From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

March 21, 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.

TEACHERS: The Absurd Structure of High School

The fragmented schedule of high school is failing both students and teachers. It’s amazing teens are learning anything at all. In this post Bernie Bleske states that “the problem as I see it is that we are married to a system that has not been properly re-evaluated for 21st-century capabilities and capacities.” He suggests there is a better way.

TEACHERS: How to Overcome the Challenges of Co-Teaching

In this article co-teaching is defined as “two or more educators who co-plan, co-instruct, and co-assess a group of students with diverse needs in the same general education classroom.” Co-teaching brings instructional benefits to the classroom, but to be effective it is important to address the unique classroom management challenges of co-teaching and specific tactics that can be used to address these issues.

TEACHERS: When Girls Spit: The Power of Spoken Word

Words matter. Words can heal, and words can destroy. Words can promote fear, and words can promote change. Encouraging young women of color to express their personal experiences creatively through spoken word can empower them.

TEACHERS: Anchor Charts 101: Why and How to Use Them

An anchor chart is a tool that is used to support instruction (i.e. “anchor” the learning for students). As a lesson is taught teachers and students together create a chart that captures the most important content and relevant strategies. Anchor charts build a culture of literacy in the classroom by making thinking—both the teacher’s and students’—visible. Check out this primer on anchor charts.

TEACHERS: The Evolving Role of Race in Children’s Lit, From ‘Harry Potter’ to ‘The Hate U Give’

Many children grow up looking up to and learning from the characters they read about in books. But what about the kids who can’t find any characters that look like them? This week on the podcast, Ebony Thomas, a children’s literature researcher and critic, describes her own experiences with this, and explains why there are still so few protagonists of color in children’s books today.

TEACHERS: The Surprising, Research-Backed Benefits of Active Screen Time

How many hours do teens spend on screens each day? Four? Six? It’s closer to nine, actually, according to a Common Sense Media poll. When kids use screens passively, they’re prone to problems like lost sleep and device addiction. Yet research has shown that using screens in more active ways can cut down on that addiction. Here are the surprising benefits of active screen time.

TEACHERS: UrbanPlan for High School Students

UrbanPlan is offered at over 30 high schools in economics or government courses in the junior and senior years. In the 15 class hours of the curriculum, students form development teams to respond to a “request for proposals” for the redevelopment of a blighted site in a fictional community. Each team member assumes one of five roles: Finance Director, Marketing Director, City Liaison, Neighborhood Liaison, or Site Planner.

TEACHERS: How to Use Choice Boards to Increase Student Engagement

One of the most common challenges that teachers face is planning engaging, hands-on lessons that are accessible to all students. Teachers know that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Read how one teacher address this challenge through the use of choice boards which can be implemented for any grade level or subject.

TEACHERS: Four Crucial Components of Collaborative Learning

Any teacher who wishes to have their students interact and work together must keep in mind four overarching aspects of collaborative learning. 1) The group work litmus test,

2) Collaborative, not cooperative grouping, 3) Complexity is king, and 4) Prepare students to be good team members. Get details about each of the above here.

TEACHERS: I Marie Kondo-ed a Cluttered Classroom, and Here’s What Happened

Thanks to Marie Kondo and her books and Netflix series about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up there is a growing trend to declutter and organize our homes. Many classrooms can also use a little tidying up. Read the progress and result when one teacher agreed to be a classroom Kondo guinea pic.

PARENTS: Parental Pressure: Competitive Advantage or Overwhelmed Children?

A natural question parents tend to ask themselves is: Because I want the best for my kids, what more do my children need from me besides meeting their four essential needs of leadership, love, laughter and learning on a consistent, comprehensive basis? It seems today more so than ever that parents are preoccupied with trying to give their kids every advantage. Read why it is important to maintain measure and balance in parenting and teaching. Could less actually be more?

PARENTS: How to Wrap Advice as a Gift a Teenager Might Open

When parents have something to say that they really want teenagers to hear, these approaches can help get the message across.

PARENTS: How Much Screen Time is Too Much for Kids

As educational technology continues to proliferate, and as today’s careers demand tech-savvy job candidates who already know how to use devices, the argument over the right amount of screen time is getting louder. To gain some consensus on the issue, EdSurge reached out to a handful of education and industry experts for their opinions. Here’s what they shared.

LEADERS: Unstructured Play Coming Back Into Favor

A 2014 study of more than 200 elementary students found that physical activity improved students’ fitness and brain function, enhancing their accuracy and reaction time in cognitive tasks. Other studies have concluded that children who have unstructured time during the school day exhibit greater creativity and problem-solving skills, are less disruptive, and learn crucial social lessons like how to resolve disputes and form cooperative relationships. Unstructured playtime is making a comeback.

DOCUMENTARY - Most Likely to Succeed

Most Likely To Succeed is a thought-provoking documentary feature film that reveals the growing shortcomings of conventional education methods in today’s innovative world. The film explores compelling new approaches that aim to revolutionize education as we know it, inspiring school communities to reimagine what students and teachers are capable of doing. To date, MLTS has screened for thousands of audiences around the world, igniting conversations and empowering change along the way. "This film should be a required course for all parents and educators.” -Film Threat

LEADERS: The Two Most Important Questions to Ask to Determine if Learning is Taking Place

So, when it comes to learning, the two most important questions are:
  1. Are kids thinking at increasing levels of knowledge taxonomy?
  2. How are kids applying their thinking in relevant ways?
Read how the Rigor Relevance Framework provides a practical way to determine the answers to both of these questions by looking at the level of questioning and the tasks that kids are engaged in.

LEADERS: Utilizing Augmented Reality as an Impetus for Learning

What is augmented reality (AR)? Although AR started out as a novelty it has become a fantastic way to engage students through authentic learning experiences. There are many reasons to incorporate AR in the classroom. See how Metaverse (free) can be used to create and view AR Experiences (you can create as many as you like). The collections feature is a premium addition to Metaverse Studio that is geared towards teachers who have students creating their own experiences.

LEADERS: Can Schools Be Guilty of Educational Malpractice?

Can schools be guilty of educational malpractice? Yes, they can be, especially if their guiding light is not the belief that all students have the right to a quality education, and teachers that will help them reach their academic potential. Do you know students who come to school every day ready to learn but are written off by teachers and administrators because of learning and behavioral disabilities. Isn’t it ironic that the students who need the most support and attention, often end up receiving the least of it.
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Students can LEAD: Building Executive Function Skills for Learning

Tuesday, March 19, 4:00 PM EDT

How to Survive Live Streaming and Podcasting in Your Classes

Tuesday, March 19, 5:00 PM EDT

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

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

Digital Collection Development

Wednesday, March 20, 5:00 PM EDT

Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools by Helping Students Get Regulated

Wednesday, March 20, 3:00 PM EDT

Digital Collection Development

Wednesday, March 20, 5:00 PM EDT

Explore a Free World of Personalized Professional Learning

Thursday, March 21, 4:00 PM EDT

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

Increasing Accessibility and Fostering Inclusive Classrooms

Tuesday, March 26, 3:00 PM EDT

The Power of Story: Understand How Stories Can Transform Struggling Readers

Wednesday, March 27, 2:00 PM EDT

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2:00 PM EST

Get Set for Kindergarten: 10 Ways to Prep Your Preschoolers

Thursday, March 28, 100 PM EDT

From Keyboarding to Coding: Best Practices in Digital Literacy Instruction

Thursday, March 28, 4:00 PM EDT

Recognizing and Successfully Teaching Twice-Exceptional Students

Friday, March 29, 1:00 PM EDT

Simple Acts: Service and Acts of Kindness in Early Childhood Development

Monday, April 1, 2:00 PM EDT

SEL and Principal Leadership, K-8

Tuesday, April 2, 4:00 PM EDT

John Hattie: Building and Developing Assessment Capable Learners

Monday, April 1, 6:30 PM EDT

Picture Inclusion! Snapshots of Successful Diverse Classroom

Wednesday, April 3, 3:00 PM EDT

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Bring It To Life

When students connect classroom learning with genuine service to their communities, they not only master academic concepts better and learn how to apply them in real life, but also grow in their understanding of how God has uniquely fashioned them for His restoration work in the world. This book - the first of its kind for Christian schools - draws upon the authors' extensive work in schools to offer a proven roadmap for harnessing the transformation power of service-learning in your school. Read Roger Erdvig’s blog post introducing the concept of service-learning in Christian schools, as well as Dan Beerens’blog post that provides a review of the new book.

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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.