10 Secret Ingredients for Better Unit Planning - 187

March 17, 2018


Better instruction requires planning. Planning comes in two main types for the classroom: unit and daily.

Today, I discuss my thoughts about 10 essential elements that need to be included in your unit planning:

1. Start with the end in mind.

2. Create a time frame.

3. Identify what you will teach (content).

4. Develop how you will teach (instructional strategies).

5. Identify resources you will need.

6. Identify essential vocabulary.

7. Develop how you will teach the vocabulary.

8. Create opportunities for learning what the students know and don't know.

9. Make notes about student individual needs.

10. Create a system for identifying what can be eliminated to create more time. 

Unit planning is essential for staying focused on what you want the kids to learn. Use these 10 ingredients with your unit planning and you will have better results.

Happy planning.

Links for Resources:

Vocabulary is Comprehension written by Laura Robb

My Pinterest Board focused on Teaching Vocabulary

My Pinterest Board focused on interactive Word Walls

My Pinterest Board focused on Assessment Strategies

 Length - 22:31


Barbara Blackburn & Rigor and Assessment in the Classroom - 186

March 9, 2018

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Dr. Barbara Blackburn returns to Teaching Learning Leading K12 to discuss her book, Rigor and Assessment in the Classroom.

What I like about the way Barbara writes is simply this: easy to understand, easy to use, and plenty of free resources to help you implement.

By the way, plenty of free resources is an understatement! She has a treasure chest full of support for you!

You can read today, plan tonight, and put into play in your classroom tomorrow.

The book is divided into ten chapters from Best Practices to Working Together to Improve Assessment in Rigorous Classrooms. Today, we focus on just a couple like Linking Instruction and Assessment to Improve Rigor (Chapter 3) and Grading (Chapter 8) , as well as a couple others.

Lots to learn.

Thanks for joining us.

By the way...

Here is the special page for the discounts that Barbara talked about:



Contact Barbara and learn more:





Length - 55:17



Rick Snyder: Intuition, Relationships, and Listening - 185

February 28, 2018


Rick Snyder is an international business coach, writer, speaker, and consultant. Rick has launched three businesses and is an expert in mentoring, training, and teaching others how to utilize the process of bringing intuition into an effective business plan and company culture. He is now the CEO of Three Hats: :Three Hats describes the services they offer - business coaching, training, and consulting. 

"While we will address immediate fires in your business, the real key is to discover how those fires got there in the first place so that they don’t happen again." -Three-Hats.com

Rick's breakthrough strategies have been implemented by executives and businesses in Europe, Canada, Asia, and America.

Today we are focused on the role of intuition, relationship building, and listening in organizational as well as personal success.

Thanks for listening.

I think that Rick will inspire you.

Contact Rick:


Three Hats

RickASnyder Twitter

RickASnyder Instagram

RickASnyder LinkedIn

Extras that Rick mentioned:

Simon Sinek

David Whyte


Length - 42:18


Ryan Schaaf and Reinventing Learning for the Always-On Generation - 184

February 16, 2018

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Ryan Schaaf is an author, speaker, professor, consultant and blogger.

Today we are talking about his book (written with Ian Jukes and Nicky Mohan) Reinventing Learning for the Always-On Generation: Strategies and Apps that Work (Solution Tree, 2015.) He is the author of three other books and has a couple more in the works.

Reinventing Learning, an IPPY award winner for its contributions as a resource book for educators, is an incredible tool that focuses on 9 attributes that educators should understand when working with the Always-On Generation. We take some time to talk about the 9 attributes and take a deep dive into three of them:

Attribute #4 is my favorite - It states, "Digital learners prefer to network and collaborate simultaneously with many others."

#6 - "Digital learners prefer just in time learning."

And # 9 - Digital learners prefer learning that is simultaneously relevant, active, useful, and fun."

Wait until you discover all of the extra resources that are included with the book! Wow!!!

Lots to learn. 

Thanks for listening.

Have an awesome day!


Contact Ryan:


Tweet Ryan @ryanlschaaf

More information as well as other resources:

Reinventing Learning for the Always-On Generation: Strategies and Apps that Work (Solution Tree, 2015)

Game On: Using Digital Games to Transform Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (Solution Tree, 2017)

Ryan's Amazon Page

Solution Tree

Ryan's Page on Solution Tree

Listen to Ryan on the Teach Thought Podcast




Length - 49:22


Tommy Welch: Schools & Leadership - 183

February 8, 2018


Dr. Tommy Welch is the 2016 Georgia Principal of the Year and in 2017 was a finalist for National Principal of the Year.

Tommy has amazing ideas and has been successful changing the culture of his school.

You will hear us talk about Peter F. Drucker and his book Managing Knowledge Means Managing Oneself as well as what can be learned from Demming and others.

Dr. Welch explains what he has gleaned from becoming connected with businesses locally and nationally. He shares his thoughts about why a school leader needs to reach out and develop lines of communication with businesses. He also outlines how a leader can learn to talk with business leaders.

Additionally, we discuss what it takes to change a school culture especially his thoughts about getting the staff members to be vested in change.

There is so much to learn from Tommy.

Thanks for listening.

I guarantee that he will get you thinking.... 

Contact Tommy: @principalwelch on Twitter.

Other resources that Tommy mentioned:

Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol

Manny Scott on YouTube

Peter Drucker Managing Knowledge Means Managing Oneself

Length - 51:04