Saturday, February 28, 2015

Be Gentle with Families

Today when I saw a specialist for a very small, but persistent, health issue I thought about the many challenges families face with regard to raising healthy, happy children.

The families we serve as educators bring to us their histories, current issues/challenges, needs, and interests. Children, in many ways, reflect their family's care and challenges.

Today, the specialist met me with a what-can-I-do-for-you attitude and a heap of compassion. That's exactly what I needed. He was honest and realistic. He knows that my minuscule issue like any issue big or small profits from an honest analysis, compassion, and a step-by-step resolve.

The same is true for the families we serve and children we teach. They bring to us their strengths, challenges, interests, and dreams. We do our best to help each child develop with confidence and engagement. We work with families with compassion to analyze challenges and create development paths. It's a thoughtful, collaborative process that serves all best.

So be gentle with families and be gentle with yourself too. Then use your best strengths, experience, and insight to work with families to teach children well.

More PARCC Prep

Our first official PARCC tests will take place soon. There's a lot to do to prepare.

Online Tools
There are a large number of online tools that students can access as they complete these tests. Following a sage colleague's advice, I'll introduce the tools on the large white board first. We'll discuss each tool with an eye on strategy--what tools are most helpful with regard to doing one's best on the test.

Practice
The grade level will practice signing in all at once to test the system and gain "sign-in" experience.

After the tool introduction, I'll give students some time to play with the tools. I'll respond to their "tool introduction" attitudes and interest and craft a learning experience that is fun and fruitful with regard to gaining skill and knowledge of the tools.

Practice Test Homework
The week after next I'll assign the online PBA practice test that's open to all as homework. I'll create paper template to go along with it so students can chart their work. At the start of the following week we'll review that practice test together.

The students will have a trial run of the real test with a more official practice test or tests. They'll have to sign into these tests and follow the same rules that they have to follow with PARCC.

Students will spend five mornings taking the test prior to mid April. They will take ELA and Math tests. As we run through the practice sessions prior to the official tests, we'll create a strategy list of behaviors to help everyone do their best.

This is a lot of teaching time spent on PARCC, but I'll cull the long term meaning from the effort in the following ways:

  • Learning to sign in and use the tech tools will help students sign into and use tools for a large number of tech programs.
  • The practice tests will practice ELA and Math skills.
  • The official test will give students a chance to see what they can do on their own without teacher support.
  • No one teaching/learning experience is equal to all learning or all benefits. These tests like all learning experiences are equal to a fraction of the overall learning that matters. After we've taken all the tests and receive results, I'll think about what fraction that is.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Late Winter Musings: Teaching Days Ahead

It was a quick week with lots of successful learning. It was also a week with many unexpected events and the need for collegial support and expertise.

I think winter fatigue is setting in--the excessive snow in the Boston area has created problems with commuting, structures, budgets, and daily routines. That fatigue trickles down to little children. I also think that the glimpse of end-of-year transitions is starting to take effect. I noticed this as fourth graders were giving me extra attention in the hall thinking I might be their fifth grade teacher, and as some fifth graders demonstrated a bit of anxiety as we discussed end-of-year events. We also had our first of 14 standardized tests. These tests are limiting with respect to questioning, ability to move around, access to reference materials, and collaboration so the tests too create a bit of anxiety and uncomfortable structure.

What does this mean for the teaching/learning days to come?

First, it means that it's time to build in more time for sensitive care and attention including added class meetings, small group study, and individual support. Students need that extra attention right now.

It also means that home study and in-class work needs to have a more diverse menu extending from enriched, detail study to simpler, more accessible study. This will provide students with the reach they need and want as well as quieter days to complement a busy schedule, home, and/or need for a quieter, easier days of work.

Then it means that we have to complement testing days with more hands-on exploration and investigation. We'll do that starting with our marble maze/simple machines project.

Finally, we need to make the time to get outdoors and play. The fresh air and physical activity is good for teachers and students alike.

Next week is family-student-teacher(s) conference week. I'm sure that share will bring other new ideas and foci to the learning/teaching days and weeks ahead as well.

Colleagues to the Rescue

It was one of those weeks when I couldn't do it alone.

A number of teaching/learning issues arose that led me to colleagues' expertise.

The words, "I need you" were met with ready, skilled response with regard to issues big and small.

That's the kind of teamwork and camaraderie that builds a strong culture of service to students and each other--the kind of work that made me proud of the teaching/learning community I work with everyday.

No teacher can do the job alone. The work requires a skilled, varied team of committed professionals. How we build and nurture those teams is so important in relation to the quality of work and service we provide.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Showcase Portfolios: Revisit Learning

Today as we reviewed many of the year's pictures, study, and related information, students' questions and conversation followed many tangents. It was a lot to do at once.

In days of old, students contributed to their portfolios throughout the year rather than during one or two times. I want to do that again in the future.

Today's efforts reminded me that I have to add more time for reflection after each significant learning event, and that's when we should add evidence of that event and the reflection into a showcase portfolio. That's a more logical process. We'll do it that way for the rest of the year.

Good learning design should include the following steps:
1. Identify learning objectives and goals.
2. Identify the end product including the reflection time/effort.
3. Chart the learning path.
4. Study, review, assess, revise/adapt continuously as students reach for the final goal.
5. Final assessment by students followed by teacher's comments.
6. A final reflection, selected representation, and inclusion in the students' portfolio.

This will help students to gain a deep understanding of what it means to learn, what they like to learn, and how they learn best.

Students Create Showcase Portfolios

Students showcase portfolio will be led by this packet of guiding papers.
Today and tomorrow students will create their showcase portfolios in preparation for next week's family-student-teacher(s) conferences.

What is a showcase portfolio?

A showcase portfolio is a small online or offline collection of learning endeavor results that demonstrates an individual's learning highlights. The showcase portfolio tells the story of a learner's experiences, efforts, and mindset.

I have used both online and offline portfolios with students, and at this time, I prefer the offline showcase portfolio for fifth grade due to the fact that the ability to touch and manipulate the binder like a hand-held book seems to impact the students more than the online portfolio. Students will pull from their online collections of writing and projects, in part, to create this offline showcase portfolio.

What will the showcase portfolio include?

This year the showcase portfolios will include the following components:
  • A beautiful cover
  • A personal reflection
  • Writing samples
  • Reading work and/or book lists
  • Math Assessments
  • Project Work
  • Images and explanations of special events
  • A happiness survey
The paper and images will be placed in clear sleeves which both protects and gives the work a special quality.

What is the rationale for creating showcase portfolios?

As I present this effort to students this morning, I will tell them that it's important to step back and make the time to think about your overall learning as that kind of reflection helps you to recognize your strengths, interests, needs, and goals. I will also say that creating a showcase portfolio is a reflection exercise and reflection exercises help us to know who we are which in turn help us to make good decisions for our lives.  In addition, I'll add that a showcase portfolio is also a chance to show off your more wonderful work and goals. I'll share my online portfolio as an example, and go through the pages explaining my organization and choices briefly. I'll invite them to create an online portfolio as well if they're interested. We're a Google school and they know how to use sites so they can easily do that. 

What is the showcase portfolio process?

We'll review the showcase packet which will lead their work. I will allow students to deviate from the packet format if they'd like by creating a more creative cover, adding a letter or story about their learning, and including work that is not listed on the packet list.

Students will house their fine work in one-inch showcase binders.

I will coach the process, edit their writing, and help them as they create these important 5th grade books.

Then, next week, students will have the chance to share their portfolios with family members and teachers. I'll look forward to their share during those conferences. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Successful Students #1

As I think ahead, I'm considering the attributes of successful students.

Successful Students Check the Home Study Site Daily
For starters, successful students check the class home study/message center and Twitter # every school day. By checking those two online sites, students can prepare themselves for the day, access links related to home study and enrichment, and find email addresses and other information for home study and learning support.

In the weeks ahead, I'll continue to notice and document successful student attributes. Then I'll share those attributes with families and students in the new school year.

A Better Class: Class Committee Meetings

So far two class committees have met at lunch this week.

On Monday the Fun Committee met and discussed ways that we can celebrate our hard work and study. They're planning another Team Day soon. Lots of great ideas were shared and we'll have to have another meeting soon go finalize those plans. The big question was when will the snow melt as that will impact the plans we make.

Yesterday the Class Climate Committee met. They had lots of ideas about how to improve the general attitude and feeling in the classroom. Their ideas included the following:
  • Don't skip recess.
  • Give students time to "calm down, cool down" after lunch.
  • Have a clean-up time once a week.
  • Put someone in charge of making sure all the computers are powered up and logged out.
  • Make time for energy breaks often, and have those breaks outside when possible.
  • If we miss gym due to a day off, then make another gym time during the week (We've missed a lot of gym class due to snow days and Monday holidays).
The students have amazing ideas about how to improve the classroom. As their teacher, I just have to make the time to let students meet, make decisions, and then support the follow-through of all these good ideas. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Valuable Critics: Students

Today I met with a number of my most valuable critics, students.  I said to them, "I want to teach you better, what do you suggest?"  They gave me the following advice:
  • Break it down.
  • Talk slower.
  • Use 5th grade words (not college words)
  • Give shorter packets, but make them challenging.
  • Don't "cold call," instead say "Would you like to answer this question?"
  • Give students a heads-up for questioning by saying, "I want everyone to be alert and ready for questions.
  • Check in.
After that I practiced using their suggestions as I taught that small group. They agreed that I was off to a good start and asked when we could learn like that again. I told them that we'd try to work together a few times each week. They were happy. 

Hattie Continues to Inspire: Tough Teaching

Some units, content, and children are tough to teach for a large number of reasons.

I re-looked at my notes related to Hattie's research today as I begin to prepare for a teaching/learning challenge.

Over the years my teaching/learning data has pointed to one area of challenge--an area I've yet to master.

One reason that I haven't mastered this learning area is that I have not given it enough time or focus.

So beginning next week, I will make the time to focus on this area about six periods a week. One reason I am able to do this is that I typically have the help of a reliable and talented teaching assistant during those six periods. The teaching assistant will take over in some areas so I can focus on this area of need.

I'll begin this initiative by giving the students I'll be working with time for voice. I'll start by asking, "How can I help you learn this content better?" I'll make sufficient time for share and listening, and then we'll take their ideas and put them into a teaching/learning action plan.

After that we'll get started with the plan. I'll do my part of prepping a blended home-school menu to respond to the content and learner's needs. We'll set goals, and we'll also stop to review and revise often identifying where we are succeeding and where we still need greater attention, focus, and revision to meet our goals.

I'm excited about this challenge. As I work on it, I'll think about how we can meet a challenge like this with more regularity in our programs because challenges like this shouldn't have to wait as long as this one has.

School Nurses Play a Vital Role in the School Community

Our school nurse plays a vital, visible role in our school community.

She is a proactive, public health advocate who readily responds to students/faculty health issues, educates the learning community about health events, and problem solves with educators, children, and family members regarding individual student's health issues and needs.

In a sense, in conjunction with the school's physical education teacher, she keeps the issue of a healthy and well environment on the forefront of our school agenda in ways that matter.

Since most of the good work our school nurse does is quiet and confidential, I couldn't begin to list all of the important tasks she completes each day, but I know that her days are very busy and her work makes an important difference to the overall wellness and happiness for our school community.

As we reach for holistic, supportive educational environments, we can't forget about the important role that school nurses play--a role that supports healthy, safe, and inclusive school communities.

Make Time for Organization/Communication Analysis

Yesterday it occurred to me that the ease of the transition back after vacation had a lot to do with multiple updated systems and better organization throughout our school community.

More Facile Report Card Systems
For starters, our school secretary really helped us out a lot with new systems related to recent report cards. In days of old, classroom teachers had to spend a lot of time collating and organizing those reports. Now the secretary and her team collect the information, update attendance and other statistics, and collate the reports--that saves us a lot of time and ensures good accuracy too. Furthermore the tech staff has organized the data files to make the input of grades* easier as well. All of this means more time for the deep work we do to communicate and teach children well.

Google Calendar
Our school-wide use of Google calendar is growing too. That calendar hosts multiple, more specific calendars and organizational lists. A thoughtful weekly review and quick daily appraisal helps you to know what to expect as you plan for teaching. We are able to sign-out the computer labs by accessing these calendars too. Using even more of the Google calendar features will help us to create reminders and share information with greater effect as well. David Garcia recently shared this YouTube clip that describes ways you may use the Google calendar with students. I want to explore Google calendar's features more and update my personal and professional use of this terrific tool in the days to come.

Regular Meetings and Reports
Committee work has taken on more of a rhythm also. Our faculty senate meets monthly and helps to prepare for the monthly faculty meeting. Faculty meeting, faculty senate, tech committee, and student council regularly share their notes with the entire faculty helping to keep everyone on the same page with information and upcoming events. Similarly, our building administrator distributes a Friday memo that includes weekly updates about school news, dates, and initiatives. PLCs work in this regard as well. These regular meetings and reports have helped to develop culture and shared investment in the work we do.

Classroom/Subject Area Websites
Websites were given a bit more uniformity this year as administrators outlined specific categories of information for each website including a newsletter, list of important dates, educator's name and a brief biography, and homework assignments. The websites serve as reference information to family members, colleagues, and the greater teaching/learning community and reflect an educator's style with regard to format and design. If I'm wondering what other educators are doing with regard to a particular unit or time of year, I can access their websites as one way to inform my work and practice. Similarly our school websites help to provide needed information to support the work we do for children.

Classroom Organization and Communication
Recently I updated classroom organization and I noticed students' happiness with the fact that materials and information were more easily accessible. My partner teacher and I also communicate with family members on a weekly basis which helps to keep everyone in the loop of classroom events, expectations, and needs.

Yearly Pattern of Events and Initiatives
Our system has also developed a yearly pattern of events and initiatives. For the most part, the main events are listed on a calendar in September so we know what to expect. Most events include introductory information that is distributed ahead of time to give educators a chance to prepare and plan for the event.

Yearly Goal Setting
At the start of each school year, goals for the system are set and shared. This provides a launching point for the specific work we do at each school for each subject and group of students.

The better we streamline and strengthen the organization and communication routines in an organization, the more time we have to do the good work that matters. Creating regular patterns and systems of organization and communication supports this work. Yearly inclusive review and revision of these systems serve to boost our collegiality and forward growth with respect to teaching children well.

Without yearly review and revision, there's the possibility that some routines and systems that are no longer effective will persist. Hence, some kind of review and prioritizing are necessary to keep our systems and work timely and effective.

As I think about my own work in this regard, I am guided by the following questions:
  • How can I best organize the classroom learning space to support my young learners?
  • How can I streamline and enrich classroom communication so that colleagues, students, and family members receive the information they need in timely, efficient ways?
  • When will I research Google calendar with greater depth and apply what I learn to better use that vehicle in conjunction with school/home use?
  • As a teaching/learning team, how will we assess and revise the committee work and communication we do to develop our work for students in ways that make a significant impact?
  • How will I update classroom websites to better communicate with colleagues, students, leaders, and family members? How will I enlist the help of the learning team in this endeavor?
  • When and how will my students, colleagues, and I create and communicate a list of yearly events that support vibrant, engaging student learning?
  • When and how will I create goals for the year ahead? How will I enlist the support of the learning team in this endeavor? 

I look forward to this analysis in the days to come, an analysis that will help me to move my own work forward.

*Our system has standards-based reports at the elementary level where I teach. Students receive checks related to mastery for a large number of standards.

Monday, February 23, 2015

How Do You Best Advocate for Students?

At times it can be difficult to advocate for students in schools.

Yet, isn't that at the center of our work as educators--advocacy for children?

If this is a main focus of our work, then why would it be challenging?  What stands in the way of student advocacy and care?

Though ironic, I think the reason that advocacy is, at times, challenging in the school setting is that advocacy presents a challenge to the status quo. When a child needs something more or different, it adds work, challenges current systems, invites "courageous conversations," and also makes us question our own work, experience, and vision.  "Why can't I solve this problem on my own," an educator may ask or be asked when a child needs more or different.

Another question that advocacy creates is "Is this issue important enough to make a change?"

Often when I'm prompted to advocate, I get a knot in my stomach.  I know I'll face lots of questions and challenge with regard to the advocacy. The questions and challenge make me rethink the reasons for advocacy and help me to determine if it's important enough to advocate more. Am I up to the challenge, I'll wonder. At times, my advocacy has not gone well, and that too contributes to this "knot in  my stomach" feeling.

How do you best advocate for students?

What systems in your organization help you to advocate with strength, timeliness, and support?

When do you make the decision to advocate?

What challenges prevent or hinder advocacy?

Is there a time when you advocated with success? What contributed to that success?

I'm thinking about this with greater detail today and I look forward to your thoughts.

Hargadon Poses Good Questions for Upcoming Parent Conferences

I just read Mindshift's article about Steve Hargadon's work. I've always been inspired by Hargadon's deep thinking, student-centered work in education. I will have a few copies of this article by my side during parents conferences as I expect families will be discussing issues related to Hargadon's points.

Two quotes from the article will provide some strong background information for the upcoming conferences:

"Hargadon thinks one way change agents get tripped up is by promoting a particular model, rather than a process by which people can develop (or adopt) models that best fit their needs. He considers deep, meaningful conversations a useful starting point for people to use to shape the future, and to that end, he’s planning to host a series of national conversations in 2014 that probe the deeper questions around education and can serve as models for conversations people initiative in their own communities."

This quote leads me to think about how I can help to foster those "deep, meaningful conversations" during upcoming conferences. The paragraph also reminds me that I want to keep track of Hargadon's work and influence as it seems like his work will lead me to some real-time ways to enrich and enhance the work I do with children.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Showcase Portfolios: Happiness Survey

Students will create showcase portfolios at the end of the week.

They'll add assessments, writing pieces, projects, quotes, covers, and more to their portfolios. They'll also fill out an assessment about their learning to date. I'll share that assessment later in the week as each year I create a template that matches the main learning/teaching focus of the year to date.

I want students to also fill out a happiness survey as one way to develop their metacognitive skill and awareness. I also think it will be fun for them to have this happiness survey in their showcase portfolio to share with family members during upcoming conferences and to look back on over time.

The happiness survey will start with this quote:

"Do more of what makes you happy."

The questions will include the following:

1. Name and/or draw five sights that make you happy. Be specific as you can be.

2. Name and/or draw five sounds that make you happy. Be specific as you can be.

3. Name and/or draw five smells
that make you happy. Be specific as you can be.

4. Name and/or draw five tastes that make you happy. Be specific as you can be.

5. Name and/or draw five events in life that make you happy. Be specific as you can be.

6. Name five people in your life that make you happy. Tell why those people make you happy.

7. What dreams do you have for your life so that you remain happy or so that you become even happier?

What makes us happy is important to consider as when we are happy we are able to access and utilize our best skills and attitudes. We typically thrive when we are happy.

Chart the Course: 2015-2016 School Year

I continue to update the 2015-2016 school year chart. My primary teaching responsibilities include the following:

Note that I noticed someone reading this at the end of February 2016 which prompted me to update so that this becomes a nice start for the 2016-2017 list.
  1. Nurture a supportive, collaborative, and caring class community. (Yes, still working on this and growing my work mainly in this website, but via other vehicles too.)
  2. Foster the development of engaged, facile, fluent, and flexible mathematical thinkers who master the math CCSS. (Still working on this too and enthusiastically embedding Jo Boaler's research from the book, Mathematical Mindsets.)
  3. Provide an hour-long engaging and inspiring STEAM lab each week for each student group. (This actually changed to periodic STEAM Theme days for the whole grade level, an effort we continue to work on and develop. We are happy with our progress to date.)
  4. Coordinate and provide targeted RTI Math/ELA services with grade-level team to boost all students' abilities in these areas. (This continues to go well. We have a large team to rely on for this work, and we are making positive gains.)
  5. Support the shared teaching model at fifth grade with a commitment to thoughtful, supportive response and service to the teaching/learning team: students, families, colleagues, leaders, and community members. (This is going very well and we continue to develop the model. My work with TLI has helped this too.)
The chart below outlines the tasks for summer and early school year preparation. I will update the chart regularly to reflect new learning, focus, and effort. 

Summer 2015 Professional Learning

Study MPI, Visual Literacy Chart, Complete SRSD review of all grade 5 problem solving exemplars. (As time is available in summer, complete in fall). During summer of 2016, I want to continue to develop these efforts.
Summer Reading List and Grade Level Curriculum Chart in conjunction with Colleagues (start in summer, complete in fall). Look back at this during summer of 2016 for continued growth.
Deep Learning Conference July 23: Attend and present "Code to Learn Math" Deep Learning Presentation: Prep presentation. (Prep 7/15) Incorporate visual literacy research. (If Wes presents again, I'll join in)
SRSD Approach to Writing and Learning in Math: Curriculum efforts and presentation. Study PARCC expectations in this regard re making claims, PBAs, SMPs. 8/23-8/24 Presentation (Practice/Review mid August) (We made a good start with this and I want to continue to work on it coupling the efforts with Boaler's work in Mathematical Mindsets.)
College and Career Readiness Research and Presentation: Update to reflect expectations and provide educators with lots of ready-to-use ideas. Presentation: 8/26, Monson, MA (It's unlikely that I'll directly continue this work during summer of 2016, but who knows)
Determine classroom needs, complete order forms, shop for supplies, and keep receipts: plastic drawer organizer carts, extra grid notebooks, mailboxes, one-yard grid supplies, compasses, magnets, compasses, book display holders (See STEAM List) (Lots of work needs to be done in this area for spring/summer 2016)

Wayland Foundation Naturalist Grant and Cultural Relevancy--Black Heritage Museum draft grants: determine supplies, draft grant for grade level share in September (August). Review grants with grade-level colleagues at start of school. (Hopefully we'll continue this work in 2016-2017, this summer I'll be working at a local farm with regard to its education efforts so I'm sure I'll be able to connect that work to school life.)

Make calls related to field studies: Harriet Tubman play, Black Heritage Trail,  meet with Drumlin Farm coordinator (July 30) to plan outdoor exploration focus and field study for Fall (frog habitat/adaptation) and Spring (naturalist exploration). (It's always great to get this work done in the summer months--the team will have to determine what we want to keep and what we want to change.)

Mandated Online Trainings
(This takes about a half day. This year I did it early, but had to redo many parts since they were updated after the start of school hence I want to determine when the trainings will be updated)

Read school shared social/emotional teaching articles.
(I want to continue to think about and learn more about teaching what some call "soft skills" and others call "social competency")


Summer Work Just Prior to Start of School

Curriculum Night Presentation Revision (ongoing)
Complete Revision with grade-level colleagues.

Meet with special educator, to review student services and schedules. Review and revise Complete Assessment Form/class chart.
Set up date to meet with AM once schedules are complete.

Ordering: Check orders, put away all supplies.

Room Set Up: Create a math/STEAM focused classroom.
New floors will not be complete until 8/24 so set-up will occur after that date.

Team Meeting 8/27 9am (get lunch)

Review, revise, and set up Class Data Chart.

Incorporate system-wide and school goals into overall year’s plan and efforts. Coordinate teaching of learning to learn curriculum into first six weeks with colleagues.
Also embed 2015 Summer Reading List Actions into year's efforts and plans.

First Weeks of School (School Year Plans)  
Description of Plans (update for 2015-2016)

9/15 Dot Day: Coordinate with Teammates

Global Cardboard Challenge Date 9/24: create, 10/2 Arcade (10/5 raindate) Coordinate with building principal and teammates.
PLC Start: Establish overall focus, norms, roles, protocols. . . .

Curriculum Night: Establishing the Learning Community
Extended time granted, date established.

Parent surveys: Google form survey included in first newsletter
Early Year Family Meetings (optional) - invitation in first newsletter
Update goals to reflect system-wide goals, summer work, review with admin., continue efforts to meet goals.

Learning to Learn Curriculum: Work with team to update and embed into learning.

STEAM Workshop: Update STEAM Efforts
Naturalist Study (include frame-math measurement/nature work)

Professional Learning for School Year 2015-2016

Daily Reading, Writing, Reflection, Planning

Document year's story of new model throughout the year.
#1 Story Starts Now, Story #2
# First Collaboration Meeting 8/28

Regis College EdTech Workshop 7/23 X
Drumlin Farm/SUASCO Collaboration First Meeting 7/30 X
Monson Presentation 8/26 X
SRSD Workshop 8/24 X
TLC with MTA 2015-2016 Cohort - Year Long Effort (weekly routine)
Gates Foundation Initiative Efforts - Year Long and Maybe More (weekly effort)
SRSD Math Problem Solving - Year Long and Maybe More
Edcamp Malden 10/17
FSU Math?
PD Event of Choice -- TBD mid year

This poster will lead my work in the year ahead.

2015 Summer Reading List

As I move deeply into some challenging goals for the spring season, I want to make a list of articles to study during the quieter days of summer. I typically make this list each year at this time. I'll keep this list as I don't want to be distracted from the current, important goals by terrific new research, yet I want to employ that research in plans for next year's teaching.

And so the summer reading list for 2015 begins:

Current book list.
Choice Words

Education Trends
Redesign School Cafeterias
Design Think: Evolving Schools
Animation Apps
Leadership List
Technology Related to Worthy Learning  and Leading
Powerful Snapshot of What Schools Should Be by Tony Sinais
Culturally Relevant Classroom
Reconsider These Points for Next Year's Class Choreography
Deeper Learning
Maker Space
Working Well
Ideas to Incorporate into Curriculum
Thought provoking article about brain-based learning.
Teach Skills
Are We Teaching the Right Skills?
Let Students Fidget
Math Learning 
Talking Points in Math
Imagery: Key to Understanding Math
Equity in Education

Tools to Explore