From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

November 8, 2018

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 are the Best Ways to Use Leveled Texts

In her new book Understanding Texts & Readers: Responsive Comprehension Instruction with Leveled Texts, Jennifer Serravalle addresses the question of how best to match texts to readers. Listen to this podcast in which she discusses the mistakes many teachers and administrators make in how they use leveled texts and what they should be doing instead.

TEACHERS: Nine Competencies for Teaching Empathy

We are currently in the midst of an educational crisis. American teens are now 40 percent less empathetic than they were three decades ago (Konrath, 2010). While we are producing a smart and self-assured generation, today's students are also the most self-centered, competitive, individualistic, sad, and stressed on record. To address this a growing number of schools are turning their focus to social-emotional qualities like empathy. This article outlines which practices enhance empathy and how will principals will know if teachers are implementing them effectively.

TEACHERS: How To Teach Self-Regulation

Many students come to school without the tools they need to focus and pay attention, keep their emotions in check, adjust to change, or handle the frustration that is sometimes a part of interacting with others or learning something new. This middle school teacher shares some of the strategies that have worked for her in teaching effective self-regulation to her students.

TEACHERS: Two Riddles to Get Kids Practicing Problem Solving Skills

Riddles are a great way to get kids thinking logically, testing predictions, using math and even collaborating. They're fun, challenging and often sound confusing at first, They force students to think about ways to isolate information or simplify a problem. Use these 2 great animated riddles that make the presentation of the riddle fun and walk through the solutions once kids have tried to solve them.

TEACHERS: How Seeing and Using Gestures Make Ideas More Memorable

Susan Wagner Cook, an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Iowa, has conducted numerous studies that verify that kids learn better with gesture. “Gesture seems to help build understanding across really abstract things and really concrete things – numbers, words, a whole bunch of stuff,” Cook says.

TEACHERS: What Teachers Need to Know About Dyscalulia

Dyscalculia (pronounce dis-cal-KYOOL-ee-ah) is a math learning disorder. It is not widely recognized or understood, and people who have it may struggle for years or their entire lives without getting the assistance they need. Teachers are often the first to notice and help identify dyscalculia and other learning disorders, so it’s important for them to know what to look for in and out of the classroom.

TEACHERS: How One Teacher Changed for the Good of Her Students

How do we make children hate school so much? By fifth grade certain subjects have already landed on students' top 10 list of most dreadful things to do. Math tends to top the chart, but social studies usually is close behind, and some even hate reading (but may read many books outside of school). Most students confess a love of recess, art, music, and sometimes even science. PE is always a crowd favorite as well. And the system of school has taught them to feel this way.

TEACHERS: Thinking Like a Mathematician: Helping Students Meet Higher Math Standards

Are you aware of the teaching technique called Three Reads? The technique is one of a set of math classroom routines designed to increase mathematical thinking and reasoning skills. It is described in the book, Routines for Reasoning, by Grace Kelemanik, Amy Lucenta, and Susan Janssen Creighton. Discover how the Three Reads Routine can help your students become more proficient problem solvers.
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TEACHERS: What are The Best Ways to Build Relationships with Students

Read this article for the responses of 7 different educators to this question.

PARENTS: 7 Ways Parents can Teach Girls to Build One Another up, Instead of Tearing One Another Down

There is a powerful tendency for girls and women to view one another as threats, rather than allies or part of a support system. Over the years it has been communicated to women that there are fewer spots for them — a limited inventory, This “scarcity theory" leads young girls to believe that there are limits around how many good things can happen to any one person, which also leads them to believe that their own success will be limited. But experts say that if girls band together, they can expand their options. This article talks about seven ways parents can raise empowered girls who support and encourage each other.

PARENTS: 4 Parenting Strategies for Leading Generation Z

“Paranoid parenting styles” prevail today. While it is a well-intentioned approach it is damaging to children. It’s based on the belief that our world has become very unsafe for children and kids should spend every waking hour under adult supervision. Learn how parent viewpoints have become wildly out of sync with the realities of culture along with four parenting ideas for your consideration.

PARENTS: What Kind Of Parent Are You: Carpenter Or Gardener?

There are two kinds of parents in modern America, says Alison Gopnik in her recent book, The Gardener and the Carpenter. The "carpenter" parent thinks that a child can be molded while the "gardener," is less concerned about who the child will become and instead provides a protected space to explore. Learn more here.

LEADERS: 5 Reasons Leaders and Creators Need Routines

The myth on creativity is that creativity hates routines, that creativity is stifled by a schedule or plan. In reality, leaders and creators thrive in routines. Mason Currey, in his book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, chronicles the daily rituals and habits of many of the world’s most influential artists, authors, poets, and composers. What emerges from a scan across their work habits is a sense that while they all worked differently, they were all guided by routines and daily rhythms.

LEADERS: Why Humble Leaders Make The Best Leaders

Visionary, courageous, charismatic – these are the qualities most of us associate with great leaders. The idea of a humble, self-effacing leader often doesn’t resonate. But a number of research studies have concluded that humble leaders listen more effectively, inspire great teamwork and focus everyone (including themselves) on organizational goals better than leaders who don’t score high on humility.

LEADERS: 5 Thoughts on Leaders Being Poets and Plumbers

James March, professor emeritus at Stanford, is known for his research and thinking on organizational design and behavior. March believes that every skilled leader is both a poet and a plumber. This article discusses the value of both - the poet work of leadership and the plumber work of leadership.

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Why Don’t Students Like School?

In this book you’ll find easy-to-apply, scientifically-based approaches for engaging students in the classroom. Cognitive scientist Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on the biological and cognitive basis of learning. His book will help teachers improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and learn. It reveals the importance of story, emotion, memory, context, and routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences.
  • Nine, easy-to-understand principles with clear applications for the classroom
  • Includes surprising findings, such as that intelligence is malleable, and that you cannot develop "thinking skills” without facts
  • How an understanding of the brain's workings can help teachers hone their teaching skills
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Expect Greatness: 5 Ways to Transform Teaching and Learning at Your School

AVID - Thursday, November 8, 12:00 PM EST

Words Matter: How a Deep Understanding of Core Vocabulary Accelerates Reading Proficiency

edWeb - Thursday, November 8, 5:00 PM EST

Improving Student Learning with Social-Emotional Learning Measurement

Education Week - Monday, November 12, 2:00 PM, EST

Teacher Clarity: Making Learning Visible for Students

Corwin - Tuesday, November 13, 6:30 EST

Collaboration Impacts Students’ Learning

edWeb - Wednesday, November 14, 5:00 PM EST

The Healthy, Happy Educator: How to Create an Individualized Self-Care Plan

Solution Tree - Thursday, November 15, 3:00 PM EST

Learning Targets & Scales: What Are They? What’s Missing? And Common Mistakes

LSI Marzano Center - Wednesday, November 14, 3:30 PM EST

STEM in Early Education: Empowering Problem-Solving

edWeb - Monday, November 19, 3:00 PM EST

Teach Like Yourself. Why Your Students Need You to Be You

Corwin - Monday, November 26, 6:30 M EST

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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.