2023

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The Essence of Being a Leader

A Principal's Reflections

What is the essence of leadership? How do leaders effectively implement, sustain, and scale change? There is no shortage of responses regarding the topic, which is why questions are more important than answers. Narrowing down the most critical competencies can take time and effort. However, let’s look at it from the perspective of debunking what authentic leadership is, not to get at the heart of what it really is when it comes to agents of change.

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Resources For The Parents And Teachers Of Gifted And Talented Students

TeachThought

State and national level resources for the teachers and parents of gifted and talented students inside and outside of the classroom. The post Resources For The Parents And Teachers Of Gifted And Talented Students appeared first on TeachThought.

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Building Better Rubrics: Empowering Learners Through Effective Rubric Design

Catlin Tucker

Why should teachers use rubrics to assess student work? Rubrics are valuable assessment tools that provide clear and transparent expectations about what constitutes quality work. Rubrics identify specific criteria relevant to the assignment, along with corresponding levels of performance that allow for more precise grading. Using rubrics helps teachers stay focused during the grading process and ensures that grading is objective, consistent, and fair.

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Crowdsourcing Your K-12 Innovations: Three Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Digital Promise

This 3-part blog series, featuring guest authors from Michigan Virtual , describes the formation of the Learning Continuity Workgroup and how it has supported their edtech procurement and decision-making processes. In this second post, Michigan Virtual outlines how they successfully created resources by crowdsourcing ideas on how to address shared challenges among educators.

K-12 147
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OPINION: It is time to pay attention to the science of learning

The Hechinger Report

The thing that surprised me most about my teacher preparation program was that we never talked about how kids learn. Instead, we were taught how to structure a lesson and given tips on classroom management. I took “methods” classes that gave me strategies for discussions and activities. I assumed that I would eventually learn how the brain worked because I thought that studying education meant studying how learning happens.

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The Math Revolution You Haven’t Heard About

ED Surge

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Math professor Martin Weissman is rethinking how his university teaches calculus. Over the summer, the professor from the University of California at Santa Cruz, spent a week at Harvard to learn how to redesign the mathematics for life sciences courses his institution offers. Called Math 11 A and B, these classes, which students take as freshmen and sophomores, constitute a “leaky pipeline,” Weissman says.

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Review: The Coach, Eduro Learning

Dangerously Irrelevant

[Disclaimer: Kim Cofino is a friend of mine and I highly respect her work!]. Over the past months I have had the incredible privilege of spending a lot of time with Kim Cofino and her instructional coaching team at Eduro Learning. Not in person – Kim is in Bangkok, Thailand, and her team is all over the globe – but online. Lately I have been leaning into the task of enhancing my instructional coaching knowledge and skillsets, so I signed up for Eduro Learning’s yearlong online course

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The 4 Things You Should Be Looking for to Measure Student Engagement

Edthena

Counting the number of raised student hands to measure student engagement? There’s a lot more to understanding the engagement of a strong classroom, according to professional learning expert Jim Knight. In fact, there are four indicators that teachers, instructional coaches, and school leaders can look for to understand students’ engagement in learning—and none of them involve hand-raising.

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Derinkuyu: Mysterious underground city in Turkey found in man's basement

Strange Maps

A basement renovation project led to the archaeological discovery of a lifetime: the Derinkuyu Underground City, which housed 20,000 people.

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Advancing Educational Equity in Times of Political Crisis

Education Elements

The Polarization of Education: As consultants at Education Elements, my teammates and I have the incredible opportunity to support districts around the country as they solve some of their toughest challenges. These challenges range from “How do we change our practices to increase students’ agency over their own learning?” to “How do we use quantitative and qualitative data to determine our priority areas over the next five years?

Education 109
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A Framework for Learning Through the Purposeful Use of Technology

A Principal's Reflections

Technology has the potential to transform teaching and learning in a number of ways. One way it can be used to transform teaching and learning is by providing students with access to a wealth of information, including multimedia resources, educational apps, and online databases. This means that students can engage with a wide range of material and have access to resources that they might not have been able to access otherwise.

Pedagogy 492
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How to Lead with Little to No "Experience"

A Principal's Reflections

I vividly remember how frustrating it was to interview for various school administrator positions only to be told that I didn’t have enough practical experience related to the position(s). Well duh, of course I didn’t, as I was an aspiring leader who was just venturing into this space. I am sure virtually everyone reading this post has been in the same situation at some point, whether in the past or currently.

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The Myth of "Buy-In"

A Principal's Reflections

When it comes to leading change, many of us, at some point, have been made to think that we have to get others to buy into a certain strategy, initiative, or idea. Is this really the right way to proceed? I've never been a fan of the term "buy-in" when it comes to change. It's a phrase that implies that we need to convince people to change rather than inspiring them to actually want to change.

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#EDvice: Closing Learning Gaps with Rotational Models

A Principal's Reflections

Education is still reeling from the impacts of COVID-19. The rapid shift to virtual learning was a necessity and, like always, educators rose to the occasion like they always do even though training in this area didn’t really exist at scale. A few years later, we are beginning to get an idea of the most pressing issue at hand, which is learning recovery.

K-12 468
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5 Clear Ways Digital Benefits Learners

A Principal's Reflections

The education landscape is undergoing a continuous transformation, something I elaborate on in detail in Disruptive Thinking in Our Classrooms. While not new in any sense, digital tools continue to play an immense role as they are constantly evolving. By understanding how these tools impact teaching and learning, educators can determine which ones to use and how to implement them effectively.

Artifacts 463
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5 Steps to Involve Students in Transformation Efforts

A Principal's Reflections

In my early days as an administrator, I thought that a positive school culture was one where strict rules were created and consistently enforced to keep students focused on learning. I believed that the more control I could exert over the environment, the better the results. There was not much flexibility in terms of the structure of the day and what students were “allowed” to do.

Cultures 460
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Tackling Roadblocks to Change

A Principal's Reflections

Change is hard because it requires us to step outside of our comfort zone and into the unknown. It means letting go of the familiar and embracing something new. This can be a scary and uncertain process, which is why many people resist change. There are many reasons why people resist change. Some people are afraid of the unknown. They may worry about what will happen if they change, and they may not be confident in their ability to adapt to new situations.

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Imparting Value When It Comes to Change

A Principal's Reflections

I remember vividly as a young principal when I started to drink the “edtech” Kool-Aid many years ago. It represented a true turning point in how I thought about change in education. Up until this point, my thinking was relatively traditional and as such, so was the culture of my school. However, I was motivated like never before to move beyond the nearly impenetrable walls I had mentally constructed that had inhibited me from moving beyond my comfort zone until this point.

EdTech 451
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Self-Regulation in the Personalized Classroom

A Principal's Reflections

One of the best and most gratifying aspects of my job is getting into classrooms and providing feedback to leaders, who, in turn, help their teachers grow. Most of my blog ideas materialize during these times of bliss. Without this practical lens, I don’t think I would be able to write anything of value. Over the years, the state of Utah has provided me with a plethora of opportunities to work with schools on Personalized Competency-Based Learning ( PCBL ).

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Inclusion and Co-Teaching in the Personalized Classroom

A Principal's Reflections

Inclusion is essential for special education (SPED) because it promotes the social and academic development of students with disabilities, fosters a sense of belonging, and prepares them for life outside of school. It aligns with legal and ethical imperatives, is often cost-effective, and encourages teacher development. Inclusive education also positively impacts school culture, reduces stigma, and advocates for equity and civil rights, ensuring all students have equal opportunities and contribu

Teaching 416
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#EDvice: Interest Powers Learning and Outcomes

A Principal's Reflections

Humans crave a deep connection when it comes to learning something new, especially if they initially don't see any value in what's being taught or facilitated. We expect this as adult learners, so it goes without saying that our students both want and need this as well. In the absence of authentic meaning there is a tendency to disconnect or go off task, putting the learning experience at hand in jeopardy of not being successful.

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Choosing an Edtech Framework

A Principal's Reflections

When it comes to technology in education, there is a natural tendency to see it as just another thing that somebody must do. In other cases, it is viewed as being more work. Let me tackle the second issue first. When we try implementing anything new, there is always a learning curve. It is important to remember, though, that the time and effort put forth will reap the rewards when it comes to improving practice and, in turn, learning outcomes.

EdTech 422
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Leading Digitally-Rich Cultures of Learning

A Principal's Reflections

A thriving culture views technology as a seamless component that can enhance learning in a multitude of ways. When digital tools are intentionally integrated, students are able to produce tangible evidence of their conceptual comprehension, develop a range of competencies, illustrate the construction of new knowledge, and become self-directed in their learning.

Cultures 424
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#EDvice: Entry Points for Change

A Principal's Reflections

As we all know, navigating change is often a tricky process. It requires a clear vision, a sound plan for implementation, and patience. Even with all these elements and many others in place, it is rarely a smooth journey. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is zeroing in on compelling reasons to change that will lead to better outcomes. I refer to these as entry points, which can serve as a catalyst for any initiative or strategic plan.

K-12 421
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#EDvice: Moving from Impersonal to Personalized

A Principal's Reflections

There is a great deal of confusion out there as to what personalization is when it comes to learning in and out of the classroom. When terms that are new materialize, there is a natural inclination to develop a meaning that works for a particular narrative or goal. A lack of clarity or pedagogical understanding translates to people and organizations making up whatever fits best.

Cultures 422
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When Growth is the Only Path Forward

A Principal's Reflections

No pain, no gain has been a common saying for years. Truth be told, getting better is hard work, no matter the context. When faced with adversity, we take one of two paths. The first is seeing the inherent opportunity in a challenge through a growth mindset. Sometimes that means looking beyond traditional metrics of success to find other areas where the needle can be moved.

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Shift to Leveraging Formative Assessment for Metacognition

Catlin Tucker

How can formative assessment data help students to develop their metacognitive skills? Formative assessments are ongoing assessments embedded throughout the learning process. These informal assessments provide information to the teacher about students’ understanding of the material being covered and the skills being introduced. This data allows the teacher to identify where students are struggling, where they are excelling, and where they need additional support.

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Why Sending Students Home with Writing Assignments Might Not Be The Best Idea

Catlin Tucker

In our newest book, Shift Writing into the Classroom with UDL and Blended Learning , Dr. Katie Novak and I guide teachers in creating the time and space to support all parts of the writing process in the classroom. Not only has the explosion of artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots created concern about assigning writing, but myriad challenges exist when we send writing home with students. #1 Hard to Motivate After a Long Day at School After spending six to seven hours in a structured, often

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Troubleshooting the Flipped Classroom: Dealing with Unprepared Students

Catlin Tucker

Why Would a Teacher Use the Flipped Classroom Model? First, let’s establish the value of the flipped classroom in case you have never used this blended learning model. The flipped classroom was designed to invert the traditional approach to instruction and practice/application. Instead of spending precious class time transferring information live for the whole group in the form of a lecture or mini-lesson, which presents myriad barriers (e.g., auditory processing, attention deficit, lack o

Tradition 181
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Designing For Deeper Learning: Identifying Challenges and Prototyping Solutions

Catlin Tucker

What barriers make designing for deeper learning in schools challenging? In today’s rapidly changing educational landscape, educators face numerous challenges when designing instruction that promotes deeper learning for all students. Recently, I had the privilege of meeting with a group of international educators in Dubai grappling with these challenges.

Tradition 177
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Beyond Homework: The Evolution of the Flipped Classroom

Catlin Tucker

As the landscape of education continues to evolve in response to global disruptions and digital advancements, blended learning models have surged in popularity. Among these is the flipped classroom model , a strategy that leverages video instruction to mitigate potential obstacles that make it challenging for students to access information presented live.

Tradition 170
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Shift to Self-assessment

Catlin Tucker

Who decided that grading and assessment should be the exclusive responsibility of teachers? Why do we sideline students when it comes to assessment? Self-assessment is a powerful strategy that encourages students to become more invested in their learning journeys. It is a process where students evaluate their work, reflecting on what they’ve learned, how well they’ve understood complex concepts, how much progress they’ve made toward mastering key skills, and where they may need

Tradition 167
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Trust, Technology, and Transformation: Embracing the Student-Centered Classroom

Catlin Tucker

As a speaker, trainer, and coach, I have had the privilege of working with thousands of teachers. There is a recurring issue that needs to be addressed–the reluctance to relinquish control to students. In my experience leading the shift to blended learning, the only way to truly engage students in learning is to allow them to actively lead the process, make decisions, and pursue learning through a lens of interest.

Teaching 167
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PROOF POINTS: Flashcards prevail over repetition in memorizing multiplication tables

The Hechinger Report

A study published in 2023 in the journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology documented that second graders memorized more multiplication facts when they practiced using flashcards rather than by repeating their times tables aloud. Credit: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images Young students around the world struggle to memorize multiplication tables, but the effort pays off.

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Inside Canada’s 50-year fight for national child care

The Hechinger Report

Editor’s note: This story led off this week’s Early Childhood newsletter, which is delivered free to subscribers’ inboxes every other Wednesday with trends and top stories about early learning. Email Address Choose from our newsletters Weekly Update Future of Learning Higher Education Early Childhood Proof Points Leave this field empty if you’re human: Just over 50 years ago, long before a global pandemic knocked 100,000 Canadian women out of the work force and left child care providers

Advocacy 145
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Lost in translation: Parents of special ed students who don’t speak English often left in the dark

The Hechinger Report

SEATTLE — Mireya Barrera didn’t want a fight. This story also appeared in The Seattle Times For years, she sat through meetings with her son’s special education teachers, struggling to maintain a smile as she understood little of what they said. On the rare occasions when other teachers who spoke Barrera’s language, Spanish, were asked to help, the conversations still faltered because they weren’t trained interpreters.

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How a disgraced method of diagnosing learning disabilities persists in our nation’s schools

The Hechinger Report

It pains Tim Odegard that four decades after a misguided approach to diagnosing dyslexia kept him from getting help in school, thousands of children across the U.S. are needlessly suffering for the same reason. This story also appeared in Scientific American During the initial weeks of first grade, Odegard’s struggles with reading went undetected as he memorized words that classmates read aloud before him.