From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

March 5, 2019

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.
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TEACHERS: Understanding a Teacher's Long Term Impact

Teachers who help students improve non-cognitive skills such as self-regulation raise their grades and likelihood of graduating from high school more than teachers who help students improve their standardized test scores do. The irony is that these skills that are so valuable for future success aren’t usually measured on tests. Read more about the study here.

TEACHERS: 10 Powerful Community Building Activities

Teachers have long known that feeling safe and secure in school helps students focus their energy on learning. And the research bears that out. In this blog post, Edutopia shares ideas from teachers for ensuring that every student in the classroom feels like they belong. Some of the activities below take less than five minutes. They’re divided up among the grades, but many can apply across all of the years from kindergarten to 12th grade.

TEACHERS: How to Spot Signs of Dyslexia in Students (Middle and High School)

Educators should carefully consider students' reading abilities to determine whether those who are struggling have dyslexia, suggests Donell Pons, a reading and dyslexia specialist in Salt Lake City. In this blog post, Pons shares several strategies to help make this evaluation, including looking for students who avoid reading aloud and have difficulty spellin

TEACHERS: Scaffolding in a Visible Learning Classroom

Scaffolding is a technique that has an effect size of 0.82 (Visible Learning). This article outlines three intentional and sequential scaffolding steps to activate student thinking and spark up learning Prompt-Cue-Reteach.
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TEACHERS: Teaching Introverts is Different

In the classroom, like learning, relationships must be personalized, different for each student. A key thing to remember in teaching introverts is that emotional security precedes learning. Being comfortable emotionally isn’t just helpful, but absolutely necessary. Read about the essential differences between introverts and extroverts and how to care for introverts in the classroom.

TEACHERS: Strategies To Help Students Ask Great Questions

Questions can be extraordinary learning tools. A good question can open minds, shift paradigms, and force the uncomfortable but transformational cognitive dissonance that can help create thinkers. In education, we tend to value a student’s ability to answer questions. But what might be more important is their ability to ask their own great questions–and more critically, their willingness to do so.

TEACHERS: Teaching Students to Paraphrase

Students should learn to paraphrase to avoid copying -- or plagiarizing -- and to develop key literary skills, Jennifer Davis Bowman, an adjunct professor of education, writes. Bowman shares several tools to help teach paraphrasing, including prompts that help students check their work.

TEACHERS: Ask Yourself, Why Am I Grading This?

Teachers should ask these questions about work done by students: What is the purpose of this work? Why am I grading this? In this post check out the flowchart to help teachers think about the purpose of student work. Explore ways teachers can downsize and keep grading more manageable for themselves and their students.

TEACHERS: Strategies To Foster A Sense Of Belonging In Your Classroom

"As human beings, one of the most essential needs we have is the need to belong," said Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute. "When that sense of belonging is there, children throw themselves into the learning environment and when that sense of belonging is not there, children will alienate, they will marginalize, they will step back.” Learn about using classroom norms, notices and wonders here.
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PARENTS: Too Many Structured Activities May Hinder Children’s Executive Functioning

A study of the schedules of 70 six-year olds found that the kids who spent more time in less-structured activities had more highly-developed self-directed executive function while children who spent more time in structured activities, got worse at working toward goals, making decisions, and regulating their behavior. Kids learn more when they have the responsibility to decide for themselves what they're going to do with their time.

PARENTS: How to Help Your Kid Deal with Social Rejection

Watching kids get rejected, especially by their own peers, is among the most heart-wrenching parts of parenthood. Parents can’t protect kids from rejection but they can support them in ways that both help them through the hurt in the moment and teach them how to build up their resiliency.

PARENTS: The Top Reasons Today’s Teens Lack Sleep & What to Do

Adolescents require more sleep than younger children, yet they get less sleep than younger kids. Teens need between 8 and 9 hours of sleep, even more than adults do, yet because their brain is being pruned and hormones are raging, many do not get the sleep they need—especially today. Why are they getting less sleep than they need and what action steps can parents take?

LEADERS: Why School Leader Wellbeing is Important to the Whole Community

Taking care of school leader wellbeing is not just about individual health and happiness. It has much wider implications for the school as a whole and for students and staff. It is in everyone’s interests to ensure that school leaders are fit and healthy enough to maximise their own performance and the performance of the school.

LEADERS: I’m a Neuroscientist. Here’s How Teachers Change Kids’ Brains

Teachers change brains. While we often don’t think of teachers as brain changers, when they teach they have an enormous impact on students’ cognitive development. Recent advances in educational neuroscience are helping educators understand the critical role teachers play in building brain capacities important to students’ learning and self-control. Read and encourage your teachers to be effective drivers of neuroplastic change through the content they include, the intensity of their instruction and assurance of adequate repetition.

LEADERS: No, You Can’t Ignore Email. It’s Rude.

We’re all overwhelmed with email. One recent survey suggests that the average American’s inbox has 199 unread messages. But volume isn’t an excuse for not replying. Ignoring email is an act of incivility, writes Dr. Adam Grant. Explore setting boundaries for your email and responding in a timely manner that shows you are conscientious, organized, dependable and hardworking.

LEADERS: Stand Out Awards

Share information about the Britannica Stand Out Awards with your teachers and encourage them to apply. Altogether, Britannica will be awarding almost $24,000 to inspiring teachers and students, including $10,000 to the educator finalist. Deadline for applying: March 15.
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The New Three Rs: Trauma-Invested Strategies for Fostering Resilient Learners

Tuesday, March 5, 3:00 PM EST

Using Technology to Excite Students About Hands-On Science

Tuesday, March 5, 4:00 PM EST

Rethinking Formative Assessment: Use Learning Progressions to Fuel Student Success

Wednesday, March 6, 3:00 PM EST

A New Era for Independent Reading: Getting Our Students Reading All Throughout the Year

Thursday, March 7, 3:00 PM EST

The Secrets of Great Instructional Coaching: Lessons Learned from 20 Years of Research

Monday, March 11, 6:30 EST

Supporting Preschoolers’ Social and Emotional Development Through Music and Movement Activities

Tuesday, March 12, 3:00 PM EST

Preschool Beyond Walls: Integrating Nature into the Preschool Classroom

Wednesday, March 13, 2:00 PM EST

Strategies to Improve Adolescent Reading Proficiency: How to Identiry and Address Why Students Struggle

Wednesday, March 13, 3:00 PM EST

Finger Plays: Fun, Free, Focus, and Skills!

Monday, March 18, 5:00 PM EST

Students can LEAD: Building Executive Function Skills for Learning

Tuesday, March 19, 4:00 PM EST

Education Week’s Online Summit on Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Wednesday, March 20, 1:00 - 3:00 EST

Digital Collection Development

Wednesday, March 20, 5:00 PM EST

Explore a Free World of Personalized Professional Learning

Thursday, March 21, 4:00 PM EST

Assessment fo Learning: Classroom Strategies to Improve Learning for ALL Students

Thursday, March 21, 5:00 PM EST

Peter DeWitt on Leadership Coaching

Monday, March 25, 6:30 PM EST

What We Say and How We Say It Matter: Teacher Talk that Improves Student Learning and Behavior

Tuesday, March 26, 3:00 PM EST

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Key Principles and Practices

Tuesday, March 26, 5:00 PM EST

How to Make Learning Stick: 3 Ways to Boost Your Reading Instruction

Wednesday, March 28, 2:00 PM 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.