Entries by Emily Kirsch

A Reflection on Project Based Learning

Moving Away from Traditional Assessment I spent the last three years teaching in Fairfax County, Virginia, where we participated in an initiative to promote authentic learning through a project based model of instruction. The goal was for students to solve a big problem by making connections between five different projects. They would collect artifacts throughout the projects and compile them […]

To Story is Human

  I would like to tell you a story. It is about my son when he was in fourth grade.   Zach’s Story By the time Zach reached fourth grade he said he hated school. This wasn’t entirely true. All evidence suggested he loved gym, recess, lunch in the cafeteria, and the bus ride to […]

EdTech: Teacher Tested, Student Approved

An Enthusiastic Introduction “This is going to be so cool! Just wait.” *Crickets* “Well, what do you think?! Isn’t this neat?!” The students remain silent, looking nervously to see the reaction of their peers. Finally, they breathe a sigh of relief as one speaks up to voice what everyone else is thinking. “Is this it?” […]


An Attitude of Gratitude

We taught my nephew to say “thank you” at a very young age. It was a family effort, and when he would forget he was prompted with raised eyebrows and a “What do you say?” He is now 7, but the lessons have continued for his younger brother, with the occasional exaggerated, “Could you please […]

5 Ways to Actively Engage Students in Learning

  Robyn slipped her textbook between the pillow and the mattress, one hand resting on its hard cover. It wasn’t exactly comfortable and she didn’t really believe what Sarah had told her, but she wasn’t going to take the chance. She needed that B+ and if it had to happen through osmosis, then so be […]

Finding “Flow” in the Classroom

The Climb I began bouldering while in grad school. Invited by a group of experienced climbers, I immediately felt like a fish out of water but decided to go for it regardless. If you have never bouldered before, it goes something like this: You start on the ground, struggling to pull on a snug pair […]