Blog

An Elementary School Schedule that Promotes Student Learning

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[Editor's note: Refer to Table I and Table II above for a visual representation of the author's scheduling practices.] Spring is a great time to consider some high-leverage work that . . . Read more

Let's Be Prescise

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On my mind a great deal lately is the precision that is required of schools. I often hear my father-in-law in my head saying, “Start straight, stay straight, and you will be . . . Read more

Does 'All' Mean 'All?' Labels, Be Gone!

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[Photo courtesy of Kenneth Williams’ Defenders and Disruptors of the Status Quo: Who Will Educators Choose To Be? (2017)] Great teachers who truly want what is best for their students . . . Read more

'Equitable' Means 'All'

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As a fledgling educator in Dallas Independent School District, where the majority of my students were English Language Learners, I quickly realized a few things: much like my family’s . . . Read more

Helping Data Analysis Take Root

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Data analysis. It is a concept that spurs rich reflection from many, but eyerolls or quizzical looks from too many. Some teachers feel that the data analysis they do is just to satisfy someone else’s administrative need or to show that, yet again, the same set of kids in their class struggled. Read more

Collaboratively Designing and Delivering Lessons: The Instructional Diamond

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Since the work of Madeline Hunter, a lot has changed in education. We now have ample resources and robust technologies that can provide engaging, vivid experiences for students. More important, we have much more research about teaching and learning than we ever have previously. We know more about how students learn. Even with all these changes, the framework for building lesson plans and delivering instruction has not evolved. Read more

So, what’s changed?

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21st Century Skills require a balance of content and process. How have teaching and learning shifted to meet these demands?

James Melsa (2007) says it best, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist using technologies that haven’t yet been invented in order to solve problems we don’t even know we have.” We can no longer prepare students for our past, we must prepare them for their future. But what does this mean and where should we start? Read more

Empowering the Silent Stakeholders—Students

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“To be a teacher is to be a prophet. We are not preparing children for the world we live in but for a future we can barely imagine.”—Gordon Brown, Former Dean of MIT Engineering School. Read more

The Battle Over Homework

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Last night we held parent/teacher conferences at our elementary school. I’ve been a principal at three different elementary schools over the past 13 years, and before that I was a classroom . . . Read more

Teaching Students to Be Responsible With PLCs

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In a blog post last year called Do PLCs Enable Students to Act Irresponsibly? (February 16, 2010), I presented the premise that schools should do more than hope students act responsibly but rather should put procedures in place to require students to do so. I acknowledged that almost all educators would prefer that students act responsibly because responsible behavior is important to their success in school and in life. I also suggested that regrettably, some of the students who enter our schools do not act responsibly. Read more

Promoting Social and Emotional Learning Within a PLC

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Who among us doesn’t remember Stuart Smiley, Al Franken’s character from Saturday Night Live (“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”) While Stuart may not have been able to help Michael Jordan develop a stronger sense of self-esteem… Read more

Professional Learning Communities That Work in the Classroom

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While reading Professional Learning Communities at Work™, I considerably marked up the margins with check marks and the letter U; the check marks meant “this is so important” and the Us symbolized that the ideas, as I saw them, were important because… Read more