#HamstraHighlights

Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

#HamstraHighlights
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Category: 4-Teachers Facilitate Learning for Their Students

Collegiality > Congeniality

Hey, Friends! I’ve had the absolute pleasure of learning more about professional learning communities (PLC) from a variety of sources over the years. I think the direct correlation between a “highly-functioning team” of educators and student learning outcomes has been thoroughly researched and well-documented. Yet, a professional learning session in Read more…


How Do You Archive?

Hello, Friends! With all the things that happen, it’s easy to forget a few precious moments. If you’re an educator who “makes a thousand decisions a day,” then there’s a pretty good chance that you forgot what you wore yesterday. Wait–What day was yesterday again? In addition, it’s easy to Read more…


Podcasts for Professional Learning

Hello, Friends! There’s nothing better than a great conversation with educators! For me, nearly every walk, run, workout, or commute is another opportunity to hear a great podcast. Almost like a cup of coffee together, nothing beats feeling inspired, provoked, or so moved by a few educator stories, passions, and Read more…


Same Tool, Different Function: Part I

There’s a lot out there. Especially for teachers doing all the things, trying to stay abreast of current research, tools, and pedagogy–it’s a lot. There’s no shortage of new technologies, popup vendors, and gadgets and gizmos galore. While it sounds like a booming business of all the best stuff, it Read more…


Article Review–Part I: Ed tech’s failure during the pandemic, and what comes after

Blogger’s Note: Friends! This Phi Delta Kappan Journal article: “Ed tech’s failure during the pandemic, and what comes after” by Justin Reich really pushed my thinking. I’m choosing a few excerpts upon which to expound. Will you join me? This is part I. I’d love your thoughts, comments, and feedback. Read more…


Judging the Science Fair

Recently, I was invited to be a science fair judge. I could barely say thank you before asking about the very important details, you know… like criteria for judging, rubrics, and awards. Other than that, I was all set for a while. After all, that’s what a science fair is; Read more…


Scrambling New Year’s Resolutions

The last few days of the calendar year can be an interesting time. For me, it’s a soul-searching space where the past 365 days and the next year intersect. There’s a wide range of feelings and emotions that circle these critical crossroads. All the reminiscing, reflecting, and regretting might anchor Read more…


The #Hashtag180 App

With the educational infrastructure being pulled and stretched this year, educators, parents, families, and communities invested great efforts to rise to the challenge. No longer was it seemingly guaranteed which associate of the school community would be ensuring that learning efforts progressed toward learning expectations. What are we doing? What Read more…


Trustworthy Leadership

Here’s one more takeaway from the historical 2020 presidential election: One candidate touted his record of success, yet his character came into question after repeatedly spewing divisive, mean-spirited rhetoric. One candidate touted his unifying, empathetic character, yet his policy record, platform rollout, and resulting success remain to be seen. In Read more…


Are We Grading for Learning?

Conversations about pandemic grading practices continue to flood social media. While there’s always a conflict, a disagreement, or a debate to tweet about, there’s still space for productive struggle and civil discourse. It’s been fascinating to watch conversations about grading, lately. Then, it also feels like there’s a serious tug-of-war Read more…


Approachable and Coachable

Coaching can be powerful. Done well, the experience can multiply leaders and transform lives. I’m fortunate to have friends who actually have the word “Coach” in their titles. I’m always learning a lot from them. In addition, part of me thinks that there are elements of coaching interwoven through all Read more…


Is It Time to Move Beyond Percentage-Based Grading?

To say that this pandemic has changed life forever would be an understatement. But I’m wondering how much the world of education will be changing, too? Like the world, I believe that learning is always changing. Eventually, schooling catches up. Right? Throughout the pandemic, educators have been working harder than Read more…


How Do You Measure Student Learning?

Throughout my administrative internship, I had the honor of experiencing interviews from both sides of the table. In general, an interview can be dynamic, featuring deep insight into the applicant’s thought patterns, belief systems, and presentation skills. There’s potential to communicate so much more beyond the basic Q&A routine. From Read more…


Dear Netflix

Dear Netflix, Greetings to you from an inquisitive educator. With COVID-19 circulating the globe, the world will never be the same. I’m wondering if now is the time to embrace change. I’m wondering if now is the time we move forward into a new frontier. I’m wondering if now is Read more…


Upon Reflection: The Best PD

The very last thing anyone wants in the year of all-things-2020, and when trying to reopen schools amidst a global pandemic, is to add… One. More. Thing. So let’s not. Let’s not invest in expensive PD. Let’s not invest in all of the shiny new objects. Let’s not invest in Read more…


Standards-Based Grading Changes Feedback

In a recent twitter chat, I was asked: “Some districts have transitioned to standards-based grading. What are some pros/cons of this shift?” There’s no way I could possibly answer that in 280 characters, right? Grading, feedback, measuring student learning… So many thoughts came to mind. The question took me back Read more…


Book Review: White Fragility–Part III

Blogger’s Note: This is Part III in a series of personal reflections on the book: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. While it’s imperative to reread, revisit, and reference the entire book, frequently, I’m citing just a few selections that are especially impacting my Read more…