From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

December 13, 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.
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TEACHERS: Tips And Facts On Blended Learning

In the world of eLearning, there seems to be an endless revolving door of trends including blended learning, spaced repetition, gamification, microlearning, design thinking, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, user-generated content, and embedded learning. This article examines blended learning giving a clear definition of what it is, when it can be used effectively, and what the right blend is.
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TEACHERS: The Guide to Motivating Students

Download this booklet which includes: 1) Classroom scenarios for confidence-building messages, 2) “How To” Strategies for building student confidence, and 3) Professional Learning Resources for teaching your students that “smart is something you can get.”

Also read How to Inspire All Students to Believe in Themselves.

TEACHERS: Is Listening to a Book the Same Thing as Reading It?

An examination of how we read and how we listen shows that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior. The goal is understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage — all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.

TEACHERS: Benefits of Ear-Reading

Students who qualify as having dyslexia typically read below grade level but have the aptitude to become high achievers. For them, exposure to words in context via ear-reading can significantly reduce reading barriers, and human-narrated audiobooks really do make stories come alive for these students. In this article a dyslexia specialist discusses the assistive technologies she uses to help students with dyslexia make gains in reading.

TEACHERS: Engaging Our Most Challenging Students in Fine Arts

Teachers often confront the dilemma of whether to include disruptive students in plays, concerts and so on. But in the latest issue of Educational Leadership, Danielle Iamarino argues that the benefits of the arts for just such students means teachers should prioritize participation for them. She states that the first major step toward equity and inclusiveness in fine arts education is to let go of perfection—just let it go. Veteran teacher Jay Davidson (2001) posits that "the role of parents and teachers is to expose children to a variety of materials so that they can create art … children will then have a choice as to whether they want to use the materials or not."

TEACHERS: Boost SEL’s Impact with 10 Brain-Wise Strategies

What improves achievement by an average 11 percent, increases appropriate social behavior, improves students’ attitudes, and reduces stress? Social Emotional Learning does this and more! Research on the brain and learning is revealing how we can help students trigger their Social Emotional Learning competencies: self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. How many of these strategies are you already using?

PARENTS: Resilient Kids Come From Parents Who Do These 8 Things

Resilience is a behavior learned through explicit lessons and examples. It teaches kids how to better handle stress, understand that rejection is not a comment on their entire existence, and view setbacks as things that don’t need to sideline them for good. But how should you teach this lesson? According to Amy Morin, LCSW, a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, here are eight common practices of parents who raise resilient kids.

PARENTS: 5 Simple Ways To Encourage Brain Development In Your Little One

There's a whole body of research on how caregivers can encourage brain development before a child starts any formal learning. In this article Ron Ferguson, an economist at Harvard, translates the research into five simple and free ways adults can help their little ones.

PARENTS: Our Brains Benefit from Sleep. Here’s Why, and How Parents can Help Teens get Plenty of it.

Teens need sleep. We have mountains of research on the dangers of sleep deprivation — how it increases the risk of depression, makes it difficult to regulate emotions, damages health and impairs cognitive functioning. Knowing all this, though, doesn’t necessarily translate to a change in behavior. Parents need to help their kids find the motivation that will help them alter their behavior and get more sleep.

LEADERS: What you Learn as a Leader is More Important Than What You Teach

One of the most meaningful things you can do as a leader is to pay attention so that you are continually learning. This improves your value to your staff, and it also sets an excellent example for teachers to make discovery part of their everyday work life. Here are seven ways to discover significant insights by simply building learning into your daily leadership tasks.

LEADERS: Equity in Schools: What Administrators Need to Know

If principals are going to be effective in in creating schools that are equitable, they must engage all staff members as partners in the effort. To enhance staff capacity, principals must directly address issues of race, provide ongoing training that focuses on equity, empower staff members with greater professional freedom, and hire specifically with social justice in mind. Here are four strategies that enhance equity in schools.

LEADERS: Intellectual Humility: a Rare Yet Powerful Trait to Have

What is intellectual humility and why do so few have it? Are some groups worse at lacking intellectual humility? What are the benefits of cultivating intellectual humility? Read what researchers at Duke University are learning about intellectual humility from a series of experiments they did to better understand this often misunderstood trait.

LEADERS: The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students

This post explains what Google learned about its employees: among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills..." Read more HERE.

LEADERS: 6 School Culture Building Components

Shaping the schools’ culture and fostering community is a challenging responsibility for school leaders. They need to be careful not to abandon or abdicate their role, while at the same time empowering those they manage with shaping, building, and manifesting the school’s sense of community. Here are six components to support that work, and their effectiveness is built on a single and shared factor. Each component must be INTENTIONAL.
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The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

This book is an autobiography written by a 13-year-old boy from Japan about what it is like to live with autism. The way autistic people view the world is very different than the way we may perceive them to view the world. This disconnect between how we view and treat people with autism and how they actually view the world makes living with autism even more difficult.

On our own we simply don't know how to get things done the same way you do things. But, like everyone else, we want to do the best we possibly can. When we sense you've given up on us, it makes us feel miserable. So please keep helping us, through to the end.” --Naoki Higashida

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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.