Year: 2017

Five Statements That Guide a Team Toward Its Vision

By Dr. Jane Bartley Everyone knows the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” A photo taken during an LSI Leadership Academy session captures the essence of that statement perfectly. Listed on a dry erase board are five statements that describe the work teacher teams in MSD Lawrence Township

Is Technology Shortening Students’ Attention Spans?

The answer might surprise you. According to Dr. David A. Sousa, educational neuroscience consultant and award-winning author of Engaging the Rewired Brain, the answer is no… with a big qualifier. No, technology doesn’t shorten students’ attention spans. Today’s learners are capable of focusing on one thing for just as long

Image courtesy of Des Moines Public Schools: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dmps/36962770821/in/album-72157686316235914/

Success Criteria: A Five-Star Recipe for Students

By Kara Bentley Teachers, when your students walk into your classroom… Do they know what they’re going to be learning? Do they know what they NEED to know to demonstrate understanding of content? Are they prepared to autonomously apply their knowledge to successfully complete a task? Do they have exemplars

To Exist or Not Exist? How Student Autonomy Changes the Classroom: Part 2

By Kristin DeJong Last time around, we introduced you to the idea of implementing a few new strategies to lighten your teaching load and promote more student-centered learning in the process. Today, we round out that list with a few more ideas you’ll be doing in no time. Establish Team Roles

To Exist or Not Exist? How Student Autonomy Changes the Classroom: Part 1

By Kristin DeJong The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.” As a new school year begins, I’m reminded of this quotation from the famed physician and educator, Maria Montessori, and I often

Vision Day at Des Moines Public Schools

Reflecting on a Vision of Instruction at Des Moines Public Schools

By Kara Bentley On August 21, I celebrated in Des Moines with administrators and instructional staff of Monroe Elementary School as we engaged in productive struggle to craft our vision of instruction for the 2017-2018 school year. To succeed at building our new vision as Schools for Rigor, participants had

When a New Student Has Language Barriers: 7 Tips for Teachers

About five million children in the United States—that’s approximately one out of 10 students–are learning how to speak English. This is a huge demographic shift, not only in states like California, Texas, and Florida, but also in Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Vermont. Many of the students come from migrant backgrounds,

Four Steps to Defining Your Legacy as a Teacher

By Theresa Staley Of all the things you do in this life, make it your mission to leave a lasting imprint on your students that’s so bold, it defines your legacy and resonates well into the future. But what exactly is a legacy and what does it have to do with