Teaching Learning Leading K-12
133: The ABCs of How We Learn with Dr. Jessica Tsang

133: The ABCs of How We Learn with Dr. Jessica Tsang

February 27, 2017


Today, I am talking with Dr. Jessica Tsang, one of three authors of the book The ABCs of How We Learn (2016). 

The other two authors are Dr. Dan Schwartz and Dr. Kristen P. Blair. All three are colleagues in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University.

I love this book for several reasons (by the way check out my video review of The ABCs of How We Learn)

1. Its easy to use and understand

2. Each section includes the How and Why the approach works

3. Most sections include the good and the bad of the approach (which truly is one of my favorite parts of the book)



Dr. Jessica M. Tsang

Dan_Schwartz_220.jpg  Kristen_Blair_200.jpg

Dr. Dan Schwartz                                 Dr. Kristen P. Blair


This could be an awesome tool for you. It is so easy to use. It is not necessary to read cover to cover. Look for the information that you want to know more about and go there. You will find that it is written in a wonderful way that let's you know why and how to use the strategy. It also has an incredible resource list at the conclusion of each chapter.

Like its title says, it is the ABCs. There is a chapter for A - Z. Each chapter even has a drawing of an animal that matches the letter. Nice.

Jessica talks about the research associated with the book, its purpose and what it is like writing a book with three authors. I had to ask. I think it is cool when colleagues work together to produce a book.

The ABCs of How We Learn would be a great tool to add to your professional library and instructional tool kit. 

I hope that you will check it out.


For more information follow these links:

The ABCs of How We Learn - W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. - Publisher

The ABCs of How We Learn - Amazon

AAA Lab- The Graduate School of Education at Stanford University

Additional information about the authors:

Dr. Jessica M. Tsang

Dr. Dan Schwartz

Dr. Kristen P. Blair


Length: 26:49

132: Fishing and Protecting Alaska with Anders Gustafson

132: Fishing and Protecting Alaska with Anders Gustafson

February 20, 2017


Anders Gustafson is a fishing guide, wilderness protector, and entrepreneur. Wait for it...in Alaska! He is a father and husband. He has made an incredible life for himself by not following the program. Listen and you will hear him explain what not following the program means.


Recently, I had an amazing experience. It was life-changing. It was a vacation that made me take a deep breath and go ...WOW! We took a family trip to fish in Alaska. Five of the days were spent on the Mulchatna River with a fishing camp where we were focused on catching King Salmon. Anders is a guide with this camp. He is not just any guide...he is amazing! He is a great teacher. He is patient. He gets to know who is fishing in his boat. He has a wonderful sense of humor. He listens and helps you solve your problems. Most importantly, he helps you catch fish, especially the mighty King Salmon! 


The only way to get to where we were is to fly by float plane to the river (yes, you actually land on the river. Loved it!) There were no people other than those running the camp, the guides, and the anglers. The only electricity was from generators and it was used for the eating tents, cook tent, and the freezers, otherwise you had no power. There also was no wi-fi or cellular connectivity! It was beautiful! No one could get in touch with us. We were in the middle of the wilderness surrounded by wild blueberry plants and so many signs of bear activity. There were bald eagles and signs of caribou and moose. There were beaver. I had always heard of tundra now I was on it. The daylight stayed with us until almost two am (Check out my picture below.). We used outhouses and even though there was a shower tent, I opted to just do quick hair and face washes and brushed my teeth. Hey, it was only 5 days. 


Anders is an amazing outdoorsman who has had the opportunity to protect the very wilderness that he hunts and fishes. Recently, there was a mining operation that wanted to remove copper from the area. After a three year long war (which included testifying in Washington, DC.), Anders was successful in keeping the mining operation out. He helped to save the wild. Unfortunately, it looks like that battle is about to begin again. You will hear Anders talk about his battles, wins, and losses.  


I think that you will enjoy listening to Anders and if you close your eyes he paints a picture of the wilderness with every word. Thanks for listening. Enjoy!

Connect with Anders through his Facebook page:



Length: 1:09:27

131: Learning Centers with Tammy Cook

131: Learning Centers with Tammy Cook

February 12, 2017


Tammy Cook is a 3rd grade teacher at East Laurens Elementary School in Laurens County, Georgia.

She currently is in her 20th year of teaching.

Her career has been in two school systems where she spent 9 years in Wilkinson County and now she is in her 11th in Laurens County.

Most of her career has been teaching 3rd graders although she has taught 5th grade.


I have had the opportunity to watch Tammy teach a couple of times and she is a master at using learning centers as well as getting the kids to know what is expected of them.

Her transitions are smooth and the kids can't wait to get started on their centers. 


She has everything color-coded. There are buckets, folders, and pouches. The kids know what their team is and look forward to the day when it is their turn to be the team leader and get to wear the pouch.


You will hear us talk about getting the kids to transition with little prodding, the make-up of her learning centers, her use of peer evaluation, as well as a chart that she uses to record her thoughts about how each student is doing.


Tammy's enthusiasm for working with kids comes shining through from the beginning of the interview to the end.

I hope that you will take some of her ideas and give them a try.

Your kids will thank you.



Length: 30:42


130: Rock and Roll Academy with Mark Galbo

130: Rock and Roll Academy with Mark Galbo

February 5, 2017


Mark Galbo is the CEO and founder of Rock and Roll Academy.

Mark has been an educator and artist for over 30 years.

From private schools in Boston to reservation schools in Arizona, Mark has had the opportunity to work with students and educators in a diverse array of settings.

As a musician, Mark collaborated with a wide variety of successful artists in film, record production, and live performance.

Mark founded Rock and Roll Academy in 2003. The program has grown from one school in Colorado to over twenty schools in Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, and California.



Rock and Roll Academy is a hands-on music program that emphasizes social emotional learning through a project based experience of playing in a band. There are no auditions and no previous music experience is required. Rock and Roll Academy students form bands, choose their own music, and self-direct their learning.


The kids comment that they feel welcome and that they do not judge each other. They are encouraged to take risks and try. They like being part of Rock and Roll Academy and it inspires them to get more involved in school.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Mark. You will hear us talk about his background and Rock and Roll Academy. We focus on how the program works and how the adults get involved.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Mark. You will hear us talk about his background and Rock and Roll Academy. We focus on how the program works and how the adults get involved.



Check out the links below for more information and to connect with Mark.


Connect with Mark and learn more about Rock and Roll Academy:




Rock and Roll Academy Facebook Page

Mark Galbo on Twitter

Length: 43:31

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