Tagged “Student Voice”

Klea Scharberg

Insights on Using Assessments Thoughtfully

Using Assessments Thoughtfully - ASCD Educational LeadershipMarch 2014 issue of Educational Leadership explores the many ways teachers can use assessments to help students learn. Articles in this issue look at how educators can use assessments thoughtfully to help students move forward.

In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer notes that it's not a revelation that teachers' daily assessment practices improve learning more than standardized tests. She writes

From building relationships to delivering a lesson that is challenging, engaging, and, sometimes, entertaining, teaching is very much a performance art that must be practiced on one's feet. Formative assessment presents another challenge—and requires sophisticated but quieter skills: observation, questioning, reflection. Teachers' daily ongoing practice puts the pieces together—and this practice has more potential to improve learning than all the high-stakes tests put together. It's no revelation, but something we have known all along.

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Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Bring Yourself to Work Every Day to Build Trust, Morale, and Culture

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Educators working in a positive school culture experience collegiality, trust, and tangible support as leaders and peers, creating an environment where there are high expectations, involvement in decision making, and open communication. Students entering a positive school culture feel safe, engaged, and connected and see school as a place where they can learn and contribute to the world around them. A positive school culture—morale—is the cornerstone of a good school and the foundation for school improvement.

School cultures should support, reinforce, and reflect the well-being of everyone in it, ensuring that students and adults feel valued, respected, and cared for and are motivated to learn, lead, and teach. In this episode, we take a look at how we build school morale so that administrators, teachers, students, and parents are energized and positive about learning. You'll hear from

  • Dave Burgess, award-winning U.S. history teacher at West Hills High School in San Diego, California; semi-professional magician; highly sought-after professional development speaker; and author of Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator;
  • David Culberhouse, former teacher and principal of a California Distinguished School, currently senior director of elementary education for the Rialto Unified School District in southern California and co-moderator of the West Coast #satchat, weekly Twitter discussions about education and leadership held Saturday mornings;
  • Joe Mazza, former teacher, principal, and technology integration coach, currently project manager for Connected Teaching, Learning, and Leadership in the North Penn School District in Lansdale, Pennsylvania; innovation coach at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education; and producer of #ptchat, another weekly Twitter chat—this one for transparent and collaborative dialogue between parents, family engagement practitioners, and teachers—held Wednesday nights; and
  • Angela Hamilton, assistant principal, and Eric Russo, special education co-teacher who specializes in reading and language arts, at Drew Freeman Middle School of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Drew Freeman is a member of ASCD's Whole Child Network of Schools and is in its second year of a three-year, comprehensive school improvement process using the tenets of the Whole Child Initiative—healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged—as a sustainable whole child approach to educating their students.

Connect with us @WholeChildASCD and our guests Dave Burgess @burgessdave, David Culberhouse @DCulberhouse, Joe Mazza @Joe_Mazza, Angela Hamilton @Ahamilton1994, and Eric Russo @erusso78 on Twitter.

What is the link between school morale and learning?

Stephen Sroka

Getting to the Heart of Education: Listening to the Whole At-Risk Student

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." —Aristotle

Many at-risk students in schools are crying out for help with their real-life issues, yet many educators respond with an emphasis on academic proficiency skills. With today's stress on academic achievement at all costs with little regard for the mental, social, physical, emotional, or spiritual aspects of the whole student, many teachers teach tests and not students. Students become grade-point averages and not people. And many students tune out and drop out, literally or figuratively. What do our at-risk students need? What can you do to make a difference?

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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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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

The Power of Personalized Learning

Personalized learning. It is a stealth ninja lying in wait ready to knock out its adversary, student malaise. It's a weathered sage employing ancient methodologies of simple wisdom and effortless discernment. It's creative wizardry that unfurls forgotten enthusiasm. And it is within every educator's grasp.

Simply put, personalized learning is a teacher allowing students to be at the helm of their own learning and the director of their own educational ship.

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William Lester

Different Ways to Personalize Learning

The classical way of teaching is very industrialized. Students file in, receive education in one format, and then leave being considered educated. Educators around the world like Ken Robinson have felt this way for a long time and in the past years we have seen some major changes that have allowed students to learn in different ways and in different formats.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

2013 Best of the Blog: 15–11

In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for success in higher education, employment, and civic life.

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Andrew Miller

Authenticity to Support Common Core Instruction and Assessment

How do we support our students in being career and college ready? This is not a new question, and educators continually struggle with what that even means. We leverage rigor and relevance as keys to prepare students for the postK–12 world, but what does that look like? What are some practical ways to promote rigor and relevance and target specific Common Core State Standards? One key method, which is not new, is authenticity. Teachers can support students in meeting the Common Core by creating more authentic reading and writing tasks. Here are some ideas to consider as you target specific Common Core standards in instruction and assessment.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Student Voice and Resilience in Learning

Post written by Kristine Fox, Megan Bedford, and Brian Connelly

Although research has a lot to say about how to foster academic resilience, encouraging student voice—which an abundance of research shows to have a positive effect on school success—has been largely overlooked (Mager & Nowak, 2012; McNulty & Quaglia, 2007; Mitra, 2004). Student voice and academic success are inextricably linked—even among students from challenged backgrounds.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

September Strategies to Foster a Successful Classroom Community

Post written by Rachel Lissy

As a professional development trainer with Ramapo for Children, an organization that provides youth programming and adult training for special needs students, I often offer feedback to teachers regarding their classroom and behavior management. Often, when teachers reflect upon a particularly challenging lesson or stressful period, they will get a faraway look in their eyes and pine for the possibilities of next September. As early as October or November they will rue the structures and expectations they did not put in place from day one. "Next year," they tell me, "things will be different. I won't make the same mistakes."

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