I am the coauthor of Hacking Project Based Learning, and the Supervisor of Instructional Practice K-12 in the Salisbury Township School District (1:1 MacBook/iPad) in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I am an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google Certified Innovator.
This is my personal blog. It is primarily focused on my passions: inquiry-based learning and quality professional development.
I typically post 1-2 times a week. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe via email.
My Top Posts
If you are new to my site, you might want to start with my most popular posts. Here are my top ten more current pieces, from newest to oldest:
- 5 Ways to Avoid Project Based Learning Fluff #HackingPBL
- Reimagining Learning Spaces with Design Thinking #HackingPBL
- 2 Huge Reasons to Emphasize Consistent Reading Comprehension Strategies
- Digital Portfolios and Blogs: Use Authentic Technology, Not Technology Made for School
- 3 Reasons to Rethink Your Basal Reader
- 5 Soft Skills That Will Upgrade Your Presentations
- 5 Reasons to Throw Out Mandatory Lesson Plans
- Why I Refused to Flip My Classroom
- The Problem with “Formative Assessment Tools” (part 1 of 2)
- 5 Non-Negotiables of Professional Development
Here are ten specific instructional leadership opportunities I have had as a Supervisor of Instructional Practice:
- I am working with a team to implement Writing Workshop across the elementary level. Professional development took place throughout 2015-2016, and full-scale implementation began at the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
- I am working with a team to implement the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System across the elementary level. The data this tool provides will result in professional development involving differentiated reading comprehension instruction.
- At the elementary level, I have facilitated close reading book studies: Reading with Meaning (primary) and Notice & Note (intermediate). In the future, we will be looking to implement close reading on a wider scale.
- At the elementary level, I am working with a team to research and implement research-based literacy interventions as part of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS-RtII) process.
- At the middle level, I am working with a cohort to review our assessment and grading practices. This review involves a professional learning community (PLC), a Fair Isn't Always Equal book study, and three opportunities to learn from Tom Guskey and Lee Ann Jung.
- At the middle level, I am working with a close reading cohort of teachers. In the future, we will be looking to implement close reading on a wider scale.
- Across all levels, I am working with a team to implement a guaranteed and viable K-12 digital citizenship curriculum.
- Across all levels, I am working with a group of teachers to investigate the benefits of digital portfolios and how they could potentially be implemented on a wider scale.
- I have been researching the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and within the next few years we are looking to implement these standards and practices.
- I have facilitated professional development that has included such topics as: project based learning, student publishing, leveraging social media to communicate with stakeholders, Total Participation Techniques, and Google for Education.
Previously, for one year, I was an Elementary Assistant Principal in the Williamsport Area School District. In this role I worked with two teachers to establish a school-wide makerspace program, served on the district's Report Card Committee while supporting the transition to standards-based grading, and facilitated professional development involving such topics as inquiry-based mathematics and Total Participation Techniques.
Before Williamsport, I taught for six years in the East Penn School District as a fourth grade teacher. Here is some of what was accomplished during this time:
- My teaching regularly involved meaningful technology integration, including MacBooks, iPads, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and LEGO Mindstorms.
- In a district of ten schools, my students were the first to (1) be provided iPads, and (2) implement BYOD. In both areas, I used our experiences as the basis for professional development for other teachers.
- I served on the district's Math Curriculum Committee, Science Curriculum Committee, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Committee, and Assessment Revision Committee.
- Over the span of two years, I led the planning and creation process for the Common Core Mathematics professional development across the elementary level.
- I consistently led professional development related to technology integration, inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, and higher-order thinking.
- I introduced The Daily 5 (a book/structure for balanced literacy) to educators in the district and supported its implementation across the elementary level.
- I collaborated with my building principal and Instructional Support Teacher (IST) to adapt the Edcamp model for our building-based professional development.
- In the district, I was at the forefront of being “connected” and leveraging social media (especially Twitter) for educational purposes. I took the initiative in working with others to get them connected.
- I served as the Fourth Grade Team Leader for all of the district's fourth grade teachers from 2013-2014. I was my school's Head Teacher from 2010-2011.
- In the summer of 2011 I became an Apple Distinguished Educator, and in the spring of 2012 I became a Google Certified Innovator. More information pertaining to my awards and recognition can be found here.
When I am not working, I enjoy eating steak and pizza, exercising, reading books, playing on my computer, and provoking my three beautiful nephews.