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Leading Schools
Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
Curated by Mel Riddile
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Reading to Children of All Ages Increases Voluntary Reading

Reading to Children of All Ages Increases Voluntary Reading | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

There were some consistent patterns among the heavier readers: For the younger children — ages 6 to 11 — being read aloud to regularly and having restricted online time were correlated with frequent reading; for the older children — ages 12 to 17 — one of the largest predictors was whether they had time to read on their own during the school day.

The finding about reading aloud to children long after toddlerhood may come as a surprise to some parents who read books to children at bedtime when they were very young but then tapered off. Last summer, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced a new policy recommending that all parents read to their children from birth.

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How effective math teaching looks similar across grades

How effective math teaching looks similar across grades | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

"Watching these six teachers incorporate the practice standards in their classrooms shows how effective math teaching looks similar across grades. From kindergarten through high school, students are involved in rich math discussions. They are invited to share their strategies, learn from others, and apply their knowledge to real-world contexts. The teacher’s role in these classrooms is deceptively complex: They guide their students towards understanding by asking probing questions, encouraging students to share their thinking, and synthesizing student responses."

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Top 5 Essential Skills for Teachers

Top 5 Essential Skills for Teachers | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I sent an email to all of my student teachers recently, asked them to please hit reply, and then quickly list the five most important soft skills needed by teachers....
Mel Riddile's insight:

"Warm smiles are contagious!"

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High School Start Times: Push them back!

High School Start Times: Push them back! | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Maryland County’s School Chief Favors Pushing Back High School Start Time.

The Washington Post (1/6, George) reports Montgomery County, Maryland school superintendent Joshua P. Starr recommended high school bell times be pushed back 20 minutes in the morning, a no-cost option to give students more sleep. This and four other options. All expected to cost under $10 million, are in a report released by the school system, which is seeking public comment. The country’s parents have petitioned for later start times, arguing it will improve students’ health and well-being. Transportation is said to be “a major factor in the cost of the proposals,” and “significant revenue shortfalls” already have been predicted. The other proposals are having elementary or middle schools start first, having some high school students start later, and using measure such as “abbreviated schedules and taking online courses” to allow students more sleep.

WRC-TV Washington (1/6) reports that, in a statement, Starr said, “I would like high school to start later in the day,” but that must be balanced “against the other needs and priorities we have in the district.”

        Richmond Board Supports Later Start Time. The Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch (1/7) continues coverage of “quick, though conditional, support from the School Board” for Richmond Schools Superintendent Dana Bedden’s plan to implement later start times for high schools. The article cites comments from board members voicing positive opinions about a later start time.

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Canceling School For Snow Said To Be Better For Student Performance

Research suggests it's easier to make up for absences if the entire class was gone.


Canceling School For Snow Said To Be Better For Student Performance.

Libby Nelson writes on Vox (1/7) reports a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research says that canceling school for snow, even if there isn’t much, is better than having it in session. When there’s snow, some children don’t go to school if it isn’t canceled, and :”teachers are better at making up for lessons” the entire class misses than “helping students catch up on what they missed from an ordinary absence.”

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Contrary to popular belief, tossing ‘bad' kids harms ‘good' ones, too

“The more suspensions occurred in a given semester, the lower all students’ math scores,” said Perry in an interview. “What surprised us was that nobody had taken a look at this already.”

The effect was particularly marked in low-violence/high-punishment schools, and Perry hypothesizes that in such environments students become both constantly anxious and increasingly distrustful of educators who appear to level discipline unfairly.

In other words, she writes, punishment enacted too zealously undermines the legitimacy of school rules and those who enforce them, “creating a psychological wedge” between students and their teachers.

“It creates a problem with bonds,” she said. “So kids don’t buy into school.”


Via Bob Farrace
Mel Riddile's insight:

The number of suspensions and expulsions is a reflection of school culture and the mindsets and dispositions of the school staff.

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Principals Share Teachers Views on Professional Development

Principals Share Teachers Views on Professional Development | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Findings include the following:

  • Few teachers (29 percent) are highly satisfied with current professional development offerings.
  • Few teachers (34 percent) think professional development has improved.
  • Large majorities of teachers do not believe that professional development is helping them prepare for the changing nature of their jobs, including using technology and digital learning tools, analyzing student data to differentiate instruction, and implementing the Common Core State Standards and other standards.
  • Professional development formats strongly supported by district leadership and principals, such as professional learning communities and coaching, are currently not meeting teachers’ needs.
  • Principals largely share teachers’ concerns about the efficacy of professional learning.
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Teacher "skills are only a function of the internal dispositions that allowed them to grow"

Teacher "skills are only a function of the internal dispositions that allowed them to grow" | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
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6 Ways to Engage Every Learner Using UDL

6 Ways to Engage Every Learner Using UDL | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

"In any given classroom, there are invariably learners who simply don’t connect with what’s being taught. Lectures can be easy to tune out. A textbook can feel dense and boring to finish. Even a video can pose limitations for learners with sight or hearing difficulties. When these are the only options available, some learners are bound to fall behind without requesting special support, while others will surge ahead. Differentiation is one way to bridge this gap, and another is adapting the curriculum to suit all learners, instead of adjusting it to support the needs of each one."


Via EDTC@UTB
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How to use brain science to engage students after the holidays

How to use brain science to engage students after the holidays | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Education News It’s essential that students remember the information you teach them.
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10 Seconds: The Time It Takes a Student to Size You Up

10 Seconds: The Time It Takes a Student to Size You Up | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Every time we engage with our students and parents matters because they are making judgments about us that may be untrue, and we should understand that we too are making decisions about all of them...within a blink of an eye.
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How Technology maximizes Common Core success ~ Infographic

How Technology maximizes Common Core success ~ Infographic | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The Common Core’s increased emphasis on using digital tools will help update U.S. classrooms. But to achieve improved learning outcomes, we must implement that technology with pedagogy in mind. This infographic shows how the ISTE Standards work with the Common Core to do just that.
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Where lesson observations go wrong

Where lesson observations go wrong | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Can we define an outstanding lesson? No. I get asked this regularly, and I’ve really tried. But I don’t think it’s possible. I can describe a specific example of a lesson which was judged as outstanding, but that really isn’t helpful for three reasons. 1) Stand alone lessons don’t provide evidence of much except the

Via Kevreadenn, Dean J. Fusto, Nancy J. Herr
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Leadership Vacuum Hampers School Progress

Leadership Vacuum Hampers School Progress | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Local officials and parents want stability at the Eisenhower school after six principals in five years.


"A recent report by the School Leaders Network stated that annually, a quarter of the country’s principals quit their schools and that nearly 50 percent leave after three years. The group’s study also found that it takes an average of five years for a principal to put a vision in place, improve the teaching staff and fully implement policies that could have a positive effect on a school’s performance.

The study also found that leadership vacuums can hamper progress and that schools that grapple with principal turnover are constantly dealing with low performance.

“As a result of principal churn, students achieve less in both math and reading during the first year and after leaders’ turnover, and schools that experience principal churn year after year realize serious cumulative negative effects on students — a condition that is exacerbated for schools serving underprivileged students,” the study says."

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Where Do Special Education Groups Stand on Annual NCLB Tests?

Where Do Special Education Groups Stand on Annual NCLB Tests? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Special Education Advocates Support NCLB Testing Requirements.

The “Politics K-12” blog of Education Week (1/8, Klein) reports that a “major” part of the congressional debate over reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act will involve its testing requirements. In addition to the “cadre of civil rights groups and many in the business community,” special education advocates also “are likely to oppose...major changes” to that provision. They argue that the testing provides needed information “about how students with disabilities are really performing,” which previously wasn’t available.

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SAT More Predictive Of Black Students’ Success In College

SAT More Predictive Of Black Students’ Success In College | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A new study suggests affirmative action policies in college admissions might be a good idea.


Study: SAT More Predictive Of Black Students’ Success In College.

The Washington Post (1/6, Guo) reports a recent working paper from three Texas economists found that, of Texas public school students that attended public universities, “for black students, the SAT is a far more important predictor of college GPA than for white or Latino students,” despite black students scoring worse, on average, on such tests. Study coauthor Jane Arnold Lincove of the University of Texas at Austin speculated that such tests are less predictive of white students’ performance because they have more access to prep courses that aim to boost scores regardless of the student’s ability. Lincove also said that the results speak “to the idea that affirmative action in admissions might empirically be a good idea.”

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School schedules disproportionately affect low-income students: Report

School schedules disproportionately affect low-income students: Report | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Group: Longer School Days, Years, Would Help Low-Income Students With Achievement Gap.

The Huffington Post (1/7, Svokos) writes that a report by education advocate ReadyNation says “afternoon dismissals and long summer breaks contribute to an achievement gap between low-income and wealthier students and waste billions of dollars a year.” The schedules disproportionately affect low-income students “because they are more likely to lack access to after-school programs and summer activities,” often being left “unsupervised and not using the time in educationally productive ways, as their higher-income counterparts do.” The group advocates extending the school day and school year.

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That is the crux of lesson planning right there -- endings and beginnings.

That is the crux of lesson planning right there -- endings and beginnings. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Like a story, lessons deserve compelling beginnings and endings. From pop culture connections to finishing with a level-up, here are eight strategies for holding students' attention.
Mel Riddile's insight:

"The eight minutes that matter most are the beginning and endings. If a lesson does not start off strong by activating prior knowledge, creating anticipation, or establishing goals, student interest wanes, and you have to do some heavy lifting to get them back. If it fails to check for understanding, you will never know if the lesson's goal was attained."

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Why Reading Strategies Usually Don't Help the Better Readers

Why Reading Strategies Usually Don't Help the Better Readers | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

By Tim Shanahan


"Last week, I explained why disciplinary reading strategies are superior to the more general strategies taught in schools. That generated a lot of surprised responses. Some readers thought I’d mis-worded my message. Let me reiterate it here: strategies like summarization, questioning (the readers asking questions), monitoring, and visualizing don’t help average or better readers. They do help poor readers and younger readers. I didn’t explain why better readers don’t benefit, so let me do that here.

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Teacher: The most important thing I’ve learned about teaching in high-poverty schools

Teacher: The most important thing I’ve learned about teaching in high-poverty schools | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Teaching in high-poverty communities is different than teaching in more affluent communities. It should be regarded as a specialty because of its complexity and depth. Right now, the opposite occurs. We do not give teachers in high-poverty communities the training they need to work in those communities. We do not teach them how to manage overcrowded classrooms with students when some of them, for a variety of reasons, have difficulty sitting at a desk or restraining themselves from talking. We do not train teachers how to find time to grade 150 papers from 11th grade students who are writing at a 6th grade level in a way that will help them learn and improve.
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The Four Letter Word that Makes the Difference

The Four Letter Word that Makes the Difference | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
It matters more that you believe in work than you believe in yourself. You say, if you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t work. But, self-belief is irrelevant, if you don’t work. Work makes you m...
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4 Important Reasons To Encourage Social Learning

4 Important Reasons To Encourage Social Learning | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Bandura’s Social Learning theory – Learning happens by watching and learning from peers, friends and colleagues

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Crosswalk: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Danielson Framework

Crosswalk: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Danielson Framework | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

The Crosswalk between the UDL and Danielson FfT frameworks grew out of a need expressed by UDL experts in the field. As teachers strengthen their practices by infusing the principles of UDL in their work, their performance within the Danielson FfT improves.


Download the Crosswalk for free in PDF format or from the Danielson Group web site at http://danielsongroup.org/framework/.

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Lisa Carey's curator insight, January 2, 10:18 AM

Maryland Teachers: How UDL matches to the Danielson Framework is now available! It was an interesting project to be a part of.