• JP works with schools providing training on how to ameliorate teacher weaknesses brought to light through the process of teacher evaluation.

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  • JP partners with schools and districts across the country to provide intensive professional development for scientifically-based programs.

  • Common Core State Standards, Factors Influencing Student Achievement, Responsive Coaching, Teacher Evaluation, Autism
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5 Classroom Tools to Measure Student Learning

Students use tablets for formative assessment while a teacher in the foreground leads them.

 

Formative assessment is a snap with games and other tools that let you see how students answer questions and review material.

Formative assessment is important in every classroom. End of unit assessment should never be a surprise to students or their teacher. And with the availability of so many great educational technology tools, measuring student learning is easy to do. Check out five of my favorite ways to measure student learning in my classroom.

Kahoot!

Before my building implemented a 1:1 program, we allowed our students to bring their own devices for classroom use. It was around this time that I first stumbled upon Kahoot, and it has become a staple in my classroom. My students love competing against each other in Kahoot games, which we use a few times each week for formative assessment. Kahoot provides a variety of options for activities that engage students in the assessment process, making it fun. It offers both classic and team modes, which allow students to play a game as an individual or with a group. Students earn points by answering questions quickly and accurately, and enjoy watching the leaderboard throughout the game. Put Kahoot on your list of tools to try. I use it as a bell ringer, for test review, and more.

Quizizz

Much like Kahoot, Quizizz allows teachers to gather evidence of student learning in a fun, gamified environment. When teachers create activities through the program, they can search for and use games and questions created by other users. This can be fantastic for students who are accustomed to answering questions only as their teacher creates them. Teachers have the ability to share an activity with students on Google Classroom to be completed in class or as homework. Questions and answers are displayed on students’ individual devices, which saves them from having to crane their necks to see the board around their peers. As students answer questions, they’re greeted with fantastic memes based on the accuracy of their response. So much fun. Teachers can view individual student progress and whole-class data, which is great for assessing student learning.

Quizlet Live

Many students know Quizlet as a flash card creation tool, but it’s so much more than that. Recently, Quizlet unveiled Quizlet Live, which allows teachers to create collaborative learning games that emphasize concept mastery. Teachers can create a game from any Quizlet flash card deck. After at least six players join the game, they’re sorted into random teams. (Purchasing the premium version allows teachers to create their own teams.) Students must work together to correctly answer the questions. All team members see the same question on their screens, but they’re given different lists of answer options. As teams answer correctly, they move across the board. The team that answers 11 questions in a row correctly wins, and the competition aspect spurs kids to learn so they can support their team.

Padlet

If you’re looking for a collaborative space for your students to communicate about anything, look no further than Padlet, a free tool for teachers and students to share information, resources, images, and more (there’s also a premium version). I use Padlet in my flipped classroom as a backchannel to encourage all students to reflect on their learning. I create a Padlet wall for each of my classes called WSWR, which stands for “what should we review,” and I encourage each of my students to contribute a reflection from the instructional videos they watch. Students post concepts that they feel need to be revisited, and their classmates can reply to their posts. I also use each class’s WSWR wall to create a review screencast based on what the students feel needs to be reviewed.

Flipgrid

Over the past few months, Flipgrid has appeared as the new kid on the edtech scene. Through Flipgrid, teachers can create grids (similar to class sections in Classroom or a learning management system) and post topics for students to reflect upon. Using a quick, four-step process, students respond to prompts through a video. Teachers can view student responses and provide timely feedback, and can encourage students to reply to their classmates’ submissions. Teachers can share grids and topics via Google Classroom or a QR code, or keep the grid private.

 

Introducing JP’s Re-Start Academy (RESA)

Image result for teacher shortage

The nation’s current teacher shortage is having an intense impact on the school system. In 2013–14, 62% of school districts had unfilled teaching positions three months into the school year. 

In the same school year, close to 1,000 teachers were on substitute credentials—a 29% increase from the previous year. With one of the highest turnover rates of any state and 24% of the workforce eligible to retire by June 2018, the future outlook points to continued shortages.

(A Coming Crisis Teacher Report)

Among all beginning teachers in 2007–08, 10 percent did not teach in 2008–09, 12 percent did not teach in 2009–10, 15 percent did not teach in 2010–11, and 17 percent did not teach in 2011–12.  Voices from the field tell us the trend has continued!

 

  • Interested in preventing teacher burnout?
  • Faced with filling teacher vacancies every year?
  • Want strategies that address teacher retention?

JP can help you address these and other needs.

With over a quarter of a century of experience in designing and implementing professional development to thousands of schools JP can assist you in creating a plan that will work for you.

RESA Academies focus on preventing high teacher attrition identifying it as the one factor within a school’s sphere of influence.

Strategy: RESA (Re-Start Academies)

RESA Academies provide a two-pronged approach to the challenge of teacher retention. The first prong targets new teachers (1-5 years in the field) providing training that can be implemented at intervals during the school year.  Information and strategies are based on current data collection identifying reasons teacher are leaving the field. Training is supported by ongoing coaching on a regular basis by trained School Improvement Specialists. 

The second prong focuses on school leadership and their role in creating a culture that supports teachers and develops a teacher-leadership pipeline.  Strategies presented include both a focus on classroom support and establishing school-wide processes and policies.

An integral element of both prongs is the identification of local teachers/administrators who can be trained as coaches so the project can sustain itself. 

Objectives:

  • To improve teacher retention
  • To establish effective and evidenced based mentoring
  • To create positive school environment via collaborative efforts among districts and schools and schools and staff and community
  • To provide training for principals/leaders enabling them to create and support an environment/culture that affects teachers’ decisions to remain or leave the field. 

Avoid These 4 Behaviors That Derail Conversations

When difficult conversations at work go wrong, they can rapidly devolve into unproductive arguments. Keep your discussion on track by minding the A-BCDs: Avoid Blame, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling.

  • Blame. Try not to make assumptions about what your colleague is thinking, and don’t make groundless accusations. Keep the conversation focused on facts.
  • Contempt. Acknowledge when you’ve lashed out in exasperation, and do your best to avoid making judgments.
  • Defensiveness. Take responsibility for your part in the conversation. Are you open to input, or do you interpret new ideas as criticism?
  • Stonewalling. Commit to listening and contributing with an open mind, instead of avoiding an unpleasant topic or refusing to participate fully in the conversation.

Any of these behaviors can derail a discussion, so make a commitment to yourself — and your teammates — to avoid them.

Adapted from “8 Ways to Get a Difficult Conversation Back on Track,” by Monique Valcour

6 Strategies for Taking High-Quality Notes

The below article targets college students, but the same concepts apply to adult learners, staff members. Some great strategies for how staff can walk away from professional development events with good information. 

Students take notes in class.

 

In my practice as a professor, I’ve noticed an anecdotal difference between the notes that my A and C students take during lectures. According to one study, students who take notes in an interactive fashion are more likely than those who record what they hear verbatim to be engaged in metacognition (thinking and evaluating one’s thought processes and understanding) and self-regulation (managing one’s behaviors for optimal results). And these two processes are more likely to lead to deeper processing.

The good news is that teachers can show their students how to take better notes. Even better, good note-taking activities are themselves learning processes that can help students think metacognitively about their own studying, and can improve their retention of course material. A virtuous cycle!

Six Powerful Note-Taking Strategies

1. Organize the blank page. 

2. Putting in time is important.

3. Pen beats computer.

4. Make use of the margins.

5. Rereading is essential. 

6. Use abbreviations for speed

Learn More

 

 

 

New Data Reveal 250 Preschoolers Are Suspended or Expelled Every Day

 Pre-K students play with educational toys at an education center, April 2, 2014, in San Antonio.

Twelve years ago, Yale University researchers uncovered a surprising fact: Preschoolers were more likely to be expelled than children in any other grade. In fact, preschoolers were being expelled at rates more than three times higher than school-aged children. Subsequent research found that the effect of this phenomenon was also racialized. A report by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights showed that African American children represented 18 percent of public preschool enrollment, but 48 percent of preschoolers receiving multiple out-of-school suspensions.

While these numbers are undeniably appalling, they only account for a small portion of the overall preschool population. Many 3- and 4-year-olds attend preschool in private programs, which are not required to report suspensions and expulsions.

The Center for American Progress analyzed new data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, finding that an estimated 50,000 preschoolers were suspended at least once. Another 17,000 or so preschoolers are estimated to have been expelled.* This is the first nationally representative survey of preschool discipline that includes private preschools as well as public schools. Which means that, across all types of settings, the average school day sees roughly 250 instances of a preschooler being suspended or expelled.

Zero tolerance discipline has gone too far

These disciplinary rates are particularly shocking since suspending and expelling young children has not been shown to produce positive behavioral results. Quite the opposite, such practices can often intensify the challenges faced by these children and their parents, and have even been discussed as the first stage in a preschool-to-prison pipeline.

As with incarceration, consistent patterns of racial discrimination have emerged from each successive study of preschool suspension and expulsion. Yale University Professor Walter Gilliam first identified them in his team’s groundbreaking research more than 10 years ago. At that time, it was found that the three best predictors of preschool expulsion were the three B’s: “big, Black or boy.” That is, teachers are more likely to recommend preschool suspension or expulsion when the child is black, a boy, or is physically bigger than their peers. Obviously, this puts black boys in the greatest danger of being excluded from early learning opportunities.

Learn More

 

 

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