From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

June 7, 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.

TECH TALK: The 90 Hottest EdTech Tools According to Education Experts (Updated For 2018)

If you work in education, you’ll know there’s a HUGE array of applications, services, products and tools created to serve a multitude of functions in education. There are so many companies creating new products for education, though, that it can be difficult to keep up - especially with the massive volumes of planning and marking teachers have to do, never mind finding the time to actually teach! So how do you know which ones are the best? A team of experts in education, teaching and new tech from all over the world from England to India, to New York and San Francisco created this list of 90 amazing, tried and tested tools that they absolutely could not live without as education professionals.

TEACHERS: What Happens to Student Behavior When Schools Prioritize Art

This article is an excerpt from You, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best Education by Sir Ken Robinson, Ph. D and Lou Aronica, published on March 13, 2018 by Viking. Read how changing schools in the right ways and many of the problems of poor behavior, low motivation, and disengagement tend to disappear.

TEACHERS: How Seeing and Using Gestures Make Ideas More Memorable

Susan Wagner Cook, an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Iowa states that “gesture seems to help build understanding across really abstract things and really concrete things – numbers, words, a whole bunch of stuff.” She explains how using physical movement recruits more parts of the brain than using language alone, and we activate more memory systems.

TEACHERS: Say Anything: Inside a Writing Assignment Gone Right in North Philadelphia

Eighth-grade English teacher Monique Trauger got her students at a Pennsylvania school to express themselves through an open-ended writing prompt that asked them to explain a time when they had to care about something bigger than themselves. The project included having students share their essays and artwork at a public exhibition. Read excerpts from some of the essays here.

TEACHERS: 50 Alternatives to Lecturing

A large part of the content the TeachThought site/blog is to provide alternatives to lecture. The site at large could be seen as a compilation of alternatives to lecturing. But for those educators that’d like to see a kind of index all gathered in one place, with certain links to more in-depth analyses elsewhere, this list might help scratch that itch. The idea is to see a lot of awesome possibilities in one place, not write a book.

TEACHERS: How One Teacher Uses Live Video to Foster SEL and Connect to Classrooms Around the World

North Carolina teacher Zerifa Radlein-Grant exposes her students to the wider world in order to encourage their hopes and dreams. Using a free tool, a live video linked her class with one in British Columbia. Students discussed games and local weather, learning “there’s more to life than what they’re experiencing.” There’s also an SEL aspect to the connected experience, she says—one that fosters empathy.

TEACHERS: Optimism is a Learnable Skill

Researcher Martin Seligman has found that people who explain their experiences in pessimistic ways have a higher risk for depression, lower academic and professional achievement, and lower physical health than those who hold optimistic views. The good news is that we are not born pessimistic or optimistic—these are ways of thinking that we learn from our families and teachers, the media, and our social context. Check out these three strategies for nurturing optimism in students.

TEACHERS: 100 Things Students Can Create to Demonstrate What They Know

Many educators use the same methods over and over again in their lessons for students to express themselves and demonstrate their new knowledge. However they are a variety of ways students can express themselves. This article is a diverse list adapted from resources found at fortheteachers.org of potential student products or activities learners can use to demonstrate their mastery of lesson content. The list also offers several digital tools for students to consider using in a technology-enriched learning environment.

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PARENTS: Seven Symptoms of Too Much Social Media Use

50% of teens say they are addicted to their cell phone. While more study is needed to determine how deep the digital addiction is, teens feel the symptoms and consequences of it. Here are the signals a young person naturally sends that they’ve spent too much time on social media platforms or on their mobile device in general.

PARENTS: Does Your Child Give Up Easily?

There can be a number of reasons that kids give up rather than persevering until a job or task is completed. The question is how to handle those situations so children come out stronger. This article looks at some common reasons that kids want to quit and how best to respond.

PARENTS: What’s Going on in a Child’s Brain When You Read Them a Story?

These days parents, caregivers and teachers have lots of options to share stories with their children. They can read a picture book, put on a cartoon, play an audiobook, or even ask Alexa. A newly published study gives some insight into what may be happening inside young children's brains in each of those situations. Is one option better than another?

LEADERS: INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION: Breeding a Culture of Best-Practice

A trusted school leader exemplifies competency when he or she “ensures faculty and staff are aware of the most current theories and practices and makes the discussion of these a regular aspect of the school’s culture.” Intellectual stimulation is a key factor in the facilitation of continual improvement in a school - the primary function of school leaders.

LEADERS: Everyone Sweeps on Our Team

Is your school a place where everyone sweeps? A setting where no job is too unimportant for anyone to help with? A school where everyone is expected to help regardless of their title or position? An environment where all act with humility and an understanding of what it looks like to wield the broom?

How do you sweep in your position?

LEADERS: Education Buzz Words: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Educators have a love-hate relationship with buzz words. Listen to this Bam radio show in which four educators discuss why we use them and the benefits and downside of using them.

LEADERS: Hospitals See Growing Numbers Of Kids And Teens At Risk For Suicide

The number of kids who struggle with thoughts of suicide or who attempt to kill themselves is rising. New research, published in Pediatrics, finds children ages 5 to 17 visited children's hospitals for suicidal thoughts or attempts about twice as often in 2015 as in 2008. The study found kids of all ages are affected though increases were greatest for older adolescents. It is important for educators to talk about this and ask about it.

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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.