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?”
New studies continue to reveal that many students cannot evaluate internet information for truthfulness, writes media literacy expert Frank W Baker. “It has become a crisis in American education,” he says, as disinformation becomes industrialized and “truth decay” spreads.
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.
Borrowing books from class and school libraries is less common during the pandemic. Kathie Palmieri encourages her students to read using a Bitmoji Virtual Classroom Library, Virtual Book Tasting Rooms, Flipgrid, and Mentimeter. How-to tips and book sources included!
As U.S. history teacher Lauren Brown prepared for her classes to resume following winter break, she considered what she would say to her students about the Capitol riots. “To say nothing says way too much.” See her full discussion of teaching ideas for now and later.
Students need to explore critical questions about topics relevant to their lives, writes Kasey Short. In the past she’s organized debates, but hybrid teaching prompted her to try ‘elevator pitches.’ Kids enjoyed researching issues, doing bias checks and creating short videos.
In The Elementary School Grammar Toolkit Sean Ruday shows how to use mentor texts as a tool to help kids connect with engaging material as they learn proper writing conventions. Teacher Kathie Palmieri says the book will enrich writing in the intermediate grades and beyond.
This fall Katie Durkin’s middle schoolers developed a voluntary reading plan using a design thinking process. After modeling her own reading goals, she had students generate and pursue ‘prototype’ goals that helped them expand choice and voice in their reading practices.
Principals are the creators of school culture. Through their words, actions, and policies they can assure ELLs’ success. The work teachers need to do with language learners can’t be done without principal support. Tan Huynh offers 4 principles for school leaders to adopt.