Teague's Tech Treks - 10 Rep Learning

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Differentiation:  Are you a Crab or a Mola Mola?

Differentiation:  Are you a Crab or a Mola Mola?

Differentiating curriculum means using different methods so that students can acquire, apply, analyze, and synthesize new content, ideas, approaches, and solutions.

How can we respond to the challenge of differentiating curriculum for all learners?

Perhaps a recent tour of the Monterey Bay offers insights into professional practice preferences and the efficacy of each.

The Monterrey Bay includes 34 species of marine mammals, more than 180 species of seabirds and shorebirds, at least 525 species of fishes, and an abundance of seaweeds (Link).

Two of these species are the Decorator crab and the Mola Mola fish.

Decorator crabs that inhabit the kelp beds of the Monterey Bay hid their spindly appendages by attaching bits of kelp and other sea materials to their bodies. Decorator Crabs do that so that they can camouflage and blend in to their surroundings. They work with almost “most human and purposeful process” (Bateson, 1889).  The Decorator Crabs of the Monterey Bay rarely leave their warm, coastal environment. Rarely will you find a Catch of the Day special of Decorator Crab on the menu. 

The Monterey Bar sometimes is the weekend getaway destination of the Mola Mola. Mola Molas are strange fish who live in the dark, open, deep waters of the ocean. They can grow from baby birth weight of a few ounces to the size of a Mini Cooper (2200 pounds)! Their flat, buffet-table-sized torso attracts all types of parasites. When Mola Molas are invaded by too many parasites, they float higher and toward the Monterey Bay so that other shallow water fish such as the half-moon fish can pinch and dislodge the pa

If this modification strategy is not completely successful, then the Mola Mola rises even closer to the surface of the Monterey Bay and tilts on its side. This seafood platter position attracts a seagull who happily pecks the parasites in exchange for a lunch fast-food lunch.

The Mola Mola has learned different strategies to reach its goal of harmony. 

Does the problem-solving approach of the Decorator Crab or the Mola Mola appeal to you? 

In meeting the needs of all learners, are you more likely to blend-in to your school environment and cover yourself with excuses, packed schedules, and one size fits all teaching practices in order to avoid learning and implementing new instructional methods for differentiation? 

Or does the variety of problem-solving approaches of the Mola Mola fit your approach to differentiation?

Baby Beluga! That’s a whale of a metaphor to consider!


Bateson, William (1889). “Notes on the Senses and Habits of some Crustacea”. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. new series. 1: 211–214. doi:10.1017/S0025315400058045.

Monterey Bay Aquarium https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/visit/monterey-area/monterey-bay-national-marine-sanctuary

Photos of Decorator Crab and Mola Mola Fish are from Wikipedia



In Memoriam~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968

Martin Luther King Jr.


Weekend Ed. Quote ~ January 17

“The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life.” ~C.P. Estes







STEAM Differentiation Jeopardy Week 2





Click here to see all STEAM Differentiation questions


Basham, J. D., & Marino, M. D. (2013, March). (PDF) Understanding STEM Education and Supporting Students … Retrieved January 8, 2020, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275353986_Understanding_STEM_Education_and_Supporting_Students_through_Universal_Design_for_Learning.



Microsoft stops Windows 7 support tomorrow – Here’s what to do…

Microsoft stops Windows 7 support tomorrow – Here’s what to do…

If you are using Windows 7, or (more likely), you possibly have a computer lab with Windows 7 on it, Here’s what to do…


Weekend Ed. Quote ~ January 10

“According to Purkey and Novak (2016), an invitational stance begins with teachers’ beliefs about students–that “people are able, valuable and responsible and should be treated accordingly” (p. 11). Another key belief would be that “people possess relatively boundless potential in all areas of worthwhile human endeavor” (p. 11). Inviting teachers communicate that they care about their students in every interaction with them. They demonstrate optimism when interacting with students, and they show respect to them while creating an atmosphere of trust in the classroom.

Purkey and Novak (2016) identified the 5 Ps of Invitational Education and used a starfish as a metaphor. Inviting educators (people) can focus on being invitational in the areas of places, policies, programs, and processes.” ~Jenny Edwards

Amelia Teaching

photo by Helen Teague



Edwards, J. L. (2010). Inviting students to learn: 100 tips for talking effectively with your students. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Purkey, W. W., & Novak, J. M. (1996). Inviting school success: A self-concept approach to teaching, learning and democratic
practice (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Purkey, W. W., & Novak, J. M. (with A. T. Schoenlein, Ed.) (2016). Fundamentals of Invitational Education (2nd ed.). Huntington, NY: The International Alliance for Invitational Education.





STEAM Differentiation Jeopardy Week 1

STEAM Differentiation Jeopardy Wk1




Click here to see all STEAM Differentiation questions


Gaskins, N. (2016). The new face of STEAM [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/the-new-face-of-steam-nettrice-gaskins


Weekend Ed. Quote ~ January 3, 2020

“A Student is the most important person ever in this school…in person, on the telephone, or by mail.
A Student is not dependent on us…we are dependent on the Student.
A Student is not an interruption of our work..the Student’s the purpose of it. We are not doing a favor by serving the Student…the Student is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.
A Student is a person who brings us his or her desire to learn. It is our job to handle each Student in a manner which is beneficial to the Student and ourselves.”
~ William Purkey, Inviting School Success


Personal Photo of Helen Teague, please do not claim it as your own. 🙂





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Weekend Ed. Quote ~ December 27

“Time spent in wild places brings us into presence. It strengthens our body and quiets our mind. It distills life back to its simplest, purest state; enlivens our senses and deepens our connection to our natural world. We return to our real, true selves and begin to rediscover our own wild nature.” 

~Angie Flickinger






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