From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

May 24, 2018

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: 3 Key Tips for Classroom Tech SUCCESS

Technology can have a HUGE impact on the classroom, but it's hard to figure out the best ways of using it. "Am I going to get results that are worth it?" "Am I wasting my time?” In this video, you'll learn THREE tips for making sure your time investment in classroom technology is worth it!

TEACHERS: Recognizing and Alleviating Math Anxiety

About half of elementary students experience math anxiety, and it can surface as early as kindergarten, asserts instructional coach Gina Picha. In this blog post, she shares signs of math anxiety as well as strategies for identifying and alleviating it.

TEACHERS: Strong Conferencing Practices Help Kindergarteners Learn to Advocate for Themselves

One-on-one conference with young learners can be a "powerful tool that goes beyond academics," writes kindergarten teacher Michayla Bell. In this commentary, she explains how she uses scheduled and unplanned conferences to help students develop confidence and take greater leadership roles in their learning.

TEACHERS: How Implicit Bias Can Show Up in the Classroom

What some educators consider "neutral practices" may contribute to unintended bias, asserts Deborah Loewenberg Ball, an expert in elementary math instruction and a professor of education. She calls for addressing "micro moments," during which implicit biases can creep into the classroom.

TEACHERS: What if Teachers Could Extinguish Shame?

Shame permeates many schools and classrooms. Kids shame their peers and, sometimes, usually unwittingly, teachers shame their students. Sometimes teachers are remembered in ways that belie their best intentions. When teachers shame students, or peers shame each other, trust is broken and connection is eroded. When students feel vulnerable and are subject to shame, they shut down, retreat into themselves, feel unworthy, and become embarrassed and unproductive. Learn more about compassionate classrooms where everyone takes risks and shaming is not an option.
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TEACHERS: 9 Great Documentaries for High School Classrooms

If you want to get your students' attention, show them how real-world issues affect people. From bullying and racism to poverty and economics, the topics tackled in documentary movies can open kids' eyes, encourage critical thinking, and spark great conversations. Better yet, when these films are shown as part of a lesson, you can give students opportunities to better understand and analyze what they've seen.

TEACHERS: How to Finish the Year Strong

Finish well. In this podcast, Linda Kardamis shares common mistakes to avoid and positive things to do that will help teachers have a successful finish to the school year. Check out her tips for finishing the year like runners - with a sprint.
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PARENTS: Parenting the Child Whose Sibling has ADHD

Children with ADHD demand a good deal of parents' time and attention. Siblings of children with ADHD may be dealing with their own unique, important issues but do not what to bother or over stress their parents. Here are tips for parents to keep in mind when parenting the siblings of a child with ADHD.

PARENTS: Should You Monitor Your Kid’s Social Media Use?

Parents, teachers, coaches, youth workers and employers are all attempting to figure out the “new normal” that kids experience in a world of “pings” and “rings” from their phone. It seems we are all still attempting to civilize this portable device. Parents differ on their opinions about whether to check what their kids are doing on social media sites. What do you think?
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LEADERS: What is the Point of a Makerspace?

What’s so great about a makerspace? In this Cult of Pedagogy blog post, John Spencer, who was a classroom teacher for a number of years and currently teaches at the university level and the co-author of several books, demystifies the makerspace: What it is, why we would want one, and how to get started.

LEADERS: 7 Characteristics of Great Professional Development

Now is the time for administrators to begin pulling together PD plans for the next school year. By planning PD with these seven characteristics teachers are likely to come away from their professional development experiences energized and excited.

LEADERS: Aiming for Discipline Rather Than Punishment

Brain-aligned discipline isn’t compliance-driven or punitive—it’s about supporting students in creating sustainable changes in behavior. Explore the idea of using brain-aligned discipline with students who have adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

LEADERS: When Administrators Keep Teaching

Teaching keeps school leaders connected to students and other teachers and lets them feel the effects of their own decisions. This blog post outlines the benefits of this practice.
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The Book of Learning and Forgetting

In this book, Frank Smith pulls no punches in situating learning both inside and outside of schools. In distiguishing between the “classic view” of how learning happens in real life, and the “official view” of how learning happens in schools, Smith outlines the negative results of the “official view” of learning, i.e. convincing teachers, learners, and parents that the most important thing about education is scores and grades, making learning a trial when it should be a pleasure, compelling people to try to learn in the most inefficient way possible, with rapid forgetting guaranteed.

The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

Author Jessica Lahey is a parent and teacher as well as a contributing writer for the New York Times and the Atlantic. In this book she sums up the current dilemma parents find themselves in when she writes, “Today’s overprotective, failure-avoidant parenting style has undermined the competence, independence, and academic potential of an entire generation.” Further, “We have taught our kids to fear failure, and in doing so, we have blocked the surest and clearest path to their success.”
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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.