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Leading Schools
Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
Curated by Mel Riddile
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Leading Success: Dynamic Solutions for Every School, Each Student

Leading Success: Dynamic Solutions for Every School, Each Student | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Our toolkit for educators includes videos, case studies and more that lead you to a forum for equity, personalization, smart data, collaboration and continuous improvement...
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Nancy J. Herr's curator insight, July 3, 9:53 AM

NASSP sponsored tools for success. Take a look at the many resources for new and experienced leaders alike.

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New Teacher 911

New Teacher 911 | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Our curated resource collection points to lots of help for new middle level teachers, from the first weeks of school to that Christmas smile.
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Cold-calling can be kind, not cruel.

Cold-calling can be kind, not cruel. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Cold-calling can be kind, not cruel.

"About half of the teachers in the seminar never said anything in class discussion. At times I wished the professors would call on these quieter students so that we could hear their voices. Ideally they would contribute on their own, but sometimes it was hard to break in when many others raised their hands. Cold-calling would have created an even more robust community by making elbow room for the less assertive learners."

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Engaged teachers engage students!

Engaged teachers engage students! | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Brandon Busteed is executive director of education at Gallup


"there is nothing more important we can do as a country than to build the world’s most effective "educonomy," which would seamlessly integrate our educational system, our employers, and our job creators."

Mel Riddile's insight:
  • Teacher engagement is the most important driver of student engagement.
  • Student engagement in school drops precipitously from 5th grade through 12th grade.
  • About seven in 10 K-12 teachers are not engaged in their work (69%)
  • From parents to current college students to the general population, everyone agrees that the number one reason to go to college is “to get a good job.”
  • Yet, only 14% of Americans and 11% business leaders say that college graduates are well prepared for success at work.
  • Google announced that it found almost no correlation between the grades and test scores of its employees and their success on the job. So, the company has stopped asking for the information on employment applications.


Solutions

  1. offer paid and unpaid internships to high school and college students
  2. offer externships for teachers and faculty
  3. foster teacher and faculty engagement


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Are waivers more trouble than they are worth?

Are waivers more trouble than they are worth? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Not having to negotiate with federal officials on the finer points of teacher evaluation, rigorous standards, or school turnarounds has made it easier to chart their own paths, some education leaders say.
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Colleges are learning what it feels like to be rated.

Colleges are learning what it feels like to be rated. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

By Valerie Strauss writes at the Washington Post (7/28) “Answer Sheet”


Presidents of 50 Virginia colleges have written to Education Secretary Arne Duncan “expressing ‘serious reservations’ about the Obama administration’s ‘misguided’ development of a school rating system that could include data such as how much students earn after graduation.” 

Mel Riddile's insight:

K-12 schools, principals, and teachers have known for a decade what it feels like to be slapped with an arbitrary rating. Now it is the turn of colleges and college presidents to feel the sting of corporate reformers who seek to use a single number, letter, or label to define a school. It is all about RoI--Return on Investment. The federal government wants assurances that federal loan dollars are being spent wisely.

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5 Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension

5 Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I received a free online access from SNAP! Learning and was compensated for my time. All opinions expressed are my own.  What is reading comprehension? Why is it important? I know I’ve said it before, but it’s my favorite way to put it. Reading equals thinking. In order to truly read, a reader must also be thinking about the …
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Why Breakfast Is Important For Teenagers: The Best Resources

Why Breakfast Is Important For Teenagers: The Best Resources | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I'm preparing some new lessons for this year, and one will be on the importance of breakfast. I'm adding this list to The Best Resources To Help Promote A Physically Healthy Lifestyle For Our Stude...
Mel Riddile's insight:

Building willpower and self-control consumes enormous amounts of energy, which means that students’ brains need nourishment. Roy Baumeister’s book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength is another valuable resource for teachers and educators.

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Shootings Redefine Role of School Resource Officers (SRO)

Shootings Redefine Role of School Resource Officers (SRO) | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Radical shifts in tactics have swept the field — even calling on officers to rush toward shooters without backup.
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The Educator and the Growth Mindset | Infographic and Slides

The Educator and the Growth Mindset | Infographic and Slides | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I am facilitating an in-service on Growth Mindsets for Educators.  I created an infographic, Thinglink, and Slide Presentation of resources that I am sharing below: Thinglink that contains links to...
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Tony Meehan's curator insight, July 27, 5:38 PM

Comprehensive and ready-to-use  presentation for Growth Mindsets aimed at educators. Gratefully received.

Lisa Sayles Kraiza's curator insight, July 28, 4:37 PM

Interesting concept...#OPSWI14

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"Homework given to keep students busy...is irresponsible." Rick Wormeli

"Homework given to keep students busy...is irresponsible." Rick Wormeli | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Homework can be an exciting aspect of teaching middle school, says teaching expert Rick Wormeli if we're smart about its structure, assignment, and assessment.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Homework is independent practice--the application of previously learned content--and should only be assigned after the teacher has conducted guided practice in the classroom. 

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Great teachers want to work for great school leaders.

Great teachers want to work for great school leaders. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Research indicates that students’ race and family income often predict their access to excellent educators. Low-income students and high-need schools tend to have teachers who are less experienced, have fewer credentials and do not demonstrate a track record of success.


"Our research shows that schools with great principals, who build strong, supportive instructional cultures for their teachers and hold teachers and students to high expectations, do a better job of retaining high-performing teachers, regardless of student demographics. So it stands to reason that great principals can also be a critical incentive to attract top teachers to hard-to-staff schools."

Mel Riddile's insight:

"Terry Grier, Superintendent of Houston Independent School District, describe how HISD has had some success using financial incentives to bring great teachers to their underperforming schools, but that the best incentive has proven to be an effective leader."

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12th Graders to take TIMSS Advanced Global Exam on High-Level Math and Physics

The Education Department is planning for U.S. participation next year in the TIMSS Advanced global exam on high-level math and physics, according to a notice published today in the Federal Register.


The U.S. does participate regularly in the basic TIMSS test, the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study. That exam is given every four years to fourth and eighth graders around the world. U.S. students in both grades topped the international average in both math and science on the most recent test, in 2011, with fourth graders performing especially well.

Mel Riddile's insight:

Because of the over-testing of students in the U.S., testing seniors is a really bad idea. By the time our students reach 12th grade, they have been tested repeatedly throughout the grades and have never received any feedback and no consequences. As a result, they consistently engage in what teachers refer to as “Christmas-treeing” tests. They simply fill in the dots and go through the motions. I would not want my career riding on the performance of a 12th grader on yet another meaningless test.

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Why Brainstorming Doesn't Work

Why Brainstorming Doesn't Work | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Ever been in a meeting where one loudmouth's mediocre idea dominates? Then you know brainstorming needs an overhaul.


"what actually happens is when one person is talking you're not thinking of your own ideas," Leigh Thompson, a management professor at the Kellogg School, told Fast Company. "Sub-consciously you're already assimilating to my ideas."

That process is called "anchoring," and it crushes originality. "Early ideas tend to have disproportionate influence over the rest of the conversation," Loran Nordgren, also a professor at Kellogg, explained. "They establish the kinds of norms, or cement the idea of what are appropriate examples or potential solutions for the problem."

Mel Riddile's insight:
  • Idea generation should exist separate from discussion!
  • Write first, discuss later system eliminates the anchoring problem because people think in a vacuum, unbiased by anyone else.
  • Discussion still has its merits, but should only take place after the group has generated a variety of distinct ideas with which to work. Raw ideas rarely work. It's the permutation and combination of the outlandish and banal that lead to the best proposals.
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Teacher: 10 Things I Learned Sitting in a Classroom

Teacher: 10 Things I Learned Sitting in a Classroom | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A week of summer PD has left Sarah Cooper inspired but also more thoughtful about how her students experience daily classroom life. Read her 10 takeaways.
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, Today, 7:10 PM

Sometimes spending time, reflecting on and living what happens in classrooms is necessary. It is not always obvious to us in the midst of teaching. Teaching and learning are relational thus messy, noisy, strange in good ways, etc.

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How Much Sleep Do Students Actually Need?

How Much Sleep Do Students Actually Need? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Actually, teens need more sleep than the average adult.


Sleeping less than 7 hours per night impairs brain function.

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The rough road of math improvement: We consistently "underestimate how hard it would be" to make the changes

The rough road of math improvement: We consistently "underestimate how hard it would be" to make the changes | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

by Daniel Willingham


"Over the weekend New York Times Magazine ran an article titled “Why do Americans Stink at Math?”  by Elizabeth Green. The article is as much an explanation of why it’s so hard not to stink as an explication of our problems. But I think in warning about the rough road of math improvement, the author may not have even gone far enough.

Mel Riddile's insight:
  • A few days of professional development is not remotely enough training, but that’s typical of what American school systems provide.
  • the “You, Y’all, We” method is much harder, and not just because you need to understand math more deeply. It’s more difficult because you must make more decisions during class, in the moment.
  • " As a college instructor I’ve always thought that it’s a hell of a lot easier to lecture than to lead a discussion. I can only imagine that leading a classroom of younger students is that much harder."


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Push on School Counseling

Push on School Counseling | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

A  meeting of higher education experts at the Harvard Graduate School of Education focused on “digging into the trenches on school counseling: best practices in college counseling, how to better-train counselors, and how to harness new technology to help students.”


Experts cited increasingly overworked counselors--notably at high schools in low-income areas--and called for more investment.

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"What children do in June, July and August dramatically affects their skills, knowledge and capacity to learn."

"What children do in June, July and August dramatically affects their skills, knowledge and capacity to learn." | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

The stark contrast between the summer activities of have and have-not children not only highlights ethnic and class differences but also distinguishes who is likely to succeed — and who may struggle in school and later in life.

Mel Riddile's insight:

A 2013 Rand Corp. study found wealthier students often gain ground in the summer while low-income students fall back, and that this summer slide is cumulative.” In other words, according to the study, “It may be that efforts to close the achievement gap during the school year alone will be unsuccessful.”


The National Summer Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University is an excellent source of research on the subject of 'summer learning loss.'

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Not Teacher Quality, but Quality Teaching - Education Next

Not Teacher Quality, but Quality Teaching - Education Next | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Any pedagogy, curriculum, approach, or technology has to be within the skills of ordinary teachers to implement well and effectively. If it takes a superstar teacher it's a nonstarter.
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98% of US districts unable to make student data "usable information for educators.”

98% of US districts unable to make student data "usable information for educators.” | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

98% of US districts lack the “capacity and resources” to turn the “mountains of student data” they collect “into real, usable information for educators.” NCES says that most student data “sit unused in state warehouses.”

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STEM: Shortage of workers is a myth

STEM: Shortage of workers is a myth | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Silicon Valley has created an imaginary staffing shortage.


"As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry's assertions of labor shortages."

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How one state calculates its student growth measure

How one state calculates its student growth measure | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The student growth metric released by the state Department of Education is intended to give the public a new look at how Georgia schools are performing.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Questions:

What about out-of-school factors?

How are teachers who do not teach tested subjects evaluated?

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Mike Roberts's comment, July 27, 8:11 AM
Teachers of non-tested subjects use a pre-test/post-test measure called a Student Learning Objective. They must show a significant amount of growth from pre-test to post-test.
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Technology Is Making Achievement Gaps Even Bigger

Technology Is Making Achievement Gaps Even Bigger | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The local name for the Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington is “the Badlands,” and with good reason. Pockmarked with empty lots and burned-out row houses, the area has an unemployment rate of 29 percent and a poverty rate of 90 percent. Just a few miles to the northwest, the genteel neighborhood...
Mel Riddile's insight:
"researchers are beginning to document a digital Matthew Effect, in which the already advantaged gain more from technology than do the less fortunate. As with books and reading, the most-knowledgeable, most-experienced, and most-supported students are those in the best position to use computers to leap further ahead."
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Mel Riddile's curator insight, July 6, 7:52 PM

"researchers are beginning to document a digital Matthew Effect, in which the already advantaged gain more from technology than do the less fortunate. As with books and reading, the most-knowledgeable, most-experienced, and most-supported students are those in the best position to use computers to leap further ahead."

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Metacognition: ask, not only ‘What are you learning?’ but ‘How are you learning?’

Metacognition: ask, not only ‘What are you learning?’ but ‘How are you learning?’ | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Vanderbilt University


"Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one’s thinking.  More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one’s understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one’s thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner.


Metacognitive practices increase students’ abilities to transfer or adapt their learning to new contexts and tasks."

Mel Riddile's insight:

Four assignments for explicit instruction:


  1. Preassessments—Encouraging Students to Examine Their Current Thinking
  2. The Muddiest Point—Giving Students Practice in Identifying Confusions
  3. Retrospective Postassessments—Pushing Students to Recognize Conceptual Change
  4. Reflective Journals—Providing a Forum in Which Students Monitor Their Own Thinking

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 25, 7:05 PM

Emotional intelligence and learning how to learn might be the two most important teaching work we do for children. It is about connecting with what is important in healthy ways and understanding learning more completely. We can never do this completely, but we should make the effort.

Nicola Parkin's curator insight, July 28, 7:35 PM

Nice! 4 strategies for helping learner learn to learn.

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Learning to Read Does Not End in Fourth Grade

Learning to Read Does Not End in Fourth Grade | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Word-processing skills develop even past fifth grade


A new study published in the journal Developmental Science questions that assumption, showing that children are still learning to read past fourth and even fifth grade.


The shift to automatic word-processing, in which the brain recognizes whether a group of symbols constitutes a word within milliseconds, allowing fluid reading that helps the reader focus on the content of the text rather than on the words, may occur later than previously thought.

Mel Riddile's insight:

"So if fourth-graders aren’t quite reading to learn, then when does the shift toward more complete automatic word-processing occur? According to Coch, that probably happens some time between fifth grade and college—a period she says that hasn’t been studied.


For now, the results strongly suggest that reading skills need to continue to be nurtured during that period. “


This certainly does suggest that teachers beyond fourth grade are still teachers of reading,” says Coch.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 24, 10:09 PM

It might be that learning reading is a life-long learning and becomes more automatic as we practice, but readers never stop learning.