The World Championship of Booktalks (Video)

The wait is over! With over 30,000 votes cast in round one, excitement has been building for this year’s final four #30SecondBooktalk video entries. No surprise...our four finalists did not disappoint. Jenn LaGarde and I will let the final four entries speak for themselves, but here’s how YOU and your students can decide who will be named this year’s “World Champion.” The title includes bragging rights, the Vince Lombooki digital badge, and $500 in books for the winner’s classroom or school library. Step 1: Watch all four booktalks in the video podcast above. Step 2: Use this link to vote for your favorite booktalk. Step 3: Cheer on your favorites AND share your own video booktalks using the

The Best Part of Our Story is You

I'll never forget sitting in the audience of Minnesota's largest conference for elementary principals. It was February and despite the frigid temperatures outside the room had a palpable warmth. Although I didn't have the best seat, there was no mistaking the red toy airplane sitting ominously on stage. That's because I knew who that airplane belonged to and I could hardly wait to learn from him. And by "him," I mean a former Greenwood Elementary student named Ethan. Ethan is in middle school now, but as he took the stage a flood of memories came over me. I thought back to the times I'd pass by him in the hallway as he was learning to read, write, and share his ideas with the world. I grinne

Wishing for the Wrong Things

Have you ever had a conversation with another educator who was passionate about their work? Okay...that was an obvious question, but this next part might be more challenging. Have you ever thought about the assumptions that underly your passions as an educator? My wife and I have three pretty spectacular kids. Every once in a while they come to us with problems they want help with. (If I'm being honest, they're in our faces all the time with a dizzying amount of sibling complaints, but that's beside the point.) The thing I've noticed about our kids is they often wish for solutions to their problems that might rob them of learning or skip important steps in the growth process. For example, ou

Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 


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