Category: Articles

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Use Text Sets to Spark Unstoppable Learning

Thematic text sets that tap into the social worlds and narrative driven lives of adolescents can spark “unstoppable learning,” say literacy educators Katie and Chris Cunningham, who share several text-set examples and a 10-step process for building your own.

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Leading Teams: How to Avoid “Groupthink”

“Groupthink” can happen if team members are afraid of the consequences of sharing their real thoughts and feelings. When divergent thinking is left of of the school improvement discussion, writes leadership coach Elena Aguilar, positive and lasting change isn’t likely to occur.

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Principals: Teaming with Families & Community

Involving parents and families in a partnership with schools has a positive impact on students. What can principals do to ensure the partnership is sustained, vibrant and diverse? Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn suggest strategies to build connections.

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Use Political Covers to Teach Media Literacy

Paid ads and social media give lots of exposure to Presidential candidates. They also get free visibility from magazines, though they don’t always like what they see. Frank Baker offers a magazine-cover activity to help students build media literacy skills.

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Involve Hesitant Writers in Co-creating Text

Recent research finds that hesitant adolescent writers seldom respond positively to mentor texts by “stellar” peers. Instead, poet and educator Sara Holbrook suggests a co-creation framework that scaffolds the student writing process in a collaborative poetry workshop setting.

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It’s Time to Retire Your Trusty Day Planner

Evernote is a 21st century day planner. In Part 4 of his productivity series for school leaders, organization consultant and former principal Frank Buck singles out Evernote as a must-have for collecting school and home information in an easily accessible way.

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Book Challenge Builds Passion for Reading

ELA co-teaching team Rachel Wysocki Kent & Genevieve Federick share a successful independent reading strategy they designed around a challenging group goal (read 500 books) and a teen-friendly focus question: “What does it mean to be a young person in 2015?”

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The 5 Critical School Leadership Practices

Education leaders Ruth Ash and Pat Hodge examine how middle level principals, working with teachers and students, are creating high performing learning cultures using five key leadership practices. It’s not magic, they say, but method, logic, perseverance, and heart.