In recent years, a debate has intensified among educational leaders about whether the best measure of teacher effectiveness is student proficiency or rather growth. Regardless of your belief on this issue, one undeniable truth is that a certain level of accountability is necessary. Fundamentally, this is how we decide the best course of action moving […]
By Mary Shea Although English is phonetically inconsistent, there is more sense than randomness in its spelling when particular factors are taken into consideration. Correct spelling in English—a social expectation for writing that goes public—requires the logical, thoughtful integration of knowledge and aptitude across multiple areas. Curiosity about unusual words—about their structure and derivation (i.e., […]
By Mary Shea From the moment they’re born, children try to make sense of their environment and actively participate in it. They observe behaviors of others and mimic actions and words that appear to have meaning and function. Every experience they have informs them about people, objects, events, and routines in the environment. Children self-direct […]
By Scott Sterling Reflection should be a regular component of a teacher’s practice, but some times of the year seem to be tailor-made for reflective study. One of those times is at the beginning of the calendar year, which may signal the midpoint of the school year or the start of a new term/semester. Just […]
By Scott Sterling When adopting a STEM approach or creating a makerspace, acquiring a 3D printer is high on the wish list. They tend to be the most popular efforts on education crowdfunding sites, especially as prices come down. The problem is that not too many people understand a 3D printer’s purpose. Sure, they print […]
By Mary Shea, co-author of The FIVES Strategy for Reading Comprehension Writing is an expressive language process that allows us to record thoughts, feelings, knowledge, and inspirations. That expression can be for ourselves or for an audience. Transforming ideas into written words requires considerable effort, making the message clear and interesting enough to hold readers’ attention. […]
By Scott Sterling This is the second in a series of three blog posts discussing research-based teaching strategies that help students interact and eventually assimilate new knowledge. Education is all about presenting previously-unknown knowledge to students and have them incorporate that learning into comprehension. But as any educator will tell you, that is not an […]
By Mary Shea, co-author of The FIVES Strategy for Reading Comprehension Wondering is the mind’s query to itself — questioning observed phenomena, seeking information about the unknown, or solving a problem or puzzle. It’s a natural force that drives learning from the first breath of life. Effective teachers harness this energy in designing instruction that is […]
School Superintendent Julia Espe likes to refer to a quotation from Israeli teacher Haim Ginott: “Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.” For the past several years, Espe has been endeavoring to ensure that whatever “falls” on the students in her Princeton, Minnesota school district will leave impressions that are […]
By Scott Sterling Our students are stressed out. The causes are many (too many activities, too much pressure, not enough down time, etc.), but they have very little ability throughout the day to just “be”, to clear their minds and focus their attention inward rather than outward. The practice of mindfulness takes many different forms. […]
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Cultivating Coaching Mindsets
By Rita M. Bean & Jacy Ippolito