Crowdfunding Online: Petitioning for a Better Future

Arevalo, Deisy

Topic: Technology

Bibliographic Citation:   Classroom Fundraising Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved September 2019, from

Summary:  Here are some tips and tricks to fundraising through GoFundMe, a top fundraising platform teachers primarily use to raise funds in order to pay for fieldtrips or fund other school activities.

Evaluation/Opinion:  I think this a great tool school librarians can use in order to bridge the gap between digital divide, by raising funds to buy new technology and resources to help students engage in learning.

Fun Learning is Learning Fun

Arevalo, Deisy

Topic: ET

Bibliographic Citation:  DeWitt, T. (2012, November). “Hey science teachers — make it fun.” Retrieved from:

Summary:  This is a science teacher’s call to action: Make learning fun! Tyler DeWitt humorously discusses a great way to make technical language come to life, with visuals and storytelling.

Evaluation/Opinion:  DeWitt shows how passion can be infectious if teachers learn how to spark curiosity. I think the first step in teaching student is sparking a sense of wonder and showing them that learning can be rewarding in itself, like solving a puzzle or mystery.

Cultural Cognition

Patrone, Jason

Topic: Educational Theory & Practice (ET)

Bibliographic Citation: 

Hammond, Z. (2015). Culturally responsive teaching & the brain: Promoting authentic engagement and rigor among culturally and linguistically diverse students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin / Sage.

Summary: How does our environment affect our brain’s development? How do economics and politics figure into this equation? Ms. Hammond helps us navigate diverse classrooms by identifying cultural archetypes, or commanalities among all of our learners. We find ways to work past our bias and deficit thinking, to find what many fixed-minded educators assume to be cultural norms are actually coping mechanisms born out of trauma. Above all, upon learning that the prime directive of the brain is to minimize threats while connecting to our community, we begin to see that, sadly, many of our instituional practices directly undermine the mind’s one, crucial mission.

Evaluation: I have found articles and books about cognition and others about culture, but this work is the first I’ve come across that not only reconciles both, but establishes that the two realms are dependent upon each other. Barely over 100 pages, Ms. Hammond offers us a lean, useable text useful to any professional working with people, not just educators. The book is not just meant to inform, it’s purpose is transform the reader into a culturally responsive practitioner.

Inquiry-Based Teaching

Oakes, Constance

Topic:  Educational Theory and Practice (ET)

Bibliographic Citation: Kohn, A. (2013, October 29). A dozen essential guidelines for educators. Retrieved from Alfie Kohn website:

Summary:  An article by Alfie Kohn, an author, and lecturer on education and parenting. This is a short listing of the core principles used in progressive education that nicely explain what an inquiry-based or project-based classroom should look like and what it shouldn’t.  

Evaluation/Opinion:  I find this article/list to be a great way to quickly get an understanding of how inquiry-based learning works and looks.  I like that it does say it is messy. I think it also lets teachers see that it can be a shift out of their comfort zone as their thinking and teaching will change as they move into an inquiry-based program.

Creativity & Critical Thinking

Oakes, Constance

Topic: Inquiry and Design (ID)

Bibliographic Citation:  Richardson, J. (2014, October 17). How to think, not what to think [Video file]. Retrieved from

Summary:  This is a TEDxBrisbane talk with Jesse Richardson, the founder of  In his talk, he discusses the need to stop teaching students information and to start teaching them how to think.  His thinking is that we need to teach children how to think creatively. By doing so we will be teaching students not only how to think, but how to be adaptive and how to innovate in order to solve problems.  Along with this, we need to teach critical thinking skills to teach students to be able to change their thinking and be able to be wrong which then leads to growth.

Evaluation/Opinion:  I found this TEDx to be engaging and I liked his view that thinking creatively and critical thinking skills are two sides of the same coin.  The School of Innovation is intriguing as is and I agree that this is what we need to be teaching our youth so they will be ready for the world we are leaving them.

Learning Environments

Guyer, Wendy

Topic: Collaboration (CO)

Bibliographic Citation:
Ritchhart, R. (2015). Environment: Using space to support learning and thinking. In Ritchhart, R., Creating cultures of thinking : The 8 forces we must master to truly transform our schools (pp. 227-260). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

While this book discusses transformational changes that schools can make in order to make thinking visible, this chapter (Chapter 9) specifically focuses on the school environment and how the spaces within a school can support learning and thinking through collaboration.

The chapter is a quick read with anecdotal stories. It shows many types of learning spaces and discusses the common threads within these spaces to promote collaboration and learning.