From the Center for Christian Urban Educators

March 8, 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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TECH TALK: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

This is a good resource for U.S. history as well as a great website for free teacher PD and some great in-depth exploration of primary sources. Tons of images, audio, and video will bring primary source documents and expert perspectives to your classroom. Densely packed with historical information, this site can help history become real for students.
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TEACHERS: How is Digital Text Affecting Student Comprehension?

A recent article from the National Education Association explored the question of whether or not digital reading is equal to reading in print. Their findings were quite telling.

“While digital reading ‘is part and parcel of living and learning in the 21st century,’ […] educators should still give careful thought about how and when to employ a digital device in the classroom. The rush to digital […] is fueled by a number of factors, but improved student learning may not be one of them.” Does form of medium actually affect comprehension?

TEACHERS: The Secret to Meaningful Discussions

In the course of a school day, it is highly likely that teachers do far too much talking and students do far too little. It’s time to hit the pause button on over explaining and over guiding, and try these 5 techniques that lead to student-driven, amazing discussions about the content you teach.
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TEACHERS: Shadow a Student: Reinventing the School Experience

Educators, ethnographers, and researchers have long known the value of shadowing, especially to increase empathy for students. Shadowing can provide teachers with greater clarity about teaching practices and ideas for improving their teaching, it can develop new perspectives on student motivation and focus, and it can lead to increased respect and empathy for students, and increased awareness about the hidden curriculum in schools.

TEACHERS: 50 Questions To Help Students Think About What They Think

Using the right questions creates powerful, sometimes multiple answers and discussions. Questions spark imagination, conjure emotions, and create more questions. The questions asked by a teacher are sometimes more glaringly valuable than the information transferred to the students. Those questions spark a thought, which leads to a fiercely independent search for information.If students are the ones gathering that information then they’re the ones learning it and student-driven learning cements lessons into the students’ minds making any lesson more powerful with this strategy.

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TEACHERS: Why You Should Teach Public Speaking

Communication is a three-legged stool: Reading, Writing, and Speaking. While reading and writing receive attention in classrooms public speaking does not and students are often allowed to opt out of speaking publicly. For students to be college and career ready, public speaking should be an expected part of everyone's classroom culture. This will ensure that students have a firm base with all three legs of communication. reading, writing, and speaking with conviction. This blog post includes a link to a free lesson plan from the book: High-Impact Writing Clinics.

TEACHERS: 6 Ways To Earn Credibility With Students

In schools all over the world, there are students who are willing to work hard for some teachers but not others. Why is that? In this post, Aaron Hogan states his belief "that it comes down to the relational capital that some educators develop with their students." Teachers who have “it" can get some students to play when others can’t. Rather than assuming that some teachers just have “it" and others don’t , Aaron shares some purposeful steps teachers can build into their time at school to create the connections with students that convince students that teachers have something valuable to say.

TEACHERS: 5 Restful Distractions (that might even make you more productive)

Teachers all have plenty to do. Their work is important and they often assume extra exertion will help them get more done. But perhaps it is actually counterproductive in the long run. It is important for teachers to have the kind of habits or restful distractions in their routine that may actually end up making them more productive than the tactics often used to increase productivity.

TEACHERS: 9 Ways for Students to Own the Assessment

While the concept of student-owned assessment is becoming more widespread, ways to engage and activate students as assessors are less familiar. John Hattie (2012) describes assessment capable learners as those who ask where they are going, how they are going, and where to go next. Taking that a step further, assessment-engaged learners are those who know the learning intentions and success criteria, track their own progress, and show their learning in a variety of ways. Here are 9 ESSENTIAL PRACTICES AND STRATEGIES FOR ENGAGING STUDENTS IN ASSESSMENT.

PARENTS: Teaching Kids to be Grateful

No parent wants to raise a child who acts entitled and bratty, but it happens. If parents want to avoid raising entitled children, the best thing they can do is teach their children to be grateful. In addition to merely having good manners, gratitude also teachers kids to take the focus off themselves and place it on someone else. This article suggests practical ways parents can set a tone of gratitude in their homes.
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PARENTS: How Parents Can Help Kids Develop A Sense Of Purpose

Purpose comes from believing that the world needs improving and that you can help, according to William Damon of the Stanford Center on Adolescence, and author of The Path to Purpose. Purpose is critical, because it is linked to dedication, energy and resilience and is the number one, long-term motivator in life. Unlike passion or ambition, which focus on the self, purpose touches on the needs of the wider world. In this article Damon suggest ways parents can help their children develop a sense of purpose.

LEADERS: How Schools Can Help Students Develop A Greater Sense Of Purpose

Having a sense of purpose is “the long-term, number one motivator in life,” said William Damon, author of The Path to Purpose. To have purpose is to be engaged in something larger than the self; it’s often sparked by the observation that something’s missing in the world that you might provide. It’s also a mindset that many teenagers appear to lack. In this post Damon and other experts offer teachers and school leaders practical steps to assist students to find purpose.

LEADERS: How Will You Get Better Today?

There’s no such thing as “overnight success” in leadership. Great leaders don’t get great all at once. They get great by making a little progress every day and then stringing that progress together across the years and the decades. If you want to become a great leader, don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, become just a little bit better every day. Here are some simple things to help you.

LEADERS: Collective Efficacy: Together We Can Make a Difference

When teachers believe that together, they and their colleagues can impact student achievement, they share a sense of collective efficacy. Collective efficacy refers to “the judgments of teachers in a school that the faculty as a whole can organize and execute the courses of action required to have a positive effect on students” (Goddard, Hoy, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2004, p.4). Rather than leaving it to chance, it is timely and important to consider how collective efficacy beliefs may be fostered in schools and organizations. Three ways to strengthen efficacy are suggested in this blog post.
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Using Data and Reports to Improve Student Engagement and Inform Reading Instruction

edWeb - Monday, March 12, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Courageous Leadership: Developing the Practices to Lead and Teach in Our Nation’s Schools

Corwin - Monday, March 12, 2018 - 3:30 pm PDT

From Being Stuck to Making Things Stick: Teaching So Students Remember

ASCD - (March 13, 3:00 p.m. EST)

How to Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students

edWeb - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT

View Beneath Their Feet: Thinking Critically About Classroom Rugs

edWeb - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Best Practices Around Analysis of Edtech and Student Achievement

edWeb - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

The Opportunity of a Wrong Answer in K-8 Mathematics

Corwin - Monday, March 26, 2018 - 3:30 pm PDT

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.