Student Centered, Engineering Design, STEM, Makerspace, Coding, Google Apps for Ed, Minecraft Coding

Welcome to Rickard Learning!

I am a middle school math and science teacher and STEM elective designer on the beautiful Central Coast of California.

It is an exciting time to be an educator. The Common Core State Standards and Next Gen Science Standards are shifting the focus from knowledge acquisition to learning practices. To meet this challenge, I develop practices and methodologies to create learner-centered classrooms.

I have initiated and designed in-school STEM elective courses that introduce students to computer programming, engineering design, computational thinking, applied mathematics and science, and Making. In-school electives provide an opportunity where teachers can take the learning deeper without the typical time constraints of a pacing calendar. I collaborate with computer science and engineering professors at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and University of California Santa Barbara to develop curriculum for these disciplines.

I have developed a constructivist approach in my math and science classrooms. Students come into the classroom with a framework of belief they have developed by observing the natural world. Students connect new learning to this framework. Problems arise when students try to build on incorrect foundational ideas. I use formative assessment to stir curiosity and uncover misconceptions. I design learning challenges in response to formative assessment. I use the practices of problem solving and modeling as described in the Science Framework. These models are not static representations such as a model of a plant cell. They are dynamic representations of systems and are meant to be revised as student learning progresses. I use an inquiry approach that I call evidence-based learning.

One of the technologies I’ve enjoyed is Google Apps for Education. With Google Apps, my students create ePortfolio websites where they showcase their learning. These ePortfolios and Engineering eNotebooks can follow students through high school and can be used to demonstrate experience and skills for college and business applications.

I have a strong professional learning network within the Ed Tech community. I collaborate with lead educators worldwide through Twitter, Google Hangouts, and Facebook. I am a member of CUE (Computer Using Educators) and support the Open Source Learning community. Find me on Twitter @RickardBiology!

Ms. Rickard is a member of these professional organizations

Ms. Rickard is a 
Globe Certified Teacher

Ms. Rickard's classroom is NASA Explorer School!

Ms. Rickard has served as an Executive Board Member for the Central Coast STEM Collaborative

She is on the Advisory Committees for SB County CUESLO County CUE.

Click on the robot to see a fun website.