We Need You More Than Ever, W. Edwards Deming

Image: FDA

W. Edwards Deming was an engineer and management expert who’s writing and speaking formed the basis of the Quality or Total Quality Management movement. He worked with Japan after World War II and he acknowledged being one of the key people who led the transformation in the Japanese economy which led to their reputation for quality rather than cheap and inferior products. Many of his approaches to statistical process control, market research, the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle, and organizational management are in use today throughout the world. He brought a systems approach to the study of processes and organizations that was later explored by Peter Senge and others. Continue reading

Fostering Social-Emotional Development in Elementary School Children … Not just in the counselor’s office!

I am going to go out on a limb and make an assumption that most educators know there are many research studies suggesting the strong connection between social emotional competence and the ability to adjust to the academic demands of school. So, how can the general education classroom teacher help boost these skills? Read below for tips on how Continue reading

Teaching Social Studies = Overcoming Barriers

Not surprisingly, the BIG emphasis this year in social studies is on inquiry using primary sources with students which involves teaching them skills and practices to analyze and evaluate those sources and use them as evidence in creating claims and arguments. The Social Studies Framework is based on the Inquiry Arc of the C3 Framework which is all about this process. The Frameworks themselves promote a balance of content and skill and the Toolkit Inquires are built on investigating sets of primary sources related to a compelling question. It’s the rainbow, folks! Continue reading

Childhood Food Insecurity and Hunger….. in the Land of Plenty

My hope for all is that next Thursday you are fortunate enough to be seated around a table with family and/or friends, have a full belly and a grateful heart. Despite our own personal challenges and daily hassles that make life, well, “life,” when it comes down to it, we are an extremely fortunate country and have so much for which to be grateful. We take for granted daily luxuries that others in third world countries cannot even begin to fathom. And yet, despite our vast collective wealth and capacity for opportunity, millions of our fellow Americans will not be able to afford that turkey dinner next week, nor can they consistently count on being able to feed their children on a regular basis, as they live in households that are food insecure. Continue reading

Indulge in Instructional Rounds!

As we enter this season of indulgence (for some of us, at least), I’d like to share my new favorite form of professional development: Instructional Rounds is a collaborative approach utilized for the sole purpose of improving individual practice.  This past summer, at New Tech Network’s 2015 conference, I had the opportunity to attend a session around the what, why and the how of “Rounds”. The session was offered by educators from Katherine Smith School in San Jose, California. Much of their research and practice is based on the book, Instructional Rounds in Education, by Elizabeth City and Richard Elmore. So, I read the book and it has changed the way I engage in professional development! Continue reading

The Foundation for Fair and Meaningful Grading for Struggling Students

Earlier this month, over 1200 educators gathered at SRC Arena to learn more about grading and reporting student learning. Presenters Tom Guskey and Lee Ann Jung

spoke about standards-based policies and practices that are best for ALL students. My greatest leap of learning was in understanding how to grade exceptional students in a fair and meaningful way using standards-based practices. As a former high school science teacher, with students of all abilities in my Regents classes, I always wondered if I was doing justice by my struggling students with the grading policies I was using. Do I change the mastery bar for students with IEPs and 504s? Do I keep the bar the same and provide more scaffolding support to raise them to those levels? Continue reading

Two-Ingredient Literacy Success

  • Prep Time 15 MIN
  • Total Time 30 MIN
  • Servings Daily, reading and writing opportunities for 15-20 weeks of quality instruction

Two ingredients help promote an actively engage struggling reader succeed like an average reader.

  1. 5 books within the student’s literacy reach
  2. 1 teacher facilitating successful active learning as needed

Continue reading