E-Hints are short, easy-to-read posts that educators may find relevant to their school improvement processes. You might find an E-Hint on the latest research about a topic, a new approach to an instructional technique, or a “what works” tip from another school district. You are welcome to download E-Hints and share them with others within or outside your district.
Check out our recent E-Hints below!
When the school year began last fall, no one could have imagined the events that transpired to change our educational setting for the foreseeable future. In this two-part E-hint, you will receive suggestions to address the social-emotional needs of your students, plan to teach the curriculum, utilize various options for instruction, and check for student learning. One size does not fit all, so select those that work best for your district and student population.
As anyone working in education can attest, a greater emphasis is placed on criterion-referenced high stakes testing than in the past. In response to this reality, including reflective thinking in a teacher’s toolbox of instructional strategies can help students think about their learning and ensure that applications are meaningful and relevant in an increasingly demanding world.
Academic leadership need not rest solely on the shoulders of district and building-level administrators, but can often be more effective when shared with classroom teachers. Unfortunately, some teachers may feel less willing to go the extra mile or create quality work when tasks appear as a directive with no teacher input. But, when teacher leaders are utilized to lead the work and provide examples of quality, their peers tend to buy-in. Many of our partner districts have chosen this route as they work through their curriculum, instruction, and assessment work.
Yes, the end of the school year is in sight. Teachers are worried about finishing the curriculum, checking in books, taking posters off the walls, entering grades, and all of their other year-end tasks. Administrators are ticking items off of their unique building goal lists and sending out reminders and final instructions for the last days of school, all the while contemplating their summer worklists. In anticipation of the end of the year, we experience a seemingly abrupt conclusion followed by a collective sigh. Afterward, the thoughts of “Oh, no, we forgot… “ settle into our minds. Let’s start now to check off the tasks and items that are complete or need follow-up.
One of the best parts of working with amazing school districts across the country is being able to highlight their awesome ideas for promoting positive changes in teaching and learning. Sweetwater County School District 1 in Rock Springs, Wyoming, identified a need to better communicate their district-wide expectations for teaching and learning. In a large district like theirs, they realized that not all teachers understood the system for curriculum, instruction, and assessment and therefore were not following it. To better communicate these processes with all teachers, they created the following graphic:
A teacher’s job has always included more than just what takes place while students are in the classroom—and always should. Besides the obvious lesson planning and grading, teachers need to be involved in curriculum development, data analysis of student learning, problem-solving, and other professional development activities related to teaching/learning research and strategies. These activities are necessary if we are to make a difference in student learning. However, they all take time, and to be effective, they will require more than just a few minutes grabbed here and there.
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