Menu
  • The Kids Do Care: The Importance of Student Input on Testing

    Posted By Michelle George | Feb 01, 2017
    iStock-515862638-blog

    We are barely into the second semester, and at my school, we are well into planning our state-mandated testing. We have a leadership team that works collaboratively to plan our academic goals, and testing is inevitably on the short list of priorities. It’s been a journey getting to the place where we have an administrator who sees the value in working with all of the staff to problem-solve. I must say it’s been worth the trip. A common complaint about standardized assessments in this time of high-stakes testing is that while teachers and administrators are held accountable, students are not. Of course, teachers must be responsible, but by leaving learners out of the conversation, students often are not vested in the process.

    Full story
  • Motivating Struggling Adolescent Readers: Try Relevance & Success

    Posted By Louisa Moats, Ed.D. | Jan 25, 2017
    Moats_Blog1a

    Motivation, according to a recent textbook on adolescent literacy*, is “a feeling of interest or enthusiasm that makes a student want to complete a task or improve his or her skills.” Teachers of adolescent poor readers, however, often find that their students are willing to do anything BUT read and write. Getting students to believe that they can make meaningful progress—when all prior experience suggests they will not—and to work at something that has never been rewarding is a major challenge.

    Full story
  • How Can We Teach if We Don’t Take Care of Ourselves First?

    Posted By Jeffrey Sprague, Ph.D. | Jan 18, 2017
    teachers-training1

    The modern challenges of public school teaching are diverse and deep. While it is clear that academic achievement is “job one” for schools, we now are faced with a dizzying array of risks and challenges from our students, parents, and society. Some might say it’s “depressing” and it’s not a joke. Recent years have seen an explosion of, and discussion about, schools traditional use of “exclusionary discipline.” Typically, teachers have sent students to the office to see an administrator (or another person) to respond to most forms of disruption in the classroom. But a contemporary view of exclusion is that it’s harmful to students and doesn’t work in the long run. We hear about the “school to prison pipeline,” and “trauma informed care” at a time when budgets are declining, and perhaps the students we receive at school are more challenging than we remember. Most teachers and administrators I work with agree with this, and yet we are all left wondering, “What are alternatives that work?” Others (maybe you), wonder if we are in an era where there are no “consequences” and challenging students will ruin schooling for everyone. We know what we are doing is not the right thing, and yet it’s stressful to feel ineffective without understanding what else to do.

    Full story
  • Typical and Maximal: Both Types of Performance are Important

    Posted By Michael Milone, Ph.D. | Jan 11, 2017
    student-stressed-testing

    Please bear with me through the first few sentences. They are necessary to establish a bit of background. The good stuff will follow shortly. And don't eye-roll me about transporting (think Star Trek) a construct from sports or personnel management to education. It works well. In the field of psychological testing, a difference exists between typical and maximal performance. When personality is measured, we hope to identify typical characteristics. When abilities are measured, we try to get subjects to do their best so we can understand what their maximal performance is. I'm not going to dwell on this, but keep in mind that both measures take place at a single point in time, and humans change. So, you got it? There is a difference between typical and maximal performance.

    Full story
  • Starting Over: When to Push the Reset Button on Your Classroom Management Strategy

    Posted By Josie Pack | Dec 14, 2016
    iStock-182398388-blog

    This first-year teacher sauntered into the school year with grand plans for community building, establishing norms, and a seamless implementation of a fool-proof classroom management strategy. Well, can you guess what happened? It didn’t stick. Okay, some of it worked, but the major foundation of a successful classroom began to crumble under my feet in early October. The good news is, I quickly recognized what was happening and, with the blessing of my very supportive administrators, I enacted a plan to regain control of my classroom.

    Full story
  • Top 5 Tech Tools for the Classroom

    Posted By Alexandria Mooney | Dec 07, 2016
    tools-blog

    Being a technology teacher, I try to look for tools that engage my students. Some of these tools lend themselves very well to being the foundation of a project, while others serve as brain breaks or class activities. Regardless of what context they’re used for, they all serve the same purpose: student engagement within the classroom. I’ve compiled a list of my top five favorite tech tools for the classroom. Although I teach at the high school level, most of these can be used with elementary and middle grade students as well.

    Full story
  • Making Sense of Close Reading in the Intermediate Grades

    Posted By Nancy Boyles, Ph.D. | Nov 30, 2016
    book-graphics-blog

    When close reading gained prominence a few years ago, I was a little insulted that as a professional developer in the area of literacy, anyone could think the instructional strategies I shared with teachers did not help students to read “closely.” Then, I learned more about close reading and saw that it truly did push teachers and students to a whole new level of rigor. In time, I’ve also learned there are a few principles and practices that when applied well will make teaching the process of close reading achievable for teachers and the outcomes of close reading meaningful for students.

    Full story
  • Giving Thanks for You

    Posted By EdView360 | Nov 23, 2016
    Thanksgiving16

    Giving Thanks for You

    Full story

    Topic

  • Online Resources for Mastery Learning

    Posted By Michelle George | Nov 16, 2016
    learning-puzzle-blog

    Mastery learning is one of those buzzword phrases in education that pedagogists often toss about in an effort to define and refine good teaching practices. The term goes back to a true icon in the field of education, Benjamin S. Bloom, who suggested that all students can learn and achieve at high levels; they might just require different strategies and time in order to achieve mastery.

    Mastery is generally defined as “command or grasp of something”. In an educational sense, mastery learning is achieved by an intentional strategy in which teachers decide on specific learning goals, make formative assessments to determine where teaching and learning needs to occur, provide directed instruction, and continue formative assessments and correctives until all students have achieved a preset level of mastery for the learning goals1. The concept of learning mastery is simple and nearly any educator would agree is desirable. The rub comes in the implementation. Mastery learning is hard work. Fortunately, today’s Internet resources provide a plethora of resources to help make the goal more attainable.

    Full story
  • Getting Inventive with Student Incentives

    Posted By Julie Perron, Ph.D. | Nov 09, 2016
    girl_helping_friend_blog

    Creating and sustaining school cultures that support the social and emotional needs of children is a topic of continual discussion in educational forums. I have spent decades exploring how to best support students when we can only truly control the seven or eight hours a day they are in our care. How do we then find ways to make a positive impact that is self-sustaining, while keeping the learning rigorous and the programs relevant on campus?

    Full story