Leading Schools
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Leading Schools
Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
Curated by Mel Riddile
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Increasing Salaries So Teachers Don't Have To Become Principals

Increasing Salaries So Teachers Don't Have To Become Principals | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Spencer Campbell spends much of his days walking the halls of Elk Ridge Middle School, checking breezeways for kids playing hooky, redirecting foot traffic between classes and checking on substitute teachers.

Campbell is one of two assistant principals at Elk Ridge, a school just south of Salt Lake City, Utah. It's his first year in the role and he looks the part. He's in his late 30s, sharply dressed, walks briskly and carries a walkie-talkie on his belt.

Before coming to education, Campbell owned a small business. He says he felt drawn to schools, though, so he got a master's degree and spent five years in the classroom as a teacher.
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You Just Had a Difficult Conversation at Work. Here’s What to Do Next

You Just Had a Difficult Conversation at Work. Here’s What to Do Next | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
the ability to follow up and build a relationship after a hard conversation matters just as much as the skill of tackling that initial difficult conversation.
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Free The Principal!

Free The Principal! | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Lots of research shows the vital link between school leadership and student success. But many principals say their daily to-do lists eat up valuable time they could better use to focus on instruction, motivation and innovation.
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The Best Scaffolded Writing Frames For Students

The Best Scaffolded Writing Frames For Students | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I’ve written a lot about the value of scaffolded writing frames for students – English Language Learners and those who are proficient in English – to use when they are responding to prompts. As my colleague Lara Hoekstra says, “As long as we’re clear that these are some ways to write, not THE ways to write, they can be helpful.”
Some of the teachers at our school met today, and shared the different writing frames we use. They’ve given me permission to share them here, and I’m also including links to previous posts where I’ve shared different related ideas (you can lot of other resources at The Best Posts On Writing Instruction). Please share your own in the comments section:
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A Powerful Way to End the School Year

A Powerful Way to End the School Year | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
One of our strategies that teachers enjoy using at the end of the school year is a practical, easy-to-use tool we call Celebrating Learning With Year Mapping. This activity gives your current students a chance to feel good about what they’ve learned and provides incoming students an opportunity to see real evidence that they can be successful learners in the coming school year. And it gives teachers a chance to enjoy seeing students share what they’ve learned and to internalize their successful teaching.
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Student who sued over hacking expulsion was returned to school by judge

Student who sued over hacking expulsion was returned to school by judge | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
high school student who sued his school board over being expelled is back in the classroom on judge's orders.

The Glenbrook North High School sophomore filed the suit this month after school officials expelled him until the end of the 2017-18 school year for attempting to hack into the teacher grading system.
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Bringing a Growth Mindset to Professional Development

Bringing a Growth Mindset to Professional Development | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A veteran educator shares a new vision for professional development that ditches the PowerPoint and involves teachers in their own learning.
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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, May 21, 2:21 PM
Teachers should be involved in their own learning and choose what is important to their teaching. Andragogy, which is teaching adults, and pedagogy are different. With lived-experiences adults can choose in responsible ways. Will they make mistakes? Yes, but part of learning is becoming responsible for those mistakes and learning.
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How Much Math Anxiety Is Too Much?

How Much Math Anxiety Is Too Much? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A growing body of research shows that many adults and older students have anxiety about math. But only in recent years have researchers been looking to early childhood to understand the roots of the problem and how it is entangled with math performance and other psychological challenges.
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Why Does Teacher Talk Still Dominate High School Classrooms?

Why Does Teacher Talk Still Dominate High School Classrooms? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

In high schools, where I work, teacher talk still dominates classrooms. While we know learning occurs in the time when student make sense of something for themselves, we persist in telling students things for most of each period, then get frustrated when the new information is not absorbed. Brain research tell us direct instruction for grades 9-12 should not exceed 15 minutes. Even adults can't handle more than about 18 minutes (Ted Talks!), so half a period of teacher talk is largely wasted. There are some common reasons why teachers wind up talking for long periods, and some alternatives that are better for encouraging a generative learning process.

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Sunshine Boosts Kids' Test Scores

Sunshine Boosts Kids' Test Scores | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
When an older student moved to a district that starts school later, their standardized test scores improved in the year they move and in later years. The effects are notable, but not huge: roughly equivalent to the impact of a substantial reduction in class size.
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BetterExplained – Math lessons for lasting insight.

Instead of memorizing procedures, learn why equations work. This site helps you overcome mental roadblocks and truly grasp new concepts.
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Students Feel Safer at School; Fewer Incidents Reported, Federal Data Show

Students Feel Safer at School; Fewer Incidents Reported, Federal Data Show | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

A decades-long decline in reports of violent and non-violent student incidents continued in U.S. public schools, federal data released Tuesday show. And rates of students who report feeling unsafe at school have also declined.

In 2015, there were 33 victimizations per 1,000 students ages 12 to 18 at school, according to the report, Indicators of School Crime and Safety 2016. That's a decline from from 181 victimizations per 1,000 students in 1992, an 82 percent drop, the report says.

The percentage of students who reported "being afraid of attack or harm" at school also dropped over the past two decades, declining from 11.8 percent in 1995 to 3.3 percent in 2015, the report said.

Those figures stand in contrast to the sometimes high-profile portrayals of schools as unsafe places in venues ranging from television shows and social media and to school board and statehouse hearings.
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New Evidence on Teaching Reading at Frustration Levels

Why am I bringing this all up again? Because this week a new study appeared, this one published in the estimable Journal of Educational Research, and conducted by Lisa Trottier Brown and her colleagues. This study pursues this issue with third-graders. “Results indicate that weaker readers, using texts at two, three, and four grade levels above their instructional levels with the assistance of lead readers [other, better reading, third graders], outscored both proficient and less proficient students in the control group across multiple measures of reading achievement.”


As in past studies, the results suggest not that we just have the wrong criteria for the true instructional level (there was no best book match here), but that it is unlikely there is such a thing as an instructional level; at least in terms of matching kids with books.


The key, of course, is that while inordinate amounts of frustration should be avoided in instruction, that can easily be accomplished with grade level books and supportive teaching (like the paired reading that took place in this study). The instructional level is not a student-text match. Placing kids in easier, below grade level books reduces their opportunities to learn, but learning will only take place with accommodative and supportive instruction.


- See more at: http://www.shanahanonliteracy.com/blog/new-evidence-on-teaching-reading-at-frustration-levels#sthash.irq2qCGp.oEhWW7vD.dpuf

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How to Ask Purposeful Questions to Engage Your Team

There are four main reasons to ask questions: to understand, assess, innovate and motivate. It is important to understand your objectives before you start asking. Within each objective, your question might focus on the person or the project/process. For example, if you want to understand, most leaders jump directly to questions that help them understand their team's projects and processes by asking:

What's the goal?
What's the plan?
What are your options?
However, excellent leaders start with questions to help understand their people, such as:

In which areas would you like to grow?
What do you love to do?
What do you need to be at your very best?
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Sorry, kids: schools need more testing, not less

Sorry, kids: schools need more testing, not less | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
But when it comes to learning, it turns out, the best research shows that exams help learning rather than harm it, and most schools and universities actually should be doing more testing, not less of it. A large and growing body of studies indicates that assessments help students learn. More — and better — testing programs can also help teachers teach.

Cutting against the grain of all the negative chatter about tests, some cognitive psychologists, including Yana Weinstein at University of Massachusetts Lowell, have declared themselves to be “champions” of testing.
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5 Reflective End-of-Year Activities

5 Reflective End-of-Year Activities | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The last days of the school year are ticking by. As more and more milestones get crossed off your list, you may be left wondering how to wrap up the school year. Last year I wrote about how teachers can reflect on their “shining moments” at the end of the school year. This year I’ve asked several teachers to share their favorite end-of-year activities in hopes that you’ll find one that feels just right to use in your classroom.
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High Schools Are Hooked on Online Learning to Boost Grad Rates—and Many Are Becoming Diploma Mills in the Process

High Schools Are Hooked on Online Learning to Boost Grad Rates—and Many Are Becoming Diploma Mills in the Process | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
How this worrying trend is impacting one Florida district—and lots like it around the country.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Rushing to boost graduation rates, more school districts are relying on “online credit recovery”—a form of instruction that may be selling students short.

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The Key to Improving Teaching and Leading

Making a daily practice of visiting classrooms, observing briefly, and talking with teachers has the greatest potential to improve student learning, help professionals grow, and help schools become more effective learning organizations.
I've come to this conclusion by studying an unlikely role model: Toyota. At Toyota, continuous improvement and employee development happen primarily through interactions between mentors and mentees—employees and their supervisors—on the factory floor or wherever the work is being done. We might assume that leadership in a manufacturing company would be rigidly top-down, numbers-driven, and directive toward frontline staff. But Toyota's focus on conversation is precisely what sets it apart from its competitors.
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Sathi Hd's comment, May 25, 1:34 PM
Online Shopping in Bangladesh,
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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, May 26, 1:59 PM
Teachers visiting each other's classrooms and having conversations is a way for them to grow, which is under used.
Kelly Christopherson's curator insight, May 26, 2:09 PM
Learning, it's about the conversations of the learners and their thinking.  
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Why Should Principals Care About Their Own Self-Efficacy?

Why Should Principals Care About Their Own Self-Efficacy? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Tschannen-Moran & Gareis 2004 write, "The purpose of leadership is to facilitate group goal attainment by establishing and maintaining an environment favorable to group performance." That's an important job, and we need leaders with a sense of self-efficacy to do it.
Mel Riddile's insight:

A principal's sense of efficacy is a judgment of his or her capabilities to structure a particular course of action in order to produce desired outcomes in the school he or she leads (Bandura, 1997, as cited in Tschannen-Moran & Gareis 2004). Self-efficacy is situation specific, and it is influenced by a few different events that may take place around us.

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Are You a Great Leader? Here's the Only Proof That Matters

Great leaders know how to develop great employees. This is critically important to an organization because having exceptional gifts when it comes to mentoring, encouragement, and an ability to pass on what you know to others means the entire company is great, not just one person. The true sign of greatness is not one leader puffing up his or her credentials; it's when those credentials start mirroring themselves in everyone at the company. Here's how this usually plays out.
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AZ, OK, UT Drop Teacher Training and Experience Requirements

AZ, OK, UT Drop Teacher Training and Experience Requirements | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed new legislation that promises to make sweeping changes to the state's teaching corps, allowing districts to hire educators without any formal teaching training or experience.

Senate Bill 1042, similar to laws recently passed in Oklahoma and Utah, allows for prospective educators to enter the classroom if they have five years of experience in fields "relevant" to the subject area they plan to teach. The bill leaves it up to each district to decide whether a candidate's work experience is sufficient. Like in Utah and Oklahoma, Arizona officials cite teacher shortages as the impetus for the move.
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Children Must Be Taught to Work In Groups, Studies Say

Children Must Be Taught to Work In Groups, Studies Say | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Learning to work in groups in the classroom doesn't come naturally, research shows. Teachers have to lay the groundwork.

 

"...three main aspects of collaboration that need to be taught: communicating with others, resolving conflicts, and managing tasks.

Without a task that requires multiple perspectives, Lai said, students often simply divvy up different aspects of a task "and then sort of smoosh it together at the end. That's not really collaborating."

That's what Emma Mercier, an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, and graduate researcher Susan Kelly, both of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are also finding in a large, ongoing series of studies of middle school students working in groups.

For one forthcoming study, the researchers assigned groups of students using electronic "smart" tables to answer questions on the nutrition and energy costs of different foods, using different data sources. In the 45 discussions studied, all the students could identify and repeat data facts, but the groups that engaged in more discussion of the data were able to begin to synthesize different sources of information and how they were connected.

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The Ultimate List: 50 Strategies For Differentiated Instructio

The Ultimate List: 50 Strategies For Differentiated Instructio | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Differentiation is a simple idea that’s less simple to actuate.

Differentiation is a rational approach to meeting the needs of individual learners, but actually making it possible on a daily basis in the classroom can be challenge.

In ‘What Differentiation Is–And Is Not: The Definition Of Differentiation,’ we recall ed-guru Carol Ann Tomlinson’s overview of differentiation as ‘adapting content, process, or product according to a specific student’s readiness, interest, and learning profile.’
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School Leaders as Guardians of School Culture Via Student Discipline

School Leaders as Guardians of School Culture Via Student Discipline | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
School leaders are the guardians of the school culture. Student discipline is a most valuable informant of the state of the school's culture. The safety of the school is only one of the reasons discipline is important. Make no mistake about it, learning and behavior are interconnected indicators of the quality and effectiveness of the school culture.  Whether they are 8 years old, or high schoolers or college graduates, leaders define what behaviors are acceptable form them.
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6 Tips For Keeping Your Students Engaged in Class

6 Tips For Keeping Your Students Engaged in Class | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
As teachers, the task of keeping students interested and engaged can often feel like a steep challenge. Teachers are competing with endless distractions, sleepiness, and a general lack of motivation. It may be a challenge to find new and inventive ways to help form a more positive view of the school experience for students, but it is a worthy challenge nonetheless. By implementing a few new engagement techniques, teachers may be able to encourage students to be more engaged in class and to put an end to that prison sentence.
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