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John Spencer
Attended Arizona State University - Bachelor's Degree
Lives in Phoenix, AZ
27,877 followers|4,822,814 views
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John Spencer

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Here's an overview of the design thinking cycle I use in my classroom. It's also what I use in writing and very similar to what we used in developing Write About. 
The term "design thinking" is often attached to maker spaces and STEM labs. However, design thinking is bigger than STEM. It begins with the premise of tapping into student curiosity and allowing them to create, test and re-create until they eventually ship what they made to a real audience ...
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John Spencer

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I quit trying so hard to be productive. Here's what happened. 
Recently, I wrote about a change in my to-do list. I wrote a similar, though slightly unconnected post on why I don't want to be busy. These ideas connect to my New Year's Resolution this last year. I know, I know. It's a little late to be talking about resolutions but this has been one that ...
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Great post.  And timely for me.
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John Spencer

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I missed this maker space . . . until a kid reminded me of what matters.
Last week, I spoke at a TEDx event hosted by the Upper Perkiomen School District. It was an unforgettable experience and I was honored to be a part of it. Once the video is edited, I'll share my talk on this blog. So, one of the things I loved about the event was the STEM-related, maker projects ...
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John Spencer

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Here's my latest post. 
One of the biggest complaints I hear about Common Core is the push toward informational texts. This is often accompanied by the complaint that we are no longer allowing students to read for the sake of reading. Just yesterday, a teacher said to me, "I wish we could read novels.
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Here's my latest post. 
In this post, I tell the story of the first time I got to do a truly creative project as a student. This is something I'm passionate about, which is why I'm offering a free, short course called A Beginner's Guide to Design Thinking. Spaces are limited, so sign up now if you're interested.
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Here's my latest post. 
Student engagement is on my mind right now due, in large part, to the month-long Classroom Questions podcast series I just finished with AJ Juliani. If you haven't subscribed to it on iTunes, you might want to give it a whirl. Which leads me to my second point. Look for an all-day summer online ...
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Great article for our standard based reporting group. 
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John Spencer

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A short reflection on my last day. I'll be starting a new job this next August. 
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congrats and all the best on your new role!
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My latest post is a little longer. It's a technology framework that coaches and districts might consider during rollouts. 
So AJ Juliani and I have started a new Classroom Questions series on rethinking professional development. We have a ton of new episodes that we're going to release all at once this week. One of the things I've been thinking about lately is how professional development should work when districts ...
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Here's my latest post. 
Despite the stereotype that teachers spend the last few weeks showing movies, I find the opposite to be true at my school. As I walk through the hallways on my prep period, I see classes bursting with creative energy. Out in the courtyard, kids are testing their paper airplanes to see which ones ...
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Here's a little snapshot into a super-fast maker project I've done with students. 
It all began the year I taught sixth grade ELL. I had the same group of students all day in a class that, by law, had to be hyper-structured (we had a four hour block of reading, writing, oral language, and grammar). On Tuesday, we didn't have an elective class, so I had forty-five bonus minutes ...
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I've been trying to share more of the resources I use in my own classroom. Here's my end-of-the-year portfolio project. I hope someone finds it useful. 
In my last post, I wrote about what happened to student engagement when I taught a class with no grades. When I mention my thoughts on alternative assessments, the most common response I get is, "Then how do you assess student work?" One way is through student conferencing.
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I've been working on a TEDx Talk and thought I would share a bit of my process. 
This is my go-to site. I love the artistry of the photographs. The site leans heavily toward objects and locations and has fewer pictures of people and there's no curation at all (much less tagging, searching, or sorting) but I love the photographs.
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Have him in circles
27,877 people
Jack Ruske's profile photo
Matthew Bartholomew's profile photo
Dennis Jensen's profile photo
‫حسین محبّى‬‎'s profile photo
Justin Ehling's profile photo
Kimberly Woodring's profile photo
Sarkis Vartanian's profile photo
JP O'Neil's profile photo
Eddie Hayes's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Teacher
Employment
  • Teacher, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Phoenix, AZ
Previously
Clovis, CA
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Story
Tagline
I teach, I write, I live. I want to do all three authentically.
Introduction
I teach. I write. I live.  I want to do all three authentically. 

Nothing beats smashing oranges in the backyard with my sons, a relaxing conversation with my wife, a venti coffee with a good friend, a long run that seems to end nowhere, alone with my mind.
Education
  • Arizona State University - Bachelor's Degree
  • Northern Arizona University - Master's Degree
Basic Information
Gender
Male