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Monday, December 24, 2012

A great read - that helps teachers reflect on their own practices and how they impact sutdents who learn differently than they do!! courtesy of SmartBrief.

How does teacher learning affect instruction?
The way a teacher learns affects how he or she instructs students, but teachers can learn to adapt their style to better meet students' needs, writes Geralyn Schmidt, an educator in Harrisburg, Pa. In this blog post, Schmidt lists eight factors that influence teacher learning -- from life experiences to knowledge and skills -- that can, in turn, affect their teaching style. "In a nutshell, today's teacher needs to be able to learn continuously from their students as they present the curriculum," she writes. Powerful Learning Practice (12/20)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A great article on making connections between seemingly un-related items. c'ourtesy of ASCD Smartbrief

When English meets science lessons
Lessons in English and science can go hand in hand through the genre of "lab lit," offer the writers of this blog post. In one suggested exercise, students would discuss recent science topics and determine how they might be used as the basis for a novel or movie. In another exercise, students examine the novel "Frankenstein," which is cited in an accompanying article as probably one of the earliest examples of "lab lit," and the authors also suggest studying scientists' blogs. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Learning Network blog (12/5)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Coaching, not assessments, builds great teachers - courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief

Meta-cognition works for teachers as well!

Developing teachers requires coaching on specific concrete actions that will improve results, writes author and school administrator Paul Bambrick-Santoyo. He gives examples of how practicing skills helps teachers in the classroom. "Conventional teacher feedback and evaluation is based on a flawed assumption: that accurate measurement of teaching is the central goal of teacher evaluation," Bambrick-Santoyo writes. Educational Leadership

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pa. district offers versatility with self-blend learning model- Courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief

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  • While many districts are focusing on the fact that blended learning may reduce the time in school, I suggest we think about the ability blended learning has to address different learning styles, i.e. you tube v.s. worksheets, national geographic documentaries, v.s. worksheets. 

  • Quakertown Community School District in Bucks County, Pa., offers a unique approach to education, in which students can take courses online or in person -- or a combination of the two. Tom Murray, director of technology and cybereducation for the district, writes in this blog post about the obstacles the district faced in implementing the model, which he says offers "complete versatility" for students that is needed in today's schools. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Student projects breathe life into common core - courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief


Concrete and creative student work may be the catalyst needed to help teachers feel energized about the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, writes Erik Robelen. He highlights an online library of student-designed books and other projects that bring the standards to life and show their potential to reach across subject areas. Education Week/Curriculum Matters blog (11/14)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A reminder about the power of positive expectations - courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief

  • This is a great article on the power of language and the experiences, connotations it elicits in all of us.
    A teacher's expectations influence how students learn, suggests middle-school English teacher Ariel Sacks. However, in this blog post, Sacks reminds teachers to focus on the positive connotations of the word, avoiding its use to imply control, punitive measures or inflexible demands. "It is equally important that teachers can be reciprocally influenced by the students' experience and response to conditions or tasks," Sacks writes. Teacher Leaders Network/On the Shoulders of Giants blog (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Friday, November 2, 2012

International education conference to draw 700 to Mich. school -courtesy of ASCD SMartbrief


  • A high school in Michigan is hosting an international education conference today, at which part of the focus will be on a teaching method known as "A Culture of Thinking." The International Harvard Project Zero Conference is expected to draw about 700 educators, including some from Singapore and Brazil. The Detroit News (11/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Monday, October 29, 2012

PD programs use blended learning to boost differentiated instruction - courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief - Great way to teaching different learning styles.


  • Many professional-development programs are using blended-learning strategies to teach the teachers how to use the technique. Many of these programs also instruct teachers how to use blended learning to differentiate instruction before delving into how to use the technology. "We're teaching teachers how to facilitate a classroom with a lot of different learning styles and modalities happening at the same time," said Hope Johnston, specialist for online learning in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., school system, where teachers attend Web-based and blended professional-development courses. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (10/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Sunday, October 21, 2012

High-school student makes the case for project-based learning - Courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief

  • In our conversations about differentiation for the CCSS, we sometimes forget about differentiating for multiple intelligences.  This article reminds us of the necessity of reaching all students, the venue for doing so, and ........the change that needs to take place.  
  • Project based learning and performance tasks seems to be linked to me!
    In an excerpt from his book, "One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student's Assessment of School," high-school senior Nikhil Goyal writes about the benefits of project-based learning. However, he quotes educators who say the teaching method has been slow to catch on because it is "messy" and gets them into trouble with administrators who prefer seeing students being quiet in their seats. He also quotes Harvard professor Howard Gardner as preferring a combination of two models: hands-on exploration and structured apprenticeship. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A visit to a motivated classroom - Courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief - a good read


Stop by the Inservice blog to watch a video clip from the A Visit to a Motivated Classroom DVD. You'll see educator Marilyn Garber employ a combination of student-directed and teacher-directed strategies to motivate students and build a learning partnership. The post outlines key questions to ask yourself as you follow Garber, like, "How does having students explain their own solutions benefit the class as well as the individual student?" Visit the blog.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Report gives insight into state of common core implementation - Common core requires students to be taught meta-cognitive strategies. If the materials are not used, then the instruction will not occur. Well worth the read! Courtesy of ASCD Smart Brief.


The majority of the 46 states signed on to implement the Common Core State Standards are developing curriculum materials and other teaching resources, according to a recent report. Still, only four of those states said they actually require districts to use materials aligned with the standards. The report also found that less than 50% of states have aligned their high-school graduation requirements with the standards. Education Week/Curriculum Matters blog (9/13)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What are the keys to effective feedback? - courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief


Feedback is information on how a person is doing toward reaching a goal, writes Grant Wiggins in this article. For feedback to be helpful, it must also be "tangible and transparent; actionable; user-friendly (specific and personalized); timely; ongoing; and consistent," he notes. Wiggins also writes that research shows that greater learning is accomplished through less teaching and more feedback. Educational Leadership (9/2012)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Students to write about political conventions - Courtesy of ASCD

Real world tasks makes learners engaged and focused on strategies.
Well worth the read.
Two classes of high-school students in Abilene, Texas, are acting as journalists for a writing project. As reporters covering a national political convention, the students will work in groups of up to four on the project-based learning assignment. "For project-based learning, we try to find ways to teach the things we're supposed to teach in relevant, real-world scenarios," said Nathan Monroe, an English teacher at the Academy of Technology, Engineering, Math and Science. Abilene Reporter-News (Texas) (

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cutting class begins in middle school, survey finds - Courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief

Here is a great article that addresses a huge issue.  We need to think about why students are so dis-engaged, they are willing to risk the consequences of cutting class!  
Engagement is a must!
Well worth the read.




Cutting class often begins in middle school and becomes a regular habit by ninth grade, according to a study by the Get Schooled Foundation, which reported that approximately 7 million students miss a month or more of class annually. Researchers, who surveyed more than 500 students in 25 U.S. cities about their views on missing school, found truancy to be present across all student demographics, with "habitual skippers" most at risk of dropping out of high school. Las Vegas Sun (8/29)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blog: Classroom procedures provide more structure than rules- courtesy of ASCD


Teachers should avoid enforcing classroom rules and instead establish procedures early on that will provide students with the structure they need to learn, writes instructional coach David Ginsburg. In this blog post, Ginsburg shares a video in which he explains the importance of procedures, which he says lead to fewer behavior problems in class. Education Week Teacher/Coach G's Teaching Tips (8/20)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Here's one approach into more complex texts and the thinking they require. Enjoy courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief!!

Object monologues help students approach complex texts
The writers of this blog post suggest a lesson in which teachers use drama to teach core academic subjects. In one exercise, students select an object and complete a monologue on the history of the object. The activity helps students to approach complicated texts and pick up specific details. The monologue also may encourage students to ask additional questions and complete research. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Learning Network blog (8/9)