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974 Search Results for "2012"

  • Bullying Bullying

    • From: Jonathan_Jefferson
    • Description:



      Dr. Jonathan T. Jefferson

      “Never be bullied into silence.  Never allow yourself to be made a victim.  Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” – Harvey S. Firestone

      Chapter three of my book MUGAMORE begins with the above quote.  Bullying is one of the topics touched upon in that chapter, which is based on true personal accounts experienced during the 1976 – 77 school-year.  Believe it or not, as I keenly look back on my third-grade experiences, I believe the merciless physical and verbal abuse endured may have inadvertently led to beneficial outcomes in the trajectory of my life. 


      How, you might ask, could being bullied have possibly produced positive outcomes? 

      Well, let’s consider that I had just been transferred from my neighborhood school to a higher performing school ten miles away.  As a late-year baby (November), I began kindergarten at age four.  I was physically smaller than most of the other children; especially the boys, and now I was academically smaller as well.  Canadian hockey fans know the benefits of being born earlier in the year (author Malcolm Gladwell gives extensive attention to this topic in his book Outliers).  In my case, consistent fear for my physical well-being made focusing on third-grade academics difficult at best.  After a miserable school-year fraught with repeated absences, I was back in the third grade the following school-year (’77-’78).  However, the gift of retrospect maintains that this was the best thing that could have happened to me.  During my second third-grade stint I found the other children were more my size -- physically and academically.  Consequently, I quickly found my stride and soon after began to thrive above and beyond expectations.

      Clearly, I am not a proponent of bullying, nor am I promoting it as a path to some greater end-game.  It was just a coincidence that it contributed to a pivotal decision made for me by a concerned teacher.  The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) that became a law in New York State on July 1, 2012 is a step in the right direction.  It “…seeks to provide the State’s students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.”  To make this law complete, employees of the school system should have been afforded the additional protections (no intimidation, no taunting, & no bullying), and statements against cyber bullying should have been included.

      To learn more about what you can do to contribute to a bully-free society, visit the following sites:www.bullying.orgwww.cyberbullying.ca, and www.bullyingawarenessweek.org. There are a growing number of resources available on this topic.  Hopefully, in the near future, no child will need to experience the perils I did my first year in third grade.

    • Blog post
    • 1 month ago
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  • Some Websites Worth Perusing… Some Websites Worth Perusing…

    • From: Elliott_Seif
    • Description:

      In addition to continually looking at the ASCD Edge Blogs, if you have some time this summer (or during the year), you might want to examine the materials found on the following websites:



      Most educators are familiar with Edutopia, but if you are not, there are a wealth of articles, materials, and insights about teaching and learning to be gleaned from its numerous articles and blogs.



      Smart blogs on education provide numerous, interesting articles and commentaries on educational programs and practice. You can sign up to have a Smartbrief (daily articles and commentaries about educational programs and practices) delivered right to your computer every day!

      Another more practical daily smartbrief blog is Accomplished Teacher:




      My own website provides a wealth of ideas and practical information on the kind of education we need for children in a 21st century world and how to implement it.



      Thom Markham is an independent consultant who does work on project- based learning. On his website, you can download several items that support

      project based learning, and also read his blogs about project based learning.



      Bob Pearlman is a long time educator and consultant who uses his website to share information about 21st century educational programs, practices, schools, and opportunities. He provides a wealth of information worth exploring.



      Yong Zhao is a brilliant scholar and educator, on the school of education faculty at the University of Oregon. His focus is on creative thinking and 21st century educational practice. He is a critic of standardized tests and the use of PISA data, and does a lot of work on global education.  His latest book was published in 2012 – World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students. This website is not for those interested in specific teaching techniques, but rather how to pursue new directions in education designed to help students do well in a 21st century world.



      These blogs, written by Tom Vander Ark and posted on the Education Week website, focus on how to promote deeper learning in schools.


      Finally, for fun, you might want to look at the ASCD Blog: “25 Signs You Might Be A 21st Century Teacher:




      Elliott Seif is a long time educator, teacher, college professor, curriculum director, author and Understanding by Design trainer. If you are interested in examining his other blogs, go to http://bit.ly/13sMlUZAdditional and related teaching and learning resources and ideas designed to help prepare students to live in a 21st century world can be found on his website:  www.era3learning.org

    • Blog post
    • 1 month ago
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  • Change Requires Moving From a Change Requires Moving From a Fixed to a Growth Mindset

    • From: Eric_Sheninger
    • Description:

      For many years New Milford High School was just like virtually every other public school in this country defined solely by traditional indicators of success such as standardized test scores, graduation rates, and acceptances to four year colleges. These indicators have become so embedded in the minds of those judging our schools and work that we, like everyone else, worked hard to focus only on initiatives that would hopefully produce favorable outcomes in those areas. If we were doing well we continued down the same path allowing the status quo to reign supreme.  The mentality of if it isn't broke than why fix it resonated so profoundly with us that we would not have even considered changing our ways.  If results were not what our stakeholders wanted this would then trigger meetings leading to the development of action plans to get us back on course. 


      For so long schools have resembled a hamster running on a wheel doing the same things over and over to improve sets of numbers.  We were no different and had succumbed to a fixed mindset. Every excuse in the book was at our disposal not to change and continue down the same path year after year. Heck, our education system has become so good at maintaining the status quo and enforcing compliance throughout that we and many others have been brainwashed into thinking any other course of action would be foolish.  If education is good for one thing it is making excuses not to move forward. There is still an innate desire to sustain a school structure and function that has remained relatively unchanged for well over a hundred years. This is a problem. It was a huge problem for us. We were in a rut and didn't even know it. Luckily change came in the form of a little blue bird that gave me the kick in the butt that I desperately needed back in 2009.  Being blessed with an amazing staff, student body, administrative team, and community provided the necessary support needed to move us forward.


      As another school year comes to a close I can't but help reflect on the many successful initiatives that have been implemented this past year.  It is even more gratifying to see numerous other initiatives that were implemented over the past couple of years flourish.  Moving from a fixed to a growth mindset and feeding of the daily inspiration that connected learning provides gave me with the fuel to create a shared vision that eventually became a reality as a result of action. For change to be successful it must be sustained. As leaders we must not only be willing to see the process through, but we must also create conditions that promote a change mentality. It really is about moving from a fixed to a growth mindset, something that many educators and schools are either unwilling or afraid to do. The essential elements that work as catalysts for the change process include the following:

      • Empowerment
      • Autonomy
      • Ownership
      • Removing the fear of failure
      •  Risk-taking
      •  Support
      • Modeling
      • Flexibility
      • Collaboration
      • Communication

      What I have learned is that if someone understands why change is needed and the elements above become an embedded component of school culture he/she or the system ultimately experience the value for themselves.  The change process then gets a boost from an intrinsic motivational force that not only jump starts the initiative, but allows for the embracement of change as opposed to looking for buy-in.  We should never have to "sell" people on better ways to do our noble work nor rely on mandates and directives. These traditional pathways used to drive change typically result in resentment, undermining, and failure.


      This gets me back to the main point of my post and that is reflecting on the many changes that have been implemented and sustained at NMHS.  Even in the face of adversity in the form of education reform mandates, Common Core alignment, impending PARCC exams, new educator evaluation systems, loss of funding, and an aging infrastructure we have not only persevered, but proven that positive change can happen with the right mindset.  If we can overcome these challenges and experience success others can as well. Throughout the past couple of years we have also seen improvements in the "traditional" indicators of success by mainly focusing on creating a school that works better for our students as opposed to one that has always worked well for us.  Here is a short list of some of the changes that have been implemented and sustained:


      ·        Social media use as a communications, public relations, branding, professional growth, and student learning tool implemented in 2009. So many of my teachers are making the choice to integrate social media as a learning tool that I just can't list all of the examples:

      • Online courses through the Virtual High School implemented in 2010. Students now have access to over 250 unique courses that cater to their interests. 
      • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) implemented in 2011.  The success of this initiative has hinged on our ability to ensure equity, give up control, trust our students, and provide educator support in the form of professional growth opportunities. Charging stations for the students were purchased this year and placed in all common areas.  The three guiding tenets of our BYOD initiative are to enhance learning, increase productivity, and conduct better research. See what CBS New York had to say.
      • The Academies @ NMHS implemented in 2011 as part of my superintendent's vision. These are a means to allow students to follow their passions in a cohort model of learning based on constructivist theory. The Academies are open to any and all students regardless of GPA who what to pursue more rigorous and authentic coursework and learning opportunities. This initiative compelled us to add over 20 new courses to our offerings to better meet the learning needs and interests of our students.
      • Independent OpenCourseware Study (IOCS) implemented in 2012. Students elect to take OpenCourseware and receive honors credit once they demonstrate what they have learned through a non-traditional presentation.
      • Google Apps For Education (GAFE) implemented in 2012 empowering students and staff to learn collaboratively in the cloud.
      • Flipped classroom and instructional model implemented in 2012. A variety of teachers have moved to this model consistently to take advantage of instructional time. The best part is that NMHS teachers themselves are creating the interactive content as opposed to relying on Khan Academy. See what CBS New York had to say.
      • Grading reform implemented in 2012.  A committee was formed to improve our grading practices that resulted in a failure floor and seven steps that had to be met before student can receive a failing grade. All student failures are now reviewed by me to ensure that the seven steps have been met. This was probably the most difficult change initiative I have ever been a part of. If you want a copy of this just add your email in the comments section at the bottom of this post. 
      • The Professional Growth Period (PGP) implemented in 2013.  By cutting all non-instructional duties teachers now have two or three 48 minute periods during the week to follow their learning passions based on the Google 80/20 model.  The rise in many innovative practices have resulted by creating this job embedded model for growth.  I love reviewing the learning portfolios my teachers develop each year to showcase how this time was used to improve professional practice.
      • Makerspace added to the library in 2013. I have written extensively about this space, which has transformed learning thanks to the leadership of Laura Fleming. See what CBS New York had to say.
      • Creation of a digital badge platform to acknowledge the informal learning of teachers implemented in 2013 by Laura Fleming.
      • 3D virtual learning implemented in 2013 using Protosphere. See what CBS New York had to say.
      • McREL Teacher Evaluation Tool implemented in 2013.  This required a huge shift from how we have observed and evaluated teachers for a very long time.  Google Forms were utilized to solicit anonymous feedback from staff members about the rollout, process, and value of the new tool.  This feedback was then used by the administrative team to improve the use of the tool.   

      I need to stop here, but I think you get the point.  We have transformed the teaching and learning culture at NMHS that begins and ends with a growth mindset.  The time for excuses, talk, opinions, and fear needs to end if our goal is really about improving teaching, learning, and leadership outcomes. Leadership is about action, not position or ideas that just get pushed around. We continue to push ourselves to create a better school.  So what's stopping you?

    • Blog post
    • 1 month ago
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  • Language, Cognition and Motor Language, Cognition and Motor Development Through Video Game Play: What Are The Implications For Children With Disabilities?

    • From: Robin_Shobe
    • Description:

      The following is less like a blog, and more of a paper, or game review to be more specific!

      Once Upon A Monster: A Game Review


            Transmedia play lends itself to constructivist approaches to learning (Herr-Stephenson, et al., 2013) that favor exploration, experimentation and the child as an active participant in creating knowledge (Piaget, 1985; Vygotsky, 1978).  Jenkins (Herr-Stephenson, Alper, Reilly & Jenkins, 2013) suggests that Sesame Street is an example of transmedia done right. The term transmedia means “across media” and encompasses the various types of media and their relationships to one another. Sesame Street uses transmedia to engage children through its television shows, full-length movies, plush toys, board games, live performances, books and interactive video games as well its rich history of research based pedagogy that provides both entertaining and effective learning experiences for children. This game review seeks to demonstrate how the use of transmedia and other learning strategies come together in Warner Bros. and Sesame Street Workshops’ Once Upon A Monster to provide young children educational video game play that also has promising implications for children with disabilities.

      Background on Once Upon A Monster

      Image: Once Upon A Monster/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

             Once Upon A Monster is a single player video game developed by Tim Schaefer of Double Fine Productions and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and the Sesame Street Workshop, in October of 2011.  

      The Sesame Street Workshop was founded by Joan Ganz Cooney and LLoyd Morrisett in the early 1970’s when these pioneers in technology and learning set out to create a television series that would both entertain and educate children. Sesame Street, revolutionary at the time of its inception, incorporated research related to how children learn as the foundation of its content.  Many decades later this television program remains a preferred choice among young children and their parents as well as on the many platforms its content inspires: full-length movies, DVDs, books, video games and more. Jenkins suggests that the,  “… multi-modal, multi-sites nature of many transmedia productions challenge children to use varied textual, visual, and media literacy skills to decode and remix media elements (Herr-Stephenson, et al., 2013 p. 1).”

      Once Upon A Monster utilizes the Kinect controller created by Microsoft for the Xbox360 video game console.  It is a motion sensing input device that allows the player to control the digital content through a “natural user interface” with the use of gestures and spoken commands.  The Kinect makes use of an infrared projector and camera as well as a special microchip to track the movement of objects and individuals in three dimensions. The player is then allowed hands free control or interaction with the digital content.

      This review provides observations of the video game and its affordances for children with special needs through my lens as a parent of a child with special needs as well as my experience as a speech-language pathologist.

      Game Play

      The Player

      Once Upon a Monster was designed for children ages 3-6 years. My daughter, Anna (not her real name) was eight years old at the time of this review. She presents with a severe language disorder, a coordination disorder, and difficulty sustaining attention.  Although she was slightly older than the targeted audience, video game play in Once Upon A Monster was appropriate for her current language, cognitive and motor skills.

      Set Up

            The Kinect controller recognizes the whole body movements of the player. Using these whole body functional movements such as running in place or jumping, gestures such as pointing and waving and speech, the player enters a simulated world that is animated and includes Sesame Street’s beloved friends- Elmo and Cookie Monster. The Kinect controller, along with other features of this game, allows the player to use their senses: visual, auditory and kinesthetic to immerse themselves in a virtual world. This experience leads to a sense of embodiment for the player; the player then feels and acts as if they are actually in this Sesame Street world and interacting with the characters themselves. Anna demonstrated evidence of this feeling of embodiment when she talked directly to the television, and the characters saying, “This is fun guys!” or “Wait for me!”

      The absence of a hand held game controller, and the use of the players body in its place, made it easy for Anna to quickly learn how to operate the game.  If the task required the character to jump, Anna jumped.  If a task was completed and the digital storybook needed the page turned to begin a new task, Anna used the same gesture of the turning a page in a physical book.

      Anna initially struggled with maintaining the appropriate distance away from the Kinect sensor.  A square on the floor was created with masking tape that then helped her identify the optimal position for game play in front of the Kinect sensor and reduced her initial frustration with the game.   

      Game Play

             Once Upon A Monster, uses digital a storybook format to provide a narrative that imbeds video game play in the form of “mini games”.  A new character named Marco needs help getting to his own birthday party.  Cookie Monster, Elmo and Anna, luckily, were there to help him get there.

             Each chapter of the game offers the player a task to complete that moves the characters closer and closer to the end goal, the birthday party. These tasks have educational underpinnings that engage the player to use their language, cognitive and motor skills.

      The Learning

      Due to Sesame Street’s rich history of using researched based methods for providing content that is both entertaining and educational for young children, Once Upon a Monster is chalk full of sound pedagogical strategies that indeed accomplish this task.  This video game is unique in its use of both transmedia and the Kinect sensor. Does it then lend additional support or considerations for children with disabilities?

      Implications of Video Game play in Once Upon A Monster For Children With Disabilities

      An estimated 49 million children grades K-12 attend the U.S. public schools. Approximately 13% of this population, present with disabilities.  Students with disabilities represent a heterogeneous population in terms of the disabilities they present with as well as the pedagogy used to address their individual needs and provide them with a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).  Teachers face many challenges educating America’s children both with and without disabilities: shrinking budgets, reduced school calendars, changing standards, increasingly diverse populations and more.  As globalization increases both the demand for and innovation of technology (Freedman, 2005), discussions and research on these technologies and their potential role in adding educational value for our children is increasing.

      One way to consider the affordances that technology offers children with disabilities in the K-12 school setting, is the Universal Design for Learning framework (Rose & Meyer, 2000).  This framework offers three principles for teacher instruction and student learning: multiple means of representation (of content), multiple means of expression (expressing knowledge) and multiple means of engagement.  Looking at the video game Once Upon a Monster through this framework sheds light on its potential to provide a valuable educational experience for children with disabilities.

      Multiple Means of Representation

      Transmedia done well, as Jenkins suggests (Herr-Stephenson, et al., 2013) offers children multiple points of entry.  Once Upon a Monster offers children the opportunity to play with Elmo and Cookie Monster in a virtual world.  But, children likely have significant experience with these characters long before they play this game through Sesame Street television viewing, its many published books, DVDs, full length movies and even toys or stuffed animals.  It provides children multiple opportunities to learn both from and more importantly with its content.   Children are not blank slates or empty vessels waiting to be filled with knowledge; instead they are active participants in creating knowledge and learning (Vygotsky, 1985). Anna immediately related to the characters and the virtual Sesame Street world because she entered the game play with existing background knowledge.  She was also familiar with the script of a birthday party from her past experience both having parties of her own as well as attending the parties’ of others.

      Multiple Means of Expression

      Westendorp, et al. (2002) conducted a study that compared 104 children with Learning Disabilities with 104 typically developing children to examine if there were specific relationships between two subsets of gross motor skills (locomotor skills and object-control skills) and different domains of academic performance. Results revealed a statistically significant relationship between gross motor skills (locomotor specifically) and reading; the poorer the reading scores the poorer the gross motor skills. This study and those like it lend support to the idea that the mind and the body have a reciprocal relationship and influence each other thus, embodied learning. Therefore, the embodied learning that is inherent in Once Upon A Monster provides students with disabilities multiple opportunities to work on the motor skills, language and cognitive skills, necessary for later academic success.

       Embodied learning suggests that the physical aspects of our body shape or influences our cognition (Wilson, 2002). Another way to think of it; our motor system influences our cognition in much the same ways that our mind influences our actions (Wilson, 2002).   “All experiences are in some way grounded in the body…” and that, “…embodied experiences can lead to more effective learning (Smallab, 2012 para 1).”

      Once Upon a Monster, with its use of the Kinect sensor, requires players to act out the specific action necessary to complete tasks in the game.  If Marco needs to jump to get over the log, the player needs to jump.  This offers the player an opportunity to imitate or initiate an action while also seeing and and hearing the results of that action, offering the redundancy necessary for accommodating new skills (Piaget, 1959).

      Multiple Means of Engagement

      Anna played the game for three hours, a testament to its ability to engage her.  But, more important, was its ability to motivate her to engage in language, cognitive and learning tasks that were not initially easy for to complete.  She was asked to follow novel complex directions such as, “Dress the monster in the outfit that matches the color of the flag it is holding”. She was asked to engage in complex motor tasks that required her to cross midline, use both of her hands simultaneously or engage in two actions simultaneously such as running in place while reaching to the left and the right to pick flowers for points. She was asked to do cognitive tasks such as sortingt items such as trash for the recycling bin or the landfill.

      In my role as a therapist, I provide the scaffolding or support necessary for children to improve their existing skills or gain new ones.  Vygotsky (1985) refers to this as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).  Providing enough support so that the task is not so hard that it causes frustration or shut down, while also being cautious of providing too much support, so the task becomes too easy and merely practice. This requires a delicate balance to get it “just right” and ensure that the child is indeed learning from the experience.  My observations of Anna suggested that this video game was just right, if not slightly too difficult.  A rule of thumb I commonly use to assess “just right” is often eighty percent accuracy on a task.  Anna was somewhere closer to seventy, and she frequently expressed her frustration to the characters, “I am doing what you say!” or “Wait for me, I need to do it again”. But, the scaffolding and her engagement, unique to this video game play, kept her working on difficult tasks despite her frustration.   Gee (2005) might suggest that Anna’s learning behavior in this game was characteristic of the learning that occurs in well-designed learning environments that share features of video games such as: the ability to customize the experience for the player (learner), the player’s ability to identity with the task, “pleasantly frustrating” experiences, and information that is presented ‘on demand” and “just in time”, among others. It could be argued that Once Upon a Monster was providing her with learning tasks within her ZPD.


             Jenkins suggests that, “In a hunting society, children learn to play with bows and arrows.  In an information society, they learn to play with information (Herr-Stephenson, et al., 2013 p. 7).” In a therapeutic or educational setting, I argue that Once Upon A Monster offers children with disabilities a quality educational environment built on Sesame Street’s use of transmedia play, its rich history of educational content and use of sound pedagogical strategies for teaching children and its, perhaps accidental, but effective, use of the principles of UDL.


      Anna” playing Once Upon A Monster

      Reference List


      Birchfield, D., & Johnson-Glenberg, M. (2010). A next gen interface for embodied learning: SMALLab and the geological layer cake. International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 2(1), 49-58.

      Bushnell, E. W., & Boudreau, J. P. (1993). Motor development and the mind: The potential role of motor abilities as a determinant of aspects of perceptual development. Child development, 64(4), 1005-1021

      Freidman, T. (2005). The world is flat. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

      Gee, J., P. (2005). Learning by design: Good video games as learning machines. E-Learning and Digital Media, 2(1), 5-16.

      Gee, J., P. (2013).  The Anti-Education Era.  New York: Macmillan.

      Herr-Stephenson, B., Alper, M., Reilly, E. and Jenkins, H. (2013). T is for transmedia: Learning through trans- media play. Los Angeles and New York: USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Available: http://www.annenber- glab.com/viewresearch/46

      Piaget, L. (1985). Equilibrium of cognitive structures: The central problem with intellectual development. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

      Piaget, J. (1959). The language and thought of the child (Vol. 5). Psychology.

      Gallese, V., & Sinigaglia, C. (2011).  What is so special about embodied simulation?  Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Retrieved July 18, 2013 from:http://www.unipr.it/arpa/mirror/pubs/pdffiles/Gallese/2011/tics_20111007.pdf.

      Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2000). Universal Design for Learning. Journal of Special Education Technology, 15(1), 67-70.

      Smallab. (2012). Smallab Learning.  Retrieved July 18, 2013 from:http://smallablearning.com/embodied_learning.

      Vygotsky, L. S.(1978) Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

      Westendorp, M., Hartman, E., Houwen, S., Smith, J., & Visscher, C. (2011). The relationship between gross motor skills and academic achievement in children with learning disabilities. Research in developmental disabilities, 32(6), 2773-2779.

      Wilson, M. (2002). Six views of embodied cognition.  Psychometric Bulletin & Review (9) 4.

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    • 2 months ago
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  • Check out these #ASCD14 Sessio Check out these #ASCD14 Sessions with ASCD Leaders

  • The Boxes Arrived The Boxes Arrived

    • From: Jason_Ellingson
    • Description:

      The boxes arrived last week.  Those boxes stacked high, full of Iowa Assessment test booklets, answer sheets, and directions for administration.  They arrived and are sitting against the far wall of my office – not physically, but philosophically in the way.  In two weeks, our students will take those tests.  They will spend multiple hours over a course of a week filling in bubbles to demonstrate to the federal and state governments that they have grown academically in content areas like reading, math, science, and social studies.  There will be no test on grit or perseverance – except their ability to complete the test without creating a pattern on the answer sheet.  There will be no test on creativity – unless they do create a pattern on the answer sheet.


      All of this will happen in the midst of a year where my district has truly pushed itself to know the learner better to grow the learner better.  We have pushed hard to mold ourselves into what our students need, not mold the students into what we need.  We have more teachers that ever using data to revise instruction, using standards-based learning, and thinking about competency-based education.  We work toward a new goal of personalized learning in our district – and it is exciting, invigorating, daunting, and … the right work.


      So, those boxes sit in my office while I have the pleasure of attending a convening hosted by the Nellie Mae Foundation and KnowledgeWork on the federal accountability framework in light of competency-based education.  The convening was a great two days focused on assessment, core CBE principles, the role of the federal government in education, and the unintended consequences of building a new framework that is easy to understand (and which may do more harm to CBE than the current one).


      The discussion on accountability traveled far and wide.  Some of the main points and questions raised included:

      1. We do not want to see competency education mandated from the federal government. We want to have federal accountability policy be structured to enable competency education and its core principles.
      2. Is it possible to establish policy that builds upon a continuous model so that districts can use one set of reporting systems that tracks student achievement rather than two, one for themselves and one for the federal government?
      3. What would it take to have teachers make the determination of proficiency and then have that data roll up into a school, district, state and federal reporting system focused on student progress and achievement?


      I was excited by the opportunity to impact federal policy, yet realistic enough to know that it would not be done when the convening was complete.  We must struggle with the enormous task of changing a federal mindset that accountability is one battery of tests once a year.  This is completely antithetical to competency-based education and personalized learning.  We must work to change this mindset and the system of accountability derived from it if we are truly to have an opportunity to meet every student where they are at and guide them to where they can be.


      I know it will not be an easy fix, but it is the right work to do.  We must persist, we must challenge, and we must ask the questions that change policy, challenge politics and improve the learning environments and experiences of our students.  A student is not a series of data points.  Each student is a complex combination of dreams, passions, fears, and possibilities.  No test, or battery of tests, will ever fully measure all of that. But we can – and should – get a lot closer to it.

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    • 4 months ago
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  • Using Teacher Leaders for Scho Using Teacher Leaders for School Improvement

    • From: Jessica_Bohn
    • Description:

      This post is a part of the ASCD Forum conversation “how do we cultivate and support teacher leaders?” To learn more about the ASCD Forum, go to www.ascd.org/ascdforum.

      Teacher leadership is the topic of ASCD's ASCD Forum this year. When I think about the question 'how can teacher leaders be utilized', I offer the response 'how can they NOT be utilized?'  Truly, as a principal in a building with no Assistant Principal, my teacher leaders are vital in school improvement.


      I have heard many administrators (both as a former teacher and as a current administrator) say to teachers something like "the train is leaving the station... You should climb onboard or get left behind."  The truth is that your teacher leaders determine how many train tickets you sell as the conductor. Teacher leaders can help folks understand how to board the train, how the train operates, what its passengers are like and even whether they want to board the train.


      In short, teacher leaders sell your school. They sell the school to new hires, interviewees, parents, substitutes and even your students. Some days, I think my teacher leaders are more important than I am. Don't get me wrong... Strong leadership is fundamental to school improvement.  But teacher leaders who believe in you and your vision can accelerate efforts, and those who don't can decelerate the change process tremendously.


      Todd Whitaker says that we should base most decisions on our best teachers. I believe that one of the most powerful ways to utilize teacher leaders is to help cultivate change in teachers who may need guidance in the improvement process. For more on that, please check out my article in this month's ASCD Express, Turning Resistant Teachers into Resilient Teachers at http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol9/910-toc.aspx?utm_source=ascdexpress&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=express910 


      Jessica Bohn


      ASCD Emerging Leader 2012

    • Blog post
    • 5 months ago
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  • Leader to Leader News: January Leader to Leader News: January 2014

    • From: Meg_Cohen
    • Description:

       ASCD Leader to Leader (L2L) News is a monthly e-newsletter for ASCD constituent group leaders that builds capacity to better serve members, provides opportunities to promote and advocate for ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, and engages groups through sharing and learning about best practices. To submit a news item for the L2L newsletter, send an e-mail to constituentservices@ascd.org. Copyright 2013 by ASCD. All Rights Reserved.

      Action Items for ASCD Leaders


      ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative Has a New Twitter Handle

      ASCD's Whole Child Initiative switched its official Twitter handle to @WholeChildASCD. Themore than 15,000 followers of the old @WholeChildAdv do not have to do anything to keep following the initiative’s Twitter account; current followers have automatically been moved to the new handle. In addition, individuals trying to contact ASCD under the old account will be directed to the new Twitter handle: @WholeChildASCD. The initiative encourages whole child enthusiasts to follow the new handle to stay up-to-date on whole child issues and partner activities. Anyone who has questions about the twitter handle should contact Kristen Pekarek, ASCD’s whole child project coordinator.


      Sign on to the Global School Health Statement

      Schools have always played an important role in promoting the health, safety, welfare, and social development of children. Progress has been made in policy and program effectiveness. However, the trend of establishing initiatives as sector specific—or sector isolated—has affected long-term sustainability of approaches. The global evolution of education systems to suit the needs of the 21st century presents both a need and an opportunity for greater sector integration. Ultimately, there is a need to focus on the development and growth of the whole child and develop better ways to integrate health and social programs within education systems.

      In response to the World Health Organization’s Health in All Policies (HiAP) initiative and recent HiAP statement (Helsinki 2013), education leaders invite representatives from the health and other social sectors to lead a revised partnership with education. This partnership uses a capacity-focused and systems-based approach to embed school-related efforts more fully into the core mandates, constraints, processes, and concerns of education systems.

      ASCD and the International School Health Network are now inviting individuals and organizations to sign on to the global school health statement. Learn more.


      Can’t Wait for #ASCD14?

      How about some free sessions from the 2013 ASCD Annual Conference to tide you over?

      Check out the live-streamed recordings of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Freeman Hrabowski III, and Maya Angelou from last year’s conference.

       Register for the 2014 ASCD Annual Conference.


      ASCD Members Approve Proposed Changes to ASCD’s Constitution

      ASCD members recently voted to approve several changes to ASCD’s Constitution: clarifyinga quorum for Board of Directors for voting purposes at the Annual Meeting; changing the start date for newly elected officers and members of the Board; and changing the ASCD membership requirement for applicants for Board positions. Contact Governance Manager Becky DeRiggewith any questions.


       ASCD Emerging Leaders: 2013 Recap

      Check out our recap of all the amazing things ASCD emerging leaders did in 2013. We’re looking forward to some great things in 2014 as well!


       ASCD Leader Voices




      Throughout January at wholechildeducation.org: Personalized Learning

      How do we help each student succeed? One promising way is to personalize learning and put each student at the center of her learning experience. Broader than individualized or differentiated instruction, personalized learning is driven by the learner. Ensuring personalized learning for all students requires a shift in thinking about long-standing education practices, systems and policies, as well as significant changes in the tools and resources. To address students’ abilities, interests, styles, and performance, schools need to rethink curricula, instruction, and technology tools to support giving learners choices and schools flexibility.

      Personalized learning has been described as learning that takes place “anywhere, anytime, and anyplace.” More importantly, it has the promise to ensure equity, engagement, ownership, and achievement for each child, in each school, and in each community so that she is college, career, and citizenship ready and prepared for success in our global, knowledge-based society.

      Download two Whole Child Podcasts discussing personalizing learning for students—one is a special one-on-one conversation between professor and author Yong Zhao and ASCD’s Sean Slade, and the other podcast has a panel of educators featuring guests Jennifer Eldredge, a Spanish teacher at Oconomowoc High School whose district is a member of the regional Cooperative Educational Service Agency #1, which is committed to establishing personalized learning as the prevailing approach in southeastern Wisconsin; Andrew Miller, former classroom and online teacher and current education consultant, ASCD Faculty member, National Faculty member at the Buck Institute for Education, and regular ASCD and Edutopia blogger; and Beth Sanders, a high school social studies teacher at Tarrant High School in Alabama who is also the cofounder and codirector of Youth Converts Culture and was named an Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2013 and 2013 Teacher of the Year for Tarrant City Schools.

      Throughout the month, read the Whole Child Blog and tell us what has worked in your school and with your students. E-mail us and share resources, research, and examples.



      Something to Talk About

      Top 10 ASCD EDge blog posts of 2013

      Top 5 Whole Child blog posts of 2013

      Mostclicked stories from ASCD SmartBrief


      Association News

      ASCD Invites Educator-Driven Conversation with the ASCD Forum and #ASCDEdSpace—ASCD announces two new ways for educators to shape teacher leadership. From now through April 11, 2014, educators are encouraged to participate in the ASCD Forum online via the ASCD EDge® social networking community and in-person at the 69th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show. Read the full press release.


      ASCD’s Newest Professional Development Publications Support Effective Instruction—ASCD announced the release of three new professional development titles for educators. As educators face increasing pressure on assessments and testing, they will find support for structured teaching, self-regulated learning, and assigning and assessing 21st century work in these new professional development publications. Read the full press release.


      ASCD Announces Updates to Free EduCore™ Common Core Implementation Tool—ASCD announced new features available on its free Common Core implementation tool ASCD EduCore™. For the new year, the updated EduCore website features simpler navigation and expanded resources. Read the full press release.


      ASCD to Live Stream 21 Sessions from 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show—ASCD will live stream  21 sessions from the association’s 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show. The live stream option offers global educators an accessible and affordable alternative to attending ASCD’s 2014 Annual Conference. Read the full press release.


      ASCD Joins Instagram as @OfficialASCD—ASCD has joined the social network Instagram under the username @officialascd. ASCD’s Instagram profile will show educators worldwide a behind-the-scenes look at ASCD, while providing free motivation and professional development through pictures and videos. Read the full press release.


      ASCD Releases Four New Professional Development Publications for the New Year—ASCD released four new professional development titles for educators. In light of pressing issues facing educators today, such as improving stagnant Programme for International Student Assessment scores, implementing the new Common Core State Standards, and improving teacher effectiveness, these four new ASCD publications offer educators support with getting to the root of academic and behavioral issues, working with English language learners, developing effective school rules, and teaching effectively. Read the full press release.


      ASCD Expands Emerging Leader Program to Serve More Young Educators—ASCD is pleased to announce the expansion of the ASCD Emerging Leaders program. The two-year Emerging Leaders program is designed to prepare younger, diverse educators for potential influence and ASCD leadership. The expanded program now enrolls more educators, inducting a larger membership class than ever before, and includes an Emerging Leaders Grant opportunity that will award selected participants in their second year of the program with grants of up to $2,000. Read the full press release.




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  • The What Before the How The What Before the How

    • From: Jason_Ellingson
    • Description:

      With the school year half over, we are busy thinking about all the things we want to accomplish yet this year.  We are thinking about our reading scores, our math curriculum, our science standards, our fine arts, our athletic teams, our building goals, our community's expectations, and our state reports (couldn't resist!).

      In the midst of all of the 'doing', we need to take time to determine the validity of the doing.  Educators are great at searching for "the how" to improve scores, implement curriculum, unpack standards, build students relationship and support district initiatives.  We need to be even better at knowing "the what" and "the why".


      It makes no sense to look for new instructional strategies if we are not clear as to the type of instruction we want - or need.  We must take the time to continually reflect on what we want and need to succeed.  We cannot do what we have always done just because it is comfortable.  We should do it because we get the results we need.  We must be clear about our vision, our passion, and our needs.  Then, we can determine our action steps.  The "how" must never come before the "what" and the "why".


      Once we define our purpose, then we determine our practices.

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  • The New Lack of Urgency The New Lack of Urgency

    • From: Kevin_Goddard
    • Description:

      We don’t have an achievement problem. We have an urgency problem.

      The U.S. is the fat cat. Why chase mice when the food bowl is full? Our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents have done all of the hard work and created a nation of wealth because they struggled to make their lives and the futures of their children great. Society can sit around and collect unemployment, disability, social security, Medicaid, food stamps, and now, insurance, from the big federal bank account that people don’t seem to notice is running on credit rather than capital.

      Less and less do we expect people, especially children, to struggle. The paradigm has shifted from the kid being accountable for what happens for them, to the school being responsible for what happens to them. The supportive parent turned into the helicopter parent who is now the snowplow parent. God forbid our children suffer blood, sweat, and tears…any kind of mental or physical discomfort is just unacceptable. The pain and problem solving that goes with dealing with bullies, personality conflicts, and arguments needs to be suppressed so that childhood is butterflies and rainbows. When life doesn’t work out like that, we hand you a monthly cash card to go buy groceries, a check to pay for housing and utilities, and an insurance card to go see the doctor.

      When the pilgrims landed, they had two choices: learn or die. Innovation is born when the human spirit is tested. Wisdom is gained when life gets in a few lucky punches. When your belly is empty, you have an urgency to find a solution. When the potential to starve is staring at you from a pantry almost empty, you start looking for ways to restock the shelves.

      There is a second layer to the problem that is compounded by the lack of urgency: equity. As a nation, the United States public education system is designed for equity. The Constitution of the United States guarantees the right to the “pursuit of happiness.” Nowhere is happiness guaranteed. But the free public education system is the foundation for the pursuit of happiness. Everyone has access. Everyone gets out of it what they put into it. We educate all students. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, wealth, poverty, disability, or geographic location, all children are served by a public school. This is incredibly expensive, but we believe in the right to all for a free and appropriate public education.

      Because we are focused on educating all kids, our brightest don’t get the best possible education. Remember, the law only guarantees “free and appropriate”. As a nation, we couldn’t guarantee the best. To guarantee the “BEST” possible education, we would have to begin to exclude slow and reluctant learners.

      Where would we draw that line? Cut out special education first? That would free up the most money. But it still wouldn’t be enough. We could cut all non-English speakers. That would probably free up the second most expensive group. Next would be the high poverty students. These three groups of students bring down our achievement scores, so we would immediately see a rise compared to the international benchmarks. In fact, we would probably begin competing again with China. But those other countries don’t try to educate their learning disabled, their non-native language learners, or their extremely poor.

      Finally, we could make education more efficient and eliminate the rural areas and just funnel all of our money to urban centers. With that, we could educate more kids at a higher level with a lot less effort. Other countries already ignore their rural areas. They figure those kids will learn how to farm from their parents, so kids get whatever basic level of education the local community can provide them.

      We could then optimize the whole system by giving an aptitude test early in life. If a kid scores high, they get to go on and receive a quality education and represent the United States on international tests. If they don’t, they go home and fend for themselves. At that point, they would learn or starve.

      But thinking like that goes against our sense of right and wrong. It defies what makes us Americans. Every person deserves a chance. Every person can become something great. Educating every child is the essence of the American spirit. With that, we sacrifice the chance to compete against countries that don’t play by the same rules. I’m not saying we should stop trying. On the contrary, I believe those comparisons should cause us to tighten our jaw, clench our fist, and straighten our backs. We should strive to compete at international levels even with the handicaps to our public education system because we ARE better. Because we are more humane. Because we are Americans.

      We have to begin to draw the line between complacency and urgency. At school, we will make sure you are well-fed, safe, loved, taught, and challenged. At home, you might be hungry, but if you wake up with resolve, come to school, eat breakfast, go to first hour with determination, and work hard, your chances in life improve tremendously.

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  • One Device to Rule Them All One Device to Rule Them All

    • From: Kyle_Pace
    • Description:


      We see posts all the time that tote one device's superiority over another. Things like, "Why the _______ is the clear winner in K-12 education" or "The _____ is now in ___ percent of all classrooms in America". You know what I'm talking about. It's no secret that there's competition among companies to have their device most widely adopted. Who wouldn't want their device to be the device of choice for K-12 school districts? Do you have a favorite device nearby right now? Do I have my favorite device(s)? Sure I do. If you follow me on Twitter or heard me on the Two Guys Show or Dads in Ed recently, you know what a couple of my favorite devices are.


      'life-toolbox--richardstep-unleash-your-strengths' photo (c) 2012, Richard Stephenson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

      There's an array of reasons why a district might choose one device over another. Cost likely being the biggest factor. Sometimes it just comes down to what you can afford and what you can't. School districts have to also look at things like infrastructure, device management, tech support, etc.  There's a lot to take into consideration.


      However, this poses the question: do we give students a say on which device(s) they'd prefer to use? Are we actively seeking their opinion and input on which device(s) should be made available to them? Too many times this does not happen. Perhaps we are purchasing too many of one particular device and not enough of another? Do devices need to vary along a student's K-12 education years? I think they do. I raised this point during last night's #edchat. Districts and schools must be ready, willing, and able to support multiple device types; whether that be school provided or through a BYOD plan.  I believe the more devices students have exposure to the better. Do they need to be using all of them all the time? Of course not. Should a district buy an exorbitant amount of devices? No. As students use different types of devices, however, they will know which is most suitable for the task at hand. This is, of course, going to happen over time. Through careful decision-making, increasing teacher comfort level, and changing pedagogy through models like SAMR (Kathy Schrock has great information here) and T-PACK (Steven Anderson put together some great information here).


      Trying to find one device that will be THE device students will ever need is like saying the only tool a handyman will ever need is a screwdriver. If we want students to be creators, publishers, and global contributors we shouldn't limit them to only one platform. Something suitable for a primary grade student isn't necessarily suitable for an 8th grader. We must be ready; and okay with this.

      Thanks for reading. I welcome your comments.

    • Blog post
    • 6 months ago
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  • Stronger Stronger

    • From: Jason_Ellingson
    • Description:


      Everyone of us asks for, in some way, to become stronger, to better take on the demands of our daily lives.  And in the process of asking for strength, we must honestly admit our weaknesses.  We must admit our threshold for pain and fatigue and weariness.  We must, in fact, admit our failures and shortcomings.


      All of this in the hopes that we will be granted additional strength to take on bigger problems, better challenges or more difficult situations.  Sometimes we ask for more strength because the amount of obstacles and challenges are too much for us.  We grow tired and we grow depressed and we begin to doubt ourselves.  And every moment that we doubt ourselves is a moment that we sap strength from ourselves.


      We must, I believe, feel strong to feel stronger.  We must believe that we are capable of mighty things to feel we have the strength to tackle mighty things.  We must know our limits and be prepared to test them.

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    • 6 months ago
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  • They Learn. They Teach. They L They Learn. They Teach. They Lead: ASCD Emerging Leaders in 2013

  • In Memory of Jesse Lewis In Memory of Jesse Lewis

    • From: Steven_Weber
    • Description:

      One year ago, Jesse Lewis went to school and entered his kindergarten classroom. According to his mother and friends, he was a happy six year old who loved life and had a radiant smile. He loved horseback riding. Following the events that took place on December 14, 2012, Jesse's mother left the school and went to her mother's house. While she gathered her thoughts, she noticed her son's handwriting on a chalkboard. The chalkboard read "Nurturing, Healing, Love." These words, scribbled on a chalkboard in a six year old's handwriting, became the inspiration for Scarlett Lewis to write a book titled, "Nurturing, Healing, Love: A Mother's Journey of Hope and Forgiveness." 100% of the proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation.


      While the nation remembers Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Newtown community this weekend, I want to take a moment to remember Jesse Lewis. I never had the privilege of meeting Jesse, but I can tell he was a student who loved school and was a great friend to his classmates. As an education blogger, I often write about the whole child, teaching students citizenship, and the importance of a positive school climate. The world will miss all that Jesse had to offer. However, in six short years, he was a positive light in his community and he continues to inspire teachers and administrators. We know that every school in the world has a Jesse who is creative, curious, passionate about learning, and wants to have a positive impact. We have to tap into each student's talents and passions and help them see how they can make a difference in the world. Through the book that Ms. Lewis wrote, Jesse continues to make a difference in the world.


      On this day, I choose to celebrate Jesse Lewis. From now on, December 14th will be a rememberance day for me. On behalf of the Hillsborough Elementary School (NC) staff, we remember Jesse Lewis, the teachers, and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We remember this tragic day in our nation's history and we think of your school community often. We know the important role you have in preparing students for College and Career Readiness and we pause to remember the Sandy Hook students, staff, and families this weekend.



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    • 7 months ago
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  • Ana Marquez-Greene Ana Marquez-Greene

    • From: Michael_Fisher
    • Description:


      It’s been a year. A year of suffering and pain, of inspiration and hope, of determination and resiliency. Our newest day of infamy has become an opportunity to celebrate heroism, to celebrate incredible courage, to celebrate the lights that shine as long as we keep them lit.

      This time last year, I did not know Ana Marquez-Greene. On the morning of December 14th, 2012, that changed. I was on the phone with a colleague as the events in Newtown unfolded. We watched Twitter and Facebook reports that preceded the news. We watched as the news confirmed our most horrific fears. I went home that night and hugged my own children tightly, heartbroken for the families that did not have that opportunity.

      Days after the events in Newtown, I discovered the Facebook page that Ana’s parents had set up for her. I felt compelled to follow it and let it be the one way, in that moment, that I could give back. By listening. By participating. By seeing this precious child and the happiness that she brought the world. By letting her life inspire my own.

      Over the last year, I’ve seen so much shared by Ana’s parents and have come to love the light that she is. She was a dancer and singer, she loved second hugs and second breakfasts, she was smart and beautiful and loved by all. She has no idea how much her story, her personal story, has inspired me this past year. Her parents have no idea how inspirational they’ve been to countless people around the world who look to them with both awe and the deepest of sympathies.

      I remember Ana in my daily prayers. I think of her when I work with teachers. I wonder constantly about how she continues to contribute to the world. Because she does.

      Ana Marquez-Greene makes me brave. She makes my children brave. Her memory is a legacy of opportunities to be brave and awesome and capable and worthy.

      As long as I live I will celebrate her light. I will celebrate all of their lights. These children and these teachers deserve to lifted up and carried on and remembered for millennia.

      On this Newtown Remembrance Day, I challenge you:

      • To smile when you work.

      • To dance when you can.

      • To sing out loud just because.

      • To grab a second hug.

      • To have a second breakfast.

      • To be inspired by a child.

      Ana Marquez-Greene, darlin’, you live on in the hearts and minds of everyone who knew you and everyone who has gotten to know you thanks to your wonderful parents. Please know that you are inspiring educators everywhere. Know that you are being held in the warmth of memories both real and virtual and that people around the world are thinking about you.

      In honor of this day, and as a result of reading this entire blog post, I encourage you to do something nice in the name of Ana. A random act of kindness. A cup of coffee for the person in line behind you. A blanket for the man on the street. An extra tip for your waitress. A surprise for your child. A “No Homework” pass for your students. A smile to everyone you meet.

      We will never forget you, Ana. We will never forget you all. We will never forget Sandy Hook.

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  • In Memory of Charlotte Bacon In Memory of Charlotte Bacon

    • From: Elizabeth_Fisher2
    • Description:

      Charlotte Bacon is a name I will never forget.

      Only two months before I first heard her name I gave birth to our own Charlotte. I had no idea of the deep connection I would soon be making. The morning of December 14, 2012, I took our Charlotte to my workplace to meet my colleagues. When I was on the way home my husband called me to tell me about the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

      I couldn’t believe what he was saying; I didn’t want to believe it. Here I was introducing my precious, innocent Charlotte to my world of work and someone else’s precious, innocent, Charlotte was taken from their world...our world. My heart was so heavy because I was still able to pick my Charlotte up and hug and kiss her but Joel, JoAnn, and Guy Bacon couldn’t do that anymore. It crushed me to think that they, as well as the other families, were going through something so horrible. My heart is still heavy when I think about it. But I want them to know that they are not alone and that there is still good in the world. There is always hope.

      When I was five years old my sister Mary, just two years older than me, died suddenly. My entire life exploded in front of me and I didn’t understand anything that was happening. My parents didn’t understand. I only knew that one day I had my sister and best friend and the next she was gone. That one moment has affected every moment since but I’ve only recently come to realize that. It was a horrendous time in my life; one that I cannot change. My tragedy was a powerful teacher about the ways of the world, even at five years old. Even then, I knew that Mary’s life had purpose, though she was only here for seven years.

      Likewise, Charlotte Bacon’s life had purpose. She was a loving daughter and loving sister. She loved animals, especially lambs, and had dreams of being a veterinarian. She loved the color pink. I didn’t personally know Charlotte but I know she was important. She is important. I know she was loved. I know she is loved.

      I am empowered by the things I’ve been taught, whether the lesson was taught by a loving teacher or by the ebbs and flows of life. I live and I learn. I learn to appreciate the actions of others, such as Charlotte Bacon’s parents, who continue to be voices for their child. I learn to invite moments of remembrance for those that have gone before in little everyday things: the kindness of others, shooting stars, smiles, normalcy. I learn to move on, not by forgetting the past but by embracing it. I learn to continue loving harder and deeper because I now have the capacity to do so. I learn to live better in spite of what life throws at me.

      On this day, I choose to celebrate Charlotte Bacon. From now on, December 14th will be a remembrance day for me--for remembering all of these wonderful Sandy Hook heroes and their families, and in particular Charlotte. I’ll think of her when I hug my Charlotte, when I see a little lamb, when we visit the veterinarian, when I notice the color pink. All things Charlotte Bacon would love.

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  • Leader to Leader News: Decembe Leader to Leader News: December 2013

    • From: Meg_Cohen
    • Description:

      ASCD Leader to Leader (L2L) News is a monthly e-newsletter for ASCD constituent group leaders that builds capacity to better serve members, provides opportunities to promote and advocate for ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, and engages groups through sharing and learning about best practices. To submit a news item for the L2L newsletter, send an e-mail to constituentservices@ascd.org. Copyright 2013 by ASCD. All Rights Reserved.

      Action Items for ASCD Leaders

      Vote on proposed changes to the ASCD Constitutionby December 15—The proposed changes are:

      Clarify the definition of a quorum for the Board of Directors and a quorum at the annual meeting;

      Revise the start date for the terms of officers and Board members; and

      Revise one of the qualifications for service on the Board (length of membership in the association).

      Go to www.ascd.org/vote, then log in using your member ID and password to view the proposed changes in more detail and to cast your ballot. If you need your member ID or password, contact the ASCD Service Center at 1-800-933-2723 and press 1, or contact us at member@ascd.org.

      Save the date for the 2014 Leader to Leader (L2L) Conference—Mark your calendars: the 2014 L2L Conference will take place July 24–26, 2014 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Va. Registration will open in March of 2014.


      Time is Running Out: Register Today for the Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy

      “Being a part of LILA is a transformational event that connects the work we do in trenches to the architecture that guides our field…. I have always felt that this institute has made my work as an educator matter so much more”

      Thomas Tramaglini, New Jersey ASCD leaderand past LILA participant

      Time is running out! Register today for ASCD’s 2014 Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy for a unique opportunity to learn the latest developments on the education issues that affect your work and to become a champion for what matters most in schools and districts. LILA will be held January 26-28, 2014 in Washington, D.C. 

      You’ll hear from top education thought leaders who will spark and challenge your thinking, and you’ll get the latest updates on key education issues, including teacher support and evaluation, education funding, and the Common Core State Standards. Interactive skill-building sessions will help you become a persuasive advocate for the profession and make a difference beyond your classroom, school, or district. The conference culminates with Capitol Hill meetings where you will share your expertise with your national lawmakers and provide input on important education decisions.   

      If you’re planning to attend LILA—especially if you’re a first-time attendee—be sure to view our 20-minute Getting the Most Out of LILA Webinar, which tells you everything you need to know before you come to Washington, D.C. and prepares you to get the most from your conference experience.  


      Can’t Wait for #ASCD14?

      How about some free sessions from the 2013 ASCD Annual Conference to tide you over? Check out the live streamed recordings of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Freeman Hrabowski III, and Maya Angelou from last year’s conference. Be sure to register for the 2014 ASCD Annual Conference and lock in the Early Bird rate before January 15!

      Pennsylvania ASCD Announces Emerging Leaders Blog

      Check out the brand new Pennsylvania ASCD Emerging Leaders blog, which will highlight the efforts of ASCD Emerging Leaders located in Pennsylvania. These leaders, who have already presented at the PASCD Conference and live-tweeted the #PASCD2013 event, have many more exciting plans for Emerging Leaders in the state!

      ASCD Leader Voices


      Illinois ASCD presents “Assessment: Perspectives and Practices” with Rick Wormeli (PDF) on Jan 22, 2014

      New Hampshire ASCD presents “Pathways to the Common Core” with Lucy Calkins on January 10, 2014.



      Emerging Leader Robert Zywicki is now the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at High Point Regional School in Sussex, N.J.

      Emerging Leader Melany Stowe was appointed secretary to the Virginia ASCD Board of Directors at their annual conference.


      ASCD Policy Priorities: For College and Career Success, Start with Preschool

      Research shows that high-quality preschool programs not only improve school readiness, but also lead to an array of positive academic and life outcomes. ASCD’s Winter 2013 issue of Policy Priorities focuses on early-childhood education and includes features like an infographic on how states are addressing the education needs of young children, and the comparison of half-day versus full-day kindergarten.


      Something to Talk About

      Most recent blog posts on ASCD EDge®

      Mostclicked stories from ASCD SmartBrief


      Association News

      Discovery Education Named Lead Sponsor for ASCD’s 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show—ASCD is pleased to announce that Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content for K–12 classrooms, is the lead sponsor for the association’s much-anticipated 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show. Read the full press release.

      ASCD Announces Pre-Conference Institutes for 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show— ASCD announced the pre-conference session lineup for its 69th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show, being held in Los Angeles, Calif. The three-, two-, and one-day Pre-Conference Institutes will be held March 12–14, 2014, and offer intensive learning experiences on curriculum, instruction, assessment, and more. Read the full press release.

      ASCD Releases Official 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Educators—ASCD has rounded up 10 high-impact professional learning resources for this year's holiday guide. This list features gift ideas for educators of all levels—from colleagues and community members who seek targeted growth in a specific area to educators who are after ongoing, year-round support. Read the full press release.




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  • In Memory of: Emilie Parker & In Memory of: Emilie Parker & the Sandy Hook Angels

    • From: J._Cruse-Craig
    • Description:

      WOW! It has been a year. I clearly recall walking into our building on Monday, December 17, 2012 and feeling overwhelmed with emotions as the building was swimming in green and white as students and teachers wore green in remembrance and honor of the victims in the Sandy Hook tragedy. So many hearts and souls grieved on this day in history, December 14, 2012.

      One year later and their spirits live on… As I reflect about such a tragic day in history when so many beautiful spirits transitioned from this physical realm, Albert Einstein’s thought resonates in my spirit…“Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.” This statement is very appropriate and true as we remember and give tribute to the victims in the Sandy Hook tragedy.

      Though my heart aches for each and every soul affected by this tragedy, I would like to specifically address the beautiful, vibrant, loving, caring and talented Emilie Parker. My, my, my…her physical body was young in age, but her soul was rich with love.

      Emilie’s family, friends and supporters have done an extraordinary job capturing and sharing many reflective and informative moments over this past year. These published works have provided me with a very clear vision as to who Emilie was and the spirit that continues on making a difference in this world. You know, when you watch or read something, it often produces some type of feeling. As I focused on the information about Emilie, I felt the strength of her spirit picking up momentum through the many vessels created to carry her energy forward on this journey. She was created for a purpose and it is manifesting through the lives of many connected to her in spirit.

      The strength that radiates from Alissa (Emilie’s Mother), Robbie (Emilie’s Father), Madaline (Emilie’s Sister) and Samantha (Emilie’s Sister) is simply amazing and contagious. To know of the tragedy and circumstances, yet read and watch the communications from this family is a testament of who Emilie was in her physical vessel and is in spirit. Her family is moving forward in life and carrying on in the spirit of little Miss Emilie.

      In the video “Evil did not win”, Alissa (Emilie’s Mother) shared the things that Emilie loved. Emilie loved mornings, making art, being fancy, giving and seeing her baby sisters happy. Well, at the age of 6 and her passion and love for life, without knowing you could speculate that he was much older. That fact in itself is evidence that she was created for greatness. Alissa stated some very profound things learned from this tragedy. Please take a moment and reflect on the words she shared: grief, peace, patience, forgiveness, joy and love. I did, and all I could think about were the fruits of the spirit. Exactly…Emilie’s fruits are being manifested in the spirit for many although she is gone physically. What a blessing!

      Yes, she transitioned from this life by a horrendous crime, but I truly believe that God makes no mistakes. Her spirit and energy lives on and will make significant differences in the lives of many.

      We have a duty and responsibility to seek our purpose and be obedient to your calling as we remember and give tribute to these Angels. There are many options as several Sandy Hook Angels have organizations in their honor to go towards philanthropic needs that embody their spirits. Emlie’s family also leads 2 additional projects: Emilie Parker Art Connection and Safe and Sound Schools.

      The Sandy Hook Angels and Emilie’s life was not in vain. Their energy lives on!!! Can you feel it?

    • Blog post
    • 7 months ago
    • Views: 210
  • Relax. It's You . . . and The Relax. It's You . . . and Them

    • From: Jason_Ellingson
    • Description:

      When Collins-Maxwell began a 1:1 iPad initiative for all students in grades 6-12 in the fall of 2012, one of the largest concerns among teachers, parents, and board members was the management of the device.  Teachers were worried that students would be off-task in class, refusing to do the assigned work.  Parents felt that students would bring the devices home and fill them full of games, songs, and inappropriate pictures.  Board members felt that teachers would not know how to manage the new technology in classes AND that parents would be frustrated that taxpayer dollars were spent on devices so kids could listen to Pandora while playing Angry Birds.


      Yes, it all happened.  Everything we feared would come true did to some degree.  We had students that got off task in class and missed the assignments or the lecture or the project.  We had students download music in the hallways between classes so they could listen to it in the next period.  We had students at home not doing the work they didn’t do in class because they were playing games, or on Facebook, or tweeting, or listening.  Yes, it all happened.


      But not for every student.  And not for every teacher.


      We had our students who followed the rules to the letter.  They never downloaded anything that was not teacher approved.  They never got on the iPad in class unless there was a reason explained by the teacher.  And they certainly did not use the iPad at home inappropriately.  It was only used for schoolwork, and then charged for the next day.


      And we had teachers that had no problems with students off task.  Here is the success of the management of iPads.  We had teachers treat the iPad like any other tool in the classroom.  For the past few years, we have allowed cell phones in school for student use.  Many students have used them to take photos of problems on the board, use calculator functions, or text answers to an online poll.  The teachers who have used cell phones in this manner in the class were the same ones who had little problems with the iPads.  They realized the iPads were tools to help students learn, so they worked to see the iPads as supports for learning.  Now, those teachers did not feel the need to use the iPads every day, just to use them.  They used the iPads only when it suited the learning.  When the iPads were not in use, they were turned off and put under the desks or set aside in the classroom.  Those teachers who saw the iPads as possible improvements to learning also knew when they would be impediments to learning, so they created clear rules for engagement in using the iPads.


      Other teachers who were not as comfortable with iPads struggled to see how to use them in their classrooms.  Therefore, they used them for artificial purposes thinking the administration wanted the iPads to be used a lot in classes.  The truth was the administration never gave a clear expectation for how often the iPad was to be used in a class.  We wanted it to be a natural extension of support for learning.  For some teachers, that was a good idea.  For others, they felt like they were not using it enough and that would be a disappointment to the administration.  When those teachers tried to integrate the iPad into a learning activity that did not suit it, problems occurred.  Or if the teachers tried to ignore how to use the iPads in class, then the students had them out and engaged in off-task behaviors.  Interestingly, by not addressing the iPad as a tool that may or may not support learning in specific instances, the teachers inadvertently allowed the iPad to become a bigger obstacle to learning in every instance.


      From the various viewpoints of the teachers implementing iPads in their classrooms, the administration began to notice a unique paradigm: there were some that were truly trying to manage the iPad while others were trying to lead learning with the iPad.  It became clear to the administration that those teachers who used the iPads to lead – or support – learning were more successful in using the iPads.  Those that tried to manage the devices seemed to have more struggles with students.  The administration also noticed that learning tasks began to change.  Many teachers found that using iPads to do the same type of work before their introduction caused more problems and off-task behavior.  When teachers changed the learning target or asked students for their input in how to use the iPads, there was greater student engagement, higher quality learning, and greater teacher satisfaction.


      In all, we also worked to tighten our security of the iPads to limit downloads, added some consequences for how to use the devices, and supported parents to better understand how to use the iPads at home.  But our greatest discovery in managing iPads was learning to not manage them, and instead lead learning – where appropriate – with them.  Now, teachers and students are making better decisions about how iPads support student learning.  Our philosophy to technology – and not the iPads themselves – are helping our students be better prepared for the 21st century of learning, earning, and living!

    • Blog post
    • 8 months ago
    • Views: 470
  • Leader to Leader News: Novembe Leader to Leader News: November 2013

    • From: Meg_Cohen
    • Description:

      ASCD Leader to Leader (L2L) News is a monthly e-newsletter for ASCD constituent group leaders that builds capacity to better serve members, provides opportunities to promote and advocate for ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, and engages groups through sharing and learning about best practices. To submit a news item for the L2L newsletter, send an e-mail to constituentservices@ascd.org.

      Action Items for ASCD Leaders

      • üApply for an ASCD Board of Directors position by November 30ASCD’s Nominations Committee is seeking individuals to apply to run for a position on the Board of Directors in 2014. Go to www.ascd.org/nominations to access the application form and information on qualifications for office and the time commitment involved (Board members serve a four-year term). Contact Becky DeRigge with any questions.
      • üVote on proposed changes to the ASCD Constitutionby December 15—The proposed changes are:
        1.       Clarify the definition of a quorum for the Board of Directors and a quorum at the annual meeting;
        2.       Revise the start date for the terms of officers and Board members; and
        3.       Revise one of the qualifications for service on the Board (length of membership in the association).
        Go to www.ascd.org/vote, then log in using your member ID and password to view the proposed changes in more detail and to cast your ballot. If you need your member ID or password, contact the ASCD Service Center at 1-800-933-2723 and press 1, or contact us at member@ascd.org.
      • üRick Hess to Speak at ASCD’s 2014 Leadership Institute for Legislative AdvocacyAgree or disagree with him, education policy guru Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute never fails to provide provocative and interesting commentary on the latest education issues. Hess—author of ASCD’s Education Unbound—will be a featured speaker at ASCD’s 2014 legislative conference where he will share his unfiltered perspective on school improvement, the Common Core State Standards, teacher leadership, educational technology, and more. Register for the conference today and follow Hess @rickhess99 and inEducation Week’sRick Hess Straight Up blogLearn more and register for this premier legislative conference today at www.ascd.org/lila.


      Policy Points Highlights Funding Sources for Educator Professional Development

      Despite shrinking education budgets, there are still opportunities to pursue funding for educator professional development. Check out the latest issue of Policy Points (PDF), which provides links to these resources.


      Leaders in Action: News from the ASCD Leader Community

       ASCD Leader Voices


      Welcome University of Southern California ASCD Student Chapter

      ASCD is pleased to announce a new ASCD Student Chapter, started by ASCD emerging leader Eric Bernstein. Please join us in welcoming University of Southern California ASCD Student Chapter to the ASCD community!




      2013 ASCD emerging leader Melany Stowe was recently appointed director of communications and community outreach for Danville Public Schools in Virginia.

      OYEA winner Bijal Damani is one of 250 educators chosen for the Microsoft Expert Educators Program. She is also a finalist for the 21st Century Learning Teacher of the Year award, and will be sharing her experiences at their global conference next month in Hong Kong.


      Throughout November on www.wholechildeducation.org: Supporting Student Success and the Common Core Standards

      The Common Core State Standards are not a curriculum. Standards are targets for what students should know and be able to do. Curricula are the instructional plans and strategies that educators use to help their students reach those expectations. Central to a supportive school are teachers, administrators, and other caring adults who take a personal interest in each student and in each student’s success. How are we designing course content, choosing appropriate instructional strategies, developing learning activities, continuously gauging student understanding, adjusting instruction accordingly, and involving parents and families as partners to support our students’ success?

      A whole child approach to education is essential to realizing the promise of the standards. Only when students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged will they be able to meet our highest expectations and realize their fullest potential.

      Download the Whole Child Podcast for a discussion on supporting student success as schools implement the Common Core State Standards. Guests include Peter DeWitt, an elementary school principal in New York, author, and Education Week blogger; Thomas Hoerr, head of New City School in St. Louis, Mo., author, and ASCD Multiple Intelligences Professional Interest Community facilitator; and Rich McKinney, an assistant principal for a middle school in Knoxville, Tenn., and Common Core coach for the state of Tennessee. Throughout the month, read the Whole Child Blog and tell us what has worked in your school and with your students. E-mail us and share resources, research, and examples.


      Something to Talk About

      ·         Most recent blog posts on ASCD EDge®

      ·         Mostclicked stories from ASCD SmartBrief


      Association News

      • ASCD and T4EDU to Support the Professional Development of Educators in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia—ASCD and Saudi Arabia–based company Tatweer Company for Educational Services (T4EDU) announced today that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate development of a comprehensive plan to support education improvement initiatives in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. T4EDU is an education quality-improvement company providing innovative solutions that enable students to learn and succeed in the 21st century. Read the full press release.

      • Jay McTighe to Lead ASCD Global Institutes on Understanding by Design® in Bangkok—ASCD has announced two new global institutes on how to use Understanding by Design® to reach crucial learning goals. The institutes will be held in Bangkok, Thailand. The first is January 28–29, 2014, and the second is January 30, 2014. Read the full press release.

      • ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership Sells Out—ASCD announced that the 2013 ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership has sold out. Scheduled for November 1–3, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nev., the conference promises to provide educators at all levels with best-in-class strategies to accelerate their ability to lead and to connect them with proven global education leaders. Read the full press release.

      • ASCD Offers Member-Only Webinar Series—ASCD announced a new webinar series available to current and future members as part of a yearlong rollout of new member perks and benefits during the association's “membership means more” campaign. The member-only webinar series puts educators in a position to effect change and improve student achievement. Read the full press release.

      • Effective Time Management for Principals Is the Topic of New ASCD Arias Publication—ASCD announced the release of Short on Time, a short-format ASCD Arias™ publication that answers the crucial question, how do I make time to lead and learn as a principal? Read the full press release.

      • ASCD Releases New Antibullying Resource for Educators—ASCD is pleased to announce the release of a new PD In Focus® channel for educators, titled “School Culture and Climate: Addressing Bullying.” The PD In Focus online application is an award-winning, cost-effective, web-based professional development tool from ASCD that provides hundreds of hours of highly effective videos, related resources, activities, and insight from some of the most important voices in education today. Read the full press release.

      • ASHA Awards John P. McGovern Medal to Dr. Gene R. Carter—The American School Health Association (ASHA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Gene R. Carter, Executive Director and CEO of ASCD was honored with the presentation of the John P. McGovern Medal for his distinguished work in school health and demonstrated dedication to the field. Carter received the award on October 10 during the 87th Annual ASHA School Health Conference in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Read the full press release.


    • Blog post
    • 8 months ago
    • Views: 440
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