Tagged “Motivation”

Dawn Imada Chan

Three Strategies for Encouraging and Developing Student Voice

Even though student-centered learning is the foundation of student voice, the complexity and demands of teaching often make focusing on student voice yet another "add-on" for educators. However, as Toshalis and Nakkula (2012) assert, "student voice is the antithesis of depersonalized, standardized, and homogenized educational experiences because it begins and ends with the thoughts, feelings, visions, and actions of the students themselves" (p. 23).

Based on my experience as both a teacher and administrator, I suggest three action steps that educators can take to further incorporate student voice into their classrooms and schools.

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Celina Brennan

Aspects of Whole Child Classrooms

We are in an intense time of change within education, from the Common Core State Standards Initiative to the rapid advancement of technology to new teacher and principal evaluation processes. Ordinarily, the changes we face in education are often just old practices with innovative twists. Today's challenging changes are different, requiring educators to dig deeply for a mind-set that will withstand and embrace the shifting paradigms of the educational landscape. After all, our students deserve educators who are well-informed and thoughtful about how their practices affect the whole child now and in the long run.

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Bryan Goodwin

If We Don’t Have Time to Do the Standards Right, When Will We Have Time to Do Them Over?

As 46 states move to adopt Common Core State Standards, the opportunity may never be better to rethink not only standards themselves, but also how we get students interested in learning.

Let's face it. We haven't always done a good job getting kids interested in learning. Studies suggest that the longer students stay in school, the less motivated they become; their intrinsic motivation in core subject areas begins to drop off around age 9 (PDF) and continues to fall throughout secondary school years. By the time they reach high school, a national survey of 81,000 students (PDF) found that nearly two-thirds of them (65 percent) report being bored in class on a daily basis.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Transitioning to Standards-Based Learning

Cathy Vatterott began her ASCD Conference on Teaching and Learning session, "Not Your Mother's Gradebook: Transitioning to Standards-Based Learning," by asking participants to think about the reasons that conventional tests may not be the best method to assess student learning.

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Celina Brennan and Ann Ottmar

Renewing Culture Through a New Mindset

An effective school culture is established by the work we do together on a daily basis, with values determined through a synergistic process. Our culture defines us and our ability to positively impact students and their learning. So how do we truly shift our school cultures toward positive changes that align with supporting the whole child? And how do we develop a collective mindset that leads to dynamic changes and, ultimately, sustains school improvement?

Here is a mantra worth considering: Students first, than standards, than curriculum.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Five Levers to Improve Student Learning

Educators constantly look for new tools and programs to stimulate and motivate learners, enhance student performance, or change the role of the teacher. Recent trends include flipped teaching, red-shirting (postponing kindergarten entrance so that a child is one year older than his peers), merit pay, year-round school, and a longer school day.

Which strategies or innovations are likely to have the greatest effect on student learning? According to Tony Frontier, assistant professor of doctoral leadership studies at Cardinal Stritch University, most education innovations and policies can be placed in one of five categories, some of which provide more powerful leverage than others. Frontier presented these ideas during his ASCD 2012 Conference on Teaching and Learning session, "Five Levers to Improve Student Learning."

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Celina Brennan

Inspire the Whole Child

Establishing a thriving learning environment is instrumental in students obtaining personal success. We must be strategic in how we develop our classroom communities at the beginning of a new school year. The setting must support the whole child, adapting to the needs of the group as everyone settles in for the yearlong learning journey. The environment must specifically be designed to support the health and safety of our students, strengthening the emotional well-being of each individual. Providing an atmosphere that supports learning endeavors from every angle offers students many opportunities to be truly engaged and challenged.

But how do we guarantee that we WILL develop a solid foundation that supports the whole child?

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Getting the Results You Want

Post submitted by Whole Child Blogger Matt Swift

During Baruti Kafele's ASCD Summer Conference session,"Motivating Black Males to Succeed in school and in Life," the former principal grabbed the audience's attention with his commanding presence and no-nonsense discussions about how to help struggling black students. He started the session by asking members of the audience to share their classroom stories to create a conversation and point out common themes the educators shared.

"You guys selected this session because you are having trouble with black male students," Kafele stated. "So, tell me some of these problems."

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Whole Child Virtual Conference

Your Summer PD: Creating a Caring and Positive School Climate

2012 ASCD Whole Child Virtual Conference


ASCD conducted its second Whole Child Virtual Conference in May. This free conference showcases schools, authors, and research about implementing a whole child approach for a worldwide audience. View and share archived session recordings, presenter handouts, and related resources at www.ascd.org/wcvirtualconference.

Gain further insight into ways to support a caring and positive school climate through these presentations:

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Old-School Lectures Are Out

ASCD Annual Conference

Post submitted by whole child blogger Caroline Newton, a sophomore at Temple University. Newton is studying journalism and writes for Jump: The Philly Music Project magazine.

"The goal is to create an environment that is meaningful, challenging, and in which the students' minds are actively engaged," said Rick Smith, author of Picture This! and Conscious Classroom Management.

Smith not only presented his teaching style, but he also used that approach to lead his ASCD Annual Conference session, "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lecture." He encouraged the crowd to applaud whenever they felt the urge, especially because movement increases circulation to the brain, making you smarter.

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