Tagged “Child Development”

Whole Child Symposium

Education Innovation: Teaching Tomorrow’s Learners

Post 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.

Brian K. Perkins, director of the Urban Education Leadership Program at Columbia University Teachers College Department of Organization and Leadership, challenged his audience at the 2014 ASCD Annual Conference to think forward about what educators can do today for tomorrow's learners. He explained that innovation is key and reassured the audience that when he says "innovation," he does not mean "improvement." Improvement is just doing better what one is doing already. Innovation is a new solution to a new challenge.

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Dru Tomlin

Growing Our Middle Grades Educational “Gardens”

After a long winter season with continual blankets of snow and ice sleeping on the ground, the warmth of spring is finally waking up the soil. Seas of grass are rising in front yards and eager blooms are curling upward toward the sun.

Like careful, measured areas of hope, fresh garden plots are starting to appear in back yards. These gardens—and the work that goes along with them—mirror what should be happening in our middle schools. Critical and basic actions are needed to make gardens flourish, and if we want to see the same kind of sustainable growth for every student in our classrooms, we also need to plan, till, sew, and constantly nurture our educational gardens.

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Torva Felton

A Legacy of Caring and Learning

"The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul."

—Maria Montessori

Being with Guilford County Schools since 1998, my heart and soul has been dedicated to teaching here at Washington Elementary School, now known as Washington Montessori School. I love Washington because of the dedication that we as a school have to children. I have taught at one other school and have done many observations at other schools, but when you walk into Washington, the love draws you in and stays with every student, staff member, and parent. As our school's care of students statement says, "You can't get this everywhere, you can only get this Right Here!"

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Klea Scharberg

Engage Students with Motivation 3.0

In this video, Daniel Pink talks to the Patterson Foundation about the need to upgrade our approach to motivation in schools. He uses the metaphor of an outdated computer operating system to characterize motivational practices that rely on punishments and rewards to elicit desired behavior. Although "carrots and sticks" motivation works well when the outcomes are simple tasks, this is not a suitable operating system for the complex, creative thinking required of 21st century students. Pink recommends upgrading to "motivation 3.0," or an operating system predicated on the principles of autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

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Dru Tomlin

Staff Morale in the Middle

One of the 16 characteristics of an effective school for students ages 10–15 is that teachers, learners, and building leaders should be using multiple assessments to gauge success. Data is collected to gauge learning and instructional success, but there is one other piece of data that also needs to be assessed, analyzed, and acted upon in the middle level: morale. While sometimes elusive, morale is a critical ingredient in the middle school recipe because it affects every instructional dish that is served to our students. But how do we collect, disaggregate, and then act upon morale? How do we pin down such an enigmatic ingredient?

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Kristen Pekarek

March Is Middle Level Education Month

Whole child partner National Association of Secondary School Principals has joined with other organizations, including the Association for Middle Level Education, the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, and the National Association of Elementary Principals, to declare March the official month to celebrate middle level education. This celebration looks to focus attention on students ages 10–15 and the importance of their academic success and well-being during this stage of their lives.

In acknowledgement of this month's designation, we've compiled a list of whole child examples that highlight schools that are positively affecting middle grades students. Each example highlights a program, focus, or achievement and includes links to more information. Take a look and get inspired for this year's Middle Level Education Month.

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Jessica Bohn

Turning Resistant Teachers into Resilient Teachers

Resistant teachers can have a profound effect on the school climate and culture in both positive and negative ways. In the book Leading in a Culture of Change (2007), Michael Fullan says resisters deserve respect both because they present ideas we might otherwise miss and because their influence is crucial to navigating the politics of implementation. By using situational leadership, the ability to fluidly interchange among a variety of leadership styles as the situation demands, administrators can shape teacher resistance into resilience and develop powerful partners in school initiatives. Goleman (2004) says situational leadership can mitigate the negative and enhance the positive forces influencing school climate. Effective school leaders know when to use a different leadership approach based on the behaviors and personalities of their teachers.

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Klea Scharberg

Every School Has Its Challenging Students

As educators, we are the gatekeepers for society and the nurturers of individuals. We have an obligation to teach all students, but some are really hard to teach. How can we promote safety and success for all, while supporting our challenging students to grow and learn?

In this webinar, Jeffrey Benson, author of the ASCD book Hanging In: Strategies for Teaching the Students Who Challenge Us Most, helps you know what you can do now for a challenging student in your school. From that focus on one student, he explains how you can enrich your team's capacity to hang in with many students. With powerful stories of students he's worked with and a compassionate, empowering mind-set, Benson provides areas to focus on and a graphic organizer to help you identify positive and negative influences on student achievement.

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Tisha Shipley

Play: Is it Becoming Extinct?

Think back for a moment to when you were a young child. What games did you play? What things did you play at school? Do you remember your parents telling you to "go play?" I remember riding my bicycle, roller skating, getting together with the neighbor kids to play hide-and-seek, and Barbie's of course were my favorite! Today if a parent were to say "go play," would children know how or what to play? Are we allowing children enough play time to develop appropriately? Is play really play anymore? This article discusses how physical, imaginative, and free-choice play is almost non-existent and how teachers can ensure play in their environments and in the child's home.

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Jeffrey Benson

I Love To Watch Tucker When He Is Learning

I love to watch Tucker when he is learning. His eyes widen, his face lights up, and he cannot contain himself, shouting out answers—no, not answers but ideas and concepts and "ah has"—and he often gets in trouble for being insensitive to his peers who are still struggling to do their work, for being self-centered, and there are times he is frustrated by the trouble he gets into, and other times he seems to accept it as the price he is paying for his education. He grimaces for a moment and then reinvests his energies into his school work. He is eleven years old.

One of my first mentors believed, and so have I, that education is healing.

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