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Leadership · Curriculum · STEM

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

A Legacy That Matters: Part I

My first teacher work day back to school this year was moving, to say the least. To kick off our staff meeting first thing in the morning, we watched the famous Rita Pierson TED Talk, entitled: Every Kid Needs A Champion. To date, it’s had 8,690,429 views since its original Read more…


Flies and Honey, Beets and Beans

You catch more flies with honey. Truer words were never spoken. I’m recalling two childhood experiences that have helped me realize this more than ever. I believe that they can apply to everyone’s daily conversations, and go a long way to sustain relationships. Now that I’m a parent, I proudly Read more…


Playback, Reflect, Grow

For any administrator, educator, or leader, here’s a question to consider: When was the last time you watched yourself on video? For many of us, it was during our student-teaching, or perhaps while we were trudging through those beginning teacher years with the extra-stringent lesson requirements. I just completed a Read more…


Biggest Challenge in Education?

You can just feel it. Whether inferred from blogs, books, presentations, conferences, podcasts, TED Talks, social media, or even face-to-face conversations, the vibe is definitely there. It’s strong. And it’s getting louder by the moment. When Brad Shreffler, founder of The Planning Period Podcast and The Big Q in Edu, Read more…


The CrEDible Coach

What IS a coach? Playing a lot of sports while growing up in the Midwest was an unforgettable experience. I learned some hard life lessons as a youngster, and now those growing-up moments are still so valuable to me–to the extent of shaping my present, adult decision-making. Behind every challenge Read more…


About That Conference

Really? Are you still unpacking and processing your latest professional learning experience? Good. You should be. Here’s why… For any professional learning experience, including local, state, national, and international conferences; unconferences like edcamps, techcamps, or smackdowns; weekly twitter chats; or even what some still call professional development just down the Read more…


The #Hashtag180 App!

DATE: July 1, 2025 Today: Is THE DAY! Twenty Years: From 2005 to 2025, one educator’s passion project was now focused into one FREE app. The world–and the world of education–are forever changed! Gratitude: First of all, I’d like to thank #Hashtag180 app builder ________________________, for believing in me and my Read more…


DOING Professional Learning: Part 3

It was my third ISTE, and it was also my third time presenting at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference. But this time was different… Owning the Experience I can’t tell you how excited I was to share one of my biggest passion projects ever! I started #hashtag180 Read more…


#GridCulum

We’ve had the tools, technology, and the power… And now? We also have the space and strategy to share! Welcome to #GridCulum! This is where Flipgrid breaks down barriers, educators share ideas, and together, we make learning and teaching better for all. Why #GridCulum? Educators are each other’s best resources. Read more…


Flipgrid Your Sub Plans

Missing a day can be unnerving. A great substitute teacher is priceless. But great subs need great plans. And great plans take time to craft. It’s hard for an educator to miss a day of school. Besides really missing the kids, and then hoping to find an available, certified sub, preparing for Read more…


Hesitant to #ARVRinEDU

For years I’ve shied away from it. Today, I’m breaking my silence. Ignorance was–and sometimes still is–bliss. What is augmented reality? What is virtual reality? What is the difference? The world of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can really light up your eyes. Literally. With a pair of goggles, Read more…


Some Assembly Required

Look what came in the mail today! Now, how do you put it together? Be honest. When was the last time you actually read the neatly-folded, paper instructions to assemble something? In Google IT, I couldn’t recall the last time I had held a paper map. But I do remember Read more…


Google IT

It happened during Morning Meeting. I can’t believe I did this. Second graders were to greet each other in Arabic. We were having a hard time hearing and mimicking an Egyptian-born student’s pronunciation, so I googled it, and played it aloud for the class. Upon hearing my phone, the student Read more…


Makerspace: Standards AND Fun

How do we facilitate experiences that are meaning, memorable, relevant, fun, and student-centered, while still learning standards? I think this is one of the true challenges in education today. Words have a way of informing. They can also evolve, evoke, and overwhelm. Words wormhole their way throughout the world of Read more…


4 Reasons to Morning Meeting

Let’s talk! Getting to know each other can help us learn together. This year, our staff has conducted Morning Meetings every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. For the first fifteen minutes of the day, students circle up, engaging in teacher-prompted greetings and shares. The Greeting Greetings may involve practicing a firm Read more…


STEM: Standards AND Fluff

Learning can be standards-based OR fun. But not both. Unfortunately, that’s the perception held by many facilitating learning experiences in the world of education today. I was reminded of this classic paradox when conversing with fellow educators in a STEM session at #edcamporangeNC on Saturday, April 14th, 2018. Educator ONE: Read more…


#Hashtag180 Central

Welcome to #Hashtag180 Central! Find #Hashtag180 Resources Here! Check back often–We’re always learning and growing! #Hashtag180’s History: In August, 2013, I joined twitter just to have a digital space to store hashtagged resources to make my teaching better. Today, this Dewey Hashtag System is a growing movement in education. #Hashtag180’s Read more…


Doing Professional Learning: Part 2

What’s your favorite way to learn? My learning experiences have to be meaningful, memorable, and somewhat personalized, while helping me become better for kids. At conferences and unconferences alike, I look for ways to become better in addressing the Whole Child at 30,000 feet, before landing on one specific path at Read more…


Bad Words: Curriculum

Does curriculum still have a place in today’s student learning experiences? What’s striking at the heart of education? What’s craftED in the mine-d of lifelong learners and educators alike? The building blocks of learning begin with people, building relationships, and wide-open wonderment. So, then, where does curriculum fit in? As Read more…


10 Myths About Relationships

Relationships are the foundation to learning and growing together. Therefore, it’s important to clarify… 10 Myths About Relationships: 1–Relationships are easy.  The USA divorce rate still hovers near 50% (which is waaay down from 62% very recently, mostly because people are living together and not getting married as much). And Read more…


Do Relationships Equal Learning?

Do Relationships Equal Learning? If you’re a young educator or new to twitter, you may be led to believe that relationships with students and colleagues are easily forged and directly translate into meaningful learning experiences and higher test scores. To the average onlooker or twitter chat participant, it may appear Read more…


Love for Miles

As a parent, I know how much I love my own child. But what about someone elses’s child? In my last blog Love for Myals, I shared my journey in realizing just how much parents can love their child. It’s a love like no other. It’s a sacrificial, life-giving, unconditional Read more…