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Medium 9781935543022

5 Data to Strengthen Classroom Instruction

Edie Holcomb Solution Tree Press ePub

The use of data to guide schoolwide decision making and to deliver support for struggling students is complex, challenging, and critical—but not sufficient. As illustrated earlier in figure 1.1 (page 9), the principal’s influence extends to a wide range of staff groups and individual teachers. The most direct impact on student learning is in the classroom with the relationships teachers develop with students and the instructional skills they employ. This most intimate of instructional settings is sometimes perceived as the teacher’s personal territory, and the principal’s influence demands both human relations skills to build professional trust and pedagogical skills to recognize and develop excellent instruction.

The principal interacts with staff members in various settings and groups for many purposes. Strengthening classroom instruction requires aligning the use of data with the positional leadership roles of the principal, which include responsibilities for evaluation, supervision, and professional development.

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Medium 9781576750674

11. High-Impact Learning: Using the Seven Ways of Learning to Get Results

Davis, James R. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

IN CERTAIN RESPECTS MANAGING IS LIKE COOKING: you need to select the best ingredients and mix them together in just the right amounts. Effective managers are good at selecting and mixing; they know how to identify and use the right resources to get results. As the manager of your own learning, you now have the ingredients you need. You are aware of seven different ways of learning and you know how to be an effective participant within the environment of each way.

The next step is to learn how to manage all the resources at your disposal to get the best results. As you read this chapter you will learn how to select appropriate ways of learning, how to use them, and how to assess results.

When we place the seven ways of learning side by side, as we have done in these chapters, the natural tendency is to ask: Which theory is right? Which way of learning is best? If we have learned anything together as the writers and readers of this book, it is that learning is a many-sided activity and there is no one “best way.” The best way is the way that is most likely to bring about the results you want.

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Medium 9781934009437

Chapter 2: Tips for Welcoming Students

Allen Mendler Solution Tree Press ePub

2 Tips for Welcoming Students

I passed Mr. Waxman in the hall. I had him last year for English, and even though I said hi to him, he walked right past me as if he never met me before.

—Lucas, age 16

Mrs. Hodges is really cool. Even though I only have her for one class period a day, I feel like I can talk to her about anything!

—Myeka, age 14


A new school year typically begins for teachers at least a few days before students arrive. The main purpose of this time is for organization of the classroom, although there is often some time set aside for professional development. A motivational speaker is often brought in to help inspire the “troops” on one educational theme or another. I have often been the motivational speaker for such groups, and I have usually been asked to address how to interact most effectively with students with difficult behavior. I am a veteran presenter and have learned to deal with just about every possible glitch in a calm and friendly manner, despite often remaining silently aghast at the surroundings in which I meet with my audience. Even though there has been an increased emphasis on the importance of environmental conditions to the success of a staff development day, it is not uncommon to encounter extremely difficult surroundings. For example, one may experience large numbers of teachers meeting in a poorly ventilated area (the cafeteria), seated tightly together on hard seats with a sound system that either echoes excessively or is barely audible. There may be the last-minute addition of an overhead projector that can barely be seen because it is of poor quality or cannot possibly be viewed by everyone in such a large room. Common interruptions include cell phones ringing or the constant drone of the intercom paging one person or another. Despite the presence of a professional speaker and motivated learners, I sometimes leave these experiences wondering if any meaningful learning could have occurred in this environment plagued with problems.

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Medium 9781947604445

Chapter 3: Curriculum for Modern Learning

McTighe, Jay; Curtis, Greg Solution Tree Press PDF


Curriculum for

Modern Learning

What are the building blocks for a curriculum that anchors modern learning, and how do we develop them?


he Latin origin of the term curriculum translates roughly as the course to be run (“Curriculum,” n.d.), and it is useful to return to this linguistic root and think of a curriculum as the course or pathway to a destination.

In education terms, the learning outcomes we desire for students—both within and beyond traditional academic disciplines—define our destination.

A guaranteed and viable curriculum is the most significant school-level factor impacting student achievement.

In this chapter, we explore our vision of the kind of cur—Robert Marzano riculum necessary to prepare learners for their futures in a modern, yet ever-changing, world. We start by emphasizing the critical principles inherent in a modern curriculum, which includes highlighting the ways in which curriculum mapping has evolved and the challenges inherent in establishing a guaranteed and viable curriculum. We follow these with a curriculum blueprint presented as an analogy related to building construction that describes a framework for operationalizing an educational vision and mission into an impactful curriculum. Along the way, we’ll reference the

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Medium 9781947604063

Chapter 5

Mason, Christine; Rivers Murphy, Michele M.; Jackson, Yvette Solution Tree Press PDF


Move and Stretch—

Yoga and Meditation Basics

The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.

—B. K. S. Iyengar

key principle

Yoga and breath work can reduce stress, increase focus, and improve capacity to learn. However, practice is required. The benefits only come with practice.

With yoga, we are consciously lifted from our daily experience to a deeper understanding of and appreciation for our bodies. As we explain in chapters 2 (page

21) and 3 (page 37), stress and trauma negatively impact our minds and bodies. Since our emotions and breathing are interconnected, we can better regulate our emotions through deep breathing, as we discussed in chapter 4 (page 61). Deep breathing is a simple but powerful life tool that can enhance our well-being, help regulate our emotions, and open new learning pathways for students. You can easily integrate deep breathing into the school day, at home, or in any life setting to help alleviate stress and the impact of trauma.

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Medium 9781935542735

Chapter 7

Douglas Fisher Solution Tree Press PDF
A few years back, one of our friends announced that she had purchased a Groupon deal for a series of cooking classes we could all attend. There were no prerequisites for the class, so we figured that it would be a fun way to spend a few Wednesday nights. We might pick up a few tips to use in our own home kitchens, but mostly we thought it would be an entertaining way to spend time with three other friends. However, we were soon to learn that Chef Fred’s expectations didn’t match our own. After we washed our hands and put on our aprons, he dove right in to an extended discussion about the proper technique for sautéing. It’s possible we weren’t paying close attention, and we might have been chatting just a bit with our friends in the class. Suddenly, every member of the class was being assigned individual tasks for preparing the meal (we weren’t quite sure what the meal was—we missed that detail). See All Chapters
Medium 9781574411713

Conclusion: Contestation and Federal Bilingual Education Policy

Guadalupe San Miguel Jr. University of North Texas Press PDF



This brief history focused on one of the most contentious and misunderstood policies in the country: federal bilingual education. It traced and explained, in bold sketches, the rise and fall of federal bilingual education policy during the years from 1960 to 2001 and the role played by the contending groups of supporters and opponents in its development.

Three major findings were presented in this book. First, this study showed that contestation, conflict, and accommodation were integral aspects of federal bilingual education policy development. From its origins in the 1960s to the present, different groups with competing notions of ethnicity, assimilation, pedagogy, and power have contended, clashed, struggled, and negotiated with each other for hegemony in the development and implementation of bilingual education. Second, contextual forces over time, especially electoral politics and a changing political climate at the national, state, and local level, significantly shaped the contours and content of this policy. Finally, those supportive of or opposed to federal bilingual education displayed a wide array of political, educational, and social reasons for their actions.

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Medium 9781935542629

Chapter 3 Curiosity

Angela Maiers Solution Tree Press ePub



Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.


Who would want to be without curiosity? Great minds are curious. You would be hard pressed to find an intellectual giant who was not: Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Richard Feynman were all curious characters.

Yet I wonder …

• Why do some students end up more curious than others?

• How can we add curiosity to our teaching toolbox and our conversations regarding teaching and learning?

• How can we live more curious lives ourselves as we model for our students what living a curious life is like?

This chapter seeks to explore answers to these questions. The lessons will help develop and nurture students’ curious instincts as they work consciously on their habitude of curiosity.

Before considering the lessons, let’s review the definition of the habitude of curiosity:

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Medium 9781936764648

Chapter 10. The Big Picture

Eric Jensen Solution Tree Press ePub

With all good daily targets comes careful thought about the big picture. We want to simplify the process for those who want the overall view of creating a cognitively engaging unit. We believe the following template will help you challenge students at all thinking levels and zones.

We start with a Unit Plan Organizer to help you create a map for a unit. Then we look at a one-page lesson plan template for lessons lasting one to three days. Following that, we discuss the role of formative assessment throughout a unit in conjunction with ideas for differentiating your instruction based on the outcomes of those formative assessments. Finally, we close with advice on transformative habits, how staff development can better support strategy implementation, and self-empowerment.

The Unit Plan Organizer will help you map out an engaging unit. The first section of the organizer is all about the basic details and the standards (see figure 10.1). It covers the subject that you’re teaching (English, mathematics, social studies); grade level (first, fifth, twelfth); unit of study (geology, fractions, westward movement); length of unit (how many days); dates the unit will begin and end; and essential questions of the unit (see the Klamath Falls City Schools [n.d.] essential questions guide; visit go.solution-tree.com/commoncore for a live link). The biggest box in this first section is where you list the standards that will be covered in this unit.

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Medium 9781935249412

Appendix C - Reading on Student Motivation

Jane A.J. Kise Solution Tree Press ePub

Anticipation Guide

What Do You Know About Student Motivation?

Write an A in the blank if you agree with a statement. Write a D in the blank if you disagree with a statement.

___ 1.  Artists are born, not made.

___ 2.  Part of our genetic makeup is our intellectual capacity—how smart we are.

___ 3.  One of the differences between advanced students and those who are at or below grade level is the speed with which they learn.

___ 4.  Teachers behave differently toward students they believe are smart and students they believe have a limited learning capacity.

___ 5.  Students who believe they are unintelligent direct attention away from their inadequacy by either boasting about possessions or other talents, or attempting to play by different rules.

___ 6.  Students who develop good problem-solving strategies continue to use and improve them while working on increasingly more difficult tasks.

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Medium 9780253005939


Matthew Tully Indiana University Press ePub



The thirty-one-year-old father of a Manual freshman walked into Dean Hoover’s office one morning. He moved fast and angrily and wore camouflage pants, a tan workman’s jacket, and a black cap. He came into the office without an appointment and spoke before being spoken to. “I want to talk to security,” he announced, interrupting a conversation I was having with Hoover and yanking off the cap to show a blond buzzed haircut and an earring in his left ear.

Hoover immediately recognized the man from previous visits and calmly asked him to sit down. He declined, pacing the room instead for a few seconds as he told Hoover that a boy at the school was harassing his daughter and that he was a few inches from handling the situation on his own, even if that meant throttling the boy. He said the boy, his daughter’s ex-boyfriend, was stalking her. The bullshit had been going on for a year, he shouted, but lately the situation had gotten worse.

Hoover looked up the girl’s class schedule on her computer as the man continued to talk, repeating his threat to take matters into his own hands. At one point Hoover hushed him as she held the phone to her ear and dialed the daughter’s third-period classroom, asking the teacher to send her down. Then she called Sergeant Barrow, aware that he might be the only one able to calm the man standing in front of her. As she hung up the phone, the father finally sat down. He began rubbing his face and looked just as flustered as he did when he walked in. “He’s been stalking my daughter for a year,” he said. “And now he’s hanging out with the guy who raped her last year. I don’t know what sick thing that’s about.”

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Medium 9781943874323

Chapter 1

Weber, Chris Solution Tree Press PDF



Defining, and

Making Sense of

Behavioral Skills


Psychological factors—often called motivational or noncognitive factors—can matter even more than cognitive factors for students’ academic performance.

— �C arol S. D weck ,

G regory M. W alton , and G eoffrey L. C ohen

If it’s predictable, it’s preventable. This core phrase is at the heart of RTI. It allows us to identify, anticipate, and prepare for our students’ needs, and to proactively respond to these before frustration and disengagement set in. We as educators predict and take measures to prevent student difficulties in academic skills—but how can this predict-and-prevent attitude apply to our model of behavioral RTI?

We can predict that a lack of adequate core instruction in the behavioral skills as the introduction describes will compromise student success—both behavioral and academic. We can predict that not all students will possess the mindsets, social skills, perseverance, learning strategies, and academic behaviors that will lead to success in school and life when they arrive in our classrooms.

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Medium 9781626561786

Resource C:Appreciative Inquiry Protocol

Robert E. Quinn Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

IN OUR EARLY WORKSHOPS WITH HETS, WE ASKED EACH TEACHER TO conduct an appreciative interview with another teacher who taught a similar grade level and subject area. We then asked teachers to assemble in small groups and share the most inspiring things they learned from their partner. As teachers shared what they had learned, we began to hear the themes that ground this book. Appreciative inquiry is a great tool for research and professional development. It allows you to focus attention on the positive aspects of the current situation rather than just on what is broken. It also allows you to reflect on what is good and should be preserved as you move forward toward excellence. Below you see the appreciative inquiry protocol that was used over the first two years of this project. You may want to partner with a colleague and use this protocol to explore the strengths in each other’s practice.

1. Think back over your entire career as a teacher—from your earliest memories to today. Now think about a peak experience or a high point, a time when you experienced yourself as most effective and most satisfied as a teacher.

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Medium 9781935543336

Appendix A: Reproducibles

William N. Bender Solution Tree Press ePub




Initiating teacher:



1. Statement of student difficulty and summary of Tier 1 instruction (add supporting evidence and/or progress-monitoring data chart, if available):


2. Tier 2 supplemental intervention plan:


3. Observation of student in Tier 2 intervention:


4. Tier 2 intervention summary and recommendations (must include data chart):


5. Tier 3 intervention plan:


6. Observation of student in Tier 3 intervention:


7. Tier 3 intervention summary and recommendations (must include data chart):


Hard Copy Supplemental Curricula Interventions

List all supplemental curricula that are “hard copy” (that is, not primarily computerized curricula, for example, various “curricula in a box”). Note the grade range and the areas or subjects for each. Include curricula used by every teacher within the school, including curricula used by particular teachers within specialized programs. Note who is using these and for what group? Also remember to consider any curricula that are unused in the media center or storage areas in the building.

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Medium 9781936765140

Chapter 2 Setting the Stage for Common Formative Assessments

Kim Bailey Solution Tree Press ePub


•  There is compelling research that says that frequent formative assessments improve student achievement for all students.

•  Common formative assessments do not have to be tests or quizzes.

•  Common formative assessments do not have to take a long time to administer or include lengthy student work products.

•  If you don’t use the results of the common formative assessment to make a difference in student learning, the assessment is summative.

As we discussed in chapter 1, four critical questions guide the work of teams in PLCs (DuFour et al., 2010a, p. 28):

1.  What knowledge and skills should every student acquire as a result of this unit of instruction?

2.  How will we know when each student has acquired the essential knowledge and skills?

3.  How will we respond when some students do not learn?

4.  How will we extend and enrich the learning for students who are already proficient?

This book will help your team confidently answer the second question by using common formative assessments. Specifically, this chapter will help define what common formative assessments are and how they fit into a well-developed, balanced assessment system.

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