44-Stage 27 Student Presentations in 9 Minutes! Starring Kat Brammer and Peter Pohlod

Kat Brammer and Peter Pohlod

A few years ago, my students matriculated through two days of student presentations. IT WAS PAINFUL! I was bored! They were bored! The novelty wore off after about three presentations. It wasn’t that there weren’t some good ones…there were, but many were low energy, filled with endless bullet points, and were rehashing tired topics. Once a student gave their presentation or grasped a concept, they had little incentive to listen to the next gabfest. I vowed I wasn’t going to do this to my kids again!

Enter...the Gallery Walk. Here’s a very brief video on how a large number of students can present simultaneously:

The video presents a scenario where 9 students present simultaneously. You can expand this idea. In my class, I had 27 students presenting simultaneously. And…don’t be afraid if you don’t have a multiple of 3 like 27. I have 27 students, but without fail, two of my kids were absent on presentation day. That will happen!

On today’s episode, two of my students Kat Brammer and Peter Pohlod will discuss their experiences in the Gallery Walk. Here are links to the project prompts before, during, and after the presentations:

The Prompt

Visitor Impressions


This is the cheesy after school special the presentation was based upon:

“The Wave”

Episode Template

The Problem:

Many student presentations are NOT engaging.

The Solution:

Unleash the Gallery Walk.

What You Can Do Tomorrow:

  1. Watch the Gallery Walk video
  2. Sort students into groups of 3
  3. Designate 3 important concepts from the unit you’re currently studying for presentations
  4. Decide what form the presentations will take

Student presentations do not have to be a tedious marathon. Institute the Gallery Walk and watch engagement soar!

Listen to “44-Stage 27 Student Presentations in 9 Minutes! Starring Kat Brammer and Peter Pohlod” on Spreaker.

43-3 Totally Original, Easy, Powerful, and Joyful Icebreakers to Randomly Sort Students…Tomorrow

Break the Ice…Ice…Baby

February represents the Dog Days in education. All the freshness of the school year are gone. Spring break is still a long way off and the weather…at least in the great state of Ohio…is nothing to write home about! Sometimes, as you watch your kids march in at the beginning of the period, you feel like you’re observing a church congregation full of middle-aged parishioners. Everyone sits in the same pew, shakes hands with the same people, and says pretty much the same things. It’s time to shake things up!

In today’s program, I’m going to give you 3 totally original icebreakers with which you can randomly sort your students. Perhaps, a new seating chart is needed. Or, it’s time get kids working with different peers on the next project. These icebreakers will help you rearrange your students socially…BUT THE REAL DRAW…is your students and you will have a blast working through these easy prompts:

Oscar Night Best Picture Award

Your 30th Birthday Surprise Party

1970s Speed Dating

My Zodiac Description Google Doc  

A Compatibility Table

Episode Template

The Problem:

Teachers assume students know one another well.

The Solution:

A student icebreaker.

What You Can Do Tomorrow:

  1. Decide on a pretext for randomly sorting students
  2. Try either the Oscar Night or Birthday Party icebreaker
  3. Debrief students to find out what they learned about their peers

Teachers and students sometimes get in a rut. Randomly sort your students with a fun icebreaker and shake things up in the process.

Listen to “43-3 Totally Original, Easy, Powerful, and Joyful Icebreakers to Randomly Sort Students…Tomorrow” on Spreaker.

42-Revolutionize the way your Students Watch Videos…Starring Hannah Fox, Ali Iannucci, Eduardo Lopez, and Tracy Enos

Ali Iannucci…Hanah Fox…Tracy Enos…Eduardo Lopez

Teachers need to go where the kids are. When in Rome…do like the Romans. When it comes to reaching contemporary youth, please understand that they love video. Whenever there’s downtime, kids immediately start watching video on their devices. Educators need to embrace this tendency.

Unfortunately, in many classrooms, video is handled in much the same way as it was in the 1950s. The entire class watches on a big screen at the same time. I loved “Movie Day” in high school. It was a great opportunity to zone out for 50 minutes!

In this episode, Tracy Enos and her adolescent posse will clue you in on an amazing free tool which will revolutionize the way you present video. EDpuzzle allows you to embed questions inside a video.

Kids watch and then interact with you while they answer your questions. It’s an awesome way to introduce collaboration and participation, engaging kids in the process! It’s also an amazing accountability factor. You can see just how much a student has watched and their responses to your prompts. Also…kids cannot fast-forward. They can pause and rewind, but not skip ahead. It’s similar to on-demand programming. Another huge selling point to EDpuzzle is how it works in concert with Google Classroom.

Tracy also advocates that teachers create their own content. I agree! Here are two examples of homemade flipped presentations that are EDpuzzle ready! The first is from Tracy Enos. The second is from your humble narrator.

Video 1


Here’s a screen shot of responses submitted via EDpuzzle to Tracy’s prompt, “What did you learn from the story?”

Video 2: 

Episode Template

The Problem:

Teachers need to update the way they show video.

The Solution:

Utilize EDpuzzle.

What You Can Do Tomorrow:

  1. Select a short video to assign through EDpuzzle
  2. Embed a few questions into the video
  3. Collaborate with students as they respond
  4. Plan to create your own video

It’s time to revamp the way students watch video. EDpuzzle will make “Movie Day” collaborative and engaging!

Listen to “42-Revolutionize the way your Students Watch Videos…Starring Hannah Fox, Ali Iannucci, Eduardo Lopez, and Tracy Enos” on Spreaker.



41-Feng Shui your Students

Last month…I was chilling in my room 2 days prior to Christmas break. As I surveyed my digs, I became disgusted with myself! My room was a mess. I had just been enlightening my students about the awesome Asian concept of Chi…an invisible source of energy that permeates the universe. Chi flows through the environment, animals and people, as well as man-made structures. Acupuncture and Tai Chi stimulate the life-giving flow of Chi through a person. The ancient interior decoration practice of Feng Shui can do the same for your home or work-space. I felt like a hypocrite.

Before: My room was a mess…I couldn’t get out of my own way…Chi was blocked

I decided my room was in desperate need of a Feng Shui makeover! This exercise had great informational power for many parties:

  • I could apply a complex topic from class in a demonstrable way
  • I could become more approachable to my students as they cheered me on in my noble quest
  • I could inspire kids to apply Feng Shui to some aspect of their lives
  • My room would become more livable

This is EXACTLY what happened! When they returned in January, my students were impressed with my orderly flowing room.

After: Sweet relief!

I issued the Feng Shui Challenge in my maiden January student blog prompt. They could Feng Shui their rooms, or lockers, or cars, or phones. Here’s the link.

This activity inspired me to sponsor other self-improvement challenges to my students like incorporating To-Do lists:

Time to get organized kid!

Please be aware…this doesn’t have to just be a social studies thing. Listen to the episode and get some ideas on how you might include such a demonstration in your curriculum.

Episode Template

The Problem:

Our curriculums seem irrelevant!

The Solution:

Apply a complex class concept in a demonstrable way…right in front of your student’s eyes! Then, challenge them to do the same.

What you can do Tomorrow:

  • Search your curriculum for a concept you could apply
  • Brainstorm a way to demonstrate your application
  • Concoct a way to challenge students to do the same
  • Have them share their experience in a demonstrable way

If you want to engage students, find ways to make your curriculum relevant. A great way to do this is to have kids apply class concepts to their lives.

Listen to “41-Feng Shui your Students” on Spreaker.