This blog is a forum for educators who direct or teach in the differentiated classroom or in gifted and talented education. In today’s society of obsessive testing, we help teachers and administrators feel grounded in what really motivates youngsters. We examine how teachers as coaches can create a stimulating and engaging environment. We suggest techniques that empower students to take ownership of their endeavors. We share strategies that simulate reality where students discuss, debate, and perform in front of their peers. If you came to us through Gtec KidsSynergy Westchester, Exploring History, Pic-Jour Math, or the Interactive Classroom, you have come to the right place. So please join us!  – Andi Stix & Frank Hrbek

> Please bear with us while we are under construction.

Dr. Andi Stix is a national educational consultant, administrator, and certified Andi Stixcognitive coach, who has been actively teaching for over 30 years. She addresses conferences and conventions across the country as a keynote speaker or seminar presenter. Dr. Stix earned her doctorate from Columbia University and currently owns and operates the Interactive Classroom, an educational consulting firm in New Rochelle, New York. The Interactive Classroom philosophy and activities have been incorporated into the curriculum of many school systems throughout the country.

Frank HrbekAlong with her co-author, Frank Hrbek, Andi has written Teachers as Classroom Coaches, a book on how to integrate coaching strategies into the fabric of the educational system. They have also written a series of simulations and hands-on investigations in history for the secondary school market. The Exploring History series is a three-time winner of the New York State’s Social Studies Program of Excellence Award, as well as Middle States Council for the Social Studies’ Social Studies Program of Excellence Certificate. The series also received the Outstanding Curriculum Development Award from the National Association of Gifted Children, and a two time winner of the Teacher Choice Award from Learning magazine. For her work in professional development, Andi received the Alexinia Baldwin Educator of the Year Award.

While attending Columbia University, Andi’s doctoral thesis focused on journal writing in mathematics. She was a pioneer in understanding differentiation. Many of her math manipulatives were picked up by Cuisenaire Company of American, which later became ETA/Cuisenaire. Her materials span from Picture Grids, Circle Fractions to Algecans.

Dr. Stix founded and runs G·tec Kids, an after school enrichment program for creative, gifted and talented youngsters. Students in grades 2 through 6 throughout Westchester County have come to this program for over 30 years. The curriculum at the center has won many awards. As part of her advocacy on behalf of gifted youngsters throughout NYS, Andi founded Synergy Westchester. It is an organization that addresses the needs of teachers and families who cope on a daily basis with challenging and nurturing these talented children.

Stix has been interviewed by many newspapers, such as the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Andi’s published articles can be found in Social Education, Middle School Journal, Social Studies, Arithmetic Teacher, The Math Notebook, ERIC, and Gems of AGATE. She has also authored many books, including Using Literature and Simulations in Your Social Studies Classroom (2001), Integrated Cooperative Strategies for the Social Studies, Language Arts, and the Humanities (1997), Strategies for Student-Centered Assessment (1996), Teaching Strategies for Cooperative Learning (1994), Pic-Jour Math (1994),  and Active Strategies for Curriculum Integration (1993).