Teaching Learning Leading K-12
Mark C Perna and Answering Why, part 2 - 258

Mark C Perna and Answering Why, part 2 - 258

August 29, 2019

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Catching up with Mark C. Perna, finding out about the book launch, and delving a little more into his award-winning book - Answering Why: Unleashing Passion, Purpose, and Performance in Younger Generations. This is episode 258 of the audio podcast Teaching Learning Leading K12.

Mark C. Perna is the founder and CEO of TFS (Tools for Schools) in Cleveland, Ohio, a full-service strategic consulting firm whose mission is to share and support every client’s passion for making a difference. 

As an international expert on Generations Y and Z, Mark has devoted his career to empowering educators and employers to unleash the tremendous potential of today’s young people, both in the classroom and on the job.

Parents, schools, districts, businesses, and state organizations across North America have successfully used Mark’s insights and strategies to connect more effectively with the younger generations.

A dynamic and motivational public speaker, Mark frequently delivers keynote speeches at national and statewide events. He has published numerous articles in national publications as a recognized voice in student engagement and success.

Mark is passionate about the mission that he has created for himself. You will definitely hear and feel his energy, drive, and passion as we talk.


It was fun catching up with Mark. I think you will enjoy it, too.

Thanks for listening.

Please share with your colleagues and friends. 

Also, don't forget to subscribe!


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Length - 33:48

Kevin Stoller and Creating Better Learning Environments - 257

Kevin Stoller and Creating Better Learning Environments - 257

August 23, 2019

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Kevin Stoller is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kay-Twelve, the author of the book Creating Better Learning Environments, and the voice behind The Better Learning Podcast. Today, we talk about his book, the podcast, what a better learning environment looks like, and so much more.

Driven by his passion for enhancing the learning process, Kevin started Kay-Twelve in 2009. The underlying mission and philosophy of Kay-Twelve exemplify his commitment to improving the learning environment. 

Kevin also is involved in several civic and industry groups, one of these programs works with kids to foster creativity and entrepreneurship. 

Coupled with his experience in the contract furniture industry, Kevin Stoller has a B.S in Mass Communications from Miami University and an MBA from The Ohio State University. 

Personally, he feels "deeply passionate about allowing kids to fail and learn how to handle adversity. Learning does not stop once they leave the four walls of a classroom and experience learning is invaluable."

Kevin is married with 3 kids and though Kay-Twelve keeps him very busy, he still finds time to coach his 3 kids in their various sports. 

Thanks for listening today.

Lots to learn.

Please subscribe and also share the episode.

By the way, don't forget to get your free pdf copy of Kevin's book Creating Better Learning Environments: Furniture Concepts to Enhance Student Outcomes at https://www.kay-twelve.com/pages/miletto


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Instagram @kaytwelve




Length - 51:31

Heather Buskirk and Project Based Learning - 256

Heather Buskirk and Project Based Learning - 256

August 16, 2019


Heather Buskirk, M.A. is an instructional methods advisor at K12 and a national board-certified teacher with years of experience designing project-based learning. 

Heather was an integral part of designing and teaching at HFM PTECH, a project-based learning and career-focused, early college high school in New York. She earned a B.A. in astronomy and physics and her M.A. in teaching with a physics certification from the University of Virginia.

Today, we are going to talk about the positive impact of project-based learning.

Thanks for listening.

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Articles by Heather:



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Learn about the school that we talk about:

HFM PTECH's website

Length - 30:14

John Almarode and Clarity For Learning - 255

John Almarode and Clarity For Learning - 255

August 9, 2019

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Dr. John Almarode shares key ideas from his book Clarity for Learning: Five Essential Practices That Empower Students and Teachers. This is episode 255 of Teaching Learning Leading K12, an audio podcast for educators.

Dr. John Almarode, a bestselling author, has worked with schools, classrooms, and teachers all over the world. He has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on the application of the science of learning to the classroom, school, and home environments. 

He has worked with hundreds of school districts and thousands of teachers in the US, Australia, Canada, England, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, South Korea, and Thailand.

In addition to devoting his time to PreK – 12 schools and classrooms, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Early, Elementary, and Reading Education, Co-Director of James Madison University’s Center for STEM Education and Outreach, and Director of the Content Teaching Academy.

The work of John and his colleagues have been presented to the United States Congress, Virginia Senate, at the United States Department of Education as well as the Office of Science and Technology Policy at The White House.

John began his career in Augusta County, Virginia, teaching mathematics and science to a wide range of students. Since then, John has authored multiple articles, reports, book chapters, and nine books including:

Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6 - 12 (Corwin Press, 2013), with Ann Miller,

From Snorkelers to Scuba Divers (Corwin Press, 2018) with Ann Miller,

Visible Learning for Science, with Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie (Corwin Press, 2018),

Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades 6 - 8, with Doug Fisher, Joseph Assof, Sara Moore, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie (Corwin, 2019),

Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades 9 - 12 with Doug Fisher, Joseph Assof, Sara Moore, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie (Corwin, 2019),

Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades K - 2, and 

Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades 3 - 5 with Doug Fisher, Joseph Assof, Sara Moore, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie (Corwin, 2019) plus Kateri Thunder.

Most recently, John and his colleagues have developed a new framework for developing, implementing, and sustaining professional learning communities: PLC+.

John lives in Waynesboro, Virginia with his wife, a fellow educator, their two children, and three Labrador retrievers, Angel, Forest, and Bella.


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Length - 56:04


Karen Gross and Combating the Summer Brain Drain - 254

Karen Gross and Combating the Summer Brain Drain - 254

August 2, 2019

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Karen Gross talks with me about combating the summer brain drain. She shares different inexpensive ways that families can encourage learning that is fun.

Karen is the author of the popular children's book series about Lady Lucy. She has taught and continues to teach across the educational pipeline. Karen is a former college president and senior advisor to the U.S. Department of Education. She currently serves as Senior Counsel to Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company.

She blogs/writes for many education outlets including WPo, InsideHigherEd, Chronicle, Aspen Journal of Ideas, DiverseEducation, and MEDIUM. Karen is the author of numerous children’s books, and her mission is to encourage imagination, creativity, and inspiration through humor and fun, all while learning.

Her children’s book titles include:

the Lady Lucy Book Series

- Lady Lucy’s Quest – launched by Shires Press in March 2016 with high school student illustrators

- La Saga de la Señorita Sofia (Lady Lucy’s Quest translated to Spanish) in April 2018

- Lady Lucy’s Dragon Quest – a sequel in the form of a chapter book released in 2017

- Lady Lucy’s Laugh Giraffe Journey – joke and activity book released in 2018

- Are You a Giraffe – prequel to the Lady Lucy Series – June 2019


- Flying Umbrellas & Red Boats – children’s poetry book – April 2019

Karen has traveled the country visiting schools, libraries, and after-school organizations where over 3000 children have heard the story of Lady Lucy. Prior to becoming a college president, she was also a tenured law professor for two-plus decades.

Karen is also the author of an adult book, Breakaway Learners, which was released by Columbia Teachers College Press. This book provides a pathway for improving the educational success of low income, first-generation, minority students.

And Karen has a forthcoming adult book titled Generation Trauma Goes to School. It is about the need for educators to become more than trauma-informed— they need to be trauma-sensitive and trauma-responsive.

Thanks for listening.

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Length - 53:17

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