Posted in education

Building School 2.0

I recently read the book, Building School 2.0.  The book is written with 95 essays on changes that should be made in education to help us meet the needs of every child.

I love the essays – they get you fired up and start you thinking.   How could this look in my school?  In my district? In my classroom?

What if a campus looked at their problem of practice, and asked teachers to pick and read just one of the many essays.  After teachers choose the essay that hits home with them, they make goals on how to improve their classroom.  Just a few baby steps here and there, nothing huge or grand, but progress.

Imagine if every campus did this – a few baby steps at a time, how a school would improve for each child.  How learning would improve across the board for all children.

Here is my Goodreads review of Building School 2.0


Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We NeedBuilding School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need by Chris Lehmann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a good book with multiple essay-style chapters that bring to light some of the changes that need to happen in education. These essays do highlight the changes that need to happen to assure that we educate all children, and not just a few.

This book really fired me up to share with others, I can see this being a great read as a faculty. I’ll write more about that on my blog – but this is a great book to start discussions amongst educators.

View all my reviews

Posted in education

Thinking About Innovation



I spent much of the past weekend in the car reading.  As a little girl, I found long car rides to be some of my best reading time.  Lots of quiet, the humming of the tires on the road and the dream of the adventure ahead of me always lent itself to quiet reading and reflection.  Our trip from Galveston to South Louisiana was the perfect road trip to reread some of my favorite passages.

Unlike those trips from my childhood where I’d bring a large bag filled with heavy books, I carried my laptop.  Once Ebook readers like The Kindle became available, I quickly moved all of my professional reading from books, to EBooks.  I can read a variety of texts at one time, and now my favorite books snaps can easily be displayed both in the book and on my Twitter feed.  I sometimes wish I could meet the very first person who thought of putting books online for readers.  What an amazingly innovative idea.  Making books available to the world at the tip of our fingers.  Great idea.  The lower cost of books, the ease of purchase and the ability to borrow books from a virtual library have opened up a lot of possibilities for this reader.

My travels this week had me reflecting on innovation.  After all, this blog is about how I inspire teachers to be innovators so it is something I think about and something I help teachers foster in their classrooms.

What is innovation what it could be and how to make it happen?  I reread part of some of my favorite books on innovation in our educational system, reread some of the notes I have on innovation from schools I’ve been able to spend time in.  I’ve watched countless TED talks.  My pre-Turkey feast weekend has been focused on how to move from saying we need to innovate and help assure it happens.

In The Book Creating Innovators, by Tony Wagner, he quotes a study how by the time our students are six that the school system has already squashed some of the curiosity out of our children.   I had to booksnap that quote.  While I’ve read it before, this time it really hit me.

How can an institution brought about to help our children prepare for their futures move past the limitations of the walls of a classroom and help foster that curiosity and innovation in our children?

That question is worth a great deal more reading and reflecting!  There will be more blog posts to come on this topic.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Posted in education, innovation

Mobile Classrooms

bookmobilAs a kid, I loved when the bookmobile came to our neighborhood.  Living far away from a library, summer became a lonely place without a school library.  That weekly bus filled with wonder would show up at a local park and I’d run to get my weekly fix of The Happy Hollisters.  Our bookmobile wasn’t fancy, just a white bus with a bunch of books on shelves.

The learning came to me.  I sat on the ground outside the busy and the bus driver/librarian read us a book, then we hopped on board.  That mobile classroom was one of the reasons I cherished reading.

As I learn more and more about the science of learning, I have wondered a great deal about mobile classrooms.  Exciting busses filled with wonder.  The school bus would not take students to the school, it could be the school.  For students who don’t have access to the same experiences of some of their counterparts, this could be an equalizer.

Looking at this article, there are many of these mobile classrooms.  These classmobile learning labrooms could reach students where they are.  Enhancing their education by offering weekend MakerSpaces at a local park, STEM labs parked on a street.  Meeting students where they are and offering highly engaging activities is a great way to help us assure equity in education.

Have you seen Mobile Classrooms?  If so do tell me about it!


Posted in education, makerspace

#MakerSpace Playground


According to the article Why MakerSpaces are the key to innovation,  “This focus on hands-on creative learning is one of the reasons why maker spaces are seen by educators as being a key to innovation and an ideal method for equipping students to succeed in the future.”

Today our librarian Tania, the author of Tenacious Tiny Librarian, my fellow coaches and I set up a MakerSpace playground.  We’re super excited to help teachers see how MakeSpace can be a way to help enhance instruction build problem-solving skills in students.

Here is Tania promoting our MakerSpace Playground on Twitter.

Here we are showing our Texas History teachers how to help students demonstrate their learning using Bloxel.

Makerspace is such a great movement in education.  Students are excited to learn, they work hard to complete a task and they enjoy the hands-on experiences.  Each experience helps to build students’ problem-solving skills, makes them gritty and enhances their learning.

MakerSpace is quickly becoming one of my favorite places!  Let’s start making!



Posted in education, Learning standards

Saturday Study and Standards

sbg2I’m taking part in the #IMMOOC Challenge.  My challenge to myself during this process is to make my learning more visible and to be a little more vulnerable by just posting and not rewriting all of my blogs.

Every Saturday since I can remember, I’ve gotten up and read or studied something.  Today, my #SaturdayStudy has been on standards-based grading. (SBG)

I like the theory behind SBG.  Instead of an arbitrary number, the stuspg1dent is told their mastery of a standard.  That to me seems more valuable to me as a teacher and as a parent, but more so as a student. I’ve grown particularly fond of the “riding a bicycle chart” to describe the mastery of a standard.

I’ve read this article from ASCD on the subject, and it has given me an overview of the subject of SBG.  In my current school district, we’re using SBG in elementary schools, with the plan to move it into intermediate schools in a couple of years.

I’m particularly fond of the self-reflection piece of SBG.  As educators, we talk so much about learning, we need to make sure we’re helping our students learn more about it as well.

Learning is a process that isn’t stagnant; it doesn’t end when one receives a spgdiploma.  One of the effects I can see of SBG is that students will learn to master the standard, not just look for a grade on a report card.

My question for my PLN – do you have suggestions on what I should read about SBG?  What are your thoughts on SBG?  Please leave me a comment and let me know.