#IDedchat Wondering: How might we meet students where they are and focus on their strengths?

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During last week’s “EdCamp style” #IDedchat, many wonderings were shared that can be summarized into two common themes of meeting students where they are and focusing on their strengths. Thank you to @jazzmeister2013, @wendymairclark, @HowardKiyuna and many others for sharing insights and resources.

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#IDedchat Challenge: What if we started with what we know about learning sciences research to help us discover students’ strengths while supporting their learning growth? For this week’s challenge check out the following 10 Key Principles shared by Digital Promise and the Institute for Applied Neuroscience.

Screen Shot 2019-11-13 at 6.03.21 PMThe visual above has been curated into downloadable and printable cards!

We are looking forward to reading your reflections from this week’s challenge in the comments or with #IDedchat tweets!



#IDedchat Wondering: Should balance include gratitude, along with purpose, passion, and priorities?

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Balance Like a Pirate by authors Jessica Cabeen @jessicacabeen, Jessica Johnson  @principalj, and Sarah Johnson @sarahsajohnson encourages reflection through The Balance Quadrants (listed below). Last week, #IDedchat tweets included sharing about how to fuel our passion for teaching and learning through the use of gratitude and choosing to focus on the positives. Thank you @WinkelerD and @thesnowshoe and many others for your thoughtful insight! 

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#IDedchat Challenge: As you read through the #BalanceLAP Quadrants think or say aloud something that you are grateful for within each one. Did one of the quadrants stand out to you more than an another? If this was helpful to you, share this activity with a friend or colleague. Share your experience in the comments or with #IDedchat tweets. 

The Balance Quadrants


  • Wellness in domains like physical, emotional, and financial
  • Mindfulness
  • Family and Relationships

  • Cultivating a Professional Learning Network (PLN)
  • Continuing your own learning
  • Going back to school, and setting your own course for ongoing learning

  • Your specific roles and duties
  • Time Management
  • Dealing with difficult situations
  • Identifying priorities, and investing some time and energy in these goals.

  • Your joys outside your job – what lights you up as a person – and finding ways to stoke the fire and keep the embers burning.


#IDedchat Wondering: What if change could be comfortable?

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What if change could be comfortable? I had an opportunity to meet and visit with Charles Elbot, co-author of Building an Intentional School Culture: Excellence in Academics and Character last week and was inspired to think deeply about how change could be comfortable. Elbot and Fulton offer resources that help to connect a team through leadership, partnership, engagement, and collaboration. One strategy, referenced in their book, that could help in making change comfortable, is Using The Shared Agreement Protocol. This reminded me of the Classroom Constitution that my students and I would make together at the beginning of each school year. This activity set the stage for understanding our right to learn and the expectation that we would need to adapt and compromise in order to work together in our learning. Having a shared agreement meant that everyone had a part to play in setting up our learning community, however, we recognized that we all brought different strengths and because of this learning was a personal experience.

Being a gracious change agent to help make change comfortable connects well with our #IDedchat wondering and chat from last week, along with George Couros’ blog post, “A Reminder for When Others Seem Resistant to Change. “

Change Agent

#IDedchat Challenge: Share an example of how you have been gracious when serving as a change agent. Reflect on a time when you felt comfortable, even in the midst of change. Thank you in advance for your comments or tweets that will encourage continued thinking about how to support others in the process of change.

#IDedchat Wondering: How do you incorporate play into learning experiences for students (of all ages)?

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This evening while scrolling through email, I found a birthday party invitation from Southwest Airlines. While I hoped it was going to be free tickets to a tropical island, it ended up being an app that allowed you to take pictures with a variety of filters. (Snapchat style)

Was it curiosity or the encouragement to celebrate life with my friends from Southwest that inspired me to give access to my camera to try out these sweet shades? 

Southwest Birthday Wish

#IDedchat Challenge: During last week’s #IDedchat, @LitCoachBrandon asked, “How do you incorporate play into your learning experiences for students and adults?” Let’s answer his question this week by curating playful learning experiences through photos, videos, or story-telling. I started with the image above, so…Tag, you’re it!



#IDedchat Wondering: How might Ice-Breakers, Community Circles, and Team Building Connect to Learning Goals?

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Lane Walker (@LaneWalker2) inspired this week’s blog post with this tweet,
“Wondering…we do “circles” but it seems trivial Qs are causing Ss to devalue the circles. Do you think we can creatively include content in the ice? #IDedchat”
She also encouraged us to look at “@LaurenPorosoff’s ideas in, Empower Your Students, she turns the focus to values, goals, and how to get there.”

We might offer time for reflection on the processes happening or events coming up, as Dr. Dan Winkeler shared ,“If they devalue circles, they might need to be restructured (ground rules, talking stick, deeper feelings, etc.) to get students to be more vested. Open ended questions like “how are you feeling about the upcoming lab, test, quiz, quarter, etc. #IDedchat”

We could involve our students in the creation of our ice-breakers and community circles. Check out Thomas Murray’s new book (coming out in October), Personal & Authentic: Designing Learning Experiences That Impact A Lifetime! @thomasmurray announced this week on Twitter,”….So honored to partner with @gcouros & IMpress to make it happen. The book will also highlight the voices of 50+ educators with diverse backgrounds and experiences. #AuthenticEDU is coming your way…”

The following video, Make the First Day Count, relates to our #IDedchat Wondering this week and our follow-up Challenge:

#IDedchat Challenge: What if everyday started with the same dedication and excitement as Day One of the School Year? How might you create moments that connect students’ interests to learning goals each day? Please add to the comments or use #IDedchat tweets to share ideas and resources for ways to include content-rich ice-breakers that encourage students to make meaning and investigate.

#IDedchat Wondering: What does daring greatly look like as a learner and leader?

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Last week’s #IDedchat included a reflection on our leadership qualities. This quote is one that has inspired many throughout the years. What stands out to you? Do you see yourself in the arena as a learner? How does this look the same or different as a leader? How might we support our students as they dare greatly in their learning?

The Man in the Arena

Challenge: Share this quote with someone and listen to their responses to our first #IDedchat Wondering. How are these responses the same or different from yours? Tweet your discoveries – or comment on this blog post.