Tagged “Creativity”

Celina Brennan

Student Learning Communities

Professional learning communities (PLCs) are the topic of many conversations within education: the culture that is imperative for success, the goals we choose to focus on, the protocols we should follow, the structure that must be in place, and the realities that we face. There is an abundance of research I have read to support how PLCs are necessary in improving students' learning. I myself belong to an amazing PLC (as well as many micro PLCs within my PLC). But my thoughts lately have been on how to take the characteristics of successful PLCs and apply them within the walls of the classroom for students.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

From Differentiated Instruction to Differentiated Assessment

Post written by Douglas B. Reeves, founder of the Leadership and Learning Center in Salem, Mass., and author of ASCD books on educational leadership. Connect with Reeves by e-mail at DReeves@LeadAndLearn.com. This post was originally featured in ASCD Express.

For all the ink that has been spilled regarding the issue of differentiated instruction, little has been said about differentiated assessment. There is no doubt that students come to school with a variety of backgrounds and learning needs, and Carol Ann Tomlinson (Tomlinson & McTighe, 2006) and others (e.g., Stefanakis & Meier, 2010; Fogarty & Pete, 2010) have documented the importance of the issue and the potential success of the results.

The devil, as always, is in the details, and as Schmoker (2010) recently noted, some teachers find the demands of creating different lessons for the learning needs of each student overwhelming. Here are some practical ideas for busy teachers who want to meet the different needs of students while managing the demands on their already busy schedules.

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Klea Scharberg

Engagement with the Brain in Mind

In a session at ASCD's Fall Conference in October, former teacher and leader in the brain-based–learning movement Eric Jensen shared three dozen classroom-tested and highly practical strategies you can use immediately to get sustainable engagement for the whole child in every class. Discover how to involve even a discouraged, hostile, or apathetic student. Each research-based strategy is role-modeled, highly adaptable, and debriefed for instant application at your school.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Both Sides of the Classroom

Post submitted by Whole Child Blogger Carole Hayward

Adora Svitak

Adora Svitak, ASCD's youngest member at 14 years old, became involved in classroom teaching when her first book was published when she was 7. As a current high school student, Svitak has a truly unique perspective on both sides of the classroom.

At a general session at ASCD's Fall Conference in October 2011, Svitak began by talking about her class schedule, which involves four online classes and two traditional classes taught at a brick-and-mortar school. She showed her tablet device that contains everything she needs for her online classes and her traditional binder, which is bulging with papers from her face-to-face classes.

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Klea Scharberg

Sixth Grader Builds iPhone Apps and Sparks Learning in School

Thomas Suarez is a 6th grade student at a middle school in the South Bay of Los Angeles who has been fascinated by computers and technology since before kindergarten. With the introduction of software development tools, he started building applications for the iPhone and iPad.

"A lot of kids these days want to play games, but now they want to make them. And it's difficult because not many kids know where to go to find out how to make a program," said Suarez on October 22 at the TEDxManhattanBeach Transforming Learning Conference. "For soccer you can go to a soccer team, for violin you could get lessons for violin. But what if you want to make an app? Their parents might have done a lot of those things when they were young, but not many parents have written apps."

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

How to Create Independent Thinkers

Alina Davis

Post written by Alina Davis, an ESOL K–8 resource teacher in Orlando, Fla., 2010 ASCD Emerging Leader, and regular contributor to ASCD's Inservice blog. Connect with Davis on the ASCD EDge® social network.

Do you have habits? How about your students? I am sure you can think of a few habits you'd like to break. But are there a few you wish would develop? Although we can't make our students think, we can teach them how to be skillful, creative, and strategic in their thinking. We do this by helping them develop Habits of Mind (free webinar).

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Thom Markham

Why the Whole Child Needs a Coach

Coaching is popular these days, as evidenced by a recent article in The New Yorker (October 3, 2011) describing how a neurosurgeon decides to extend coaching into the operating room and improve his skills in unhooking a damaged thyroid from the grasp of surrounding tissue. Athletes also get coached, in just about everything. So do executives and those needing better life skills. And teachers increasingly receive coaching on structuring lessons and pacing their instruction.

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Andrew Miller

Using Project-Based Learning to Engage Parents in the School Community

Project-based learning (PBL) is a fantastic way to increase parent and community involvement in your school in a truly authentic way. Instead of finding lots of little strategies to engage parents, PBL provides an opportunity to use one part of your school identity, the curriculum and instruction, as the leverage to have parents present at the physical space. Here are some tips and strategies on how to use PBL to increase parental involvement.

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Klea Scharberg

Engaging, Supporting, and Connecting Parents and Families in Learning

It isn't a new concept that parent and family engagement in children's learning is key to student success and development. But we are introducing and working with new technologies that can improve, reinforce, and support the engagement and communication. Microsoft Education in the United Kingdom offers resources to allow educators get the most from information technology investments and has worked with the Department for Children, Schools, and Families to share the stories of five schools that are using technology in innovative ways to better engage parents in their children’s education.

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Paula Mirk

Ethics: A Great Teaching Connector for All Learners

The study of ethics requires asking "What is right?" and "What is good?" In one form or another, most children ask these questions of themselves and their surroundings on a regular basis. As they mature into adolescents, justice issues—especially those that affect them—become a prominent part of this questioning process. For this reason, we consider ethics a great teaching opportunity.

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