Tagged “Engaging Learning Strategies”

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Engaging Curriculum: A Foundation for Positive School Culture

Post written by David Hunter

As a curriculum designer who advocates for project-based learning, I strongly believe that curriculum plays a major role in the school culture but can often go unconsidered when developing a vision around that culture. At first glance, curriculum and culture may seem to be separate issues, but when you look deeper, curriculum can be a foundation for the culture because it's representative of how students are interacting with learning on a daily basis. To that end, creating a positive school culture requires that students play a part in curriculum design and implementation.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Rethinking Classroom Pedagogy in the Standards-Driven Classroom

ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit ShowPost written by Amber Medin

The long-term benefits of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been touted by the academic community at large, yet it's often difficult to envision the light at the end of the tunnel when dealing with the demands and challenges of actual classroom implementation. Although these standards make it clear what is expected of students, many teachers are left without a road map explaining how to approach and properly convey this new material in the classroom.

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Klea Scharberg

Insights on Writing: A Core Skill

Writing: A Core Skill - ASCD Educational LeadershipWriting powerfully is a skill that teachers know every student needs to develop if he or she is to have the best chances in life. Yet, paradoxically, it's one of the skills that students most often resist practicing. The April 2014 issue of Educational Leadership examines the many ways to help students grow as writers. Articles in this issue look at some of the central skills involved in the complex act of writing—and how educators can get past students' too-common resistance to writing.

In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer notes the struggle teachers have between setting high expectations for students while also convincing them that writing can be a useful, a joy, and even an art. She asks,

"So how are teachers of all subjects going to meet the challenges of teaching students to be effective writers who don't hate to write? How are they going to prepare students to engage in all kinds of writing that they will need in the future—academic discourse, report writing, journalism, personal narrative, and even tweets? Today, social media of all kinds provide us outlets to share our personal ideas like never before. In the blogosphere, however, the highly structured five-paragraph essays rarely are those most clicked on. Come to think of it, which of your favorite books do you remember for their great sentence combinations? A new kind of literate writing is called for."

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Building Bridges to El Salvador: A Model Global Curriculum

Post written by Kerry Dunne and AnitaCristina Calcaterra

We are so proud of the Arlington, Massachusetts, global education unit of study on our sister city of Teosinte, El Salvador! But before you read about it from us, please let three of our 4th graders tell you what they have learned about Teosinte:


Arlington is a densely populated urban/suburban town bordering Cambridge, Mass. We house a diverse population that includes immigrants from all over the world, and our students range from children who have parents who are both professors to children who are non-literate, new arrival refugees. We would like to highlight our global education focused interdisciplinary initiative that could be replicated by any school or community with a sister city or partner school elsewhere in the world.

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Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: What Will Be the “Next Big Thing” in Education Tech?

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 advancements in technology could help them be more successful at work, either with students or in their own professional development.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Combining Intrinsic Motivation and Student Autonomy for Sustained Success

Post written by Matthew J. Weyers

Two years ago, prompted by a blog post that asked, "How many student assignments end up in the recycling bin within minutes of students seeing the grade?," I began thinking about the role of rewards and social interaction in education. The post's question hit close to home, and made me reflect deeply on my current practice. I decided to evaluate my 6th grade language arts and science courses through the lens of two questions: Beyond a letter grade, what motivation do my students have to do well? and, If the primary motivation is extrinsic, how can I make the project more intrinsically motivating? By the end of the school year, I had a three-pronged answer. I had to

  • Relinquish a certain level of control and place added responsibility on students.
  • Allow students to produce work for an authentic audience (meaning not just for me).
  • Give students autonomous opportunities to collaborate on their work.

Here are some of the practices I'm using to hit these three targets.

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Sean Slade

Improving Schools: The Prerequisites for Personalizing Learning

Personalizing learning* will not truly take place in our schools unless we understand and act on three key things. Until then we will continue to tinker, adjust, and tweak a fundamentally non-personalized system to suit each person. We will continue to mean well but ultimately underserve most of our students.

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Tisha Shipley

Early Childhood Education: Implementing Developmentally Appropriate Practices into Literacy Instruction

A top priority for early childhood educators is to teach children to read. Using developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) while incorporating foundational concepts into lessons help teachers differentiate instruction, engage students in the learning process, and increase achievement of all children. While students are treated as unique individuals, all practices should be appropriate to the child's age and developmental stage and build on previously taught concepts. The purpose of this article is to explore teachers' experiences as they implement DAP into their literacy instruction. It also examines obstacles they face as they implement their practices.

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Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ED Pulse Poll Results: What Is the Best Way for Teachers to Engage Their Students?

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll, suggested by a high school administrator from New Hampshire, asked readers how to best engage students. He wrote:

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Rich McKinney

Leaving Behind the Golden Era of Instructional “Broadcasting”

During the 1950s, the golden era of television allowed marketers to broadcast commercials to large audiences. While the big three networks had different programming, little differentiation existed in the marketing; all viewers were exposed to the same products via the same message. In 1994, I was an advertising major and I remember one of my professors claiming that this model was rapidly drawing to a close and would soon be replaced by narrowcasting. We were told that narrowcasting would allow marketers to target specific audiences with a tailored message that was unique to their interests and needs. The only obstacles that remained were data collection and management systems to better identify specific target audiences and subsequently, cost-effective delivery methods to reach them. Within three years, the Internet boom began to eradicate each of those obstacles and narrowcasting became the norm in business. Interestingly enough, the evolution of narrowcasting messages has not only been confined to marketing products, but has also played a large role in the outcomes of recent presidential elections. Today, the basic tenets of narrowcasting are being utilized in schools to make learning more personal.

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