Teachers

The ‘Maker Movement’ in Schools

Are you familiar with the so-called ‘Maker Movement‘? It’s a loose, global collection of people who solve problems — usually, as you may have guessed, by making things — and then share their process with others. There’s often a tech component, and there are definitely elements of engineering, electronics, robotics, and more. Well, there also seems to be a growing Maker subculture that involves the world of education. People that are dissatisfied with the standardization of contemporary American curricula revel in the opportunity to present students with concrete problem-solving opportunities... Read More

Building a Better Student: Standardized

A friend of mine writes terrific children’s books, with multiple bestsellers and a loyal fan base. Recently he found himself embroiled in a dispute with an editor who claimed that his latest work contained language “too advanced for the target audience.” My friend pushed back, on the grounds that he’d hosted presentations at schools for years and had a good idea of what vocabulary worked and what didn’t. Here’s another angle to consider: Two kids in the same class can be reading two to three grade levels – or more!... Read More

Building a Better Student: First Day Back

It wasn’t until I began working with students on a regular basis that I realized how the beginning of a new school year is like the proverbial fork in the road. Young people face a new class, a new teacher, perhaps a new school, even new friends. Many parents breathe a sigh of relief that summer is over and life can fall back into its routine. But while we tend to associate the start of school with the continuation of a student’s education, it’s really a whole new chapter in... Read More

Getting the Most from Classroom Technology

Guest Contributor Celine Perea is the Instructional Technology Coach at Horizon Middle School in Aurora, Colo. Q. What is the greatest example of instructional technology used for teaching and learning? There are a lot great instructional technology models out there — and even more that are not. For the purposes of this article, I’ll focus on three delivery modes recently featured in the news. I’ll attempt to make a distinction between each, but often they can blend together . . . not only with each other, but with other modes as... Read More

Building a Better Student: Sherpa

Over the past few years the pop culture industry – and believe me, it’s a massive industry – has breathlessly reported the various stumbles from the celebrity world. Recently a young starlet found herself in an endless loop of bad behavior, and – following the playbook to a T – scheduled an interview with Oprah Winfrey to tell all. (You’d think we’ve heard it all by now, but apparently there’s more that we MUST know.) Oprah made a point of saying that she wasn’t a mentor to the troubled girl.... Read More

Calling All Teachers!

Hopefully you’ve noticed that The Big Brain Club has an all-new website, packed with a wide variety of features for students, parents, and educators. Our Student Publishing Program continues to be a big hit, and we’re branching out into new areas of funding and resource development, too. Here’s where you come in: we are actively looking for original content from teachers and other education professionals. This is a great opportunity to share your ideas and experiences with The Big Brain Club community! What We’re Looking For Articles or essays (dealing... Read More

Guest Blog: Ian Fogarty (Part 2)

Ian Fogarty teaches Chemistry, Physics, and Science 12 at Riverview High School in New Brunswick, Canada. He is the two-time recipient of Minister’s Awards for Innovation in Education, the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Education, and the Canadian Association of Physicists’ High School Teacher Award. Follow him on Twitter @ifoggs. The following is the second of two guest blog entries from Mr. Fogarty regarding his time at the 2013 STEM Educator Symposium. Read Part 1 right here. * * * * The real meat of the 2013 STEM Educator... Read More

Guest Blog: Ian Fogarty (Part 1)

Ian Fogarty teaches Chemistry, Physics, and Science 12 at Riverview High School in New Brunswick, Canada. He is the two-time recipient of Minister’s Awards for Innovation in Education, the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Education, and the Canadian Association of Physicists’ High School Teacher Award. Follow him on Twitter @ifoggs. The following is the first of two guest blog entries from Mr. Fogarty. Enjoy. * * * * Preston Middle School (Fort Collins, Colo.) recently hosted their 2nd annual STEM Educator Symposium, a week-long conference to reconsider what is... Read More

Yummy Math: The Jock Tax

Math is pretty cool. Of course it sometimes takes a while to figure that out. Students tend to associate math with dry, out-of-context equations, when in reality math is the secret ingredient for nearly every cool thing in our lives, from fast cars to tall buildings to whatever new gadget Apple rolls out next. Every good teacher knows that the secret to getting students to appreciate math lies in making it real for them. Which is why we are grateful that middle school math teacher Ryan Martine turned us on... Read More

Barnes & Noble Fundraiser – June 1 – 8

We had a great time June 1st at the kickoff to our Barnes & Noble Fundraiser. Many rockets were flying! If you missed the party you still have an opportunity to get involved and help a worthy cause. Any item purchased at any Barnes & Noble store (or online at bn.com) between now and June 8 benefits the Big Brian Club! But you MUST USE THIS VOUCHER:  ?Big Brain Club Voucher? This is a great opportunity to load up on your summer reading list and help support a worthy cause... Read More