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.
Although most states plan to fully implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) during the 2014–15 school year, many questions remain about what the standards are, how they were created, and how they will influence students' and teachers' daily work. The current issue of ASCD Policy Points (PDF) outlines basic facts about the standards that you can use not only for your own background knowledge, but also to inform your discussions with your colleagues, community members (including parents), and local policymakers.
Neuroplasticity means humans have the ability to change their brains through repeated, adaptive practice. Buy-in, however, can be a huge hurdle in getting students to invest effort in the actions that will grow their brains.
On Tuesday night, July 1, from 8–9 p.m. eastern time, join ASCD leaders and educators on Twitter for an #ASCDL2L chat discussing Differentiated Instruction in the 21st century. Carol Ann Tomlinson (@cat3y) will be the special guest author, 2013 Emerging Leader PJ Caposey (@MCUSDSupe) will moderate, and Education Week Teacher (@EdWeekTeacher) will be the guest host. We can' t wait to see you there!
#ASCDL2L is a Twitter conversation for education leaders with monthly chats facilitated by ASCD leaders. If you care about improving the way educators learn, teach, and lead, join the #ASCDL2L conversation. Add your voice to our online community of educators.
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.
What will drive school improvement in the future? Some believe that it will be choice—ensuring that students have choice in what and how they learn; allowing teachers to have greater autonomy in the classroom; and, possibly, providing families expanded choice of schools.
For others the key driver may be ensuring equity. Proponents argue that the biggest barrier to effective education is equity of resources and opportunities. Pasi Sahlberg, currently a visiting professor at Harvard University and the former director general for the Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation (CIMO) in Helsinki, has made the case that Finland's meteoric rise has been as a result of a focus on equity, and that this has been consistent across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) high performers (Korea, Canada, and Japan).
ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll asked readers what the primary use of digital games is in their classrooms.
Fifteen years ago, a small team of school, university, and community partners began working on creating the system of student support that is now City Connects. We were hopeful that we would be able to demonstrate that addressing students' out-of-school needs would lead to improvements in academic achievement and student well-being.
Developed at Boston College's Lynch School of Education in the late 90s, City Connects is a student support intervention that addresses the non-academic factors like homelessness or hunger that can limit academic achievement, especially for children living in poverty. The intervention identifies the strengths and needs of every child across academic, social/emotional, health, and family domains and connects each student to a tailored set of prevention, intervention, and enrichment services available in the community and/or school.
My oldest son is ending his elementary school career this week and I've been taking some time to reflect on his life and on my experiences as a teacher and educator. The end of year celebrations are a huge time drain and struggle as a teacher, but as a parent, it's one of the few times we are able to peek into the world own kids live in on a daily basis.