CCTI Winter Edition

February and March 2021

Celebrating Success and Creating Opportunities for All Learners

Welcome to our Second Annual Winter Edition Newsletter at CCTI!


This Winter Edition focuses on celebrating success and creating opportunities for all learners during the winter months, and throughout the year.


As you read, view, and listen to myriad resources, take note of your successes and consider new opportunities for growth, both in ourselves and others. Celebrate success every time and any time you can, and create positive energy and momentum in the world around you.


Try not to take on too many goals, but rather consider one or two strategies to align with your personal teaching goals. Remember to keep using your teaching journals/logs as a reflection tool.


Thank you for being such powerful influencers in the lives of students. You motivate and inspire us daily.


Lisa and Kathy

Acknowledging Success & Opportunities Created by Others

On February 1st, we celebrate Black History Month and on March 1st, Women's History Month. Celebrate the inspiration and collective opportunities we receive from individual, selfless contributions to the arts, science, society, education, and more.

National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman at Presidential Inauguration

"The Hill We Climb," by Amanda Gorman

One notable, recent contribution is from Amanda Gorman, the first-ever youth poet laureate, who recited her original "The Hill We Climb" at the inaugaration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. She is the daughter of a single mother, a former sixth-grade English teacher. She overcame a speech impediment from childhood and did not perform the poetry she began writing at a young age.


According to poetry.org, Amanda Gorman was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Harvard University in 2020.


Amanda Gorman is the author of the poetry collection The Hill We Climb (Viking, September 2021) and The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough (Penmanship Books, 2015). In 2017 Gorman was named the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States. She previously served as the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles, and she is the founder and executive director of One Pen One Page, an organization providing free creative writing programs for underserved youth.

Celebrating Success

Google Level 1 Certified Educators

To date, 98% of our CCTI Cohort 4 teachers are Google Level 1 Certified Educators! We appreciate your hard work and celebrate your success.
6 Strategies for Successful Distance Learning

Teachers can create an environment in which both they and their students feel empowered for remote teaching and learning. By Lindsay Mitchell June 19, 2020

Creating Opportunities for Success

Creating Opportunity in a Collaborative Learning Space

Try something new with Whiteboard.chat (check with your district first).

Review this free tool to build student success and create opportunities for learning.

Some key features are:

  • You can connect multiple devices to the same digital white board, share information and collaborate.
  • You can create Co Teachers who have access to the grid view and the instructor boards and chat. The grid view allows the teachers to look over each student’s work at the same time and see them doing live or asynchronous work.
  • Student feedback and work samples can be converted to PDFs.

Take a look. If you are already using it, try something new to create opportunities for success. https://www.whiteboard.chat/

Making 'The Case for Quiet Kids'

One of the groups of kids that are so overlooked and “lost in the crowd” are our quiet kids. Sometimes assumptions are made that students don't participate out of apathy or not having knowledge, or even an opinion. What may be missing the right invitation to participate.


But how can we create equity and voice for the learner who is often misinterpreted as a reluctant speaker, or a reluctant learner? Whether in an online setting or an in-person setting, this may be a simple issue of access and invitation for student 'voice' in various forms such as, digital surveys, Google surveys, partnered response, whiteboards, anonymous collaborative opportunities such as padlet and jamboard, etc., or an anonymous suggestion 'voice' box in the learning space.


In the article, The Case for Quiet Kids, the author discusses her own experiences as a 'spirited child' and shares those of being a parent to a 'quiet kid.' Read the article below to discover how a teacher made a difference in her son's life, not by changing his quiet demeanor, but rather by adapting to it in her instruction. You will find links, strategies, and tools with suggested use.

The Case for Quiet Kids: Helping Introverts Get Heard in the Classroom

By Chrissy Romano-Arrabito (Columnist) Jul 11, 2017

As a student, my parents would inevitably hear the same thing at every Parent-Teacher conference—some variation of: “She sure is a spirited one!” or “Participation isn’t an issue for her!” or my mother’s personal favorite: “She simply needs to stop talking.”


Growing up, I liked to talk to anyone about anything. I was the student others wished would just stop raising her hand to give the other kids a chance—and I was considered a strong, engaged student because of it, if not a little too chatty.


Today, along with my husband and daughter, I continue to be boisterous, silly, and love a good adventure—but my son is a different story. Where we are loud and outgoing, he is quiet and introspective. He sits back, watches and listens, never the one to try new things or start a conversation. During holiday celebrations, he is most often found in his room, waiting out the craziness.


Predictably, it is now me who hears the same thing year after year at Parent-Teacher conferences: “He needs to participate more.” “He’s a smart kid but I would like to see him add to class discussions.” My usual response: “Maybe try to find another way for him to contribute?”


Being quiet, it seems, is regarded as a deficit that needs to be pointed out and fixed. Throughout the years, few teachers bothered asking why he was so quiet and hesitant to share his thoughts. It wasn’t until my son’s fourth-grade year when a teacher helped him come out of his shell. What made this teacher special? He took the time to talk with my son and get to know him personally, despite the fact he was quiet. He made an effort to find ways for him to contribute without being the center of attention.


Now, my son is going into eighth grade now and while he’s still my shy guy, he may actually raise his hand a few times a year without prompting. Progress!


So why am I sharing this personal story? It has something to do with you, fellow teacher. Soon another school year will begin and a new batch of students will sit before you. The grade level or content you teach doesn’t matter, you will have them sitting in your room: the quiet kids. They don’t cause trouble and for the most part they earn good grades. But these are the kids that tend to fade into the background and slip through the cracks. The ones who are so often overlooked.


They may be an introvert like my son, but more likely there are other things at play. Kids shut down for all kinds of reasons. Many of our students come to school with the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are hungry, tired or may suffer from a chronic illness like my son; read more and locate links and strategies here

Fish Eye Syndrome: Is Every Student Really Participating?

by Jennifer Gonzalez, September 23, 2013

Greta just had an amazing discussion with her fifth period history class. They’ve been studying the Holocaust, and in today’s class, they just nailed it. She had originally planned for about ten minutes of discussion, but things were going so well, she let it go for the whole period. Days like this rock.


Except for the stuff she didn’t notice. (Excerpted)


Greta doesn’t realize that she is suffering from the Fisheye Syndrome. It’s a condition that impacts our perception, as if we’re looking through a fisheye lens – the kind they use in peepholes. To those afflicted with fisheye, some students appear “larger” than others. They take up more energy and grab more of our attention, making the others fade into the periphery. We have a vague sense that the others are there, and we nag ourselves to include them, but those magnified students are just too hard to resist.


Read more here to learn about equitable participation, formative assessment, and strategies to overcome Fish Eye Teaching.

Taylor Mali performs "Undivided Attention"

"May you teach, like the new snow..."-Taylor Mali

Tools for Support and Growth in Your Initial Teaching Years