Transforming Learning by CBD

Transforming Learning by CBD
Communications by Design (CBD) is an education technology consulting company devoted to supporting teachers’ efforts to transform teaching and learning. This podcast is hosted by our team of instructional and technology integration coaches. Find more and connect with us immediately at (you can even talk to a coach live via our virtual coaching office!).
048: Perspective, Community, and Emotion w/ Brian Pickerd
Sep 19 • 36 min
Brian Pickerd teaches high school world language at Rockford High School and supports the TESOL programs at Cornerstone University. Additionally, Brian authored Scattering Seed in Teaching (learn more at ). For episode 48, Zach and Pete talk…
047: Teach Your Passions w/ Bridget Rieth
Sep 17 • 13 min
Bridget Rieth teaches 5th grade at Breton Downs Elementary in East Grand Rapids. Along with an army of coworkers, students, and community members, Bridget oversees a literacy experience like none other. In this episode, Pete talks with Bridget about that…
046: Simple Ways to Demonstrate Learning w/ Katie Nethaway
Sep 12 • 7 min
Katie Nethaway ( ) shared about flexible seating on episode 17 of this podcast. For this episode, Zach and Katie continue discussing some of her simple strategies to have students demonstrate learning. Tune in for a few…
045: Differentiating Using Screencasts w/ Garth Trask
Sep 10 • 11 min
Garth Trask ( or ) joins us once more, this time to discuss differentiation and screencasting. Listen as Erik and Garth discuss how he utilizes short and simple videos to elevate routines like word…
044: Teacher Training w/ UofM SoE Dean Elizabeth Moje
Sep 5 • 76 min
University of Michigan School of Education Dean Elizabeth Moje joins Pete in a discussion about teacher recruitment and retention and literacy education. Listen as Dean Moje shares about researched and innovative strategies to help better prepare…
043: TL Podcast Recap w/ the CBD Team
Sep 3 • 12 min
If you are just recently tuning in or have missed some content over the summer, this episode is a great way to catch you up on some of the interesting ideas that teachers have shared! Our team sat town together and discussed some of our favorite concepts…
042: Tech Integration Resources w/ Heather Gauck
Aug 29 • 12 min
Heather Gauck is a K-3rd grade Resource Teacher in Grand Rapids Public Schools where she focuses heavily on the potential for technology to elevate her students’ experiences. In this episode, CBD’s Pete Grostic talks with Heather about her experiences and…
041: Teaching Leadership Through Projects w/ Carson Ratliff
Aug 27 • 12 min
Carson Ratliff ( ) teaches high school English and Leadership at West Michigan Aviation Academy. In this episode, Pete and Carson discuss how he approaches elective courses in a project-based manner, leveraging the freedom in…
040: Give Students Voice by Backchanneling w/ Todd Babiasz
Aug 22 • 10 min
Todd Babiasz ( and ) teaches social studies at Grand Blanc High School. Erik and Todd discuss one simple yet profound use of Backchannel chats in class to elevate classroom culture as well as learning.…
039: Tips for Teachers: Find Passionate Peers w/ Leah Sajdak
Aug 20 • 9 min
Leah Sajdak teaches English Language Arts at Sparta Middle School ( ). In this episode, CBD’s Elaine and Leah discuss lessons Leah learned in her first two years teaching as well as insights gained by seeking the wisdom of…
038: Wowville (As Cool as It Sounds!) w/ Christina Ostrander
Aug 15 • 13 min
Christina Ostrander ( ) teaches 4th grade at Mason Elementary in Grand Blanc Community Schools. In an effort to make social studies more interesting, Christina conceived Wowville. In short, students construct and operate a city, but…
037: Professional Collaboration Done Better w/ Katie and Dee
Aug 13 • 10 min
Katie and Dee are both Lakeside Elementary teachers in Muskegon Public Schools. In this episode, Zach talks with Katie and Dee about their thoughts on finding better ways to collaborate effectively and efficiently. For more from our team of instructional…
036: Gamifying 3rd Grade Social Studies with Mark Schlaudt
Aug 8 • 10 min
Mark Schlaudt ( ) teaches 3rd grade at Roguewood Elementary in Rockford Public Schools. Mark and Erik discuss how a simple gamification process revolutionized the social studies learning for his students. For from our instructional…
035: International Collaboration and More w/ Teresa Perles
Aug 6 • 9 min
For episode 35, Pete talks with Teresa Perles, a teacher at Alpha and Omega school in Spain. Pete and Teresa first met at an education conference in 2015 where Pete heard Teresa present about some of her strategies. Impressed even years later, we reached…
034: These 6 Things with Dave Stuart, Jr.
Aug 1 • 61 min
Dave Stuart, Jr. is an author, blogger, presenter, and high school social studies teacher who has devoted himself to fostering, as he describes, long-term flourishing in his students and his readership. In this episode, Pete and Dave discuss his book,…
033: ClassroomScreen, Tour Builders, Gimkit w/ the CBD Team
Jul 30 • 10 min
In this episode, the CBD team slams some interesting ideas for instructional technology. We hope you enjoy a few practical edtech tips! For more or to connect with our instructional coaches, visit
032: Collaboration Screens with Marisa Thompson
Jul 25 • 13 min
Marisa Thompson ( ) is an ELA teacher, PD instructor, and presenter in Southern California. Recently, Marisa developed a solution to the constant concern of isolation in a 1:1 technology environment. With her HS students, she…
031: Tips for Changing Routines with Ellen Wiese
Jul 23 • 8 min
Ellen Wiese teaches special education in Godfrey-Lee Public Schools. Working with a CI student population often elevates certain kinds of challenges, and according to Ellen, one such challenge is change. In this episode, Pete talks with Ellen about how…
030: 3 Active Vocabulary Strategies with Jasmine Ramahi
Jul 18 • 9 min
Jasmine Ramahi teaches world languages at East Kentwood Public Schools. In this episode, Pete talks with Jasmine about the importance of understanding academic vocabulary, and Jasmine shares 3 of her favorite vocabulary strategies for students. For more…
029: GO LIVE! to Share Your Classroom with Garth Trask
Jul 16 • 10 min
Garth Trask is a highly innovative 1st grade teacher at Jeffers Elementary in Spring Lake, MI. In this episode, Erik talks with Garth about the idea of live broadcasting classroom activities for others to see. All K-12 teachers should hear and consider…
028: Leadership & Ed w/ Angie Morgan, NYT bestselling author
Jul 11 • 39 min
In this extended episode, Pete talks with leadership expert Angie Morgan, co-author of the New York Times Bestseller “Spark” as well as “Lead from the Front” (for more, visit ). Angie and Pete discuss how leadership and education…
027: Project-Based Learning for Math with Glenn and Bob
Jul 9 • 9 min
Glenn Waddell and Bob Quinn ( and ) work with pre-service teachers at the University of Nevada Reno, supporting math and science teachers and efforts to integrate Project-Based Instruction. In this episode, Zach and Amy talk…
026: Desmos, Guess Who, and HS Math with Mike Dodge
Jul 4 • 7 min
As a high school math teacher, Mike Dodge ( ) has infused technology tools like Desmos in dynamic ways to enhance instruction and build inquiry (often a challenge in a math classroom!). Listen to episode 26 to hear Pete talk with…
025: A 5th Grade Research Project with Dean Meyer
Jul 2 • 8 min
Dean Meyer ( or ) teaches 5th grade at Laingsburg Elementary School. He also assists in leading the district technology committee. In this episode, Dean shares some of the activities and strategies…
024: LIVE from #ISTE18! Idea Slam with the CBD Team
Jun 27 • 15 min
We bring this one to you from the main conference hall at the ISTE 2018 conference in Chicago! The CBD team shares insights and reflections about ideas, strategies, or tech tools we discovered through this year’s ISTE experience. Sure, there’s background…
023: Screencasting Lessons & Assessments w/ LeAnn Knudsen
Jun 25 • 8 min
LeAnn Knudsen teaches a split class of 4th and 5th grade students at Moon Elementary. In an effort to cope with not only a plethora of student needs, LeAnn also must teach two different curriculums simultaneously. Her solution: screencasting. Listen to…
022: Elevate Empathy w/ David Theune, Fulbright Scholar
Jun 20 • 44 min
David Theune teaches ELA at Spring Lake High School where he also launched the Elevate Empathy movement in the form of a book by that title and a podcast called The Share Chair. Listen to David’s story and his compelling quest to let teenagers be heard,…
021: Competency Is Not Enough with Amber Kasic
Jun 18 • 8 min
Amber Kasic teaches world languages at Holland High School where she has invested herself in the work of fostering skills in her students beyond the scope of content and curriculum. Along with traveling the world, Amber has served on the 2017-18 Michigan…
020: Your Mess is Your Message project with Leah Sajdak
Jun 13 • 8 min
Leah Sajdak teaches ELA at Sparta Middle School. Leah shares a project geared toward fostering empathy in deeper and more meaningful ways with her students, a project that has implications for a lot of subject areas and grade levels! To connect with Leah…
019: Mystery Hangouts w/ Jim Bowering and Kristen Vallimont
Jun 11 • 8 min
Jim and Kristen teach 5th grade in Grand Blanc Community Schools. Both tried Mystery Hangouts for the first time this year and found the experience not only worthwhile but worth repeating! Listen to their experiences as well as pro tips about how to…
018: The Transforming Learning Journey with Renne Wyman
Jun 8 • 12 min
Renne Wyman teaches special education at Sparta High School. Over the course of her conversation with Elaine, she shares countless strategies and resources to leverage technology in Special Education, but greater still is her inspiring story about how a…
017: Flexible Seating (not just bean bags) w/ Katie Nethaway
Jun 6 • 10 min
Katie Nethaway teaches 3rd grade at Laingsburg Elementary and is diving deep into the world of student-centered learning, starting with the furniture and seating in her room. If you have considered flexible seating in any capacity, tune-in to receive…
016: Collaboration Beyond the Classroom w/ Lindsay & Valerie
Jun 4 • 6 min
Lindsay and Valerie are Grand Blanc Community Schools teachers who found immense value in cross-building collaboration. Listen as Pete and Elaine ask about how Lindsay’s 8th graders and Valerie’s 11th graders connected in a meaningful way. For more or to…
015: CBD Team Idea Slam: Rewordify, Google Sites, and more!
Jun 1 • 9 min
In this episode, the CBD team of instructional coaches (minus Elaine who was not able to attend) get together to share interesting technology tools and strategies that we have recently encountered during our time working with teachers. The episode is a…
014: Discussing Education with Tracy Horodyski, 2016-17 MTOY
May 30 • 33 min
In a change of pace from our previous episodes, episode 14 is a more extended conversation with the 2016-17 Michigan Teacher of the Year, Tracy Horodyski. During the conversation, we discuss her experiences as TOY as well as some compelling topics…
013: A Student Feedback Strategy with Meggin Verduzco
May 23 • 8 min
Meggin Verduzco shares a simple but powerful feedback strategy that both creates opportunity for students to receive more feedback on their work and fosters much-needed communication and digital interaction skills. We discussed the idea of feedback in…
012: How 1st Graders Change the World with Jaci Jackson
May 21 • 8 min
Jaci Jackson teaches 1st grade at Lakes Elementary in Rockford, MI. Her background includes both suburban and urban school districts, and whatever the student population, she has found great success in fostering and growing positive life skills in her…
011: Pocket Poetry with Rebecca Hubbard
May 17 • 8 min
Rebecca Hubbard teaches middle and high school English and Creative Writing at Frankfort High School. Together with several of her students, she describes the Pocket Poetry idea they developed to bring life to poetry in new and innovative ways. For more…
010: Power Responses with Mark Wells
May 11 • 8 min
Mark Wells is a high school band instructor who wanted the ability to give every student meaningful, personal feedback on his/her playing. His solution was the development of what he calls Power Responses. Listen as Pete Grostic discusses the development…
009: 2 Things Every Classroom Needs NOW
May 2 • 7 min
In this episode, we discuss two must-have elements of teaching and learning that represent a synthesis of innumerable conversations with teachers and years of supporting research and that every classroom can integrate and incorporate immediately. For…
008: Monday Morning Meetings with Dan Derksen
Apr 27 • 6 min
In this episode of the Transforming Learning Podcast, Dan Derksen, a 5th grade teacher at Valley View Elementary School in Rockford, shares his strategy for Monday Morning Meetings. For more, visit
007: 3 Things that Elevate Every Learning Experience
Apr 18 • 6 min
In this episode, we share thoughts about high impact learning experiences and the 3 things that tend to occur in those memorable learning moments. For more, visit
006: Flipgrid Fridays with Carmen Weigel
Apr 17 • 6 min
In this episode, Carmen Weigel, a high school teacher in East Grand Rapids, MI, shares her Flipgrid Fridays strategy for her business classes. Check out flipgrid via For more, visit
005: Students Do the Technology and Instructional Support
Apr 16 • 6 min
In this episode, we share a strategy many school districts are beginning to implement that involves utilizing students for technology support and instructional coaching in their schools. For more, visit
004: An Activity to Bring the Periodic Table to Life
Apr 16 • 4 min
In this episode, we will share an idea that a middle school science teacher suggested to bring the study of the periodic table of elements to life. This strategy could also easily be adapted to any subject area or content! For more, visit…
003: A New Take on Podcasting to Give Students Voice
Apr 16 • 6 min
In this episode, we share an idea from Spring Lake High School teacher David Theune who uses podcasting as a way to combat bullying and cruelty in his school. For more, visit
002: Teacher Collaboration and 3 ?s to Boost Conversations
Apr 16 • 5 min
In this episode, we will share 3 questions that teachers can ask one another (or use for individual reflection) to maximize collaborative time and support sharing practical ideas with one another. For more, visit
001: Welcome to the Transforming Learning Podcast!
Apr 16 • 4 min
Communications by Design is an education technology consulting company devoted to supporting schools and teachers through innovative technology integrations and instructional practices. In this first episode, we want simply to share a bit about our…