Teachers and administrators in the League of Innovative Schools, a network of 56 schools in five northeastern states, meet regularly to share ideas to improve education and student outcomes. The group's activities are supported by state education departments and foundations, and give schools access to experts and resources.
Educator Maddie Witter offers in this blog post six strategies for conducting classroom discussions that include all students, particularly those who are shy or who may seem disengaged in class. For instance, teachers can hand out questions at the start of class and have students with the same question discuss answers before sharing with the whole class. "Traditional Q+A didn't help me access all of my learners," Witter writes.
Penny Kittle and Carol Jago, both English teachers and authors, offer tips in response to this blog post by Larry Ferlazzo about how English teachers can improve their skills. Jago, former president of the National Council of Teachers of English, advises that teachers help students tackle complex text that includes difficult vocabulary and instructing them to reread difficult passages. Kittle suggests teachers write daily to have a fresh perspective on the challenges of the writing process when crafting their lessons.
One of the responsibilities of educators is to teach students to be digital citizens, writes Andrew Miller, an educational consultant and online educator. In this blog post, he writes that project-based learning is a "great way to target this objective in an engaging and authentic way." Miller suggests methods to teach students about digital citizenship, and recommends teachers create an authentic audience for projects and target content-area standards.
Elementary- and middle-school students in North Carolina's Davidson County last week attended a weeklong summer academy designed to help them develop leadership skills. The students participated in various activities focusing on teamwork, confidence-building, communication, goal-setting and conflict resolution. They also participated in community-service projects, including creating a video about bullying.