From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

December 14, 2017

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

Intersted in having your high school students create interactive timelines? Here are two suggestions/tools for how your students can do this.

TEACHERS: Building Resilience, Preventing Burnout

Whether you’re a new teacher or a veteran, try these tips for taking care of yourself and staying energized throughout the school year.

TEACHERS: 26 Sentence Stems for Higher-Level Conversation in The Classroom

Meaningful conversation can make learning more personal, immediate, and emotional. During meaningful conversations, students are forced to be accountable for their positions, to listen, to analyze opposing perspectives, and to adapt their thinking on the fly. There are many popular strategies for these kinds of conversations and these sentence stems will prove useful in whichever strategy you use.

TEACHERS: The Secret of Effective Feedback

Here's how it goes: (1) A teacher looks at a piece of student work; (2) The teacher writes something on the work (sometimes a grade, sometimes a score, sometimes a comment); and (3) Later, the student looks at what the teacher has written. The only important thing about feedback is what students do with it. Read this ASCD article to gain a better understanding of feedback and practical ways to make it effective.

TEACHERS: Simple Ways to Help Young Kids Develop Self-Control

Aspects of executive function, including the ability to focus attention and working memory and to self-regulate actions, can be improved with explicit teaching, support, and practice, even among preschoolers. Here are ways you help your students build skills that are critical for regulating their emotions and behavior.

TEACHERS: 5 Ways to Make Classroom Discussions More Exciting

Classroom discussions have been a staple of teaching forever, beginning with Socrates. For classroom discussions to be effective the level of student participation is key. It's not enough for students to simply pay attention -- they need to be active participants to generate one of those great discussions that end far too quickly for both the teacher and students. Try out these 5 ways to improve discussions in your classroom.

TEACHERS: 7 Characteristics of Teachers Who Effectively Use Technology

Using technology in the classroom–and using it effectively–might require some slight adjustments on the part of the teacher to sustain the effort, creative problem-solving, and innovation required to actually improve learning through the use of technology. This occurs at the belief level–what teachers believe about technology, education, and their own abilities to manage technology.

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FOR PARENTS: Teenagers are Growing More Anxious and Depressed

Could they be holding the culprit in their hands? A big new study suggests this explanation for teenage melancholy—the many hours young people spend staring at their phone screens.

PARENTS: Why Mentally Strong Parents Let Their Kids Fight Their Own Battles

This article is an excerpt from the book 13 THINGS MENTALLY STRONG PARENTS DON’T DO: Raising Self-Assured Children and Training Their Brains for a Life of Happiness, Meaning, and Success by Amy Morin. Learn why doing everything for children results in kids who are unprepared for the rigors of adulthood. They lack the skills necessary to succeed in college, the military, or a job.

FOR PARENTS: Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who Refuse to Do These 13 Things

Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks and it gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life. Raising a mentally strong kid requires parents avoid these 13 things.
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SCHOOL LEADERS: 7 Easy Ways to Improve School-WIde Communication

Like businesses and relationships, schools live and die (or pass and fail) by communication. So what can they do to make it better? Here are just a few surprisingly simple ideas to improve communication, from informal teacher huddles to professional culture surveys.

SCHOOL LEADERS: What Marketing Can and Can’t Do for Your School

There was a time in the past when “marketing” was viewed as inconsequential, perhaps even harmful to a school. However, as many schools are buffeted by demographic shifts, resistance to high tuition, competition from new education models, and increased demands from millennial parents, the perception of the “M” word is changing. The time is right to define what marketing can do for your school, what is beyond marketing’s influence, and most interesting, what issues it can address that are not apparent at first glance

SCHOOL LEADERS: The Future of Coding in Schools

Mitch Resnick, one of the creators of Scratch, shares why he thinks coding should be taught in all schools—it's not the reason you’d expect.

SCHOOL LEADERS: Framing “Failure" as a Necessary Educational Experience

Though failure is often described solely as a means to determine a path towards success, educators and panelists at a recent two-day event at Teachers College, Columbia University stressed the importance of incorporating failure into learning and the ways to use it productively, in higher ed classes, K-12 classrooms and teacher preparation programs.

SCHOOL LEADERS: Responding with Care to Students Facing Trauma

Those of us in caregiving fields have long recognized that trauma is toxic to students' brains and spirits as well as their bodies. Most researchers now view trauma as resulting not only from catastrophic events, but also from ongoing stressors. Many K–12 students are experiencing ongoing life stresses and being sensitive to these students is a huge challenge. Teachers get mired down in the wreckage of the behavior a child is showing—or the bullet point they are trying to cover in the instruction plan. How can we maintain a thriving learning environment and respond to students who are experiencing ongoing trauma or short-term distress in ways that recognize their emotional needs?

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Student-Centered Assessment: Strengthening Student Ownership Through Impact Teams


Monday, December 18, 6:30 PM EST

Preschool Children with Challenging Behaviors: What to Do When Nothing Else Works


Wednesday, January 10, 2:00 PM EST

Mixing Green Time with Screen Time


Thursday, January 11, 4:00 PM EST

Achieving Media Balance in a Tech-Immersed World


Tuesday, January 23, 3:00 PM EST

Google This! The Research Process Revisited


Wednesday, January 24, 5:00 PM EST

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A listing of free webinars offered since 2010

Center for the Advancement of Christian Education (CACE)

Listing of available webinars including a four part series on diversity

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Christian Schools International - digital learning webinars


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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.