In an address to secondary school leaders in the UK, Vicki spoke about the importance of trust between principals and teachers--and how that trust creates an environment to help teachers and students be their best. The speech highlighted the critical role principals play in instructional leadership, school design, teacher support, and student success.
Mel Riddile's insight:
"Teachers tell me one of the most important supports for a teacher is to have a great principal. Great principals are devoted to their role as instructional leaders. They believe in their teachers, they support them, and they accept no excuses."
Less Is More: 4 Strategies To Streamline Your Curriculum
Use Power Standards
According to edglossary.org, Power Standards refer to “a subset of learning standards that educators have determined to be the highest priority or most important for students to learn.” The big idea? They explain that “it is often impossible for teachers to cover every academic standard over the course of a school year, given the depth and breadth of state learning standards. Power standards, therefore, are the prioritized academic expectations that educators determine to be the most critical and essential for students to learn…”
The TED list below features some really wonderful talks on how to be a leader and how to inspire others to action. If you have sometime this weekended you might want to watch some of them. our favourite talk in the list is Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”.
School-choice is built on the philosophy that competition forces schools to improve, but a new study shows that school leaders are more likely to improve recruiting than academics.
Mel Riddile's insight:
Research: Charters More Likely To Focus On Marketing Than Academics.
The Washington Post (3/26, Brown) reports that according to a new study from the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, charter officials “are less likely to work on improving academics than to use other tactics in their efforts to attract students.” The study examined 30 New Orleans charters, and found that only one third “said they competed for students by trying to improve their academic programs or operations.” Meanwhile, leaders at 25 “said they competed by marketing their existing programs.”
A new report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling shows administrators value time spent on college counseling, although most guidance departments devote less than 20 percent of their time to that task.
We have a winner in the 2015 USA National Brain Bee Champion: Soren Christensen, a ninth-grader at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va. Here are some of the questions he had to answer -- plus practice questions.
Learn about the power of question formulation in this post. The information comes from the Right Question Institute, and provides a great overview of how to teach your students to ask good questions. The post is split into the following sections:
* The Power of Question Formulation
* Question Formulation in Practice (which includes)
- Step 1: The teacher designs a question focus
- Step 2: Students produce questions
- Step 3: Students work with open-ended and close-ended questions
- Step 4: Students prioritize questions
- Step 5: Teacher and students discuss next steps for using the questions
- Step 6: Students reflect
* A Catalyst for Deeper Learning
* A Small but Significant Shift
There are also some examples of the question formulation technique from classroom teachers.
By looking closely at video together, we can all learn and improve our practices. In this Observation Challenge, we're focusing on scaffolding as a strategy for moving students toward understanding a complex concept.
Study found more than 90 minutes a night linked to lower performance in math, science
Regular, Independent Math And Science Homework Yield Best Results.
HealthDay (3/27, Preidt) reports that a new Spanish study finds that students that do homework regularly and independently yield the best test results. The study also notes that while students that did up to 70 minutes of homework showed dramatic gains over their peers with less work, gains between 70 and 90 minutes were minimal and students with over 90 minutes of daily homework saw test results decline.
Using video is an excellent option to truly see how we engage with our students, but too often it won't happen because of a lack of trust in the building. Here are some options to overcome those obstacles.
High-poverty school districts receive an average of 10 percent less per student in state and local funding than districts with few students in poverty, a new report finds. However, some states have managed to close that gap.
Most States Give Less To Poorer Districts. The Christian Science Monitor (3/25, Kharadoo) reports that school districts serving students in poverty receive less than other districts, according to a Thursday report from The Education Trust. The Monitor notes that funding gaps “vary widely from state to state,” and that while some states have “good showing[s]” and give more to challenged districts, nine states supply “at least 100 percent more” to low-poverty districts. There has been a decades-long push for more even funding levels, and lawsuits against funding formulas have been a major driver in the “shift toward equity.” Districts serving the highest levels of African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans received nearly 15 percent less funding than districts with the fewest minorities, contradictory to the ideal of “equality of opportunity.” Minnesota Near Top Of Low-Income District Funding, But Retains Inequality. The St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press (3/26, Verges) reports that the report showed Minnesota is “among the best” at providing poorer schools with extra funding, but that “it may not be evident in test scores,” where the state has one of the country’s biggest race and income gaps. The state is second only to Ohio in its share of in-state funding that reaches high-poverty districts, but the paper notes that the report does not include Federal funds that target low-income students.
One of the mechanisms to engage teachers in reflection and collaboration around implementation of the common core is through a Problems of Practice protocol, abbreviated POPs.
Every 6 to 8 weeks 3 of the 6 teachers present a problem of practice to the whole group, receive warm and cool feedback, and change an upcoming lesson based on this experience and their own reflection.
The protocol we are using has gone through many drafts, but here is a video of the process and a copy of our latest version of the protocol:
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