Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here is my weekly update of Diigo bookmarks from this past week. Starting Thursday I will be live blogging from the NASSP Ignite ’14 Conference in Dallas, Texas. Follow my live updates here or on Twitter @tcmsprincipal!

  • Helping students write better  book reports

    tags: writing book reviews English

  • Have a “challenging” class? It’s not too late to make a cultural change. Here are some ideas.

    tags: teaching teacher Resources instructional strategies

  • Some really good thoughts on the art of teaching

    tags: teaching

    • Here are five things to get immediate changes started:

        1. We can set weekly learning goals with each individual student and teach them how to set their own daily goals for learning. (Even first graders can and should do this.)
    • We can utilize rubrics to set high performance standards and help students to evaluate their own performance.
    • We can give students opportunities to create high quality products that are relevant to what they need to learn.
    • We can evaluate learning in formative ways (i.e. let the students take the test over).
    • We can provide students with the appropriate and effective learning skills — learning brain-based strategies, processes, heuristics, etc.
    • Spend less time drilling and droning and more time with hands-on.
    • Engage them at higher levels and make sure they had something worthy to create with their new knowledge and skills.
    • Find out how I could help each student.
    • Help students learn the best ways to learn.
    • Find out what the students want to explore
    • Publish my student’s discoveries and creations
  • Some great tools to create timelines in your class

    tags: tools apps teacher Resources blended learning

  • Some great ideas for blended learning activities for your students

    tags: learning technology teacher Resources instructional strategies blended learning

  • More ideas on search engines that are safe for your Timberwolves

    tags: search engines teacher Resources blended learning

    • Fortunately, there are plenty of good kid-focused search tools available, you only need to know where to find them (and now you do)!
  • Here is a great info graphic on search engines for student research

    tags: search engines research teacher Resources blended learning

  • Social Studies teachers, here are some resources for the Gold mining period of US history

    tags: web resources social studies history teacher Resources

  • Some ideas on improving student writing in your English class.

    tags: writing English instructional strategies

  • Every wonder what life was like before Google? Here is some insight

    tags: teacher Resources google

    • Google Services As Extensions of Knowledge
    • When we need to know something, we turn to our trusty computers and look it up. Since the information is so readily available, we don’t often take the time to encode the information into our brains. So the next time we need to remember that information, it is likely that we’ll need to look it up again
    • We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools.
    • Accessibility of information is great – this doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t remember it just because it is easily available.
    • Human recall is flawed – every time we remember something, we remake it somewhat. Tools like Google search act as fact checkers for us.
  • Help your students improve their critical thinking skills

    tags: teacher Resources instructional strategies critical thinking

  • Here are some things to think about as you create lesson plans.

    tags: instructional strategies

  • When it is time to say good bye.

    • Nine Warning Signs an Employee Needs to be Let Go
    • 1. Things don’t improve with a change of scenery – Maybe it’s the relationship with their boss, certain peers, or the nature of the work has changed and the employee is struggling to perform at his best. Whatever the reason, moving the employee to another role or department can get him back on track.
    • 2. You feel like you have to walk on eggshells around the employee
    • Don’t underestimate the destructive power of a toxic, unpredictable employee.
    • 3. Emotional instability
    • If you have an employee that demonstrates severe emotional mood swings on the job and in their relationships with others, you need to pursue the proper legal and ethical guidelines in dealing with him to provide the support he needs.
    • 4. Trouble fitting into the company culture
    • 5. Blames others, makes excuses, and challenges authority
    • Troubled employees will often challenge authority by trying to lay the blame at the boss’ feet by saying things like “You should have done this…” or “You didn’t address that problem…” or whatever the case may be.
    • 6. Distorts or manipulates the truth
    • 7. Unseen gaps in performance
    • Maybe it’s sloppy work, not following correct procedures, or even worse, being intentionally deceptive or unethical. Be careful, things may not always be as they seem.
    • 8. A trail of broken relationships
    • A person may be a high-performer in the tasks of his job, but if he can’t get along with other people and has a history of damaging relationships with colleagues, eventually there will come a point where his contributions are outweighed by the damage and drama he creates.
    • 9. Passive-aggressive behavior
  • Some really good ideas on surviving the Dark Time

  • Leadership lessons from the Super Bowl

    tags: leadership

    • In Times of Success


       Cocky leaders use the word, me, to describe the reason for the team’s success.
    • Confident leaders see no use in the word, me, to describe reasons for success.
    • You will hear constant praise for the team as they describe how everyone worked together to make it happen. You will hear no overtones of ‘Me’ because the leader will be constantly praising the strengths and contributions of every member that played an integral part of the team’s success.
    • In Times of Failure
    • The cocky leader will be extremely disappointed and moderately immature. His anger, aggravation, and frustration will reveal itself in the way that he describes the team’s failure.
    • The confident leader will acknowledge the fact that ‘we’ did not win the game; however, the leader will not put the blame on ‘we’ but on ‘me’.
    • Finally, cocky leaders never consider using their words to bring people together as their first priority. Their insecurity won’t allow that. However, confident leaders constantly find ways to put their team in the best position to win the game. When they win, the leader gives the team credit for doing so. And when the team loses, the leader takes full blame for not putting the team in the best position to win.
  • Looking for some inspiration to inspire that one particular Timberwolf?

    tags: tips instructional strategies engagement

  • Some more Google tips

    tags: technology google google docs

  • Some great rules for using Google apps

    tags: teacher Resources

  • Some thoughts on struggling students

    tags: student instructional strategies assessment

    • The problem is in
    • The problem is in
    • The problem is in
    • I believe that it is terribly difficult to define exactly what a struggling student looks like (it could be based on effort, expectation, disability, etc.), but nonetheless, educators are required to face and support struggling students everyday in the classroom.
    • 1.  Educators must rely on research to assist struggling students.

    • The problem is in
    • The problem is i
    • The problem is in how we view and apply the research.  For instance, the research that teachers are supplied may be misrepresented (the effectiveness of the classroom intervention may be exxagerated or minimized).
    • support.

    • 2.  Any support for struggling students is better than no
    • The problem becomes the type of help that the students receive.  There is evidence that students gain more academically when help comes from an expert
    • 3.  Grade-level work should be the goal for typical developing students that are struggling.

    • In order to keep students engaged, the level of the work should match their ability level.  When the assignments breed a high success rate, the student is more likely to participate, comprehend the material, and get frustrated less often
    • 4.  Struggling students should follow the mantra “practice makes perfect”.

    • If a student practices with math problems all day but uses the incorrect formula, they are practicing/focusing on the wrong material.
    • 5.  Struggling students simply do not want to do the work.
  • How do you determine if a student needs intervention? Here are some ideas

    tags: teacher Resources intervention Student

  • Are you observation routines effective? Here are some questions to ask

    tags: leadership teacher observations feedback teaching

  • Some interesting thoughts on measuring team success

    tags: Leadership Lessons leadership team effectiveness

  • Creativity and observation..keys to innovation.

    tags: curiosity creativity innovation 21st century Leadership

    • If an idea is the seed of strategy, experience is the seed of an idea.
    • This is an argument for varied experience–a predictor of creativity–but it is also an argument for mindfulness.
    • Many people look, he said, but few people see–and that mindful seeing is the foundation of direct experience, itself the foundation of direct knowledge.
    • His emphasis on observation was so great that he would reconceive the way we perceive perception.
    • That is the power of curiosity and of observation: under examination even the most respected received wisdom can give way.
  • Knowing your people is a key skill in successful leadership

    tags: leadership leadership strategies leadership skills

    • Effective leadership is akin to a tango. Everyone knows who is the formal leader before the dance begins. But once the action starts effective leadership reflects a flexible dynamic moving partnership, quality of a relationship. Knowing your ABCs—“awareness” of your “behavior” and its “consequences”—is a key leadership building block.
    • The behaviors reflect a simple relationship model comprising eight styles and two energy modes. “Describe,” “prescribe,” “appreciate” and “inspire” reflect push energy—being understood by you and getting my points across to you. “Attend,” “ask,” “understand” and “empathize” reflect pull energy—striving to understand the points you are trying to get across to me.
    • Leaders must be aware of their follower’s style, needs and preferences.
  • Teaching our Timberwolves HOW to listen. Great idea.

    tags: listening strategies brain

    • Explicit instruction on cognitive strategies that can help students learn how to learn may have a positive impact on both academic performance and classroom management by emphasizing that students are in charge of their own behavior and learning.
    • A lesson on listening might begin with how the brain processes the sounds around us.
    • The most common obstacle to effective listening is noise.
    • While the brain’s auditory system is capable of blocking out background noises to focus on specific stimuli, nonetheless all these sounds can be distracting.
    • “Noise” can also arise inside students’ minds — a persistent song stuck in one’s head, pleasant daydreams, or unpleasant doubts about one’s ability to understand a new concept or complete an assignment.
    • The HEAR strategy consists of these four steps:


        • Halt: Stop whatever else you are doing, end your internal dialogue on other thoughts, and free your mind to pay attention to the person speaking.


    • Engage: Focus on the speaker. We suggest a physical component, such as turning your head slightly so that your right ear is toward the speaker as a reminder to be engaged solely in listening.

    • Anticipate: By looking forward to what the speaker has to say, you are acknowledging that you will likely learn something new and interesting, which will enhance your attention.

    • Replay: Think about what the speaker is saying. Analyze and paraphrase it in your mind or in discussion with the speaker and other classmates. Replaying the information will aid in understanding and remembering what you have learned.
  • Some advice on leadership development activities.

    tags: leadership leadership strategies

    • Be as clear and transparent as possible as to how participants are selected.
    • Letting people know the selection criteria helps clear up some of the mystery behind why someone was selected and why others were not. It also helps provide developmental targets to those not selected
    • Use a comprehensive selection process.
    • Train managers how to give feedback.
    • Managers need to learn how to have candid conversations with their employees about their performance and potential.
    • Provide development for ALL employees.
  • tags: teaching instructional strategies learning

    • The best solution to this problem is to make every lesson relevant to each student. However, given the impossibility of achieving that goal, I offer a few teaching tips that can mostly make that dreaded question about relevance a thing of the past.
    • “This Might Not Make Sense Yet, But . . . “
    • Tell your students that not everything you teach will always make sense. Let them know that you will always do your best to explain when they might use what you are teaching them, but that you might not always know.
    • Use Humor
    • Upon hearing the “When will I ever use this?” refrain, a high school teacher I work with tells her students, “I’m not sure because I don’t know what you want to be in your life. But if you give me a list of everything you plan to do and accomplish, I’ll do my best to let you know when we cover something that I think you might use.”
    • Connect Learning to Life Goals
    • “Remember that you want to be successful. A successful person would figure out a way to use a class like this to his or her advantage. A successful person would want to take this seemingly bad situation and twist it around. A successful person would take lemons, make lemonade and sell it! So here’s the silver bullet — the secret to success — the key to surviving this algebra thing:

      It’s not about the math!
      You’re not just in a math class!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


About drellena

Principal of Tomahawk Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. 2018 Outstanding Virginia Middle School Principal of the Year 2018.
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