October is known to be a month full of scares, but parent teacher conferences shouldn’t cause you any fear! This month we’ve put together resources to help you tackle your upcoming conferences with ease. Check out the tips below for both in-person and virtual conferences!
Do you have students struggling or feeling uncomfortable in class? Explore this article from Edutopia to support a safe and inclusive environment for your students. Learn more about students who may have different needs to feel safe and included in the classroom. One way to learn more is through training from Equality Florida. The more deliberate teachers can be about creating safe and inclusive classrooms the better the classroom environment for everyone.
Students are back in their seats and inevitably they will take assessments. The type of assessment is completely up to you as their teacher. So, what will it be: formative or summative? Such goes the age-old question. When people think assessment, they tend to think scantrons and number 2 pencils, but this is not always the case as this topic has evolved in recent years as well as teachers’ reasons for assessing.
Formative assessments provide both students and teachers with the information they need to improve the learning process right now. This is an ongoing assessment that may or may not be graded. This assessment is seen more as an opportunity to examine the results and use those to inform instruction in the classroom right away. You might give a quiz and realize that more than half of your class has not captured the concept, so instead of trudging forward, you reteach and reassess. Being able to push the pause button on moving forward with a new concept and making sure they truly grasped the first concept is exactly what formative assessments are about.
Examples of formative assessments include:
• Lesson exit tickets
• Classroom polls
• A written summary of a lesson
Summative assessments aim to evaluate student learning and achievement and is generally administered at the end of a unit or course. Summative assessments occur only a few times over the academic year and always yield a specific point value. Because they are broader in scope and measure learning over a longer period, they tend to have higher stakes. Remember that this assessment provides a snapshot of how students are performing at a particular point in time.
Examples of summative assessments include:
• End of term or midterm exams
• End of unit or chapter tests
• Cumulative work such as a creative portfolio or final project
• State exams
Both formative and summative assessments collect useful, important information. However, in the end, it is what you do with the assessments that make it either or. Getting state exam results and putting them in a data binder makes them just results. It is the actions you take with the information that determine their true use.
Need some tips on how to prevent School Leader burnout? See our highlights below or click here to read the full article.
Have a regular routine of self-care.
Regular time outdoors, a spiritual practice, or a gratitude journal are all research-proven ways to help leaders prevent a downwards slides towards burnout.
Learn to regularly unplug from your devices.
Taking one night off a week is a small price to pay for continued energy and it’s also great modeling and permission for your team so they don’t get burned out as well!
Become more discerning about the work you take on (when possible) and learn to clearly communicate what you can and cannot realistically handle.
Notice if your energy is being diverted to worries or other negative thought patterns and then take action to adopt a more productive mindset.
Become aware of the signs of burnout, especially in terms of its onset and progression.
If a leader learns the signs of burnout and checks in with themselves every month or so, they can catch it much earlier.
Welcome back to a new and exciting school year! We know many of your students have come to you at very different levels of readiness this year. This makes differentiation in the classroom that much more important. This month’s post focuses on pre-assessment strategies that will help you gauge student readiness before you begin a new unit!
What is Pre-Assessment?
Determines what students may know and understand about the content you are presenting.
Should be used regularly, usually at the beginning of each new unit or topic.
Can be used to determine flexible groups.
Shows students’ readiness level.
Shows growth and is easy to incorporate into your lessons!
Click herefor a free downloadable list of pre-assessment options!
It’s that time of year again! In just a matter of weeks we will be welcoming students back into our classrooms for a new and exciting year. We’ve included some excellent back to school resources that are sure to inspire you and help you plan for a fantastic year!
After you have taken some well-deserved time to relax this summer, we know you will be eager to jump into planning for next year. This month’s post is full of excellent “Back to School” planning resources for you and for your teachers!
Choose a School-Wide Theme
Start the new year on a positive and uplifting note by creating a theme for your school this year. Use this printable guide to help you decide what theme would best fit the needs of your school community this year. You could even consider recruiting your older students to help choose the theme!
We know it’s only July and schools don’t open for another month or so, but back to school season is already gearing up. Most major retailers are already pushing school supplies and uniforms. And while most teachers are dreaming up new themes and décor, we want you to prepare to put organizational systems in place that will last you all year long. Well thought out classroom organization can go a long way to reducing chaos and stress while keeping everyone working effectively and efficiently.
Here are some of our favorite classroom hacks to stay organized all year:
Student Display Space
For this hack from BoredTeachers.com, use laminated colored paper and a clothespin to create a special space to display student work all year. Students will love having an honored place to show off their hard work.
Color Code Classroom Technology
Color code your technology with this hackfrom Prodigy. Use colored tabs to help students find the right spot for the device and the matching cable!
Say Goodbye to Glue Sticks
Make glue sponges. All you need is glue, a sponge, and a small Tupperware container. This hack found on WeAreTeachers.com will save you so many glue sticks!
Dry Erase Dots
Use dry erase dots on your group table. Save yourself the trouble of getting out the dry erase boards and storing them all year. Create a dry erase board right on the table with this hack from BoredTeachers.com.
Create an “AWOL” binder (Absent Work Organizational Log) with this hackfrom WeAreTeachers. Use this binder to keep track of what was done in class each day as well as any assignments that are due. Be sure to insert any handouts or other assignments.
In honor of all your hard work, patience, and flexibility this year and every year, we are dedicating this post to celebrating YOU! Thank you for your patience, empathy, positivity, enthusiasm, knowledge, flexibility, leadership, kindness, perseverance, humility, and resilience. Check out all of the freebies and giveaways below!
Thank you teachers!
We are so proud of the work you do every day to make a difference in your students’ lives. This month, the Student Learning and Partner Success team is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card.
Have you heard about the Choice in Education Celebration? This celebration is in lieu of our annual Choice in Education Conference. We are throwing a virtual party to close out the school year and show appreciation for our private school leaders, educators, parents and students. This FREE event will be held virtually on May 20th from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. We will hear from Keynote Speaker Gerry Brooks, and giveaway fabulous prizes! Save your seat and REGISTER TODAY!
In honor of National Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, this month’s post highlights resources to support the success and acceptance of unique learners in your classroom. We hope you will use these resources throughout the year!
Person First Language
A disability does not define an individual! Identify the individual first rather than the disability. Explore the resources below to learn more about person first language and be sure to adopt this practice in your classroom and your everyday life.
Social stories are a great way to explain simple concepts or experiences with visuals. This is a great tool to use BEFORE a student experiences something. If a teacher knows a fire drill is taking place soon, she can review a fire drill social story to prepare the students.
Visual tools are a great way to promote functional communication. The resources below offer options to use for visual schedules, social stories, behavior charts, etc. Both resources offer functional graphics that are simple to interpret.
Check out the Symbolstix resource from n2y. This service offers quick access to communication tools and a library of over 60,000 symbols visuals to use for $129 per year. There are more free resources for IEP’s to explore from n2y here.
It is important for all students to understand and accept people with autism! Autism Speaks created the Puzzle Piece Project to increase the understanding and acceptance of students with autism in all grade levels.
Houghton Mifflin offers resources for teachers with in-depth discussion of project-based learning. This site includes an overview of the issues surrounding PBL, the student’s role in the process, and several projects to get you started (including the popular “egg drop” experiment and “Mission to Mars”).
Check out Natalie Wexler’s book “The Knowledge Gap.” Through the stories of educators, students, and parents, “The Knowledge Gap” dives into the real issues at the heart of what we call the achievement gap. The book zeros in on the importance of building knowledge of the world rather than focusing solely on skills. It’s a deep dive into the heart of reading, literacy, and the disparities in our education system that you won’t want to miss!Click here to learn more!
Today, September 8th, is International Literacy Day. This day was founded in 1966 to keep the importance of literacy in the forefront of local communities. Tremendous progress has been made in the years since, however, illiteracy remains a world issue. This month’s resources aim to help teachers continue to close the literacy gap even in their new virtual roles.
Check out Storyline Online to stream videos featuring celebrities reading children’s books.
Browse the CommonLit Librarywith over 2,000 high-quality free reading passages for grades 3-12.
Engage your audience with Magic Blox’s large and growing collection of eBooks.
Trying to grow your classroom library and not sure what to buy? Seek advice from The Children’s Book Reviewwho publish reviews and curated book lists among other great resources.
Acquire excellent reading comprehension skills using Into the Book’s eight research-based strategies.
Mapping out your back to school plans? Join us on September 10th at 4 PM ET for the EVERFI Back to School Webinar. Come explore the latest digital resources, best practices for supporting student learning, and methods to build a strong classroom culture, whether remotely or in-person.
The new school year is here and that means so is the annual Back-to-School Educator Giveaway! To celebrate all that educators, do, Edmentum is giving one lucky educator a $500 Target gift card. Click herefor your chance to win.
The Educate Team had a great time at the EdCamp with many Step Up schools in August. Please check out the participant feedbackto see what teachers and leaders are saying about their experiences.
Through EdCamps, Educate develops learning opportunities to prepare teachers going back to school with essential skills for online and hybrid learning. These learnings are flexible for participants and all webinars are curated into a site for participants to review and revitalize with all resources provided. Some of the services include school-wide transformational coaching, workshops and webinars for teachers and leaders, EdCamps, parent webinars, and school leadership development.
Contact Lisa Lawrenz, firstname.lastname@example.org or Julie Emory-Johnson, email@example.com to set up customized coaching opportunities, go over the feedback from the EdCamp, walk through a needs assessment for your school, and plan the next steps of support for your school this year.