From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

February 12, 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: What's Going On In the Brain Of A Child Who Has Experienced Trauma

Educators are increasingly recognizing that students often have complicated lives outside of school that affect how ready they are to learn. Many students experience some kind of trauma in their lives, whether it's a health problem, divorce, violence in their neighborhood, or a combination of experiences. Research shows these experiences affect kids' brains and behavior -- a challenge for teachers expecting to arrive in class and only focus on content.

TEACHERS: The Importance of Teaching the Behaviors You Want to See

How do you respond when students don't exhibit the behaviors you would like to see? Do you tell students they need to change? Do you lecture them about responsibility or respect? Do you complain to your colleagues about kids these days? Do you punish or reward? How effective are those options? Telling doesn't work. Lectures create distance. Complaining doesn't empower anyone. And rewards and punishments mostly work only to get compliance and not to build better better behavioral skills. What can educators do to better address non-learning behaviors?

TEACHERS: What's Going On Inside the Brain When We Play Music?

Humans love music, especially when there's repetition that catches the attention. And even though many people listen to music to relax, the brain is doing a lot of work to break apart and understand the music before putting it all together again. "Playing music is the brain's equivalent of a full body workout," says educator Anita Collins in a TED-Ed video. Watch the video to learn all about the benefits of learning to play an instrument.

TEACHERS: Want Students to Remember What They Learn? Have Them Teach It.

Research shows when students teach a concept they’ve learned to others, that knowledge sticks with them longer. So why aren’t more schools using this “learning by teaching” strategy? That’s what EdSurge columnist Elisabeth Stock is wondering as she explores the research behind it and how teachers can make the most of this powerful teaching strategy.

TEACHERS: Ways to Encourage Good Behavior, Without Junky Prizes or Sugary Treats

Smart beads. Warm fuzzier. Pride buttons. Punch cards. A special stuffy. Check out these fun ideas to encourage and motivate your students.

TEACHERS: Student-Made E-Books

You’ve reached the end of a unit or year, and you want students to demonstrate their learning in a way that requires them to synthesize information, apply it in new ways, and reflect on how they have grown. Have them create their own PDF e-books, packaging up some aspect of their learning into a finished digital product they can enjoy and share for years.

TEACHERS: A New Kind of Student: Learning Attributes of the Digital Generations

Today, learners take for granted growing up in a world that is seamlessly connected by powerful information and communication technologies that give them instant access to everyone and everything, anytime and anywhere. Chronic digital bombardment has transformed our learners into digital learners. The digital generations have developed new preferences for learning. Jukes, Schaaf, and Mohan (2015) identified nine key learning attributes of the digital generations.

TEACHERS: Elevating Student Voice Through Senior Talks

High school seniors build confidence by documenting their growth and learning in a speech presented to their families and the school community. This video is part of the Edutopia How Learning Happens series, which explores teaching practices grounded in the science of learning and human development.

PARENTS: What Teachers Want Parents to Know

Teachers have an immense responsibility to teach and prepare other people’s children for future success in a caring, safe environment.

Over the years, I’ve met, worked beside, and learned from teachers of all ages and from all types of schools. Despite the differences between teachers of all ages and from all types schools there is common ground on what teachers want parents to know about them..

PARENTS: What's Going On In Your Child's Brain When You Read Them A Story?

A newly published guide gives some insight into what may be happening inside young children's brains when they were presented with stories in three conditions: audio only; the illustrated pages of a storybook with an audio voiceover; and an animated cartoon. And, says lead author Dr. John Hutton, there is an apparent "Goldilocks effect" — some kinds of storytelling may be "too cold" for children, while others are "too hot." And, of course, some are "just right."

PARENTS: Reading the Same Books to Your Child Over and Over Makes Them Smarter

Did you know that every night, when you snuggle up with your preschooler and they select that favorite book (you know the one I'm talking about…you've read it 300 times), you're actually preparing them for academic success and test taking? You might either be intrigued or infuriated, but hear me out. Something really magical is going on that is vital to their future school success.


LEADERS: Video Series - How Learning Happens

This video series from Edutopia was created to support educators as they explore ways to help all students become productive and engaged learners. There are 22 videos in the series and a number of them have been featured in past issues of C-CUE. The videos cover a variety of topics and could serve as a catalyst for discussions among teachers.

LEADERS: A Guide to Meeting the Performance Expectations of the NGSS

The Next Generation Science Standards represent an exciting shift in science education in America. While the benefits are clear, how to achieve these new goals has presented educators with a new set of challenges. As the expectation of what students know and can do changes, instructional methodology must change with it. In this guide, you will learn:
  • A detailed explanation of the standards and insights as to what it takes to support educators with NGSS implementation
  • Instructional strategies to help students apply their knowledge and achieve the performance expectations of the NGSS
  • Curriculum resources to help educators align curriculum to NGSS

LEADERS: Why We Must Teach Our Students Empathy

Years of dedicated research and practice have demonstrated that social and emotional intelligence now stands out as a better predictor of long-term life success than academic proficiency alone. This makes sense when you consider that the three most identifiable reasons for failure at work relate to social and emotional intelligence: difficulty in handling change, inability to work well on a team, and poor interpersonal relations.
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LEADERS: Why a Liberal Arts Education Is a Game-Changer for Scientific Leadership

The profound ability of liberal arts colleges to produce leading scientists continues to surprise many who assume that the best path to success as a scientist is to pursue undergraduate studies at a research university. The evidence suggests that, if one is searching for models of student success in STEM fields, liberal arts colleges should be among the first places to look.

LEADERS: How Ending Behavior Rewards Helped One School Focus on Student Motivation and Character

Handing out colored bracelets and upbeat stickers when students behave well seems like an effective strategy for encouraging civility.

But a substantial body of social science research going back decades has concluded that giving rewards for certain types of behavior is not only futile but harmful. When it comes to promoting good behavior, extrinsic rewards are “the worst ineffective character education practice used by educators,” Berkowitz writes, a professor of education at University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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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.