Do you get Kahoot? (267:365)

kahoot 1I was in a 4th grade math class today when I got Kahooted! The students had been anticipating it all class. A few times during the lesson the teacher asked them if they wanted to play… YES was the reply each time. All they had to do was get their work completed so they could apply their learning with this awesome tool. I was excited to see what all the buzz was about….


What is Kahoot?

According to their website, Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system. Our kids were using their iPads, desktops and laptops to participate. With a little design work from the teacher (she created the questions and answers that were linked to the lesson), and some focus on the purpose of the tool, it really didn’t take much to energize an entire class (myself included).

kahoot 3

The students had been working on rounding during the lesson. The 6 questions that the teacher posed during the Kahoot simply allowed the kids to apply their learning in a fun, game-based approach. Even better, the teacher could take the information garnered from the activity (think formative assessment) and determine how well the students understood the material.

So why don’t you try it out and get Kahoot?

Why do teachers go above and beyond? (266:365)



I have mentioned (certainly not enough but as often as I can) how blessed I am to be working in a school (and district) where teachers consistently go above and beyond for their students. As a principal, I am in and out of at least 10 classrooms a day, not to mention the times I am at recess, arrival/dismissal, etc. Basically, I see teachers in action all the time!


One thing that I am so impressed with in terms of the teachers in my building is their willingness to go above and beyond. I am never at a loss of words to describe the climate and culture, or learning environment of my school because of the teachers.


Yet, no matter the situation, our teachers go above and beyond to ensure our school (and district) improves. Each day. One connection at a time. Our teachers go above and beyond. Know why? Because they are teachers! They actually have superpowers!

Reflections on #NJPAECET2 (264:365)

resizeThis weekend about 150 educators from New Jersey and Pennsylvania and as far away as Iowa, Illinois, and Florida descended into New Jersey for the #NJPAECET2 Conference. This event was organized by Barry Saide who developed a team of committed educators to organize the conference.


As the Breakfast Keynote on Saturday, I was hoping to celebrate the efforts of those assembled in the room. Let’s face it, as George Couros has said, “The room is smarter.” I used the metaphor of the blank screen for not only education but the conference. I didn’t want people to be hampered by what they already knew. I tried to model that by attending as many sessions as possible.


Throughout the sessions, it was clear that presenters at #NJPAECET2 were dedicated to providing high quality information to participants.  I learned about online formative assessments, Social Media responsibility, and Google Forms for educators to name a few. No matter what session I attended, I learned something new, and as a result will be a better leader.


Perhaps the most important aspect of the conference was meeting so many awesome, and dedicated educators. Everyone seemed charged up, and committed to improving. It showed everywhere. People were smiling, connecting, laughing, and having a great time. It was such a positive vibe!


The only thing that I am left wanting to know is…. when is the next #NJPAECET2?

Violence in Video Games (263:365)

I have mentioned on this blog countless times how appreciative I am of Justin Tarte, an awesome educator from Missouri. He recently shared an image that struck a chord with me. Here is the image he tweeted:




Although I am sure this can be debated, what video game were they playing prior to the early 1990’s?

It’s the message (262:365)



We are constantly adapting and adjusting to the changing nature of our world. We all know that 90% of the world’s information has been created in past two years. As a society, we are making a bee-line for the future. With that said, we need to maintain the message of what is important. What is your message?


Learning in schools is based on relationships within the community. It is the community (teachers, students, parents, administrators, and residents) that allows us to focus on the true nature of why we are here.


Technology is simply the tool, but the message is learning

The sky you always wanted to fall (261:365)



Remember when you were a child, and you heard the story about the sky falling in Chicken Little. Henny Penny was always telling people the sky was falling, and eventually no one wanted to believe him.

What if we took it a step farther…. Think about this… What is the sky you always wanted to fall?


Do we want bad things to happen? Do we want to be the first person who predicts the next catastrophe?


What are your thoughts?

There are a hundred and 5 days left (260:365)



Want to make the most out of 2014? Want to give it all you can? Think about this… there are still 105 days left in the year. One hundred and five days. You can do anything you set your mind to… and with the help of some friends and loved ones, you can achieve it all!!!!!


So, what are you going to do to finish 2014 strong?

Why are you working so hard? (259:365)



A reporter asked Joe Dimaggio, who at the time was a guaranteed Hall of Fame Baseball Player, why he was playing so hard? Joe’s response was, “Because there might have been someone in the stands that night who never seen me play before, or who may never see me again.”


So the next time someone asks you why are you working so hard, why you are going above and beyond… You can simply reply, because there may be a student, community member, or a parent who has never met before, and may never see me again.


I want them to remember me as a hard working member of the community…


Think about the legacy you leave. What will people say about you?

You are your child’s first teacher (258:365)



As I prepare for tomorrow’s Back to School Night, I have been looking at different ways to approach the “Principal’s Message.” I know that parents really don’t want to hear from the Principal as much as they do the teacher. I have approached the Back to School messages several different ways in the past 3 years. Some messages were off the cuff, and others planned out. I have tried data, and I have tried inspirational…. Tomorrow, I want to talk to the parents as the first teachers. As a partners in this thing we call education.


Kids want to be like their parents. The emulate what you say and do. No matter if you are a team (two parents), solo, an extended family or even if raising them for someone else …. you are their first teacher. In fact, they spend more time with you then they do us. This is why we need to work together. We need to be on the same page. We need to support you! As we prepare for another amazing year, we will always seek to build a bridge to help the children reach their goals.


These are just some thoughts… What do you think?