Author Archive

Sean Slade

Bullying Prevention Summit: Peers Matter

What was the key takeaway from this year's Bullying Prevention Summit, hosted by the Department of Education?

Peers matter.

It's not a revelation that we need to focus on the big picture, not just the incident. We need to be deliberate about influencing the environment and culture that allows bullying behavior to take place.

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Sean Slade

Same Conversation, Different Location, Greater Impact

This post is the third in a series about the need to create connections with our students and see things from their perspective. Read "The Unknown Students" and "What the Kids Think."

"Get to know our stories." This was the most common response provided by kids when asked how teachers can show they care about their students (PDF). Other responses included

  • "Be there for us."
  • "They help me by listening and encouraging me."
  • "They talk to me as a person and friend, not just as a student."
  • "Ask us, 'How was your weekend?'"

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Sean Slade

What the Kids Think

A couple of weeks back I wrote about “The Unknown Students" and outlined a simple process for discovering which students are flying under the radar and are unknown by adults at the school. In discussing solutions such as having adults linked to students as mentors to get to know them, it was made clear that the key factor is that the students believe that their teachers and other adults at the school know them. It’s not enough that we may think we know them—it has to be from the students' perspective. In this situation, the students' perception is their reality.

But, this doesn't automatically mean that teachers need to do more, engage more, or try more. For some teachers, it means that they should actually keep doing what they are doing, but be more aware of what they are doing and why it is being done.

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Sean Slade

The Unknown Students

How well do you know your students? How well do you know each student? Many schools use the following activity or something similar as part of professional development.

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Sean Slade

A Health Iceberg

I use these slides often when discussing health. It starts with the tenets, becomes a pyramid, and then ends with what I call a "health iceberg." Let me show you what I mean.

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Sean Slade

Will You Be the Next to Change?

This month ASCD relaunched the Whole Child Approach Examples Map. This map, originally launched in August, aims to showcase great schools putting a whole child approach into action. The examples come from not only ASCD—in the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award winners and Healthy School Communities mentor sites—but also award-winning schools and communities from many of our whole child partner organizations, including four new worldwide partners.

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Sean Slade

The Global Whole Child

A whole child approach to education is not something that is unique to the United States, or even to North America. It is an approach to education that has been taken up by many communities, regions, and countries. It is an approach that understands that education is more than just academic achievement and that ensuring that each child is healthy, safe, and engaged is a necessity if we want to support student growth and provide meaningful challenges to those same students. The five Whole Child Tenets—healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged—are the prerequisites for an effective education that allows students to grow, learn, and develop their full potential.

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Sean Slade

Supporting Development of Healthy Schools Across Canada

Healthy School Report Card - Canadian Second Edition

Hot off the presses! We have released a second Canadian edition of the Healthy School Report Card action tool. Developed by ASCD's Healthy School Communities (HSC), the publication was coauthored by prominent experts in the fields of health and education: David K. Lohrmann, Sandra Vamos, and Paul Yeung. But you may be asking yourself: Why did we develop a Canadian edition and why did we move to a second edition?

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Sean Slade

Playing a Game Is the Voluntary Attempt to Overcome Unnecessary Obstacles

Last month we ran the theme of integrating movement throughout the school day (and outside of physical education classes). Obviously one place where this should be a no-brainer is recess. But it's been scary seeing how many schools and districts have been cutting back on recess time  to either provide enrichment classes or add additional academic study time into the school day.

In fact, the reason given why many of these schools are adding "enrichment classes" into recess time is because they have been pushed out of the daily schedule by academic cuts. And this is even though there have been countless studies showing and editorials discussing the benefits of play, whether it be for physical health, social and emotional health, all of the above, and even academic development.

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Sean Slade

The Movement Continuum

This month's theme is about integrating movement across the school day. It's a theme that aims to look at not only why physical activity should be incorporated into and across the school day, but also how it can be.

Regarding the why, the research is pretty solid. There are cognitive benefits associated with physical activity, including improved memory, concentration, attention, and academic performance. All of these (and other) benefits were succinctly summarized by Charles Basch back in May 2010 with his publication Healthier Students Are Better Learners: A Missing Link in School Reforms to Close the Achievement Gap.

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