CCTI Spring Edition

April and May 2021

Spring Ahead and Reflect Back

Welcome to our Second Annual Spring Edition Newsletter at CCTI!


The Spring Edition focuses on looking ahead while reflecting on growth and success in this academic year.


The hero's journey is never truly a physical journey, but rather one of personal knowledge, self-awareness, and discovery.


This year we watched you evolve, define, and transform/redefine yourself to meet the ever-changing moment. You slayed many metaphorical dragons as virtual heroes. You defied wind, hail, thunder, rain, ice, snow, and the internet. You may have had invisible capes, but your masks were visible, and so was your courage. You persevered and demonstrated grace and resiliency, despite not always knowing who could see you on the other side of the screen. And, you did the grandest gesture of all: you appeared and showed-up daily as a predictable presence in the unpredictability of this school year.


You are heroes whose faith in the value of teaching and learning drove you to continue even when, at times, you could not literally see learning occurring. Your faith continued your belief in students, each other, and yourself as ongoing learners in this process. While you may not ever see the results of your actions, they will be remembered. You are more than heroes, you are teacher-heroes.


Look ahead and set reasonable goals for yourselves, and others, to finish the school year. Take inventory of strengths and assets, and see the journey to self-discovery as an opportunity to spring ahead and to also look back. Take your experiences and use them as a reminder of your leadership as you reflect on the challenges of this year.


This Spring, continue to grow in your experiences along this journey. Your journeys may have different paths in how you meet the call and the challenges, lean on your resources, and find your strength and endure, but your quest to be an educator and heart of a teacher-hero is what unites you.


A closing thought by Maya Angelou, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."


Thank you for your hard work, flexibility, innovation, patience, and grace this year. We are certain you are the variable that makes the difference in the lives of your learners.


Lisa and Kathy

CCTI Teacher Journeys: Stories of Growth and Success

CCTI Story
Metacognition and Executive Function Skills

Develop and support metacognition and executive function skills in diverse learning environments. Locate resources and strategies from links, videos, and articles to reach diverse learners.

Sketchnoting: Organizing Notes in Diverse Learning Environments

We realize your learning environment and dynamic continues to shift. Additionally, use of technology continues to evolve. Engage students with best practices in retrieval, elaboration, and mapping using diverse resources. Here is one you may wish to try to assist with cognitive learning and metacognition.


Try Sketchnotes Are Thinking Made Visible! 📝

  • Greater recall
  • Stickier memory
  • Easier retrieval
  • Deeper synthesis (blending reading, visuals, listening)

Take a look. If you are already using it, try something new to create opportunities for success. Try something new with https://wakelet.com/ (check with your district first).

This free resource is useful for:

  • sketchbooks
  • mapping
  • newsletters
  • digital sharing

In the video resources provided, you are provided with information to use an icon library to help students make memory connections to new learning.

Try something new to make learning stick!

Quick Tip #1: Icon Library | My Pencil Made Me Do It

How to Help Students Improve Executive Functioning During Hybrid Learning

As you continue to teach diverse learners in diverse learning environments, consider how you can support students with executive functioning skills. Shifts in setting, schedules, and classes can add to challenges with directions and organization. Read more in the article and in the link that follows:


Students who struggle with executive functioning may find hybrid learning difficult, but there are simple ways to make it easier. by Kathryn Welby edutopia.com


Executive functioning is a set of skills that comprise working memory, organization, flexible thinking, and self-control. We use executive functioning skills daily to learn, work, organize, manage schedules, and complete tasks. Many students have executive functioning challenges that can make it extremely difficult to focus, follow directions, organize learning spaces, complete tasks, and control emotions. These challenges can negatively impact learning and school experiences.

For some students, executive functioning challenges are present in school every day, even when there is a consistent and predictable routine. Now imagine the challenges that students with executive functioning deficits encounter when navigating the ever-changing schedule of hybrid learning.

The thoughts and frustrations can pile on with inconsistent days, variable schedules, and flexible routines, possibly leading to withdrawal, maladaptive behaviors, and an increased risk of school failure. However, there are solutions and accommodations to decrease undesired behaviors and disorganized thoughts associated with executive functioning challenges in the hybrid learning model.


PLANNING AND PRIORITIZING

Executive functioning includes planning and prioritizing learning. Students need to recognize the essential tasks to complete and create a plan for carrying out the tasks. Hybrid learning can cause important tasks to get overlooked, especially when teachers assign multiple tasks, the schedules are inconsistent, assignments extend over multiple days, and the location of learning can vary.


Solution 1: Schedules and calendars.Teachers and students can work together to create a calendar. Within the calendar, have due dates, daily home/school schedules, and times and links to virtual meetings. The key is to share only one day at a time, so that you don’t overwhelm the students with a monthlong trajectory of assignments. Keep it direct. All information (links and assignments) should be available in one easy-to-access spot.


Solution 2: Checkbox lists. To prioritize essential tasks, have a list of daily tasks to complete with checkboxes. Prioritize the list, so that the most important assignments are completed first. Using a checkbox list gives students a sense of direction and accomplishment as they work through the day’s essential assignments. Diane Harrises, an educational consultant from Manchester, New Hampshire, suggests a midday check-in for some learners, especially for those who may become frustrated if the visual of assignments and tasks listed for the day is overwhelming to them. Checklists are valuable if your student is learning from home and you don’t have consistent access to check in with them to ensure that they are on task.


Read more here for solutions on:


  • ORGANIZING AND TRACKING BELONGINGS
  • IMPULSE AND EMOTION CONTROL

Maya Angelou On Courage

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."- Maya Angelou