From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

February 15, 2018

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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TEACHERS: Why Kids Can’t Stop Moving: The Neuroscience Behind a Student’s Need to Move

Students have reasons for how they behave, particularly if they have learning differences and learn in unique ways. In this 10 minute podcast occupational and physical therapist, Suzanne Cresswell, helps teachers understand children and why some of them just can’t stop moving. Podcast script available here.

TEACHERS: 10 Things to Throw Out of Your Classroom Now

This post from Angela Watson’s is based on her latest podcast episode: Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers. Most teachers are collectors, and finding overflowing cabinets in classrooms is common. Items saved just in case they might be needed for organizing or for a project. Check out this advice from Angela on how to begin decluttering your classroom.

TEACHERS: How Cross-Cultural Dialogue Builds Critical Thinking and Empathy

This post explains a program called Generation Global, which is part of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Generation Global focuses around the skills of dialogue for adolescents ages 12-17 as it connects them with their peers in other countries. Teachers who have used the program share that their students "really start reflecting on themselves and their perspectives on the world.” Parents and students have both been grateful for the opportunity to learn about other parts of the world.

TEACHERS: Why Even Young Students Benefit From Connecting Globally

In this article Kathy Cassidy shares why connecting with others is how she covers her curriculum. While learning from others is a key reason why she connects her classroom online, there are many other reasons as well. The article is an excerpt from Kathy's book “Connected From the Start: Global Learning In the Primary Grades.”

TEACHERS: Honing Students’ Speaking Skills

The Common Core State Standards include the teaching of a specific set of speaking skills requiring teachers to create lessons that are focused on oral presentation and verbal assessment. Read how Ignite Talks can be used as an effective tool for honing students’ speaking skills.

TEACHERS: 4 Strategies for Teaching with Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy can be a powerful tool to transform teaching and learning. By design, it focuses attention away from content and instruction, and instead emphasizes the “cognitive events” in the mind of a child. And that is no small change. Using Bloom’s taxonomy promotes students’ thinking and understanding processes rather than emphasizing the kinds of things the students should be thinking about.

TEACHERS: Handle Criticism Effectively

You can tell a lot about a person by how they handle criticism. Those who immediately dismiss criticism neglect the fact that most criticism, even that from an enemy, carries with it a grain of truth or no one would believe it. However, all criticisms are not created equal. Ask yourself, Is this criticism a pathway for an opportunity for improvement or is it an anchor that will hold you back or a diversion that will distract you from your task? Knowing the difference makes all the difference.
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TEACHERS: 6 Scaffolding Strategies to Use with your Students

Scaffolding a lesson and differentiating instruction are two different things. Scaffolding is breaking up the learning into chunks and then providing a tool, or structure, with each chunk. Scaffolding is what you do first with kids—for those students who are still struggling, you may need to differentiate by modifying an assignment and/or making accommodations. Here are some awesome scaffolding strategies that promote student learning.
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PARENTS: The Three Cs of Parenting: Caring, Consistency, and Communication

When it comes to raising kids, the number one question on most parent’s minds is HOW? How do you parent in a way that nurtures your children to be all that they can be? While this article is not specific about the HOW of parenting it provides a foundation of three key concepts to build in your children; concepts that will give them the means to grow up with a sense of security and confidence in themselves.

PARENTS: 10 Simple Ideas to Spend Quality Time with Your Child

In today’s busy and distracted world, it becomes increasingly harder for parents to spend quality, one-on-one time with their children. This article has 10 simple ideas for how parents can spend quality time with their children; things that won’t take all day or require much money.

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Collective Efficacy

“Acclaimed staff developer and experienced educational consultant Jennifer Donohoo puts the sword to the mistaken idea that the best way to improve teaching is by evaluating individuals. Donohoo takes an old idea—collective efficacy—strengthens it with a rigorous research base, and brings it alive through her countless observations of teachers' practice.

Collective Efficacy is about the overwhelming power that teachers have to improve student learning and achievement when they work together, explore every avenue open to them, and persist relentlessly once they have found the best ways forward. This book will turn many people's assumptions about how best to improve student achievement on their head. Probably one of the very best education books of the year.”

Andy Hargreaves, Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

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LEADERS: The Six Flaws of “Traditional” Professional Development

A lot of the professional development activities being offered to teachers isn’t working - it does not impact student learning. There is research that shows what kind of PD does translate into better student outcomes. By understanding the six biggest downfalls of “status quo” professional development, leaders can begin taking steps to change them.

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LEADERS: Collective Teacher Efficacy: The Effect Size and Six Enabling Factors

When teachers believe that together, they are capable of developing students’ critical thinking skills, creativity, and mastery of complex content, it happens! Collective teacher efficacy, as an influence on student achievement, is a contribution that comes from the school – not the home nor the students themselves. Knowing the effect of collective teacher efficacy on student achievement, fostering it should be at the forefront of a planned strategic effort in all schools and school boards. Read about the six enabling factors here.

LEADERS: Building Teacher Efficacy: How Leaders Inspire Teachers to Achieve

"Collective teacher efficacy" (CTE) refers to the perceptions of teachers that the efforts of the faculty as a whole will have a positive effect on students. Principals and district leaders should turn their attention to improving CTE because it has an impressive list of positive consequences. Researchers have started looking at specific actions that school leaders can take to improve collective efficacy among teachers. This brief focuses on what actions on the part of principals can improve collective efficacy.
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Building a Foundation for Literacy and Intervention Scaffolds for Lifelong Learning

edWeb - Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 3:00 PM EST

Leadership Lessons for Our Times

edWeb - Thursday, February 22, 5:00 PM EST

Alan November: Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning

edWed - Thursday, February 22, 4:00 PM EST

Disrupting Poverty: Five Powerful Classroom Practices

ASCD - Tuesday, February 27, 3:00 PM EST

Encouraging Physical Activity in Preschoolers

edWeb - Tuesday, February 27, 2:00 PM EST

Creating Curious Inquirers: Harnessing Student Curiosity Toward Greater Success

edWeb - Tuesday, February 27, 4:00 PM EST

12 Keys to High-Quality Early Childhood Inclusion

edWeb - Wednesday, February 28, 3:00 PM EST

The Fundamentally Emotional Nature of Learning

edWeb - Wednesday, February 28, 5:00 PM EST

Motivating Students to Read and Write: The Role of eMentors

edWed - Thursday, March 1, 2018, 4:00 PM EST

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Disrupting Poverty Webinar: Five Powerful Classroom Practices

In this informative webinar based on their recent book, Disrupting Poverty: Five Powerful Classroom Practices, authors William Parrett and Kathleen Budge will discuss the five classroom practices that permeate the culture of successful high-poverty schools: (1) caring relationships and advocacy, (2) high expectations and support, (3) commitment to equity, (4) professional accountability for learning, and (5) the courage and will to act. Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. eastern time.

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.