Is boredom good? That Depends on When and Where It Is Experienced

I’ve been hearing a lot recently about the “benefits” of boredom. A few weeks ago, one of the teachers honored by the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies said she tells her high school students they need to feel bored.…


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The Need For Greater Understanding of Teenage Mental Health and How It Affects Learning

More and more teenagers are suffering from mental health crises today. Students at my high school are talking openly about this – trying to raise awareness by making videos, creating T-shirts, and even speaking to the…


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In 2018, Most K-12 Classrooms Are Too Traditional; Let’s Change That

This spring, American teachers reacted with outrage to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s assertion that our classrooms are too traditional. Ridiculous, they said. Stock photos, they said. If you want to see innovation,…


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Playing Econoland Raises Valuable Questions In The High School Classroom

Last week in AP Macro, my students did one of my favorite activities: Econoland. Econoland is a simple simulation that lets students act out the Circular Flow Diagram, one of the fundamental concepts in macroeconomics. (I…


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Lesson Plan: You Be The Financial Advisor

Lydia and Tyler are planning to get married, but they have all sorts of unresolved issues. He has credit card debt ($5,000!) and student loan debt ($10,000) -- should they pay it off now or wait? They want to buy a house and…


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Why Teachers Must Focus On Getting Students To Love the Work

In 20+ years of teaching, I’ve never heard one student say they deeply enjoyed the time they spent studying for or taking a multiple-choice test — or that they were really engaged by reading the textbook. Working on…


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Lesson Plan: Teenagers And Sleep

It’s no secret that teenagers don’t get enough sleep. The developing adolescent brain and body need about 9-½ hours a sleep per night, and from what I hear, many kids are getting closer to 6 hours, 7 at best. Thankfully,…


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Getting Students To Care About Their Studies

When I was an education reporter years ago, a school administrator in Kansas told me this: A major problem in education is that most teachers liked being students. You may wonder why that’s bad. Would we really want people…


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