From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

October 25, 2018

Useful links, thoughts and quotes for school leaders and teachers curated from the web by Harriet Potoka, Director of the Center for Christian Urban Educators.

TEACHERS: Why Preschool is the 'Most Important Year' In a Child's Development

Pre-K is a foundational year because, for most children, it provides their initial exposure to school and sets the tone for their educational career. In preschool children develop certain feelings, perceptions, and ideas about school. While it’s a great opportunity to get kids off on the right foot a sub-par experience in pre-K has the potential to create “enduring negative emotions" about school. "The best pre-K programs are staffed by trained teachers who know how to build students’ self-regulation skills; nurture their creativity and curiosity; and foster an environment of playful learning."

TEACHERS: 6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life

In many classrooms, students use nonverbals to communicate certain thoughts when teachers introduce hand signals for bathroom breaks, "quiet" signals, and silent cheers. But teachers can look to nonverbals for more than classroom management. Here are six hand signals to try out that will provide instant feedback for peers and valuable insight for teachers about students' moment-to-moment reasoning and comprehension of the content being discussed.

TEACHERS: Progress Monitoring Tools to Make Learning Visible

Throughout every school day, teachers make mental notes of f students’ learning. How can they keep track of these mental notes? And how can they use these noticing to make instructional choices? The answer: effective and efficient documentation. This article outlines four key steps to effective documentation that makes learning visible, and therefore, actionable in a sustained and adaptable way.

TEACHERS: Tear Down Your Behavior Chart!

Pass through the halls of almost any elementary school and you are likely to at some point hear "pull a red ticket" or "you're on yellow now." Behavior charts—and their variants—are standard in elementary schools throughout the world. They represent a practice long overdue for retirement. Behavior charts and similar public shaming methods don't teach self-regulation. They mainly harm vulnerable learners. Consider the three reasons to abandon behavior charts outlined in this article and consider trying the alternatives proposed to foster positive behavior.

TEACHERS: How to Kill Learner Curiosity in 12 Easy Steps

Read the twelve ways that help stifle learner curiosity at school in order to keep learning nice and tidy.

TEACHERS: Take a Peek Inside The Mind of a Middle Schooler

Middle School students are experiencing a staggering amount of change during their adolescent years… particularly in their brain. In fact, they are experiencing the second greatest brain growth of their lifetime. Check out these “mind-blowing” facts about how middle schoolers learn and how you can help them be successful.

TEACHERS: 20 Simple Assessment Strategies Teachers Can Use Every Day

Check out these 20 simple assessment strategies and tips to help teachers use formative assessment regularly and use that information in their teaching, planning, and curriculum design.

TEACHERS: Discovering the Depth in Graphic Novels

In spite of their reputation for simplicity, graphic novels can display a surprising level of depth. This sense of depth can come through in a variety of ways—from the language to the interplay of words and images to the themes that can be explored in visual texts. And like novels, graphic novels employ a range of literary conventions, so they’re ripe for classroom discussion. These novels can give middle school readers rich opportunities to explore literary themes and conventions.

TEACHERS: 5 Ways to Help Students Ask Better Questions

When educators think about improving the use of questions in the classroom, we tend to focus on the relevance, depth, accessibility, and pacing of teachers' questions. We also think about the variety and nature of texts, images, and other resources students can use as they ponder those questions. While all these things matter, it is equally important to help students ask and pursue their own questions.
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PARENTS: How (and When) to Limit Kids' Tech Use

Parents: No one cares more about your child's well-being and success than you do. In today's digitally-fueled times, that means guiding him or her not just in the real world but in the always-on virtual one as well. Teach your children to use technology in a healthy way and pick up the skills and habits that will make them successful digital citizens.

PARENTS: Childhood Emotional Neglect

There are two types of childhood emotional neglect (CEN): passive and active. Passive neglect happens when parents fail to validate and respond to their children's emotions enough as they raise them. Active neglect happens when parents actively invalidate the feelings of their children. Check out the examples of CEN shared in this blog post and the results of both.

PARENTS: The Confidence Gap for Girls: 5 Tips for Parents of Tween and Teen Girls

Between the ages of 8 and 14, girls’ confidence levels fall by 30 percent. Fighting it requires taking some risks. This post looks at the signs of this confidence plunge and how confidence can be encourages and nurtured.

LEADERS: Seeding SEL Across Schools: Strategies for Leaders

Knowing that helping students develop social-emotional skills goes a long way toward ensuring they'll be on the path to success in college, career, and life two district superintendents explain why - and how - they’ve prioritized social-emotional learning in their school systems. Practicing self-management in discussions with peers, making positive decisions, managing emotions when disappointments happen, building healthy relationships, and persisting in the face of setbacks—are all necessary life skills. They also contribute to academic success.

LEADERS: Why Should Leaders Increase their EQ?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize one’s emotions and the emotions of others and to manage those emotions to achieve more effective results. The emotional intelligence of a school leader affects a variety of factors that contribute to his/her individual and school success. Here are 10 advantages of becoming more emotionally intelligent.

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LEADERS: Are You Using the Good Cop/Bad Cop Feedback Method?

Feedback, when given well, should not alienate the receiver of the feedback, but should motivate him/her to perform better. Consider this step-by-step process to help deliver feedback in a way that increases the likelihood of the receiver “hearing” you in a constructive way.

LEADERS: 43 Things We Need to Stop Doing in Schools

Check out this list of 43 things we need to stop doing in schools today.

Do you agree with it? It is based on the experiences of one educator in the classroom, as a building leader, and now as a district leader. What would you delete from the list? What would you add to the list?
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1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving

What really happened at the first harvest gathering between Wampanoag Indians and English settlers? So little was documented then that, over time, the event has become mythologized and celebrated as the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Based on the in-depth research conducted in recent years at the Plimoth Plantation living history museum, Grace and Bruchac separate fact from fantasy and provide an account of what most likely happened. Color photographs from a three-day reenactment that occurred at Plimoth Plantation in 2000 add accurate cultural and historical details.

Published by National Geographic. Ages 7-14

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Meeting the Needs of Students with ASD Within the Mainstream Classroom

edWeb - Thursday, October 25, 1:00 PM EDT

From the Cortex to the Classroom

ASCD - Thursday, October 25, 2:00 PM EDT

Supporting Playful Learning at Home and at School

edWeb - Monday, October 29, 2:00 PD EDT

Messy Science: Using Art to Promote Scientific Reasoning

edWeb - Monday, October 29, 5:00 PM EDT

Bringing it All Together: How a Holistic Approach to Student Data Improves Achievement

AnalyticVue - Tuesday, October 30, 4:00 PM EDT

10 Apps Every Teacher Needs NOW

edWeb - Tuesday, October 30, 5:00 PM EDT

Build a Positive School Culture with a Student-Run App

edWeb - Thursday, November 1, 3:00 PM EDT

Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning

edWeb - Monday, November 5, 3:00 PM EST

Systemic Phonics Instruction: Ensuring Equity in Early Literacy

ASCD - Wednesday, November 7, 2:00 PM EST

Supporting Preschool Science Learning through Music

edWeb - Wednesday, November 7, 3:00 PM EST

Assessment and Student Agency

edWeb - Wednesday, November 7, 4:00 PM EST

Expect Greatness: 5 Ways to Transform Teaching and Learning at Your School

AVID - Thursday, November 8, 12:00 PM EST

Words Matter: How a Deep Understanding of Core Vocabulary Accelerates Reading Proficiency

edWeb - Thursday, November 8, 5:00 PM EST

Teacher Clarity: Making Learning Visible for Students

Corwin - Monday, November 13, 6:30 EST

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Center for Christian Urban Educators

The Center for Christian Urban Educators seeks to encourage, equip, and empower Christian educators as they impact the lives of the children entrusted to their educational care.