A Great Recipe for Pork Chops

Is it your turn to cook dinner? Want to impress your wife with a delicious meal with little-to-no prep time? Try these slow cooker pork chops. They have a five minute prep time and can cook all day while you’re at work!

Mistake Makers vs. Sense Makers

An interesting video regarding giving students the freedom to explain their thinking when making mistakes rather than correcting them immediately. They may have sound logic but not quite have the proper tools yet to achieve perfect mathematical understanding. Be patient and try to understand what they are making sense of.

The Essentials of Giving Good Feedback

Have you every tried to give helpful advice to a friend, family member or co-worker but they simply take it as a personal hit? Are you providing your feedback in a helpful manner?

Good feedback to a person should be constructive but always include positivity. Sure, everyone needs to hear the cold, hard truth at times, but belittling someone or tearing apart their argument is not an effective approach. The purpose of helping someone should push them to reflect on their actions and set goals for future experiences. This practice can be looked at through the scope of grading a paper, talking about a decision, discussing actions or hypothesizing outcomes. Your formative feedback should point out areas of improvement without sounding as if you’re dictating their decisions or emphasizing flaws.

We all make mistakes. If someone comes to you for help, show them the opportunity for clarity can result in a positive experience for everyone.

Approval of Someone’s Academic Journey

It’s frustrating to try and comprehend the  thought processes behind those who believe their opinions hold higher authority than the latter. Let’s make this clear: the decisions and opportunities someone else partakes in during their academic journey is not contingent on you or anyone else’s approval. If you’re getting offended, reread the last sentence.

For the rest of us moving forward; the education system is no longer built around this idea of one continual and boxed-in method toward understanding. We cannot expect kids to follow a cookie-cutter path and be offended when they stray. Be bold. Be daring. Stay up until 2am doing a research paper. Bomb an exam. Everything you choose to do, or not do, is a part of your educational journey. This includes both in school and life; if someone feels the need to extend their non-approving judgement towards you, I simply believe that they are not supposed to be a part of your path. Better yet, they are a perfect example of who to not emulate on your path.

So. thank you judgmental professor. Thank you to the parent who didn’t show up to the baseball game. Thank you to the ex-boyfriend who dumped you after you didn’t do what you were told. Thank you to the ex-wife who blames you. Thank you to the rude neighbor. Thank you for unapologetic in-laws. Thank you to the hypocrite, the unlawful, the morally inept, the brown-noser, and the liar.

Previous education sets ridiculous standards and negates to recognize the creativity each child has. Your academic success is winding and quite honestly, a little bananas. It’s a journey, not a trip. It’s not simple GPS instructions. It’s not a simple to-do list. Finally, the way in which you attack your journey, should not be manipulated or looked down upon by people who simply don’t matter in the long run.

In the big scheme of life, the little “mistakes” you did don’t entirely affect your position. You’ll get side-tracked or discouraged, but you’re still going. You’re still getting there. Eventually, you’ll arrive, and all those people who doubted you or got in your way are only memories. You don’t need anyone else’s approval to have faith in your capabilities as an individual. You are able to accomplish goals in your profession, marital life, social life, etc. without even taking the time to deal with someone else’s insecurities or monotonous judgments regarding the way in which you pursue your dreams.

I’m not condoning negative behaviors, but I am condoning the idea that everyone has their own path and life that they need to figure out on their own. I’m 100% positive you have something to work on regarding yourself before handing out disapproving looks and labeling them as help.


Here, how about I’ll help by signing out with one of my favorite phrases:

To each his own.

Closing Fluency Gaps in Mathematics

The current fluency gaps existing in the mathematics classroom can cause significant deficiency in understanding along a child’s academic journey and the effects are only getting worse. According to the webinar “Algebra Readiness in the Face of Fluency Gaps: Leading to Meet New Expectations in Secondary Mathematics,” presented by Kevin Baird, gaps can be closed by implementing more inquiry-based questions into the classroom, presenting rigorous content and increasing high expectations, and focusing on fluency skills. One must first, however, learn how the gaps are continuing to exist before working to close them.

Students have been experiencing a misalignment between their practice and summative assessments. Teachers, instead of allowing for mastery of skill at the base level, give students mediocre or too easy of problems at the age level and sequence of skill that Common Core dictates, yet distributes difficult examinations and moves on when students are still confused. Basically, a teacher distributes eighth grade math problems to an eighth grader who sits at a sixth-grade competency level. According to Baird, students who fall behind around the fourth-grade level who require more exposure to remedial ideas, have a 6% chance of taking their education into their own hands and being at the right level by the time they hit eighth grade. Those same students have a projection of 2% heading into twelfth grade.

Students need more differentiated learning before newer and more challenging work is piled on. Once students gain mastery of skill regarding baseline concepts and can properly draw or write their ideas about a certain concept, they can be given more rigorous and exciting course work. Every student has the potential to solve problems they’ve never seen before but supplying them with a weak toolbox or teaching toward standardized tests enables the gap trend. It’s important to create a welcoming classroom environment that builds up weaknesses to promote the belief of incredible strength.

Watch the webinar here:

What’s in Your Toolbox?

Good or bad, everything that occurs within the classroom is done by consent of the educator. If students are not participating, having problems with behavioral management, or simply on their phone, the teacher has silently implied that those experiences are okay. Immediately I hear outrage from the audience. Hold on: each educator is equipped with a “tool box” of academic success for their students. If the classroom environment has become one without control or positive experiences, the teacher may need to throw a wrench in or an extra hammer to get things back into shape. Read up on some extra tools to help learners before taking offense to my permission of disruption above:

Best Apple Cider Recipe

Excited for crunchy leaves, woolly scarves and warm drinks? Me too! My favorite autumn drink has always been apple cider and I’ve been looking high and low for the best recipe around. Try this one: