The Whole Child Blog

Tisha Shipley

Planning Engaging Lessons Using Children’s Literature

In a world of test-driven instruction, teachers are still expected to have effective teaching strategies and teach children to love reading. It is very important that we as professionals take a look at how we introduce reading to children; what strategies we use to teach them to love reading; and how we can make it fun, engaging, and meaningful. This article discusses teaching objectives, skills that must be taught, and how they can be organized and successfully implemented by using children's literature. You may have to get a little creative, but creativity makes lessons engaging and worthwhile!

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Kristen Pekarek

Join the Summer Learning Movement!

Summer Learning Day 2014 - National Summer Learning AssociationNational Summer Learning Association (NSLA), is part of a whole child education as it takes into account a child's education and overall well-being all year long, including the summer months.

According to the NSLA, each summer the well-being of millions of children is put into jeopardy. The research shows that students lose close two months of what they learn during the school year and many more do not have access to healthy food and wellness programs. View an achievement gap infographic (PDF) for additional data on the importance of summer learning.

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Klea Scharberg

Free Webinar: Technology Integration to Meet the Needs of the Common Core

ASCD Summer Boot Camp Webinar SeriesASCD Faculty member Andrew Miller for an exciting, free webinar to learn how to integrate technology in your classroom to support students' needs and the Common Core.

Monday, June 9, 2014, 3:00 p.m. eastern time
Register now!

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Laura Varlas

Daniel Pink: Perfecting Your Power to Move Others

Daniel Pink - 2014 ASCD Annual ConferenceEducators teach, lead, and are learners, themselves. But there's a big piece of every profession that often gets overlooked. In his 2014 ASCD Annual Conference opening general session, author Daniel Pink argued that, in a significant way, educators are also persuaders.

"A big part of what you do is try to move people," said Pink.

Pink surveyed 7,000 full-time, adult workers and found that American professionals spend 41 percent of the work day, or 24 minutes of every hour, persuading people to give up something they value for something you can offer.

As educators, this may mean trying to make a convincing appeal for certain state or district policies, persuasively leading your teachers to adopt a new curriculum or instructional approach, or motivating your students to practice close reading.

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Whole Child Symposium

Teachers Are Not a Problem. They Are an Opportunity.

Written by Andy Hargreaves, the Thomas More Brennan Chair in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. This article originally appeared on Education Week's Finding Common Ground blog.

Woody Allen quipped that when we face a crossroads in life that leads to utter hopelessness or total extinction, we should choose wisely between them. Yogi Berra said that if we come to a fork in the road, we should take it. When Eric Clapton went down to the crossroads, he just fell down on his knees.

In 2014, the future of teaching is at a gigantic global crossroads, but the choices need not be as oddball as the ones that the ABC's of Allen, Berra and Clapton offer us! Last week, the Unite for Quality Education movement, organized by the global teachers' union organization, Education International, met in Montreal to advance its campaign of providing universal and free access to quality teachers to all students. This is a bold goal—not just access to education, good or bad, in huge classes or less, with properly qualified teachers or not; but access to quality education and quality teachers for everyone.

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Whole Child Symposium

The Dilemma of Choice

The decisions we make today—for our systems, our schools, and our classrooms—will affect what all of our tomorrows will look like. This spring, ASCD hosted its inaugural Whole Child Symposium, a series of in-person and online events in which experts, policymakers, teachers, and students discussed education policies, processes, and practices and their influence on children, societies, and economies in the future.

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Klea Scharberg

Throughout Summer: Making a Difference

Ask educators why they went into teaching, and the majority will respond that they wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people. That initial idealism, however, is often challenged by the realities of heavy workloads, classroom discipline problems, and bureaucratic demands. How are you (and your teams) working to ensure that each child in your school and community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged?

Join us throughout the summer as we look at why we teach and what inspires us. From building meaningful relationships or designing innovative programs that help students overcome challenges to raising academic achievement, supporting students' emotional and physical health and safety, building partnerships with parents, and advocating for education reform, we are taking steps to focus on the whole child project-by-project, classroom-by-classroom, and school-by-school.

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Learning and Health

Physical Education and Physical Activity

We know that students do better in school when they are emotionally and physically healthy. They miss fewer classes, are less likely to engage in risky or antisocial behavior, concentrate more, and achieve higher test scores. Research shows physical education programs not only improve physical fitness, but they can also benefit students by improving skill development, reinforcing self-discipline, supporting academic achievement, reducing stress, strengthening peer relationships, improving self-confidence and self-esteem, and teaching goal setting.

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Whole Child Symposium

Self-Selecting, Real-World Learning Communities

Post written by Walter McKenzie

Imagine in your mind, a map of your community. Nothing detailed; just the boundaries and general lay of the land. Got it? Now add in the major areas in your community where people live and work and play. You know, to give yourself some bearings with a few landmarks. Still with me? Good! Now convert this mental image into a heat map. You know, where the hot spots flare up in bright yellows, oranges and reds? Picture in your mind hot spots that indicate places people go to learn new things and practice skills that are important to them. Where are those heat surges? Athletic fields? Dance studios? Book stores? Parks and beaches? Art galleries? Theaters? How about school buildings? No? Why aren’t school building hot spots on anyone's heat map?

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Discover the Flip: Putting Learning at the Center of the Classroom

Flip Your Classroom - ASCD and ISTEPost written by Mikaela Dwyer, a journalism student at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. She considers herself a human rights activist and spends her time volunteering on campus and with various local nonprofits. After graduation, Dwyer hopes to join the Peace Corps and then become an investigative journalist for human rights issues.

Both Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams, authors of Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student In Every Class Every Day, grew up in educationally privileged homes, so their homework struggles usually ended with a few simple questions for Mom or Dad. As educators, however, they realized that not every student has this opportunity; why are teachers sending students home with the hard stuff? In their 2014 ASCD Annual Conference session "Foundations of Flipped Learning," they explored the flipped classroom concept.

Flipping the classroom allows students to watch recorded lectures at home and work with teachers in class the next day. This way, students are able to actively learn with their teacher by their side, rather than stressing over homework because there is no one to ask for help.

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