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Tch Talks

Tch Talks brings together educators from the Teaching Channel community engaged in the daily practice of helping young people learn. Tune in to these conversations to discover ways to improve your practice, gain insights into the profession, or simply spark your own imagination.

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Tch Talks 29: Project-Based Learning with Jennifer Pieratt

What is project-based learning (PBL)? What are the challenges and benefits of this approach to deeper learning? On this episode of Tch Talks, we're chatting with the brilliant and creative Jennifer Pieratt, who is deeply committed to making deeper learning for all students and teachers a reality. Jenny helps us dig into some common questions around PBL, such as: How is PBL different from a simple culminating project? How can you integrate PBL into your existing standards and curriculum? And — with all the resources floating around in the education ecosystem — where do you begin? Listen in to find out more on this episode of Tch Talks. Jennifer Pieratt Jenny Pieratt, Ph.D. and Teacherpreneur, is President of CraftED Curriculum — a leading provider of professional development for PBL in Southern California. She was a founding staff member at High Tech High North County, a former School Development Coach at New Tech Network, and National Faculty at Buck Institute for Education (BIE). You can learn more about her work at craftedcurriculum.com and follow her work on Instagram: @Crafted_jennypieratt, Twitter: @craftEDcm, and Facebook: Crafting Deeper Learning. Resources CraftED Curriculum PBL Planning Workbook The PBL Blog More articles on PBL and Deeper Learning Follow Jenny on Twitter: @craftEDcm Follow Jenny on Instagram: @Crafted_jennypieratt Follow Jenny on Facebook: Crafting Deeper Learning Expeditionary Learning Models of Excellence High Tech High Projects Buck Institute for Education (BIE) BIE PBLU Teaching Channel Resources Tch Videos My Favorite No: Learning From Mistakes Deeper Learning Series Jenny’s Blog Posts on Tchers’ Voice 3 Steps to Successful Student Collaboration Getting Started with PBL: Do ONE Thing Really Well Project Based Learning: Assessment and Other Dirty Words Crafting Deeper Collaboration: An Invitation Design Thinking, Empathy,


24 Jul 2018

Rank #1

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Tch Talks 28: Playful Assessment

How might student learning improve if assessments were innovative, authentic, and playful? Learning can — and should — be fun, but when it comes to assessment, teachers can be very serious. However, there’s no need for the fun to stop when the assessments come out. On this episode of Tch Talks, Dr. Yoon Jeon Kim, a research scientist at MIT Teaching Systems Lab, and Louisa Rosenheck, a designer and researcher of educational technologies in the MIT Education Arcade, come together to discuss how thoughtful design of authentic, creative, and playful assessments can engage students, help them to learn and grow, and allow them an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities in a more personalized and meaningful way. YJ & Louisa — both self-proclaimed "assessment nerds" — discuss types of playful assessment, assessment tools, connections between assessment and social and emotional learning, and their shared goal of empowering teachers with assessment literacy. Perhaps, moving away from traditional assessments and embracing a little whimsy in the classroom just might be a key leverage point to impacting the way students learn in schools. Listen in to find out more. Yoon Jeon Kim Dr. Yoon Jeon Kim is a research scientist at MIT Teaching Systems Lab. Her work has centered on the topic of innovative assessment and how technological advancement influences what we are measuring about student learning and how we are measuring it. Before joining MIT, she was involved in many game-based and simulation-based assessment development and evaluation projects using evidence-centered design in combination with educational data mining techniques. Her primary role at MIT has been leading the partnership with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to create a new teacher preparation program. She also leads the Playful Assessment Working Group, where she and her colleagues explore playful, authentic, yet rigorous assessment approaches in both digital and non-digital learning environments. The core of her work is close collaboration with practitioners — empowering teachers to innovate around classroom assessment and use playful and authentic assessment tools that can truly impact student learning. Louisa Rosenheck Louisa Rosenheck is a designer and researcher of educational technologies in the MIT Education Arcade. She manages the design, content, and development of educational games and simulations, and oversees the research on how games can be effectively used in both formal and informal educational settings. She also brings the playfulness of games into her assessment design work, creating digital and non-digital tools to help both students and teachers assess creative work and soft skills. In addition to these areas, she supports other designers and organizations in creating innovative ed tech and curriculum. Through capacity building partnerships on local and international ed tech programs, she aims to increase the deep learning in games and tools being produced for education. Resources MIT Teaching Systems Lab MIT Education Arcade Overview: Playful Assessment MetaRubric Activity a href="https://tsl.mit.


20 Jul 2018

Rank #2

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Tch Talks 27: Five Things You Can Do to Reach & Teach English Learners

School just got out, so hopefully, as an educator, you’re taking time to relax. But we all know that most teachers don’t shut their minds off completely in the summer. You’re probably already thinking about the year ahead. One thing you might be thinking about is how to better serve your English Language Learners (ELLs), especially since they continue to be a growing population in U.S. schools. In this episode of Tch Talks, educators Sarah Ottow and Nicole Shimizu share their list of five things you can do to reach and teach your ELLs during the next school year. Their ideas are practical and fairly easy to try, and there are some ideas you can staring work on this summer! Listen to find out more. Sarah Ottow, founder of Confianza, has partnered with countless school districts and companies nationally and internationally. Her focus is on reinforcing relationship skills and value-identification of the ever-growing ELL population, while improving student outcomes and profitability within organizations. With Sarah’s extensive and diverse background in identifying needs of faculty, students, and employees coupled with her education in curriculum and social justice, she creates programs and tools tailored to the exact needs of each organization and population of English learners. Connect with Sarah on Twitter: @SarahOttow. Nicole Shimizu has over 16 years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, gifted and talented teacher, ELL teacher, ELL facilitator, professional developer, course developer and instructor for Seattle University, K-12 multilingual learner curriculum developer, consultant, and equity coach. As an Asian woman who grew up in one of the nation’s most diverse zip codes, race has always been front and center for Nicole. She grounds her work with Pacific Educational Group as a Courageous Conversations About Race Affiliate Coach in the theoretical and historical underpinnings of systemic racism and Critical Race Theory. Nicole is particularly interested in the intersection of race and English Language Learners. She is also a Certified Project GLAD® Consultant, the Northwest Region’s representative of Teaching Channel's ELL FabFive Squad, and a contributing blogger for Confianza. As a coach, consultant, and professional developer, Nicole has had the unique privilege of working with educators throughout the country, from Hawaii to New York City. Connect with Nicole on Twitter: @ShimizuNguyen. Resources: ELL Deep Dive Resources and Tips from Confianza Collaboration & Co-Teaching: Strategies for English Learners 3 Tips for Supporting ELLs Through Co-Teaching and Collaboration Authors of Color Reading List Video Playlist: The Power of Collaboration for ELLs


26 Jun 2018

Rank #3

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Tch Talks 26: Creating a Sense of Belongingness with an Academy for Newcomers

What's possible for newcomer education? And how can we accelerate language learning, affirm students' identities, and help them get on track to graduation and post-secondary opportunities, while creating a learning community of high supports and high expectations? ENLACE, a program for ninth and tenth grade newcomer students at Lawrence High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, is working hard to answer these questions. On this episode of Tch Talks, Allison Balter, founding principal of ENLACE, shares her story of getting ENLACE started two years ago and what she’s learned from this experience so far. She talks about how teachers at ENLACE work towards supporting students’ learning of both content and language simultaneously. Allison also describes how ENLACE helps students feel a sense of belonging when they are physically so far away from their home countries. Listen in to find out more. Allison Balter, founding Principal of ENLACE Academy, has worked in education for 10 years and has been a teacher and school leader working with English Language Learners in elementary, middle, and high school for the past seven. She also served as the ELL Director for a network of turnaround schools in Massachusetts. She is inspired every day by the students and families she works with and the phenomenal team of educators at ENLACE.   Resources: ENLACE Videos on Tch ELL Deep Dive Lawrence Public Schools website Follow ENLACE on Twitter: @ENLACE_Lawrence


29 Mar 2018

Rank #4

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Tch Talks 25: Sarah Kay and Project VOICE

Can teachers use spoken word poetry as a tool for literacy, empowerment, engagement, education, and community building across content areas? Poet, performer, and educator Sarah Kay says absolutely, YES! Sarah is a founder and co-director of Project VOICE, an organization that uses spoken word poetry to entertain, educate, and inspire. Through Project VOICE, Sarah is dedicated to promoting empowerment, improving literacy, and encouraging empathy and creative collaboration in classrooms and communities around the world. On this episode of Tch Talks, Sarah discusses the origin story of Project VOICE, her own introduction to spoken word poetry, and her work as a poet, an educator, and a bestselling author. Whether speaking from her heart or from her head, Sarah believes that spoken word poetry can be an important educational tool that will have a lasting positive impact on your students' motivation, creativity, self-esteem, agency, and their desire to share their own stories and listen to the stories of others. Listen in to find out more. Sarah Kay is a poet, performer, and educator from New York City who has been performing her spoken word poetry since she was 14 years old. She is perhaps best known for her talk at the 2011 TED conference, which garnered two standing ovations and has been viewed over ten million times online. In that talk, Sarah recounts the story of her metamorphosis from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse in New York City, to a teacher who connects young people with the power of self-expression through her organization Project VOICE. A gifted artist and breathtaking performer, Sarah empowers audiences of any age and background to embrace vulnerability, creativity, and community. Sarah has been invited to share her work on such diverse stages as the Malthouse Theater in Melbourne, Australia; The Royal Danish Theater in Copenhagen, Denmark; the United Nations, Carnegie Hall, and Apollo Theater in New York City; among hundreds of other venues. Sarah holds a Masters Degree in The Art of Teaching from Brown University and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Grinnell College. She is the author of four books of poetry: No Matter the Wreckage (Write Bloody, 2014) - an Amazon Bestseller in American Poetry; B (Hachette Books, 2015) - ranked #1 Poetry Book on Amazon; The Type (Hachette Books, 2016); and All Our Wild Wonder (Hachette Books, 2018). Sarah’s poems and articles have been published in CURA Magazine, The Writer Magazine, Thrush, Treehouse Magazine, Union Station Magazine, the Huffington Post, CNN.com, and many more. A passionate educator, Sarah has worked with education organizations like the National Association of Independent Schools, the International Baccalaureate Organization, the European Council of International Schools, the Association of International Schools in Africa, and the American Montessori Society, among many others, in order to further the work of Project VOICE: celebrating and inspiring self-expression, championing vulnerability, aiding empowerment, challenging traditional notions of literacy, and expanding access to arts education.


14 Mar 2018

Rank #5

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Tch Talks 24: Inviting Curiosity and Socratic Questioning Into The Classroom

What are the questions that your students carry inside of them but rarely ever discuss? 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples wanted to find out. What started as a small idea or strategy to help students build empathy transformed into nearly 15 years of work helping children -- and adults -- voice the questions they carry inside them. On this episode of Tch Talks, Shanna talks about why it's important for both students and teachers to "Think Like Socrates," to allow students to take ownership of their own learning through authentic questions, and to leverage student questions as learning experiences that develop critical thinking. For Shanna, curiosity is key, and allowing students to own their learning through creating questions is the most fundamental change a teacher can make in their teaching practice. Listen in to find out more. Shanna Peeples, the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, taught secondary English in Amarillo, Texas for 15 years. She has also served as a department chair and instructional coach. Shanna is currently a Doctor of Education Leadership Candidate at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her book, Think Like Socrates: Invite Wonder, Curiosity, and Critical Thinking Into the Classroom, will be published by Corwin in August. Connect with Shanna on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or via her professional website.      Resources: Response: Students Can 'Own Their Learning Through Creating Questions' We Become Who People Say We Are Check out Shanna's website Shanna Peeples: Presentations Draft Protocol for Generating Students’ Authentic Questions 50 Great Teachers: Socrates, The Ancient World's Teaching Superstar Follow @ShannaPeeples on Twitter Follow Shanna Peeples on Facebook Follow @slpeeple on Instagram Dogfooding: How Often Do You Do Your Own Assignments by Cult of Pedagogy Big Thinkers: Judy Willis on the Science of Learning, Edutopia The Heart of Philosophy by Jacob Needleman The Ten Great Questions of the Heart by Jacob Needleman The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life by Parker Palmer


30 Jan 2018

Rank #6

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Tch Talks 23: School Startup to Curio: Redesigning Deeper Learning

When teachers solve problems, they inspire their students to solve problems, too. How can teachers use their best strategies as a launching pad for deeper learning and professional growth? And how can curiosity, co-creation, and collaboration before a lesson idea is formed be a game-changer for classroom practice? On this episode of Tch Talks, Ashley Lamb-Sinclair, Instructional Specialist and Deeper Learning Coach for Fern Creek High School in Louisville, Kentucky and 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, joins us to talk about her work with School Startup. This pilot program is where three cohorts of Teacher-Founders are engaged in the design process to rethink and redesign deeper learning in their classrooms and professional learning communities. She also shares her recent adventures as founder and CEO of Curio Learning, an app that helps teachers discover new ideas and curate them in a personalized way. The app also facilitates collaboration with other educators in order for them to grow as professionals and find the ways to best help their students. Ashley believes that if every teacher woke up to the awesome influence he or she has, there would be a drastic overhaul of the system and that -- bottom line -- it takes a teacher to transform learning. Ashley Lamb-Sinclair Ashley Lamb-Sinclair is an Instructional Specialist and Deeper Learning Coach for Fern Creek High School in Louisville, Kentucky. As 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, she was accepted to the Spotify for Education Advisory Board and received an EF Education First scholarship to study the education system in Finland with other teachers. Prior to being honored as Kentucky Teacher of the Year, Ashley was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Thailand and Vietnam, and an English Speaking Union Scholarship to study creative writing at Exeter College at the University of Oxford. She is a contributing writer to The Atlantic and The Washington Post, among other publications. Ashley has also served as Teacher in Residence for the Kentucky Department of Education, co-founded multiple statewide projects, including KYEdPolicy.org, Policy Together, and the Courier-Journal's Classroom Connections, as well as co-founded a national teacher-led organization called Protect Public Ed. A self-confessed luddite, Ashley is founder and CEO of Curio Learning, an app for teachers to discover, curate, and collaborate. Ashley has been a National Board Certified high school ELA and creative writing teacher for 12 years.  Resources: Follow Ashley Lamb-Sinclair on Twitter Explore Ashley’s blog: Beautiful Junkyard Ashley Lamb-Sinclair’s work featured in The Washington Post Ashley Lamb-Sinclair’s work featured in The Atlantic Are You Teaching Con...


23 Jan 2018

Rank #7

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Tch Talks 22: Intention & Critical Creativity in the Classroom

What is Critical Creativity? To Dan Ryder and Amy Burval, critical creativity is “students using creative expression to demonstrate deeper thinking and the nuances of understanding content.” It's a portmanteau of sorts, which has the potential to turn ideas into action and push your students toward deeper learning and meaningful understanding. Dan and Amy believe that, “When students make connections, transform knowledge, and articulate the reasons behind their creative choices, learning becomes more sticky, meaningful, and authentic.” Articulation of creative reasoning is key, because as students learn the power of explanation, rationale, and intentionality, they shift from passive pupils along for the ride to active drivers of their own learning. And the best part of this shift is that it occurs in the midst of purposeful play. On this episode of Tch Talks, Dan Ryder, Education Director of the Success and Innovation Center at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, Maine, joins us to talk about his and Amy's new book, Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom, and how a little rigorous whimsy can help you transform learning in your classroom right now. Dan Ryder Dan Ryder is Education Director of the Success and Innovation Center at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, Maine. An idea wrangler, design thinker, improviser, and high school ELA teacher, Dan has taught nearly 20 years at Mt. Blue Campus. His students run WickedFocus.com, a Real World Scholars EdCorps classroom-based 3D printing company that makes fidgets for students experiencing stress and anxiety. He directs and performs improv comedy, is an ambassador for FlipGrid, works with Sevenzo.org, is a member of the Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2017, and is a 2017 recipient of the ACTEM Achieve Award, Maine's ISTE-affiliated recognition for contributions to educational technology in Maine. Dan is co-author with Amy Burvall of the book, “Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom,” from EdTechTeam Press. Connect with Dan on Twitter: @WickedDecent.  Related Resources: Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom by Amy Burval and Dan Ryder Follow @IntentionBook on Twitter Follow #IntentionBookChat on Twitter Follow #RigorousWhimsy on Twitter Follow the Success and Innovation Center at Mt. Blue Campus on Facebook Website: a href="https://xwing212.wixsite.


4 Jan 2018

Rank #8

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Tch Talks 21: A Student’s Perspective on SEL in the Classroom

Does social-emotional learning really make a difference for at-risk students? In Part Three of our series on Social and Emotional Learning, Daniel McCutchen, a recently graduated student from Austin High School in Austin, Texas, joins Tch Talks to discuss his experiences in an intentional SEL-dedicated course. Daniel is not only a former learner, but also attends national conferences and presents on the topic with his teacher. Learn how SEL helped Daniel adjust to the demands and expectations of high school, to prioritize the most important things in his life, and to develop life skills that he is able to apply in a variety of circumstances. Daniel McCutchen Daniel McCutchen is a recent graduate of Austin High School, where he was awarded the Trustees’ Scholar Award every year in recognition of outstanding academic achievement. He was salutatorian of his senior class. Daniel excels in sports and practices servant leadership by organizing various charity and humanitarian projects. He is the founder of the Walk For The Water non-profit fundraising organization, an annual 5K race that raises money for clean, accessible water for people in Burundi, Africa. He is an advisor to the Aspen Institute's National Youth Commission, and he teaches a Social and Emotional Learning class to freshman students at his high school. Daniel will be attending Harvard University, where he will run track and study government and international relations. Resources: Video: Encouraging Students to Persist Through Challenges Video: Mindfulness in the Classroom Video: Emotional Check-Ins Video: Using Guided Relaxation in the Classroom Video: Building Emotional Literacy Class Culture Deep Dive Blog: Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain #aNewKindofPD Podcast: Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning School Connect Curriculum Edutopia: Social and Emotional Learning Second Step: Skills for Social and Academic Success MindUP PATHS: Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies Social-Emotional Learning: Essential Skills for Success in School and Life — R. Keeth Matheny at a Capitol Hill briefing held by Committee for Children School Transformation Through a Social and Emotional Learning Based Freshman Seminar


6 Jul 2017

Rank #9

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Tch Talks 20: Accessing Tangible Learning Outcomes Through Minecraft

Students may be the experts when it comes to the world of Minecraft, but teachers are the experts in curriculum design. Teachers can use what they know best to design engaging, real-world experiences within Minecraft that are aligned with curriculum and standards and focused on a learning goal. Students can use the tools within Minecraft to show evidence of their learning, document their progress, share their achievements, reflect, and learn through hands-on experiences. What's more, students love Minecraft and are excited to craft! Dr. Amy Tong joins Tch Talks to discuss how we can create tangible learning outcomes for and with students through Minecraft. Amy Tong   Amy Tong is an Instructional Technology Specialist at Azle ISD. Dr.Tong spent eight years in the classroom teaching elementary school and transitioned into instructional technology three years ago. She completed her doctorate last year, focused on mobile device integration in elementary classrooms.     Resources Minecraft Education Edition Minecraft Starter Kit This is the final podcast in our five-part series, Teaching and Learning with Minecraft. Check out previous episodes that focus on Engagement, Creativity, and Collaboration.


8 Jun 2017

Rank #10