From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

November 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 - MySimpleShow

Mysimpleshow is an excellent site for educators and students to make videos/presentations. This is done through a easy-to-use interface where a user selects a template and then creates a script for their project/story. The mysimpleshow engine does the rest and creates a beautiful looking video.

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TEACHERS: Using Scrum Boards to Organize Small Group Projects

Popular as a planning tool in the IT industry, Scrum boards help students working on a group assignment determine what to do, who will do it, and how to track the group's progress. Learn more here.

TEACHERS: A Classroom Full of Risk Takers

No one learns without making mistakes. Quite the opposite—we learn when we make mistakes. But in the classroom, making mistakes and taking risks can be at best unrewarded, and at worst ridiculed and unnecessarily penalized. In this article State teachers of the year explain how they make students feel safe enough to take risks—and then push them to do so.

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The Middle School Kindness Challenge is a unique collaboration among leading education organizations, distinguished teachers, and acclaimed researchers. It provides access to research-based told and resources, free of charge, to those who want to incorporate kindness into the school day and make kindness a practical, commonplace skill. In the Middle Web blog, teacher Cheryl Mizerny shares the monthly activities she is using with her students for her Year of Kindness initiative: August 13, September 9, and November 6.

TEACHERS: Using Formative Assessment to Bring Clarity to the Classroom

The purpose of formative assessment is to inform earning, not to measure it or sum it up. When teachers use formative assessment as part of their daily classroom practice, they are better able to meet the ongoing learning needs of their students. And their students end up learning more. The power of formative assessment lies in targeted teacher actions. Learn more here.

TEACHERS: Seven Words that Might Change the Way You Teach

Researcher Brené Brown has spent her life studying shame and vulnerability, with all their facets. She recently spoke to a group of educators about how to facilitate Daring Classrooms. With these seven words she defines in her speech, you can begin to understand how to work towards a Daring Classroom yourself.

TEACHERS: Bringing Authors Into Your Classroom

If you want to be a better writer, you have to read, read, read. If you want to be a better reader, you have to write, write, write. Most teachers understand the reciprocal relationship between reading and writing. The question is, how do we get our students to read and write and then write and read some more? Virtual author visits are a good start. Thanks to Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom, it’s easier than ever to host published authors in your classroom.

TEACHERS: Three Assumptions Teachers Should Avoid

Assumptions. We all have them. We carry them into the car, into the classroom, into work. Some assumptions—particularly those of teachers that pertain to themselves and to their students—can cause frustration and burnout. Being aware of these assumptions is the first step to counteracting them

TEACHERS: Strategies for Students With Scattered Minds

Teachers can help students strengthen their brain's executive function with "workouts" in which they practice pausing, prioritizing, improving their working memory, and mapping their options. Check out these strategies for helping students with “executive dysfunction."

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PARENTS: The Importance of Sleep and Strategies for Sleeping Better

Sleep scientist Matthew Walker says far too many people are living their lives in an “under slept” state, without even realizing it. He points out that lack of sleep can have serious consequences and is associated with problems in concentration, memory, and the immune system. It may even shorten life span.

FOR PARENTS: 40 Resources for Homework Help and Parent Organization

Homework is hard and parent engagement is important. Here is a list of 40 resources from Getting Smart that teachers can provide to parents to help them stay organized and engaged.
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SCHOOL LEADERS: 12 Things School Leaders Should Stop During Today

There isn’t a day that goes by in the work of a school leader that is free of challenges. The never-ending stream of problems and challenges that flows across our paths during the course of an entire school year can leave even the most positive and passionate leaders feeling exhausted and depleted. Rather than ask what you can start doing, perhaps a better question would be to ask, “What should I stop doing?"

SCHOOL LEADERS: What is Culturally Responsive Teaching?

Culturally responsive teaching means reaching all of our students academically, emotionally, and socially—their full selves. When we validate who our students are and where they come from (in terms of their community and personal perspectives), we are creating a space where students feel safe and welcome to learn. Culturally responsive pedagogy is based on three premises. Learn more here.

SCHOOL LEADERS: When Coaching Teachers Has Curiosity as Its Primary Goal

This coaching model practiced at the British International School in Shanghai creates an experience among the staff that helps teachers notice their own teaching moves as they happen in the classroom. Here’s what it looks like.
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Changing the Culture in Student Recruitment

CSI: Joyce Workman

Tuesday, November 14, 1:00 PM EST

Guide or Misguided: A Deep Dive Into the Workshop Model for Math

Education Week

Thursday, November 16, 2:00 PM EST

The ABCs of Easy Childhood Assessment: Managing the Bits and Pieces

edWeb: Brian Mowry, Ph.D.

Tuesday, November 21, 5:00 PM EST

Developing Fact Fluency with Understanding: Multiplication and Division

edWeb: James Burnett

Tuesday, November 28, 4:00 PM EST

Six Steps to Phenomenal Co-Teaching

ASCD: Wendy Lochner

November 28, 3:00 PM EST

High-Yield Strategies for Students Success

edWeb: Gene Kerns

Tuesday, December 5, 3:00 PM EST

Introducing Restorative Teacher-Student Mediation

edWeb: Ondine Gross

Wednesday, December 6, 4”00 PM EST

Kick-Start Kindergarten Readiness: 52 Reproducible Letters and Activities for Parents

edWeb: Alison Pepper

Thursday, December 7, 3:00 PM EST

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Free Webinars - Courses

Research shows that an inspired and informed teacher is the most important related factor in student achievement. You may not have the opportunity to attend many workshops, but you can always learn new skills from the comfort of your home. Pull up a chair, relax and get ready to learn, as you work your way through this list of 20 great free webinars for teachers!

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.