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: www.openingpaths.org Blog: www.deadwoodwriters.org

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

Minecraft for Learning, pt. 1

Updated: August 2, 2016 Earlier this year, I was asked how Minecraft can be used in education. At the time, I’d done some digging in just that topic because my kids were deep into the game, both solo and through home networking. Recently, I’ve been asked to share more. So in the next several posts …

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Driving Question Basics

Driving Questions Basics Have you ever attended a meeting where the outcome was unclear? You knew or hoped that by the end of the meeting some result would be achieved that would validate the time spent being there. This reminds me of the movie, Karate Kid, the 1980s version, where the main character wants to …

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Riddle Answer

So last week, I posed this riddle: “You’re standing in a room with two doors. One opens to instant death, and the other leads to life. Standing in front of each door is a robot guard. With no other way out of the room, you must choose a door to enter. You may ask one …

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Riddle me Collaboration

“You’re standing in a room with two doors. One opens to instant death, and the other leads to life. Standing in front of each door is a robot guard. With no other way out of the room, you must choose a door to enter. You may ask one question, which each robot will answer. One …

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January 15 Ground Hog Day?

In the movie Ground Hog Day, Bill Murray is a reporter covering the annual event where the ground hog looks for its shadow. Each morning he wakes up to relive that day, stuck in a perpetual cycle that matches his boorish behavior. His journey is what makes the comedy entertaining. On January 15, 2014, Congress …

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Homework Balance, Part 2

In my first installment about Homework, I referenced Karl Taro Greenfeld in “My Daughter’s Homework is Killing Me” regarding his 7 day experience doing the same homework as his daughter received at school. His article strongly showed how homework can turn a student’s school day into a 10+ hour work day, or 56+ hour work …

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The Homework Balance, Pt 1

The Homework Balance In the October issue of Atlantic Monthly, Karl Taro Greenfeld in “My Daughter’s Homework is Killing Me” wrote about an experiment he did. For one week he experienced the homework load that his daughter brought from her middle school. Each day, for 7 days, he followed the assignment list that she brought …

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Nurturing Student Voices

Voice is a powerful tool that cannot be silenced. During the Arab Spring of 20012 this was demonstrated in the way that Twitter was used to communicate among the protesters and with the world media. And as with other social media, it continues to have an impact. Wherever there is a place where voice and …

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Grace under a microscope

“It’s important to remember that when things go wrong, keep it positive. The students are watching how you respond to the situation.” I’m paraphrasing my colleague’s comment, which was one of those statements that made me pause. It’s such an obvious concept, yet how often do we forget in the moment that there are others …

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Navigating Our airports

Navigating airports requires a strong skill set of Global Competencies–Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking. Some airports can be intimidating. The expansiveness of an airport is less of an issue than the methods for getting to gates in different terminals. Consider these examples: Atlanta (ATL) There are six terminals, connected by a train system that makes …

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