ninth grade English teacher assigned twenty-five vocabulary words. On Friday, we had a test. In between, we defined the words, used them in a demonstrative sentence, and learned how to spell them.

My mother thought I spent …

Review & Giveaway: Trying Not to Try by Edward Slingerland

There are moments when I am on stage, performing original music where I feel I am in "the zone." You will never convince me that I am anything more than a mediocre guitarist, singer and songwriter, but there are moments…

I Want to Teach Forever

Join Global Education & Skills #GESF Live Stream as Education Leaders Around the World Talk about Using Technology and Creativity to Reach Every Child

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve seen my posts with pics of gold plated bathrooms that juxtapose against the harsh reality of an Afgani woman who went to school on threat of death from the Taliban. “Education …

Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Arne Duncan, Instructional ‘Shifts,’ and the Bad Old Days

If instruction--teachers' core responsibility--is going to shift, it will happen because teachers decide to re-think their mission and the parameters of their work, not because lawmakers adopt the Common Core or devise teacher evaluation systems largely based on standardized testing,…

Teacher in a Strange Land

Spring Break 2014 Reader on Coding in Education

With 11K Pre-Orders, Play-i Lands $8M To Teach Kids To Code With Interactive Toy Robots… [TechCrunch] - Coming soon! This is an exciting development. I heard a recent TED talk adapted for NPR about how robots change the way we

I Want to Teach Forever

11 Reasons eBooks Can Improve Your Life

If you peek in the pocketbooks and briefcases of many people, you may just see their personal library of Alexandria. Did you know that you can download the complete works of Mark Twain in less than 2 minutes after paying…

Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Download my free, new e-book: Passion Matters!

  Having authored seven books printed in the traditional way, I’ve decided it’s time for me to explore the brave new world of e-publishing. I have created a lot of evergreen content over the course of my career and am …

Angela Maiers, Speaker, Educator, Writer

Persevere for Learning Power!

image credit: watipon via freedigitalphotos.net Years ago there was a man who was a writer.  He worked hard to make ends meet, he didn’t have much, and he lived in his car.  But this man believed in the stories he …

Angela Maiers, Speaker, Educator, Writer

Who Should Evaluate Teachers?

When kids and parents and community members comment on a particularly gifted teacher, it's the ability to light a fire around learning, through passion and compassion, that they're identifying. In fact, when even the most punitive and pro-privatization legislator rhapsodizes…

Teacher in a Strange Land

The 3 Things We Can Do To Reach Every Child

As long as we talk about reaching every child – it is someone else’s problem. Instead what we should each be asking ourselves is how to reach that child right in front of us. Then we reach the child sitting …

Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Save the Rhino: Join Karen Stadler and The Traveling Rhino Project

Karen Stadler @ICT_Integrator , from South Africa, is an educator on a mission to save the rhino. The Traveling Rhino Project creates awareness one child at a time. She was in a local reserve in South Africa when she …

Cool Cat Teacher Blog