John McCarthy

Educator and life long learner. Exploring the many ways to advocate for student voice in their learning career. Passions: my family, writing, teaching, and gaming. Blog: Blog:

Most commented posts

  1. Rebutting Misconceptions about Differentiated Instruction — 7 comments
  2. Inspiring the Writer in everyone — 7 comments
  3. Learning Preferences Cards — 5 comments
  4. Student Learning Preferences Quick Surveys — 4 comments
  5. Education is like Yoga III: Starting School Right — 3 comments

Author's posts

Question Formulation Technique: Empowering Student Inquiry

For ongoing support on educational practice and student voice, subscribe for email updates and follow @jmccarthyeds via Twitter: Question Formulation Technique: Empowering Student Inquiry The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) by The Right Question Institute is a strong approach to coaching students on generating appropriate and helpful questions for inquiry and during the Need to Know Process. The steps …

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Steps to Address Student Apathy and Critical Thinking

I got a question from S. Crowder asking how to address student apathy and struggles with developing critical thinking skills through Differentiation for STEM/PBL curriculum. It’s an important concern that is shared by many who truly want their students to succeed. So I’m sharing the post here (with some word edits). I invite you to …

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3 Steps to Getting started with Differentiation – a response

Edutopia is a great resource for ideas and professional collaboration. In a discussion thread, New at the “Game” of Differentiated Teaching, I was asked to contribute to supporting a fellow educator. In a profession that is based on supporting others, I had to join in. @JMcCarthyEdS John, can you help with this educator’s plea for help …

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Four steps to stronger and more independent teams

Four steps to stronger and more independent teams by John McCarthy, Ed.S. We all want the same thing. We want students able to work well with others. Every learner should be fully invested in the collaborative needs of their team so that the work is evenly balanced and highly productive. But the secret truth for …

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Notes from MACUL 2015

Spending 2 days at MACUL conference 2015 was a pleasure and good learning experience. I appreciate the diverse topics that MACUL addresses. As an instructional technology organization MACUL does an excellent job of nurturing the dialog around instruction and learning with support through technology. I look forward to participate next year. During the sessions that …

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Authentic Audiences Purpose: Engaging Students in Learning that Means Something

Authentic Audiences Purpose: Engaging Students in Learning that Means Something by John McCarthy, Ed.S. Follow on Twitter: @jmccarthyeds – When my kids get excited about school it’s a wonderful moment. This is especially true as they are teenagers attending a Project Based Learning School. Those moments occur “only” (yes I’m being absolute) when the topics …

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New article on Edutopia – Eliminating the Checklist Mentality

This recent article on Edutopia: Quality Instruction + Differentiation: Beyond the Checklist addresses concrete actions that help teachers know what students need. In part, this is accomplished by enabling learners to collaborate in the instructional experience. Three specific strategies are shared, one of which connects to the Need to Know process discussed in a previous post on …

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Need to Know Process for PBL & quality Units

Updated: June 16, 2016 I’d like to thank Myla Lee for her collaborative feedback so as to ensure that this description of using Need to Knows becomes as effective a support for all grade levels. Follow her on Twitter: @MyTLee3 and myself at: @JMcCarthyEdS Need to Know Process Have you ever asked students if they have any questions, …

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Read on Edutopia: Differentiation Is Just Too Difficult – Not?: Myth-Busting DI Part 3

What inspired this article recently published on Edutopia (see link near the end) are the conversations I’ve had with others over recent posts that attack Differentiated Instruction as something either too difficult to do or simply not worth trying. See my article: Rebutting Misconceptions about Differentiated Instruction here on Opening Paths. Such conversations might sound like banging one’s …

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MLK: Reflecting & Acting on the Dream

There is much meeting for this day, that represents a way of life and action year round. Starting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. here are words from him and others to reflect on and consider. There are videos of MLK speeches at the end of this post. Consider choosing some of these quotes or …

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