Alex Valencic began his career sending work home with his students without much thought. Over the years he came to question the need for homework at all – until parents rebelled. Then he invented the Homework Menu. And embraced the D.E.L.I.B.E.R.A.T.E ideas of Erik Youngman.
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Professional books play an important role in every savvy educator’s growth and development. Podcasts can serve the same purpose, writes instructional leader Alex Valencic. Podcasts not only stimulate our thinking, they lead us to new authors and help us expand our PLNs.
Instead of continuing our 130 years of running every public school student through the system in the same way at the same time, Alex Valencic believes we need to shift our efforts to acknowledging individuality, independence, and innovation through mastery learning.
Cutting-edge teachers never answer the question “why do we need to learn this” with vague references about an unlikely future, writes curriculum coordinator Alex Valencic. Instead, they provide “instant relevancy” and respond with immediate examples from our lives today.
Some lessons don’t qualify for Project Based Learning treatment, even in a “wall-to-wall” PBL school or program. Teaching coach Alex Valencic uses two key PBL questions to create a matrix that can help teachers filter out routine tasks, fluff and busy work.
Kids need the opportunity to make choices about what they learn and how they learn it, writes Alex Valencic. This doesn’t mean education becomes a free-for-all. It’s a call to action for us to know our students and help spark a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
Robert Marzano and two colleagues have developed what will surely become the go-to resource for planning, designing, implementing, and assessing teaching art and music, using Marzano’s New Art and Science of Teaching framework, writes curriculum coordinator Alex Valencic.
Two-for-One Teaching is an excellent resource for educators who want to help connect what matters most to kids with what matters most to schools. The authors’ flexible strategies will help students learn and grow, writes 21st century curriculum coordinator Alex Valencic.
Future-Focused Learning will drive you to think deeply about your instructional practices and consider what you need to change. Alex Valencic likes the book’s focus on what students both need and want to learn and finds it solidly on-target if occasionally frustrating.
Combining anecdotes, research and common sense, school psychologist Ben Springer walks you through what doesn’t work and what you can try instead when you encounter aggressive behavior in students. Alex Valencic recommends reading about the author’s happy kid formula now.