Category: Articles

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Creating a Vision for the School Year

Holding a clear sense of vision and purpose for the school is important for the principal. Ronald Williamson and Barbara Blackburn share leadership tools to help develop a personal vision and then work collaboratively with the school community to develop a shared vision.

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Scaffolding: How Not to Learn to Ride a Bike

Teacher-consultant Terry Thompson, author of The Construction Zone, defines four elements of good instructional scaffolding and uses the example of teaching a kid to ride a bicycle to demonstrate why a clear focus on learning targets is a critical first step.

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Vocab: How to Rock Greek & Latin Roots

When you think of Greek and Latin roots, you think high student engagement, right? No? ELA teacher Amber Chandler plans to make all those old roots rock this fall as she introduces the concepts of language development and acquisition to her students.

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Media Literacy: The POTUS Primary Debates

Plans for Republican and Democratic primary debates are well underway. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker is ready with guidelines for engaging students in classroom research and discussion. Baker’s first focus: the very crowded GOP debates scheduled for this fall.

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Do We Really Have High Expectations for All?

When it comes to high expectations, learning consultant Barbara Blackburn says actions speak louder than beliefs. Using her own classroom mistakes as a backdrop, she points out the teacher behaviors that signal struggling learners whether we mean what we say.

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Expanding Our Approach to Reading Strategies

When reading strategies include a series of actionable steps, students can follow them as they learn to master skills. Using the teaching of tying shoes as an analogy, literacy expert Jennifer Serravallo offers examples of the kinds of supports teachers can offer learners as they travel the path to automaticity.

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Four Tools to Help Gamify Your Classroom

The first step toward gamifying your classroom can be as simple as taking the “ew” out of “review” with these helpful game-oriented apps, selected and described by tech integration expert Curtis Chandler. Included: Quizizz, Kahoot, Classcraft and Class Dojo.

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Nurturing a Culture of Teacher Inquiry

Kevin Hodgson joins two middle level colleagues to share a cross-school collaboration supported by the National Writing Project that engaged teachers in investigating how to use writing strategies and inquiry learning with students in all content areas.

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3 Organizing Tips for a Great School Year

Author and former middle level school leader Frank Buck spends his professional life helping fellow educators manage themselves and their work in ways that maximize performance and benefit students. Buck shares three practical ideas to organize the new school year.