Perspectives

Cover to Cover

This text was reprinted with permission from Craig Vroom's blog (April 10, 2015).
 
As part of the blogging group, the #compelledtribe, we are sharing with our readers something new we attempted in our work this year to better ourselves as educators. I would encourage you to reflect on your year and do the same. We often times overlook the obvious so you may be surprised at all that you accomplished. 
 
Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Reading
  •  
    When I was a local school board member, parents frequently asked for my advice on how to ensure their child got a particular teacher in a school. I knew how the game would be played after I reminded them this wasn't the role of the school board: They would write the principal with their requests for the next year. The principal would respond to assure the parents that no matter which classroom their child was assigned, he or she would have a great year.
     
    Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • How To Be a Teacher Leader

    CTQ blogger Sandy Merz recently posted “My Teacher Leader Manifesto” and challenged teacher leaders to write theirs. Instead of writing a manifesto, I decided to write a few thoughts about how one might become a teacher leader in his or her department, school or district. These are some of the steps I have taken to develop as a teacher leader.
     
    Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • Capacity Building: Inquiry Stance
  • Albert Einstein's birthday, March 14, is past now, but we figure any time is a good time to celebrate the processes of questioning and inquiry. This text is reprinted with permission from Tom Marshall's blog Lit Together. 
     
    Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • Capacity Building: Inquiry Stance
  • I cleaned the season’s first melted chapstick out of my car yesterday. Summer must be around the corner. Time to check the expiration date on last year’s sunscreen and buy some new flip-flops.
     
    Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Reading
  • The Center for American Progress (CAP) recently issued the report, Teacher Leadership: The Pathway to Common Core Success, listing the following recommendations:
    • Create teacher leadership roles at the classroom, school, and district levels.
    • Allocate time for teachers to collaborate.
    Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • Gratitude for Teacher Teams

    As Teacher Appreciation Week moves into full swing, I find myself thinking of the many teachers who have touched my life in important ways. As a student, I can point to Mr. Roper, my sixth-grade teacher in Mary Esther, Florida. I never had the chance to tell him how much he influenced who I would become as a teacher. I treasured the read-aloud of Marjorie K. Rawlings's The Yearling and what I now know to be guided reading practices that he put into practice on a regular basis.

     
    “My biggest struggle right now is that I have 36 students in each class (60 min periods). There’s not an empty seat in the room! Any ideas?”
     
    Maybe this sounds like you. I’ve been there –trying everything to make workshop work in my over-flowing freshman and sophomore classes. Last year I had 38 sophomores in my 8th period. Talk about ending the day exhausted.
     
    Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Reading, Speaking, Writing
  • Día means “day” in Spanish. In 1996, author Pat Mora learned about the Mexican tradition of celebrating April 30th as El día del niño, the day of the child. Pat thought, “We have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Yes!

    Blog keeps tabs on fake news on the Internet

    For a look at the sometimes-silly, sometimes-concerning false information that circulates the Internet, The Washington Post offers a weekly roundup on The Intersect, a blog dedicated to digital and Internet culture.

    Its series called “What was fake on the Internet this week?” can be a resource for teaching news literacy using timely examples that are relevant to an Internet-savvy generation.

    In a recent article titled Meeting the Challenge of Infusing Relevant PD in Schools, Lyle Hamm and Kevin Cormier argue that professional learning communities -- which encourage colleagues to relentlessly question their practice together in service of student learning -- often fail as a professional development strategy primarily because they require peers to come together for weekly face-to-face meetings with one another:
     

    Celebrate Poetry throughout April!

    Each year the month of April is set aside as National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poets and their craft.

    Topics:
     
    I want to share a classroom experience that proves students moving into the middle grades can remain enthusiastic readers and writers within an authentic process of learning.
     
    No test. No pressure. Just risk-free, engaging learning.
     
    And the interesting part is—with experiences like these—the test scores will take care of themselves. Students gain the skills they need to succeed during instructional moments and beyond.
     
    Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • Capacity Building: Collaborative Culture
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Reading
  • Topics:
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Assessment 
  • File Type: Text
  • Capacity Building: Using Evidence
  • Common Core has created a whole new emphasis on the importance of vocabulary development.  This makes me feel two things.  
     
    1. This is the best thing that can happen to us!
    2. This is the worst thing that can happen to us!
    Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Language, Speaking, Writing
  • Given that Friday, March 13, is the official Digital Learning Day hosted by the Alliance for Excellent Education, with a focus on policy and practice related to digital learning in schools, it's appropriate that's what's trending this week is Fast Company's Sector Forecast, 5 Big Ways Education Will Change by 2020. I wonder if the FastCo article's timeliness was a coincidence? 

    Topics:
  • Selected Literacy Topics: Common Core Standards
  • Joellen Killion's article "Reprising Coaching Heavy and Coaching Light" tells the story of coaching that will truly impact learning for students.
     
    Topics:
  • File Type: Text
  • As more and more schools, elementary and secondary, are making the decision to go 1:1, providing each student with specific technological devices to facilitate learning in the classroom, there seems to be more of a need for educators to familiarize themselves with the importance of the emerging research set out to investigate and define what it means to be digitally literate. Community High School District 99, located in Downers Grove, IL, has recently announced its plan to provide each student next year with a Chromebook.

    Take part in the largest reading event in the United States on Monday, March 2! Gather books and readers for NEA’s Read Across America Day, celebrated on or around the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.