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

  • 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

  • JP Associates offers our sites grant writing assistance. Take advantage of our experience writing successful grant requests.

  • JP brings together several critical factors in the development of an effective school.
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Research: How the Best School Leaders Create Enduring Change

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Transforming a school is a long, hard, and often lonely task. Some people want change, others don’t, and some simply aren’t prepared to wait for results to show. As a school leader sets off on this journey, how do they know what to do, when to do it, who to listen to, and how to manage critics along the way?

Our study of the actions and impact of 411 leaders of UK academies found that only 62 of them managed their turnaround successfully and sustainably transformed their school. While other leaders managed to create a school that looked good while they were there, but then went backwards, these 62 leaders built a school that continued to improve long after they’d left. We call them Architects, because they systematically redesign the school and transform the community it serves.

We studied them over eight years, using 64 investment and 24 performance variables to identify what they did, when they did it, and the impact they had. We visited the schools to see first-hand their actions and results. And we interviewed the leaders and their teams to understand the challenges they faced, when they occurred, and how they overcame them.

We found the Architects sustainably transformed a school by challenging how it operated, engaging its community, and improving its teaching. They took nine key steps over three years, in a particular order. Each step represented a different building block in the school performance pyramid. But it was a bumpy ride, with 90% almost fired at the end of their second year. Here’s what they did, and how they did it.

The school performance pyramid

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Teaching Adolescents How to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information

Three students discuss information they’re reading on a laptop.

Use these strategies to help middle and high school students identify relevance, accuracy, bias, and reliability in the content they read.

An essential part of online research is the ability to critically evaluate information. This includes the ability to assess its level of accuracy, reliability, and bias. In 2012, my colleagues and I assessed 770 seventh graders in two states to study these areas, and the results definitely got our attention. Unfortunately, over 70 percent of the students’ responses suggested that:

  • Middle school students are more concerned with content relevance than with credibility
  • They rarely attend to source features such as author, venue, or publication type to evaluate reliability and author perspective

When they do refer to source features in their explanations, their judgments are often vague, superficial, and lacking in reasoned justificationOther studies highlight similar shortcomings of high school and college students in these areas (see, for example, a 2016 study from Stanford). From my perspective, the problem is not likely to go away without intervention during regular content area instruction.

Other studies highlight similar shortcomings of high school and college students in these areas (see, for example, a 2016 study from Stanford). From my perspective, the problem is not likely to go away without intervention during regular content area instruction.

So what can you do to more explicitly teach adolescents how to evaluate the quality of online information?

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ReadWorks offers audio versions of all of its 3,874 articles to support students

Image result for students watching videos

 

ReadWorks offers audio versions of all of its 3,874 articles to support students as they read. Audio narrations are important tools for helping readers access texts - especially emerging readers, struggling readers, English Language Learners, and students with learning disabilities. 

Over 600 of our K-8 articles have audio versions that feature real human voices reading with fluency and expression. 

Find and listen to human-voice narrated articles by clicking the button below!

Check out resources!

The Right Stuff: Teaching Kids about Copyright

copyright teaching kids

 

How to help kids learn about copyright by finding and using other people's creative works legally and ethically

We (rightfully) spend significant time and energy teaching kids to be aware of their digital footprints. Stories abound about momentary lapses of judgment leading to loss of employment or scholarships. Students tend to embrace these lessons because they care about reputation. Obviously, we must continue these important lessons; however, we must realize that digital citizenship encompasses other online behavior, too.

I’m talking about teaching kids about copyright.

It can be hard to get moral compasses to twitch when discussing the intricacies of copyright law, public domain, fair use, and Creative Commons. Those concepts seem abstract and removed from the concerns of adolescents. It can be even harder to break them of the habit of doing a Google image search and grabbing the first relevant and powerful image they see.

But remember that John F. Kennedy famously talked about the importance of doing the “hard stuff” in his “moon speech” at Rice Stadium in 1962. He spoke of the importance of getting to the moon, but I think that we can take the spirit of his words and apply them to teaching this particular tough corner of digital citizenship. I’m here to argue that we should choose to teach copyright not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because the goal of understanding copyright will serve to measure the best of student energies, skills, and citizenship.

Because the Common Core calls for us to teach students how to “use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing,” educators can teach kids about copyright as they teach the Common Core writing standards. Teachers simply need to teach some key concepts, share some tools, and model digital citizenship in terms of copyright explicitly in the classroom.

Frankly, it isn’t as hard as getting to the moon. With the right resources, our students will be out-of-this-world digital citizens in no time at all.

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A Phone Call Home Makes All the Difference

A young female teacher wearing glasses is at her desk smiling and on the phone.

 

You don’t have to reserve phone calls to parents or guardians for bad news. Try these tips to deepen communication with families.

With all the pressure that comes with being a first-year teacher, reaching out to parents early in the year can feel like your lowest priority. But building relationships with parents can set you and your students on a path to success, and it can save time in the longer run.

My biggest mistake was that I waited to make those calls. I was young and nervous. Once I did start calling, I quickly learned what a valuable resource parent and guardian support can be. And I was asked several times, “Why didn’t you call sooner?”

Calling does take time, though. If you call six homes and talk for 10 to 15 minutes, the time can add up. But making a phone call or two at the end of the day—or during lunch, or on the weekend—is well worth it. Harvard education researchers Matthew Kraft and Shaun Dougherty discovered numerous benefits of teachers phoning students’ homes: “Frequent teacher-family communication immediately increased student engagement.... On average, teacher-family communication increased the odds that students completed their homework by 40 percent, decreased instances in which teachers had to redirect students’ attention to the task at hand by 25 percent, and increased class participation rates by 15 percent.”

 Read about:

Calling Parents With Concerns and Issues

Calling With Good News

Sending Texts and Emails

Invite Family Members Into Your Classroom

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