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powerED Up

powerED Up

By Ken Ehrmann
We are powering education up by empowering you! Join us to talk about everything education with the hosts and weekly interviews. We will interview teachers to find out what makes great teachers and how we can all grow together.
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Show 53: Be Intentional with Technology and Instruction
Dr. Matt Rhoads is an educator, coach, and leader well-grounded in the ed-tech space.  He supports teachers and leaders on a daily basis and has not lost a connection to what is realistic. The conversation covers many topics, but he dives deep into specific topics. When asked tough questions, he provides great answers.  No fluff.  Tune in and follow along with Matt's journey and learn how to integrate more data and more technology into your classroom. In This Episode We Cover: How to effectively utilize technology in the current state of education. Strategies for incorporating station rotation in a hybrid and blended teaching environment. How the necessity of education technology has gleaned light and tools that dramatically improve effective instructional strategies. Improving exit slips with digital formative assessments.
January 20, 2022
Show 52: Creating Individualized Learning Experiences
Eric Combs is a middle school band teacher coming off one of the greatest experiences of his career, visiting the White House as the 2020 Illinois Teacher of the Year. He has created an experience in a beginner-level band that is so unique, it has become copied worldwide. He is focused on student growth, student achievement, and student motivation. He worked diligently to create this program to a point where students drive the experience, and he is guiding them to true achievement. In This Episode We Cover: The importance of data and the impact on instruction. How to use flipped instruction to enhance classroom experiences. What it takes to provide students with an individualized instructional experience. Flipped instruction and self-paced structures improve student rapport and relationships with teachers. When you do not teach for mastery, students fall behind and never catch up. The positive impact on self-paced instruction has impacted the interest in band and retention in the program. The utilization of check-ins to track student progress and guide them towards their next targets.
January 13, 2022
Show 51: Untangling the Web of Ed Tech
Running a successful school district is a complete operation of multiple departments, some including adults who are not certified, educators. The role of IT is vital for teachers to run a successful classroom.  Teachers, students, and parents all depend on reliable and effective technology.  There is so much that goes into the infrastructure, applications, and devices we use day in and day out. It is important for teachers to communicate effectively with the IT department and work collaboratively. In This Episode We Cover Defining ed-tech and how all the components of IT work collaboratively together. Simple guidelines to decide whether or not to use an application in the classroom. Applications IT are used to support teachers. Developing tech literacy and setting goals for how to effectively instruct teachers and students.
January 06, 2022
Show 50: Reflect on a Journey, Set Goals for the Future
Reaching Show 50 was a big milestone for us, and we wanted to take time to reflect on the experience.  We spent time saying thank you to our listeners and our guests. We reflected on some of the most impactful moments from the show and our favorite quotes from previous guests. We've had so much inspiration from amazing educators and we want to continue to make sure we bring those moments, stories, and principles to our audience. In This Episode We Cover What show 50 meant to each Matt and Ken. How our guests generated the same results, creating amazing classrooms, but accomplished it through so many different paths. The differentiated type of teachers we've had on our show. Matt and Ken share the lessons that stuck with them most and how it has impacted their day-to-day work with students and teachers. Taking a leap of faith in the classroom and picking up the pieces along the way.
December 30, 2021
Show 49: Driving Student Passions through Music and Ownership
Creating an atmosphere to inspire and foster student passion is a challenge every teacher faces.  Claire Clifford leads elementary through high school students in musical performances and class. Claire showcases her diverse expectations as a teacher transitioning from elementary music class, to high school vocal choir, to a community musical production, and preparing all of those students for a winter concert! She works tirelessly to create amazing productions, but the real beauty is in the daily learning that takes place each day in her classroom.   In This Episode We Cover:  The use of the Hungarian Kodaly (Ko-die) method.  Managing the multiple responsibilities of a music teacher and how that translates to the regular education classroom.  How to incorporate cross-curricular learning opportunities in music class.  Using teachable moments to develop background knowledge in other content areas.  Transitioning ownership from the teacher to student, and the challenges we see as teachers in those transitions.  Involving student choice in the curriculum and content of the classroom.
December 23, 2021
Show 48: Digging Deep into the Specifics of Planning Creative Lessons
Planning creative lessons is a skill every teacher can develop. We dive deep into a conversation specifically on how to plan creative lessons. It starts with knowing your why, what do you hope to accomplish and what are the learning targets? There will be failures, and that is okay! Our students are providing us feedback whether they intend to or not; we just have to look for it.  Planning creative lessons can be time-intensive, but it doesn't need to be and we talk about exactly how. In This Episode We Cover: Step one in planning a creative lesson starts with key questions and keeping your sights set on the original instructional goal. Failures are commonplace, and we hear specific lessons that failed with Ken. Criteria for what "failure" actually is with creative lessons and how to determine if it failed or succeeded. Using colleagues and students to reflect on the success of a lesson. Planning creative lessons can be a simple tweak in the lesson, as well as, time-intensive.  We talk about both and when each is appropriate to use. Ken describes exactly how and where he gets his ideas for all of his creative lessons.  It might not be exactly what you would think or what you want to hear!​
December 16, 2021
Show 47: Kids Deserve It, Teachers Deserve It!
The opportunity to spend an hour with Adam Welcome is a true inspiration! He makes you feel like it is okay to do what students deserve most.  As a former classroom teacher, principal, director of innovation, and now education influencer he provides details of the trenches and also a broad stroke view of how to approach instruction.  The positive energy is palpable through the microphone to power up the entire audience!  In the end, just try something different.  The kids don't care if you know what you are doing, they care you are taking a risk. In This Episode We Cover: Create a classroom where students will remember how special you made them feel. What #KidsDeserveIt and #TeachersDeserveIt mean and how it impacts the positivity of education. The expectations for utilizing creative lessons and how to involve students in the learning process. The process for moving students away from consumers and towards producers. When you want to change the look and feel of your class, don't overthink it.  Make small changes one step at a time. Step back and look at your classroom, pay attention to all of the things you do and ask yourself "can a student do this instead of me?"
December 09, 2021
Show 46: Changing the Narrative of Leadership
Charles Williams is an inspirational, grounded, and motivated leader to creates change for students and teachers.  We discuss the challenges teachers face to give it all to students.  Charles shares his strategies for supporting teachers to create engaging environments for students and how to take risks from day one.  He shares the importance of equity and the value of facing difficult conversations.  It's not about what we want, but what our children need to be successful outside of the classroom. In This Episode We Cover: How teachers can volunteer for extra-curricular activities and the positive impact it has on management and instruction. The value of attending after-school activities to support your students and community. Creating norms for students to be genuinely engaged and learning: everyday students must produce and collaborate with peers. The five principal permissions were established on day one for teachers to feel comfortable taking risks. The use of data and how it impacts a classroom teacher and school initiatives. How to have challenging conversations in education to provide the best resources and experiences for ALL students.
December 02, 2021
Show 45: Measuring Growth One Student at a Time
Rebecca Richardson is a positive beam of light in the world of education.  She shares about her professional career prior to entering public education and how it impacted her teaching philosophies. She shares about her early journey and welcomes others into her room to help her grow as an educator.  She has taken that philosophy and built a model of community education in her building for constant collaboration. In This Episode We Cover The impact of a professional career prior to entering public education. Creating change amongst a team and department for the benefit of students. The benefit of being vulnerable with yourself and your teaching style is to grow as an educator. The benefits of observing colleagues and the challenges to make those experiences possible. Finding the small moments in lessons create great results. Growth grading, how it helps support students to grow and creates intrinsic motivation.
November 18, 2021
Show 44: Meaningful and Impactful Parent Conferences
The journey of teaching a child and making a positive impact on their life involves much more than a teacher's effort.  It is a team approach and a team mission.  Parents/guardians are a key player in that team, and parent-teacher conferences are something we should always value as educators.  It can add extra stress, it can feel like one more thing, but it is a chance to align everyone to the goals of a child's growth.  Ken and Matt talk about their experiences with conferences and the strategies they used to get everyone on the same page. In This Episode We Cover: The best mindset to approach parent-teacher conferences. Strategies for starting the session. Data and other artifacts to bring to the conference. How to approach difficult conversations. Key strategies for everyone to leave the conference with to make an impact. Conversations to have with students the day after the conference.
November 11, 2021
Show 43: Realistic Expectations for a Data Driven Teacher
The use of data in a classroom is a powerful, necessary, and meaningful tool to utilize as a classroom teacher.  Samantha has a great deal of experience supporting students with dropout prevention and teachers to create meaningful programs for students. She shares her unique experiences and how that best impacts education today. It is a tough conversation and one that requires a great deal of planning but it can have a big impact on students.   In This Episode We Cover:  Defining data, where it comes from, and how it plays a major impact on daily classroom instruction.  Strategies for collecting, using, analyzing, and implementing data-based instruction.  Using asynchronous instruction combined with small group targetted instruction to differentiate for students.  Helping your students develop a relationship with their own data to build more intrinsically motivated learners.  Strategies for creating positive rapport with students.
November 04, 2021
Show 42: Real World Learning that is Actually Authentic
The journey of an educator is a challenge.  It is a demanding position that requires all of our physical and emotional energy.  Matthew Strine provides us honest feedback about his journey and how it has shaped his positive mindset on teaching today. We discuss key strategies and examples for incorporating real-world tasks in the classroom. Matthew shares the opportunities he is creating for students and how his high expectations create results they never dreamed to be true. In This Episode We Cover: The difference between a lesson that models real-world examples and is an actual real-world experience. Entering students into competitions and setting the bar high. Providing personalized learning experiences for students and systems to differentiate those lessons.
October 28, 2021
Show 41: The Value of Reflecting on Lessons
After facilitating a lesson, the time to think, reflect, and set action steps for the next attempt is key for growing as a teacher.  Matt and Ken discuss what best practices for reflecting on lessons look like and how it applies to all K-12 educators.  The process for a self-contained elementary teacher is much different that a middle school social studies teacher.  Ken just wrapped up facilitating a lesson with two teachers he helped design in his role as an instructional coach.  He reflects on the lesson and also shares adjustments that were made between attempts. In This Episode We Cover: Effective questions to facilitate self-reflection. How to create digital breakouts to enhance the quality of a lesson. How to combine creativity with higher-level thinking skills to boost the productivity of a lesson. How to make adjustments between lessons and what to look for during the action. When planning a new activity, sometimes less is more. Judging the quality of a lesson and what can be enhanced.
October 21, 2021
Show 40: Students Viewing Themselves as Learners
Professor Christopher P. Brown brings a calm, level-headed, realistic approach to what teaching and learning should look like for our youngest learners. The standards we set, the expectations we create, need to align to what students need to develop as young people, not the content policymakers feel are important. Chris shares key strategies for taking advantage of learning moments, explaining why, and being explicit with his instructional decisions. In This Episode We Cover The power of explaining why we are learning what we are learning. How to be overly explicit with students and the benefits it offers. Using centers, play, and exploration to learn concepts. Fueling student questions and exploring those concepts to generate more questions. Encouraging students to view themselves as learners. Balancing curricular expectations with the lessons that truly matter.
October 14, 2021
Show 39: Reflections on Back to School Night
Events with parents and family members can be stressful, overwhelming, and a time that creates anxiety for teachers. Our host Matt Rogers just wrapped up his back-to-school night an hour before the recording.  We dove deep into the topic and heard honest, organic reflections from Matt coming right off of the event.  To quote Ken, "this is a crucial event" to help guide students towards success. In This Episode We Cover: How to establish a team atmosphere working towards the success of the child. Approaches to the information communicated during the evening event. How to handle parents not attending. The importance of consistent parent communication. Constructing a clear agenda for the event and evaluating what can be conveyed afterward to all parents, even those that do not attend.
October 07, 2021
Show 38: Immersive Learning Experiences
Here is a show with twice the excitement for the price of one! Mario and Alberto, known as the ETwinz are two outstanding educators creating learning experiences for students like non-other.  They relocated from Spain 6 years ago, and began teaching in the United States without knowing how to speak English.  Their life experience blends with a student-centered teaching experience to inspire students to make mistakes, take risks, and solve problems.  They teach in a Spanish immersion school; the approach to learning language builds skills to tackle all other subjects with a growth mindset. In This Episode We Cover: A full immersion school and the learning experiences it creates. Taking personal risks and showcasing that courage to students. Social and emotional learning. Critical thinking skills. The connection between empathy and critical thinking is to be future-ready. Service-learning projects and community outreach.
September 30, 2021
Show 37: The Truth Behind Homework
Dr. Erik Youngman is a dedicated educator bringing his professional and personal life experiences together to provide a well-rounded approach to his district.  As the father of three daughters and husband to a speech pathologist, he is able to wear multiple hats in addition to his experience as a teacher, principal, and curriculum director. He encourages a holistic approach to teaching and constantly checking in with students to hear authentic feedback about how teaching and learning can improve.  His main passions align with changing the narrative of homework and integrating a growth mindset.   In This Episode We Cover:  The role of curriculum in the daily lessons.  Approaching scripted programs and allowing fortitude to professionals.  Implementing new programs and strategies.  Strategies. for differentiation and targeting students  The 12 Characteristics of Deliberate Homework  Realistic expectations for homework to keep it meaningful and effective.  How growth mindset fits into a daily lesson.
September 23, 2021
Show 36: Keys to a Democratic Classroom
Jorge Rodriguez is a physical education teacher from Saudi Arabia, relocated from Houston Texas.  His calm presence, open mind, and willingness to take risks in is inspirational.  After sharing the experience of moving his family across the globe, Jorge jumps into his key instructional strategies to run a democratic classroom.  He provides specific examples of how his lessons are structured to create this type of learning environment.   In This Episode We Cover:  Taking life risks to expand yourself personally and professionally.  Adjusting your mindset around your students.  Learning and supporting a school's local community to improve the culture.  Creating meaningful physical education and how to encourage students to experience life through recognizing their interactions.  Encouraging student choice and classroom autonomy   Establishing meaningful, genuine, and long-lasting relationships with students.  Creating, facilitating, and maintaining a democratic classroom.
September 16, 2021
Show 35: Behind the Scenes of Student Centered Learning
"I was able to align my head and my heart as a teacher." Those words of inspiration were one of many from Abby French, a middle school social studies teacher from Virginia. In our conversation with Abby, we learned how she works as a local advocate for her teachers and schools, creates passion and excitement in the classroom, and facilitates student-centered learning.  She finds ways to teach history through empathy and connect the past to the present.  Abby is an incredible teacher and her work goes well beyond the curricular standards.   In This Episode We Cover  How to act as a local advocate for the benefit of teachers and public education.  The responsibility of every individual teacher is to share their story and classroom with the public.  Practical steps to create a student-centered classroom.  What is truly involved in being a classroom facilitator.   How to strengthen a school and district through teacher retention.
September 09, 2021
Show 34: Students First, ALWAYS
Dr. Tracy Scott Kelly went through every effort to record this podcast, the passion and enthusiasm are palpable from the moment it began.  He is a dedicated, relentless educator always striving to do his best for students.  He has made a career out of special education, whether it is a five-student or 25 student caseload he does everything necessary to see the success of those students.  Tracy is inspirational to push for change, step out of our comfort zone, and make a positive influence on education.   In This Episode We Cover:  Explicit examples for how to best support special education students.  Strategies for inclusion as a regular education teacher.  Best practice for least restrictive environments.  The motivation behind passionate teaching.  How to be a positive light for students and families.
September 02, 2021
Show 33: How We Teach the Students, Not the Content
Christopher Albrecht is a humble, committed, passionate, and inspirational educator for everyone to look up to. For 24 years Christopher has impacted countless lives of students and is committed to the betterment of his community.  As a community member himself, he serves as a role model for all.  Christopher shares his insight on how to make new teachers more successful and to prevent burnout.  His approach to classroom management is powerful.  This podcast is a must-listen for educators in pre-service education all the way to teachers approaching retirement.   In This Episode We Cover:  How to immerse yourself in the teaching experience for the betterment of students.  Combining great teaching of standards with great teaching of life and taking advantage of teachable moments.  Defining success and greatness as a teacher.  Strategies for effective classroom management that will improve the quality of teaching and the community of the room.  The mindset is necessary to make every year a successful year.  Strategies for more effective lessons on writing.
August 26, 2021
Show 32: A First Day of School to Remember
Imagine walking into your child's fifth-grade classroom two days before the first day of school for an open house and seeing 30 desks and chairs in a pile. Ken Ehrmann's parents and children went through this very experience, and it was all by design.  Ken shares how he launched his year through a student-centered experience to completely immerse the students into the room.  The phrase "we share this room together" took on a whole new meaning.   In This Episode We Cover:  How to approach the first minute, the first hour, and the first day of school. What our top priorities should be for students and teachers.  First impressions are a two-way street.  Rethinking your classroom space and design.  Setting one simple goal for the first day of school: make sure every student is excited to come back for the second day.
August 19, 2021
Show 31: Preventing Teacher Burnout
Casey Jakubowski is a passionate advocate for teacher well-being and preventing burnout. His desire to support new and veterans teachers come from a place of experiencing burnout himself.  He is a former high school civics teacher and has worked many years in the pre-service training of teachers. He provides motivation to grow as a teacher and actionable steps to do so. In This Episode We Cover: Defining the difference between civics education and social studies. Creating simulation-based experiences to learn important concepts. The value of teaching a civics mindset and supporting our society. Defining teacher burnout and actionable steps to avoid it. How to surround yourself with mentors and colleagues to support your own well-being.
August 12, 2021
Show 30: Teaching the ART of Risk Taking
Cara Bowerman is teaching and coaching her passions and influencing young adults to pursue the same. As a high school art teacher, Cara has the unique experience to work with students passionate about the content and interested in growing their own skills.  She doesn't assume this will create instant buy-in.  Cara works hard to develop real respect from her students and to promote an environment of risk-taking.  Her students are supported and encouraged to do their own version of "best".   In This Episode we Cover:  Strategies for creating risk-taking environments and the power of "yes".  Leveraging real-world opportunities to create authentic audiences.  Methods for conducting peer reviews and critique sessions.  How to evaluate students without devaluing their effort, time, and passion.  Inspiration to believe in yourself and help others find something to believe in.  Keeping lessons relevant and exciting.
August 05, 2021
Show 29: NOT Your Typical Science Lab
Linda Rost is the 2020 Montana Teacher of the Year.  From the moment the podcast begins it is evident as to why she has earned those accolades.  The learning experiences she creates are all designed around one goal, to improve student learning. She provides students with the opportunity to redesign a local lake, and challenge the decisions made by the Department of Interior on endangered species.  Her passion is palpable and the podcast will truly leave you feeling powerED Up!   In this episode, we cover:  Connecting the community to the classroom.  Creating inspiration in the community to reach for the stars.  Creating a culture of learning and cross-curricular experiences.  Starting with big ideas and how to strategically lesson plan.
July 29, 2021
Show 28: Taking Action on Mental Health
Connecting with a large group of students year after year is a teacher's highest priority but also a major challenge.  Stacie Lawler uses an open, authentic, and honest approach to accomplish such a task.  As a Health and P.E. teacher, Stacie wears many hats and one she has added to her collection is the daunting task of mental health.  In 2014, Stacie was faced with her own challenges of mental health as a parent.  This translated into an endless mission to change the narrative in her school, state, and now the country.  Stacie shares great advice, practical strategies, and encouragement for approaching this topic with young adults.   In This Episode We Cover: How to approach mental health conversations with children and young adults.  Resources available to help support our own knowledge and understanding.  The importance of awareness and proper training on mental health.  The eight sources of strength support a healthy mindset.  How to approach administration to create change in your classroom and curriculum.
July 22, 2021
Show 27: Do Lesson Plans Really Matter?
Creating lesson plans, how exciting! In pre-service education, most aspiring teachers will spend many classes and assignments designing lesson plans in different templates all to find out that every district has its own expectations for design and components.  If you are a ten-year teacher, do you even need to write lesson plans? Matt and Ken have very conflicting answers.  In this episode, the two co-hosts debate over the purpose, relevancy, and value of lesson plans.   In This Episode We Cover:  - The purpose of writing lesson plans.  - How a new teacher and veteran teacher should each approach lesson planning.  - Using your instructional style to guide the lesson plan format.  - How to keep your current students at the forefront of planning.
July 15, 2021
Show 26: Integrated Wellness
Creating an integrated wellness approach is so much more than "teaching gym class".  Bo Shappell shares the truth about physical education and the future of this class in public education.  Bo's approach is focused on improving the lives of his students and the way they think about themselves.  Bo shares how he is combining the curriculum of health with the movement of physical education to create his integrated wellness course. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is at the core of instruction. Additionally, how he and his students self-reflect is a strategy every teacher could incorporate into daily practice. In This Episode We Cover Defining Integrated Wellness. How to create lessons for students to self-reflect. Technology integration strategies. Defining Social and Emotional Learning. The five competencies of Social and Emotional Learning.
July 08, 2021
Show 25: Flipping Universal Design for Learning
If it works for one, then it works for all.  Designing a learning space where students have real choices to fit their learning needs and modalities is a powerful environment to thrive.  Kyle Niemis shares how he combines Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Flipped Learning to create an amazing learning culture.  The four-step process to supporting students in a choice-based learning environment is a strategy all teachers can copy and use. He explains the pros and cons, the troubles and triumphs, and sets realistic explanations.  He also shares how he is supporting teachers with two innovative products, ClassroomQ and My Edtech Bundle. In This Episode We Cover Define Universal Design for Learning. Define Flipped Learning. Compare and Contrast a Flipped Classroom with Flipped Learning. Strategies for creating your own flipped lessons. Realistic expectations for creating and maintaining this learning environment. Creating meaningful check-ins with students and helping them navigate choice-based learning. Kyle's four-step process to a flipped learning and UDL classroom. Kyle's product ClassroomQ and My Edtech Bundle.
July 01, 2021
Show 24: Students First Leadership
Nick Snyder is a South Carolina Teacher of the Year turned administrator.  Nick dives deep into the story of "Mr. Snyder" highlighting his passions as a classroom teacher and what students valued most about his classroom. He shares his experience in both middle school and high school English. He provides a great perspective discussing his switch into administration, serving as the assistant principal of his same school.  This show brings humility to teaching and a re-centered approach to the human factor of public education.  Finally, he shares his biggest passion related to keeping teacher's tanks full. In This Episode We Cover Establishing strong routines, procedures, and the keys to preparation for successful lessons. Establishing both classroom and school-wide relationships to set the stage for successful collaboration. What the "it" factor is for teachers and how we can recognize it in others. Effective strategies for teaching argumentative writing. Strategies to keep our own passions thriving and how to support a culture of teachers running on full tanks.
June 24, 2021
Show 23: Summer is HERE!
Summer break has finally arrived for all teachers around the country! This year tested the patience, willpower, and dedication of all teachers.  They stepped up and crushed it.  Summertime is about unplugging, relaxing, and recharging the batteries.  The summer of 2021 is going to be the most important time for teachers to do this.  Matt and Ken talk about their summer goals, strategies, and plans for the most effective rejuvenation. In This Episode We Cover Why summer is so important. Matt's summer vacation plans. Ken's summer family plans. Strategies for truly stepping away from teaching while still feeling like you accomplished something to prepare for the upcoming year. How to utilize summer for creativity.
June 17, 2021
Show 22: The Power of Praise
Kyle Bragg, the SHAPE America 2021 National Teacher of the Year, brings amazing ideas to all teachers in all content areas. He is an inspiration to students, a role model for teachers, and a positive voice in education. As an elementary physical education teacher, he creates a classroom dynamic that is engaging, empowering, and safe for all students. He focuses on praising the characteristics and actions that all students can do, not just the athletically superior students. His specific strategies for praise, differentiation and modeling are something all teachers can strive to incorporate. In This Episode We Cover Effective strategies for providing praise including: being specific, proximity praising, and the sandwich. How to use GIFs to increase student independence and successful lessons. Strategies for empowering students to make decisions and encourage classmates. How to incorporate soft skills into classroom instruction. Specific examples of real-world learning experiences in physical education classes.
June 10, 2021
Show 21: Project Based Learning Does Work
Maggie McHugh is a middle school teacher from Wisconsin focused on project-based learning.  For some, PBL is a special week or one unit.  Not for Maggie, it is her class all day, every day.  Maggie demystifies PBL and provides the listeners with actionable steps towards how to build your students and yourself towards the capacity for PBL.  At the beginning of the show, we dive deep into a very intense moment in her classroom related to student identity.  As Maggie says herself, "the best Maggie has yet to come."  She shows what it means to be a passionate, dedicated educator. In this episode we cover: Approaching student identity and LQBTQ topics Incorporating social justice into learning Whattup Wednesday Tackling challenging conversations with a class Examples of Project-Based Learning Building capacity for independent learning Teaching math with Tinkercad
June 03, 2021
Show 20: Ignite a Culture of Innovation
Elisabeth Bostwick is a former elementary classroom teacher, instructional coach, educational consultant, and published author.  She has an amazing perspective on inspiring creative, student-centered learning.  She provides actionable steps to develop these learning experiences in any classroom.   Some specific topics include:  Design loop Empathy Student voice/choice Integrating STEM Student-centered learning Visible thinking routines See think wonder
May 27, 2021
Show 19: Understanding Students' Needs
Cathy Koenig is Director of Student Services for Pequea Valley School District.  She has a diverse background of teaching as she worked her way to a high-level administration position.  Her diverse experience has provided her with insight and advice applicable to all K-12 educators, both regular education and special education.  She provides the audience with excellent strategies to help meet the needs of all learners. In This Episode We Cover Defining and explaining Specially Designed Instruction (SDI). How to appropriately support and challenge learners. Create modifications and differentiation strategies for students.
May 20, 2021
Show 18 - Effective Classroom Transitions
As quoted by the host Ken Ehrmann, "effective classroom transition keep teachers hydrated".  When Matt and Ken sat down to tackle this conversation, it was supposed to be a quick brainstorm of what transitions look like and how they can best support effective teaching.  They weren't expecting it to go for 45 minutes, but the content is high-quality.  They discuss key strategies, ways to incorporate technology, and how to handle hybrid or fully virtual classes.  Ken's main message is to put more on the students to make it less stressful for teachers.   In This Episode We Cover:  Defining common elements of elementary transitions.  Defining common elements of secondary transitions.  Matt shares some of his favorite strategies for moving elementary students from subject to subject.  Ken discusses strategies to systemize and standardize transitions while still maintaining excitement and engagement.  Ken shares his approach to connecting a lesson's closure to the following days opening for the most effective transitions.
May 13, 2021
Show 17: Teach the Teachable Moments
Zach has many unique perspectives through his educational journey translating into supportive and realistic expectations for teachers.  Zach moved from Ohio to South Carolina to teach South Carolina history! His strong work ethic and focus on relationships helped him build a strong foundation in the community as a teacher leader.  Zach transitioned into a role as a curriculum coach for his school.  We discuss strategies for capturing teachable moments and maintaining curricular pacing expectations.
May 06, 2021
Show 16: The Keys to Differentiation
Stephanie brings passion, insight, and practical lesson ideas from the first question! The energy of this podcast is off the charts, and the lessons provide an equal punch.  Stephanie is an elementary teacher and differentiation coach.  She shines a much-needed light on the gifted population of students.  She provides amazing strategies for improving differentiation for the benefit of all learners.  Any teacher, K-12, can come out of this interview with strategies for supporting and challenging students.  Get your pen and paper ready!
April 29, 2021
Show 15 - Developing Young Leaders
Ryan has the special opportunity and tough responsibility of teaching his middle school students "leadership".  This broad topic is focused on social and emotional learning, character development, relationships, and really understanding themselves.  Ryan makes it obvious why this is one of the most important classes and experiences his students have.  These topics are so often treated as "if we have time" in public education.  Ryan shares why this is THE topic everyone in public education needs to experience.
April 22, 2021
Show 14 - Inquiry Learning for Cross-Curricular Success
Cindy Soule is the 2021 Maine Teacher of the Year.  It is quite obvious, from beginning to end, why she has earned those accolades.  She is focused on developing hard-working students, that care for themselves and others, and are ready to tackle real-world problems with grit.  One of her favorite messages to convey to other teachers is that "every teacher's superpower is belief in students."  Real, genuine belief.    To top it off, Cindy dives deep into her strategies for inquiry-based learning and how they can impact a student's ability to learn to read.
April 15, 2021
Show 13 - Real World Foreign Language Experiences
Laura Boyd is an incredible Spanish teacher focused on creating the best experience for students.  She starts with a purposeful plan to establishing a positive rapport with each student and a welcoming community in her classroom.  It transitions into experiences where students are forced to use the language in restaurants and stores speaking only Spanish.  This is a must-listen for all teachers!
April 08, 2021
Show 12 - Teaching with a Growth Mindset
Lee Carlson will do anything to ensure his students, and all students in his district have a positive experience.  He will even drive the bus, seriously, he is driving the bus this year.  Lee is big on harnessing his own growth mindset and modeling it for students.  He shares specific lessons forcing students to harness a growth mindset to find success.
April 01, 2021
Show 11 - Technology Integration Comparison
In this show, Matt and Ken compare their own personal approach to how they "train" their students on using technology tools in the classroom. Their personal approach could not be farther apart.  They both heavily utilize technology in the classroom.  Matt has a beginning of the year "boot camp" to whip his students into shape.  Ken has his trademarked "blended objectives" approach he integrates throughout the year.
March 25, 2021
Show 10: Mentoring with Ed-Tech
Dr. Sam Fecich has flipped the switch on what it means to prepare the next generation of educators.  Her innovative undergraduate course on ed-tech is innovative and relevant.  She creates engaging lessons but more importantly the opportunity for authentic and real-world mentorship.  Additionally, she provides the listeners with staple ed-tech tools and amazing criteria to evaluate all other tools.
March 18, 2021
Show 9: Advocating for Student Voice
As educators, we have the opportunity to create a lasting impact on young peoples' lives.  Jessyca Mathews takes this responsibility and opportunity very seriously.  Her students are dedicated to advocating for positive change in their local communities.  She utilizes real-world instruction to engage the students with current and relevant topics.  Jessyca offers great inspiration for navigating heavy topics and doing so with grace.  She also shares some strategies for using alternative media in writing courses.
March 11, 2021
Show 8: The Truth of Kinesthetic Learning
Kinesthetic learning is an instructional strategy much deeper and more important than brain breaks.  The author of the book The Kinesthetic Classroom, Mike Kuczala, tells the truth about this teaching style.  He provides actionable tips and specific lesson examples of what kinesthetic teaching looks like and how to best integrate it into any classroom.  This instructional style was a core component of Ken's classroom, and the conversation is rich with authentic reflections.  Mike shares the 6 core foundations of kinesthetic learning and provides specific examples for each pillar.
March 04, 2021
Show 7: Lesson Smackdown "Ken vs. Matt"
Ken and Matt go toe to toe in a "look at a lesson" smackdown! Watch and listen as they duke out one of their favorite experiences they provide for students! Okay, so there are no figure-four leg locks or chokeholds in this show, but Ken and Matt dive deep into what is becoming the most popular segment of the show, you know, the one that has a different name every episode.  Ken and Matt have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the lessons of the guests, so they run through the questions with each other.
February 25, 2021
Show 6 -Teacher Leaders Create Change
In this show, we interview an outstanding and inspirational educator Amy Rehberg.  This 28-year veteran started her career as an English teacher and transitioned into becoming an ELL teacher.  She had one reason for this change; she saw a need to help this population of students.  She has made profound impacts on her school and district to help support these students and push them to thrive.  This episode will truly leave you feeling powerED Up!
February 18, 2021
Show 5: Being Vulnerable to Find Success
Ken and Matt interview Susan Jachymiak, a third-year teacher from Illinois.  She brings authentic insight, raw discussions, and insightful reflections for such a young teacher.  We dive deep into her use of social media and how vulnerability has helped her grow.  This can serve as a guide for young teachers and a reminder to our veteran teachers of what is important to remember for a classroom.
February 11, 2021
Show 4: Advocating for Student Success
In this show Wade dives deep into the strategies and programs in place to advocate for student success; especially in a struggling rural community.  Wade will provide the listeners with actionable steps to implement a more differentiated and personalized approach to instruction. He completes the interview by sharing his "dream lesson" he plans to implement with students.
February 04, 2021
Show 3: Taking Risks on Student Choice
In this episode, we interview Rhett Oldham, a secondary social studies teacher from Missouri.  Rhett provides the listeners with inspirational lessons and actionable takeaways for classroom instruction.  He thrives on creating an atmosphere where students are passionate to learn, excited to share, and encouraged to offer ideas.
January 28, 2021
Show 2: Branding a Classroom Culture
We interview Mike Creed, an incredible elementary teacher.  We follow his unconventional journey into education while being inspired by his work ethic to launch his career.  Most of all, we learn about Mike's classroom culture, which he has branded as Creeds Crew.  Mike provides our listeners with actionable steps to raise the game in your lessons and how to focus on student development.  His differentiation strategies exemplify how we can support all students. All of the details from this episode can be found at
January 21, 2021
Show 1: A Journey Begins
Welcome to the powerED Up Podcast! Listen to this episode to meet your host Ken Ehrmann and his co-host Matt Rogers.  We will discuss our goals and vision for the podcast as well as provide some background information on our experience as classroom educators. Join us on our journey where we focus on talking to classroom teachers to find inspiration in their success to improve our craft as educators. All of the details shared in this episode can be found at
January 20, 2021