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How will we remember 2012? Once again, it has been a challenging year for many in education. The school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., shocked and saddened educators worldwide, and reawakened the discussions as to what role schools can play to best keep their children safe. At the same time, the shooting reminded everyone of the commitment and love that teachers and principials have for their students, as they put their energies, their focus and their lives on the line for kids on a regular basis.
Seeing that kind of commitment, bravery and dedication from educators is what makes us most hopeful for the future. In the United States, teachers and adminstrators are pushing boldly in many areas to reform schools and improve student learning. Already, many districts have begun adopting new curriculum and assessment frameworks tied to Common Core State Standards. Worldwide, educators have moved to try new instructional approaches such as flipped classrooms and blended learning. And they are beginning to increasingly implement new technology strategies, establishing bring-your-own device programs and one-to-one iPad programs -- all the while improving upon core instructional best practices and techniques.
We salute all those who are dedicated to improving student learning and achievement -- and are truly making a difference in the lives others. In particular, as we do at this time every year, we would also like to tip our hat to our own community leaders -- those who have detailed their vision and ideas in the blogs below, and who have put thoughts out in the public domain for scrutiny and praise. As we look back at the past year, we hope that, in some small way, it can provide the impetus for helping you look forward, as you implement your own new ideas in 2013.
Thanks to all of you who participate in our great ASCD EDge community. Have a safe and happy holidays. And without further delay, we present...The Top 10 Blogs of 2012.
The ASCD EDge Team
The Top 10 Blogs of 2012
10. A Bucket List for K-12 Students by Steven Weber
In 2007, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman starred in The Bucket List. In the movie, Nicholson and Freeman make a list of things they wish to do before they die...
9. 12 Alternatives To Letter Grades In Education by Terrell Heick
Few artifacts of formal learning are as iconic as the letter grade...
I have observed many, many teachers in elementary and early childhood classrooms and the ones that have the smoothest-running classrooms all do the same thing: they teach procedures...
7. 5 Top Resources for Aligning Your Social Studies Curricula to the Common Core by Robert Zywicki
Social studies supervisors and teachers across the country are revising their unit plans to meet their state’s content standards, as well as, the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History and Social Studies...
In today’s world, with its rich and overwhelming amount of accessible information, bewildering career options, uncertainty, and change, five skill areas stand out as important for lifelong learning...
5. 10 of the Best Apps for Educators by Ryan Thomas
Whether you're an educational technology wonder, or a little slower on the draw, apps for your iPhone and/or iPad can make your job a lot easier...
4. What I Wish I Had Known about Student Motivation by Bryan Goodwin
“You’re a smart kid; I just wish you’d apply yourself in my class.” Most teachers have uttered a similar phrase. I know I did. I remember one student particularly well; we’ll call him Jerry....
3. Five Reasons I don't Assign Homework by Mark Barnes
The homework debate is one that has permeated education for many decades, and it shows no signs of slowing. Homework proponents perplex me, because the research is so overwhelmingly against homework's effectiveness...
2. The Seven C's of Effective Teaching by Muriel Rand
I recently attended an educational assessment conference in which Ronald Ferguson from the Harvard Kennedy School was the keynote speaker. He is an educational researcher who presented his work on teacher effectiveness...
And the number one blog of 2012 is:
1. SOCRATES FAILS TEACHER EVALUATION by Heidi Hayes Jacobs
So, it came down to one day, one test, at the Acropolis as the young men of Athens took out their #2 chisels to answer 30 questions on stone tablets...
In Chapter 9 of Heidi Hayes Jacobs’ Curriculum 21, David Niguidula shares the importance of considering evidence of student proficiency through digital portfolios.
While portfolio assessment is nothing new, the ways in which we collect or curate the portfolio contents is evolving on a daily basis. The are myriad tools online to aid in the creation and collection of digitized media that reflect a more holistic view of student learning beyond the multiple choice exam.
This week, at ASCD’s regional Professional Development Institute in Myrtle Beach, I’ll be discussing upgrades to the curriculum including assessment practices, focused largely on bringing assessments into the 21st Century. If you are interested in a sneak peek of the Digital Portfolio portion of the PD Institute, please click below to visit the LiveBinder of resources I’ve compiled for the event.
Additionally, if you know of great examples of Digital Student Portfolios (first names only, please!), please share them in the comments section below and I’ll add them to the LiveBinder.
I’m looking forward to this week’s institute in Myrtle Beach, primarily because I’m typing this right now from Buffalo, New York, where it is currently snowing. If you are planning to go to Myrtle Beach this week for ASCD, let’s have a tweetup! My Twitter name is below or we can coordinate through ASCD Edge! Looking forward to seeing everyone!
Mike on Twitter: @fisher1000
Upgrade Your Curriculum: Practical Ways to Engage Students and Transform Units coming in February 2013 from ASCD.
In the past, when I’ve written about curriculum mapping, it has always been in terms of curriculum and the intended audience was teachers or curriculum and instruction administrators. Recently, I’ve been doing quite a bit of work with administrators around the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, or ISLLC Standards, in light of principal and administrative evaluations related to Race to the Top grants in multiple states.
(Within each domain, an administrator should address responsibilities within each of the functions.)
(What actions should be in place around the responsibilities already identified?)
(What is acceptable evidence that the responsibilities and actions have been met?)
|1: Vision||*See Attached Potential Evidence|
|2: Culture||*See Attached Potential Evidence|
|3: Safety||*See Attached Potential Evidence|
|4: Community||*See Attached Potential Evidence|
|5: Ethics||*See Attached Potential Evidence|
|6: Context||*See Attached Potential Evidence|