Essential School Project
By: Cassie and Alisha
1. Collaboration in the Classroom
2. Usage of Technology
3. Rigorous Curriculum For All
4. Data Driven
5. Community Involvement
6. Professional Learning Communities
7. Problem Solving/Critical Thinking
8. Least Restrictive Environment For All
9. Wellness Driven
10. Quality Teachers and Staff
Collaboration in the Classroom
- Students are engaged in a high-level task, discussing or debating an issue, making shared decisions, and designing a product together that demonstrates their learning.
- Students need to be held accountable in participating by having group norms.
- Teaches students to be good listeners, which is a rare find and is valued in our culture.
- Teaches students how to ask good questions.
- Teaches students how to negotiate by listening well, showing patience and flexibility, pointing out shared ideas, and being able to think under pressure.
- Students will be successful in the real world because they will have the ability to effectively facilitate a group.
- More higher level learning is done and remembered when it is done collaboratively.
Alber, R. (2012, December 31). Deeper Learning: A Collaborative Classroom Is Key. Retrieved October 24, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/deeper-learning-collaboration-key- rebecca-alber
Uses of Technology
- With the use of technology as a tool or a way to communicate with others, students play an active role rather than passive when learning new information.
- Students are actively making choices on how to generate, obtain, manipulate, and display information.
- Technology allows more students to be active participants in gathering and considering information, making choices, and executing skills.
- Technology supports authentic tasks.
- Technology stimulates active mental work.
- Technology increases the motivation of students.
- Students like that they can see immediate results when using technology.
- Technology can enhance student self esteem because they feel like they can accomplish technology-based tasks.
- Technology is used by professionals so students will use it in their futures.
- Because of its supports and capabilities, technology allows students to handle more complex assignments and do more with higher-order skills.
- Technology allows more collaboration with peers.
- Technology supports more awareness of audience needs and perspectives because there are so many ways to present an idea in a professional way.
Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2014.
Rigorous Curriculum For All
- Rigor is defined as a set of ideas, principles, and strategies that lead to ALL students being well prepared for post-secondary education, career and civic participation.
- This means we have high expectations for ALL students. There may need to be supports for lower-performing students and extended learning opportunities for higher-performing students.
- Schools need to look at course requirements, quality of content and instruction, and strategies to support student achievement.
- The curriculum should also be relevant to students' lives, development of 21st century skills, and adequate preparation for postsecondary education and the world of work.
- Allows for career and technical education.
- It is important to have partnerships with higher education, interdisciplinary courses, an project- and community-based learning.
- The curriculum should be able to be applied to the world outside of school.
- Rigorous curriculum sets a foundation for success beyond school.
Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum Summary. (2014, September 23). Retrieved October 27, 2014.
- Making decisions based on data creates a system of teaching and management practices that gets better information about students to the teachers.
- Data driven practices create substantial improvements in student learning and achievement.
- Using data to make instructional decisions improves instructional interventions for students and makes teachers feel more enthusiastic about teaching because of professional fulfillment (seeing that they are making a difference).
- There are five major elements of data driven instruction: good baseline data, measurable instructional goals, frequent formative assessments, professional learning communities, and focused instructional interventions.
- For this to happen, information from assessments, measures of student engagement, previous intervention data, etc. are needed for teachers to design appropriate instructional interventions.
- Multiple, different assessments are needed.
- Access to raw data is crucial.
- To set measurable goals mastery levels and learning needs of classes need to be decided along with the needs of demographic subgroups and individual students.
- Measurable year-end instructional goals serve as meaningful targets to guide their pedagogical strategies.
- Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and Time-Bound.
- Data driven teachers identify and work toward only a few key instructional goal areas each year.
- Teachers need frequent formative assessments in order to benchmark the progress of their students during the school year toward those year-end goals.
- Educators need the opportunity to meet regularly and frequently to have collaborative, data-based discussions about student progress.
- Teachers need to remember that data analysis is meaningless if it does not result in meaningful instructional change.
- Data needs to be valued and visible in the school.
- Teachers and administrators will need to confront the truths, which could be brutal, about their performance, and the reasons there is a lack of progress. They need to be willing to discuss their instructional strengths and weaknesses with each other to focus on learning of students and even themselves.
- Data gives feedback.
- The bottom line is that if educators are constantly analyzing what they do and adjust to get better, student learning will improve.
McLeod, S. (n.d.). Data-driven teachers. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- The role of family engagement in schools not only improves academic success, but life success.
- "It takes a village to raise a child"- The whole community plays an essential role in the growth and development of its youth.
- Community involvement is linked to student achievement and school success.
- When schools, parents, families, and communities work together to support learning, students tend to earn higher grades, attend school, and enroll in higher level programs.
- Students become more motivated with these involvements too.
O'Brien, A. (2012, March 21). The Importance of Community Involvement in Schools. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/community-parent-involvement- essential-anne-obrien
Professional Learning Communities
- A combination of individuals with a common interest take the focus from teaching to learning
- Staff addresses the discrepancy by designing strategies to ensure that struggling students receive additional support and time
- Teachers work together in a systematic process to analyze and improve classroom practice
- Teachers develop common formative assessment as they study state and national standards
- School administration gives teachers time to learn, analyze, and discuss state and district curriculum
DeFour, R. (2004). Schools as Learning Communities. Educational Leadership, 61(8), 6-11. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational- leadership/may04/vol61/num08/What-is-a-Professional-Learning-Community¢.aspx
Problem Solving/Critical Thinking
- Teachers will make reasoned judgments while teaching students to do the same
- Teachers and students will use rational, higher order thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, problem solving, inference, and evaluation)
- Teachers need to teach these skills so that students have a guide to weed through information and not only passively accept it
Walker Center for Teaching and Learning. (2014). Critical Thinking and Problem-solving. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.utc.edu/walker-center-teaching-learning/teaching-resources/ct-ps.php
Least Restrictive Environment For All
- Children are placed in classrooms that best fit his or her needs
- Children with disabilities are integrated into the general education classroom including peer tutoring, cooperative group learning, and differentiated instruction
- Students in inclusive classrooms show an academic growth in many areas
- Students form accepting relationships with others who are seen as different
- Teachers need to be given the time to carefully plan and prepare for inclusive classrooms
- Principals, special education teachers, general education teachers, superintendents, parents, and community members need to be involved in a collaborative process
Whitbread, K. (n.d.). News - What Does the Research Say About Inclusive Education? (Kathleen Whitbread, Ph.D.) - Wrightslaw. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/lre.incls.rsrch.whitbread.htm
- Wellness works is incorporated in the school to motivate, educate, and support students, teachers, and families in developing the mental, emotional, physical, and social competencies to handle challenges
- The whole child is embraced
- Once a week in a 50 minute time period, lessons will be taught in the areas of mental, emotional, physical, and social development
- Students with academic and behavior issues are targeted
- Teachers are given time to be trained in the program to extend learning
- Families are invited to join a program that is designed to share health and wellness information and practices
Kinder Associates LLC. (2014). Wellness Works in Schools. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.wellnessworksinschools.com/
- Teachers are able to adapt the curriculum and its requirements to teach using digital tools
- Teachers will be able to understand and apply different learning styles
- Teachers can look at other people's ideas and approaches and see how they would use these in their own classrooms
- Imagination, collaboration, and adaptability are key when hiring teachers
- Teachers will be involved in online communities
- Teachers will expect their students to be life long learners so they will too share their experience as they absorb knowledge and stay current
- Teachers will know how to facilitate communication, stimulate and control it, moderate and manage it
- Teachers lead by example
- Teachers must have a vision, skills, incentives, the resources and an action plan to educate successfully
- Every classroom is equipped with the tools and materials needed to succeed
- Teachers and students will have access to high-speed internet access
- The curriculum will reflect the world that our students will inhabit
educational-origami - 21st Century Teacher. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/21st+Century+Teacher