As school leaders navigate challenging times, roadside assistance from higher-ups can be invaluable. Award-winning middle school principal Jessica Cabeen shares five practices she’s developed to make sure the paths of communication and support stay open now and in the future.
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To get her 4th graders off their remote screens for a good old-fashioned, hands-on collage project to strengthen fine-motor skills, Mary Tarashuk asked them to create image-filled books exploring Room 4T’s central Social Studies question this year: “Who Is America?”
Teacher, author and adolescent literacy consultant Cris Tovani guides us through her 6Ts (Topic, Target, Task, Text, Time, and Tending) as she tells the story of her first virtual literacy workshop – with 7th graders who are studying the Sahara Desert. Engagement? CYA!
In Metacognition: The Neglected Skill Set, Robin Fogarty and Brian Pete offer 30 grab-and-go strategies to help students create a new habit of mind, writes middle school director Jeny Randall. Along with tools for teaching, they invite us to hone our own metacognitive skills.
When we take the time to research and develop leadership styles that are true to our beliefs and values, while at the same time encouraging others to develop themselves and their own leadership styles, we become ethical and transformational leaders, writes AP DeAnna Miller.
Over the life of our nation, history has been recorded from a singularly white perspective. Pablo Wolfe, Mary Ehrenworth and Marc Todd suggest ways we can create truth-seeking communities in our schools and “inoculate our students against the viral spread of falsehood.”
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.
For five years Marilyn Pryle has begun every class with 10 minutes of choice reading, inside a Book Club model. Would in work in a hybrid classroom? Yes! Her experience this year “reinforces the truths I already know.” Students want to read. Escaping into a story feels good.
Many media literacy initiatives start with skills – teaching kids to fact-check and dig for information. Instead, Angela Kohnen and Wendy Saul urge us to guide students as they assume the identity of Generalist – “sifters” who are curious, skeptical, accurate and persistent.
On her first day back Michelle Russell surveyed her students, looking for ways to improve her online teaching and – most of all – to find out how they’re doing in these difficult times. Some of their answers surprised her, and she’ll be more aware and proactive going forward.