Author: Kara Bentley

Kara Bentley is a Staff Developer with Learning Sciences International. Her educational career encompasses classroom experience in both primary- and intermediate-level education. While working at a School District, she served as a Lead Facilitator to help PLC groups learn to effectively write and use learning scales in the classroom and has worked extensively with pre-service teachers as an instructor to prepare them for real world classroom experiences. Kara is dedicated to empowering teachers to reach beyond their current vision of instruction and to deepen their understanding of effective instructional strategies that reap positive results for their students. Kara believes that students should not be “told” that they are important; rather, they should be “shown” that they are important. Follow Kara on Twitter: @KaraBentley17

Reflecting on a Year of Growth at Des Moines Public Schools

By Kara Bentley Staff members at an Iowa elementary school reflect on the take-aways, challenges, and rewards of becoming a School for Rigor. Read the first part of this series here. In August 2017, I had the privilege of working with the instructional staff of Monroe Elementary School in Des Moines

Student Reflections on Finding Joy in the Journey at Greensboro Elementary School

By Kara Bentley Some images courtesy of Greensboro Elementary School Assistant Principal Todd Nichols. Follow him on Twitter here. Earlier this year, I shared with you teacher reflections about the journey that began at Greensboro Elementary School in August, 2017 as Caroline County MD Schools embraced a new instructional initiative, Essentials

Greensboro Elementary School: Finding Joy in the Journey

By Kara Bentley Images courtesy of Greensboro Elementary School Assistant Principal Todd Nichols. Follow him on Twitter here. In Greensboro, Maryland, near the eastern shore, Greensboro Elementary School shines brightly as students, instructional staff, and administrative leadership work diligently to transfer the ownership of learning to students—a feat that’s difficult

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

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

Hey, Teachers! Take the Training Wheels Off

By Kara Bentley To develop into independent thinkers, students need to become autonomous in the classroom. While this doesn’t mean they always need to work independently, it does mean that they need to own their learning; deepen their understanding of instruction, and use provided resources to apply their knowledge to