The Value of Gamification 74/180

9200000038412465Who doesn’t love to play games? We often have family game night in my house.  Some of our favorites are Quirkle, Gamewright games (Sleeping Queens, Gubs, etc.), Monopoly variations, and even Toss Your Cookies (it is not what it sounds like!).  We sometimes talk about ways to improve the game or even create variations of the rules.

What skills do we learn/practice from playing games?  What skills do you use when you redesign a game? Are these skills valuable in our classrooms?

Have you seen the Brainpop games? Learn more about gamification at this TLTalk Radio Podcast with Matt Farber, author of Gamify Your Classroom.


Why should students develop digital portfolios? 73/180

thThis post was contributed by Allison Gerhart and Angela Mosley, Salisbury Middle School teachers.

A digital portfolio will allow students to keep their work samples in one place and share it with their teachers and peers. Portfolios can be used in three ways: to show growth, showcase student work, or for evaluation.  Students can use questioning techniques to identify work to include in their portfolios, self-reflect, and identify goals for improvement.

How could Salisbury students and teachers benefit from the development of digital portfolios?

Learn more about portfolios at the link below.
Mueller, J. (2014).  Authentic Assessment Toolbox.  Retrieved from

How do we create a culture of inquiry? 72/180

questionWhy is it important for students to be able to ask questions? What are the different types of questions students should be asking? How do we teach students how to question? How do we develop teaching and learning activities in which students practice the art of questioning?

Learn more about questioning by listening to either of these podcasts with Warren Berger, author of A More Beautiful Question.


TLTalkRadio with Randy Ziegenfuss and Lynn Fuini-Hetten

LeaderLab with David Burkus

“What’s Good?” 70/180

51xIAgNQ-eL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_We know our world is changing quickly!  Social media, technology access, smart phones, ipads, etc…  How will our schools need to evolve as a result of all these changes? In Building School 2.0 (written by Chris Lehmann and Zac Chase), the authors share 95  “theses”  or topics for teachers and leaders to reflect on and discuss as they try to refine/create the schools we need.

One phrase that I connected with is: “What’s Good? Is Better Than What’s New?”  What are we doing well? How are we effectively engaging students in our classrooms?  How can technology transform or amplify our practices?  What resources do we have that we have not had in the past?  In this theses, the authors ask us to think about how we can marry best practices of the past to the world we live in today.  How can we do this as we vision for the future? How do we include student, teacher, and leader voice in this conversation?

What role does personalized learning play in our schools? 69/180

63683_9781483352978What do we mean by “personalized learning?” How do we infuse personalized learning into our schools? Why is this important? What are the barriers to personalized learning? How might we support teachers in navigating the challenges and barriers to personalized learning?

Learn more about personalized learning by listening to Barbara Brey, author of Make Learning Personal, in TLTalkRadio Season 2: Episode 5.