Tagged “Professional Learning Communities”

Klea Scharberg

What Advice Do You Have for New Principals?

As the key players in developing the climate, culture, and processes in their schools, principals are critical to implementing meaningful and lasting change in the ongoing school-improvement process. Those who have a clear vision; inspire and engage others in embracing change for improvement; drive, facilitate, and monitor the teaching and learning process; and foster a cohesive culture of learning lead our schools in ensuring that each student—and school staff member—is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

From July 21 through August 1, we'll be sharing advice for new principal leaders—those who are new to the role or new to a school. What advice do you have for new principals? Are you (or have you been) a principal and have a story or experience to share?

Walter McKenzie

MI21: Multiple Intelligences and Preparing Children for the 21st Century

Society is quickly shifting, and so with it shifts the dialog about meaningfully learning and contributing. What used to pass for preparation to participate in a democratic society with a free market economy no longer holds true. Public schools currently reflect the 1900s more than the 2000s, even as education bureaucracy has clamped down and locked in on traditional, measurable standards and assessments. Instead of opening things up to the marketplace of ideas, public schools have opened themselves up to the assessment and technology marketplace, investing in solutions to document and justify the last century's ideals.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Reflect or Refract: Top 3 Tips for the Reflective Educator

Post written by Barry Saide and Jasper Fox, Sr.

The dictionary definition of reflection states that reflection is light bouncing off a flat plane and returning back at the same angle. This allows us to see an image clearly, like when looking in a mirror. Reflection is an almost perfect representation. If the light bends prior to it returning, it's called refraction. What was once a perfect view becomes hazy, the representation distorted.

When applying these terms to education, how often do we reflect vs. refract?

Reflecting on our own pedagogy and practice takes a confident mindset. We need to be secure with ourselves in order to be open to honest feedback from others, admit mistakes made during delivery of instruction, and self-identify possible solutions for why things didn't go as planned. Reflectors do not blame students for their inattentiveness or behavioral issues. They identify ways to maintain consistent engagement and involvement throughout the learning process. If many students do not get the correct answer, the default response of a reflective teacher is not to state: "I don't know why they didn't get it—I taught it!" Instead, the reflective teacher reviews their approach to teaching the concept, and will try a new approach the next day. Reflectors know not all students understand content delivered the first time because reflective teachers are lifelong students, and may not have grasped content presented to them at some point, too.

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Jason Flom

Keeping a Hidden Population Safe at School

What percentage of students is it okay to let feel unsafe at school?

  1. 0 percent
  2. 1 percent
  3. 5 percent
  4. 10 percent

You, like me, probably answered zero percent. As an educator dedicated to a whole child approach to education, you recognize the value of each and every learner.

What if I told you we have allowed (albeit unintentionally in most cases), if not contributed to, an entire population of students feeling unsafe at school? A population of students you are most likely rooting for as they enter adulthood and pursue equal rights.

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Leader to Leader

Got Questions on Differentiated Instruction? Join the #ASCDL2L Chat!

#ASCDL2L - July 2014On 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.

Klea Scharberg

Insights on Making a Difference

Making a Difference - ASCD Educational LeadershipTeachers work every day for the benefit of their students. Learn how other educators make a difference in students' lives and learning in a special summer issue of Educational Leadership and get inspired. This digital issue gives you instant access to stories about individuals, teams, schools, and even a U.S. state that are passionate about teaching and learning.

In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer reminds us to remember why we do what we do. She writes,

With so much energy devoted all year long to tackling problems, summer can be a good time to recall why you went into education in the first place, reflect on your many accomplishments, and think about the good you have done and will do in your life as an educator. It's not about self-congratulation, but about looking inside yourself for the rejuvenation and answers only you can find.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Identifying Technology to Support Differentiation

Post written by Melinda Sota, Ben Clarke, Nancy Nelson, Christian Doabler, and Hank Fien

Educational technology is compelling, largely because of its promising capability in enabling differentiated instruction. In a classroom of 30 students with diverse abilities, technology can allow teachers to more effectively instruct students within this wide range. However, the promise of using technology for differentiation relies on a range of high-quality information used to (1) diagnose students' learning needs, (2) map those learning needs onto the program's objectives, and (3) evaluate the evidence for the program.

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Klea Scharberg

Free Webinar—Read, Write, Lead: Breakthrough Strategies for Schoolwide Literacy Success

Regie RoutmanJoin respected educator and ASCD author Regie Routman for an exciting, free webinar to learn how to increase reading and writing achievement, engagement, and enjoyment for all students, including English language learners and students who struggle.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 3:00 p.m. eastern time
Register now!

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Laura Varlas

Daniel Pink: Perfecting Your Power to Move Others

Daniel Pink - 2014 ASCD Annual ConferenceEducators teach, lead, and are learners, themselves. But there's a big piece of every profession that often gets overlooked. In his 2014 ASCD Annual Conference opening general session, author Daniel Pink argued that, in a significant way, educators are also persuaders.

"A big part of what you do is try to move people," said Pink.

Pink surveyed 7,000 full-time, adult workers and found that American professionals spend 41 percent of the work day, or 24 minutes of every hour, persuading people to give up something they value for something you can offer.

As educators, this may mean trying to make a convincing appeal for certain state or district policies, persuasively leading your teachers to adopt a new curriculum or instructional approach, or motivating your students to practice close reading.

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Whole Child Symposium

Self-Selecting, Real-World Learning Communities

Post written by Walter McKenzie

Imagine in your mind, a map of your community. Nothing detailed; just the boundaries and general lay of the land. Got it? Now add in the major areas in your community where people live and work and play. You know, to give yourself some bearings with a few landmarks. Still with me? Good! Now convert this mental image into a heat map. You know, where the hot spots flare up in bright yellows, oranges and reds? Picture in your mind hot spots that indicate places people go to learn new things and practice skills that are important to them. Where are those heat surges? Athletic fields? Dance studios? Book stores? Parks and beaches? Art galleries? Theaters? How about school buildings? No? Why aren’t school building hot spots on anyone's heat map?

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