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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Homework in a Flipped Classroom

ASCD author Aaron Sams explains how flipped classrooms use class time to practice and apply skills learned during prerecorded lectures. Homework becomes classwork, and lectures and other content traditionally presented during class time are viewed outside of class, at home, on a personal device, or in a school-based resource room.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Leading and Learning as a Principal

Post written by Ashley Allen, a master's student in communication management with an emphasis on marketing at the University of Southern California. She received her bachelor's degree from San Jose State University last spring and hopes to use her writing skills to make a difference.

Short on Time - ASCD AriasShort on Time: How do I make time to lead and learn as a principal?, he emphasized that although there will always be challenges in education, it is vital that educators and administrators bring attention to dedicated teachers, hardworking students, and the success of the school. Doing so can help create an uplifting and thriving environment. Some of Sterrett's quick tips include:

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Survival Tips for New Principals

Post written by Ashley Allen, a master's student in communication management with an emphasis on marketing at the University of Southern California. She received her bachelor's degree from San Jose State University last spring and hopes to use her writing skills to make a difference.

Susan Kessler, April Snodgrass, and Andrew Davis of Nashville (Tenn.) Public Schools discussed the struggles of being a new principal and shared valuable insight for surviving the first year during their 2014 ASCD Annual Conference session "When Do You Sleep: Surviving the First Year as a Principal." The dynamic trio each shared tips that have played an integral part in their own success.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

History for Its Own Sake, and For All of Our Sakes

Post written by Kerry Dunne and Christopher Martell

Recent national media attention on attempts by school districts to fold history and social studies into broader humanities programs has brought attention to the role of history education in today schools.

This begs the question: Is the study of history and the social studies a critical part of a 21st century education? In the age of a Common Core State Standards curriculum dominated by literacy and numeracy, will it survive as a core school subject? We argue that high-quality teaching and learning in history, geography, economics, and civics matter more than ever for today's American students and for the future of the country.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

How Do We Build Systems for All Learners?

All the talk of closing the achievement gap in schools obscures a more fundamental issue: do the grades we assign to students truly reflect the extent of their learning? In a new ASCD book, Grading Smarter, Not Harder, Myron Dueck reveals how many of the assessment policies that teachers adopt can actually prove detrimental to student motivation and achievement and shows how we can tailor policies to address what really matters: student understanding of content.

In this video, Dueck tells the story of how he saw the flaws in penalty-driven grading by trying to get his son to brush his teeth.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Reflect or Refract: Top 3 Tips for the Reflective Educator

Post written by Barry Saide and Jasper Fox, Sr.

The dictionary definition of reflection states that reflection is light bouncing off a flat plane and returning back at the same angle. This allows us to see an image clearly, like when looking in a mirror. Reflection is an almost perfect representation. If the light bends prior to it returning, it's called refraction. What was once a perfect view becomes hazy, the representation distorted.

When applying these terms to education, how often do we reflect vs. refract?

Reflecting on our own pedagogy and practice takes a confident mindset. We need to be secure with ourselves in order to be open to honest feedback from others, admit mistakes made during delivery of instruction, and self-identify possible solutions for why things didn't go as planned. Reflectors do not blame students for their inattentiveness or behavioral issues. They identify ways to maintain consistent engagement and involvement throughout the learning process. If many students do not get the correct answer, the default response of a reflective teacher is not to state: "I don't know why they didn't get it—I taught it!" Instead, the reflective teacher reviews their approach to teaching the concept, and will try a new approach the next day. Reflectors know not all students understand content delivered the first time because reflective teachers are lifelong students, and may not have grasped content presented to them at some point, too.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Take Action: Tell Your Representative to Support the Whole Child!

ASCD Educator AdvocatesU.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) just introduced federal resolution H.Res.658 (PDF), which supports a whole child approach to education. It's a crucial first step in getting federal lawmakers to develop policies and make decisions that more effectively promote students' long-term learning, development, and success. Now, we need your help in letting your lawmaker know about the resolution and why it's important. Please take five minutes to ask your representative to cosponsor the resolution.

The resolution states that the U.S. House of Representatives

  • recognizes the benefit of ensuring students are challenged, supported, healthy, safe, and engaged;
  • encourages parents, educators, and community members to support a whole child approach to education for each student; and
  • encourages the federal government to identify opportunities among federal agencies to coordinate the education, health, and social service sectors serving our nation's youth.

We thank you in advance for asking your lawmaker to cosponsor the resolution. Take Action!

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Encourage Student Passions with Genius Hour

Founded on an innovation championed by businesses like FedEx and Google, "the genius hour" sets aside school time (at least an hour, every week) for students to work on something they are passionate about. This video outlines some basic tenets of implementing "genius hour" programming at your school and points to further resources (tutorials, lesson ideas, and connections to other educators) at www.geniushour.com.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Becoming Better Listeners

Post written by Melinda Moran

At its heart, differentiation is about knowing your students—not only where they are relative to learning goals, but also who they are as learners, or better yet, as people. Because our students are really people "under construction," differentiation is most successful when we continually update our notions of who our kids are.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Why Did You Become a Teacher?

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. In this video, ASCD authors and leaders Robyn Jackson, Baruti Kafele, Doug Fisher, Jeffrey Benson, Michael Ford, Myron Dueck, and Eric Sheninger explain why they became educators.

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