Powerful Partner Extension for Slides Sorter…Hide Slides!

Hide Slides Chrome Extension According to the same valid statistical survey I recently made up, everybody loves Google Slides…everybody. Being web based, it’s easy to add videos, images, items from your google drive, find templates, and take Google’s own suggestions for display themes through their Explore function. But sometimes, as …

Eclipsing Learning

You Forgot To #MakeItReal

Leadership can either help open the eyes of teachers and students to the learning opportunities that surround them, or they can completely cover those opportunities up and literally eclipse their potential value in a school. 

Yesterday was the Great American Total Solar Eclipse-O-Rama of 2017. You may have heard about it on the social media. In NJ, I was able to see about 75% totality, which was pretty cool. 

But I have a friend who I knew was teaching young elementary students at a school that was directly in the path of totality. She’d told me that the administration had extended dismissal that day so that kids wouldn’t be tempted to damage their eyes without proper protective gear. That’s when she got glasses for all her students so they could use the extended day to learn from the once in a lifetime eclipse experience. So I expected quite a good story when I asked her how it was going. This is what I got instead:

“They told us K-2 kids could NOT go outside.

In fact, they made classes move into interior rooms. It is BAD science. I’ve made such a noise. They wouldn’t even let teachers out. So I FINALLY convinced my admin to COME OUTSIDE AND LOOK!!! She then relented and let me relieve teachers so they could go take a peek. Can you imagine? And they even DELAYED our dismissal–but said we can’t go outside? We have had over 200 kids check out early.”

WHAT?!?!?!?! REALLY?!?!?!? 

This school’s leadership had found the only more effective way to block out the sun that day, move kids deep into the heart of a building. It’s an eclipse, not a tornado. There’s no need to seek shelter. Parents knew it, too, and took their kids out of the solar “shelter in place” drill that was going on so they could experience something interesting and unique. 

How unique? These are the pictures the teacher’s son took from nearby.
















Totality…and moon shadows. That’s right, moon shadows.

In last night’s Teach Like a Pirate chat (#tlap), Tara Martin and Tisha Richmond asked this question first.

The answers ranged from tragedies like Kennedy being shot and the Challenger, to exciting moments like class walks, planting trees, and…what do you know…watching an eclipse with their elementary class. Yesterday was a singular event, not likely to reoccur in that place for a long time. What will the students from this school remember? 

Unfortunately…not the Great American Total Solar Eclipse-O-Rama of 2017. 

As school leaders, we can do better. Put the Instant Relevance message into action. Use today’s experiences to teach tomorrow’s lessons. Open the doors to learning, don’t build up walls.


Remember to use the #MakeItReal Hashtag for sharing ideas!

Connect with Denis Sheeran at Denissheeran.com

Twitter: @MathDenisNJ and

#MakeItReal Chat Every Wednesday 9:30 pm EST for 30 Minutes.

Read Instant Relevance

Flipped Learning Game Changer: UPTIME for Youtube!

Overheard in my district:  “If I make a video for my students, then my classroom becomes 25 classrooms and they don’t talk about anything til they’re back in my classroom. What’s the point?” I get that. It’s one of the things that holds me back from embracing a fully flipped classroom …

Wonder Woman Lesson Collection

Free Wonder Woman Lesson Collection IF THAT’S ALL YOU CAME HERE FOR, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE POST!  I’ve been saying that a lot lately. First Fidget Spinners, now Wonder Woman! This one’s a little different. From what I’m reading, there are no School-wide Bans On Wonder Woman occurring across …

Tech Tip: Zoom Into Specific Area On Chromebook

I’m sitting in a presentation and watching Alice Keeler present on Google Classroom at the Pequannock Google Apps Summit. She’s a Google nut, lover of all things Chrome, but a macbook user. I have no problem with that. I posted on what technology looks like over a year ago (long story …

A Puzzling New Year

I’m a big fan of puzzles. Give me a brain teaser, a number pattern, a rubik’s cube or some blocks that don’t quite seem like they’ll fit together and watch as I disappear until I’ve figured it out (this is why my wife no longer gives me puzzles as gifts). …

Bottle Flipping: Distraction or Connection

Are your students bottle flipping? Do you know what bottle flipping is? Check it out. Really, bottle flipping is just a fun fad that kids and jobless adults are making a new habit of becoming good at, like throwing cards into a hat back in the 1930s. The interesting thing …

Stuck In My Own Perspective

In a recent Teach Like A Pirate chat (#TLAP) Dave Burgess and I responded to a question independently and identically, causing me to respond with this. Perspective is everything. I have a really cool niece named Anna who’s 13. She got the chance to fly with her dad (hereafter known as …

#MakeItReal: My New Twitter Chat

Announcing The New #MakeItReal Chat A Chat About Increasing Relevance Of Content For Our Students Every Wednesday, 9:30 pm for 30 Minutes I had the fantastic opportunity to host the popular Teach Like A Pirate chat (#TLAP transcript) last night to discuss the components and ideas in my new book …