How Will You Celebrate Digital Citizenship Week?

It’s officially fall. The leaves are beginning to change, the temperature is approaching sweater weather and you can begin to smell the digital citizenship in the air. That’s right! Every fall, educators around the globe shine a spotlight on digital citizenship in their classrooms during Digital Citizenship Week

As we continue to live more of our lives online, we know that preparing students to thrive in the modern world is increasingly important. Helping our students become good digital citizens is an effort that reaches into nearly every aspect of learning and never stops, nor should it. Digital Citizenship Week is October 14-18 and gives us an opportunity to intentionally address digital citizenship in our schools. Continue reading How Will You Celebrate Digital Citizenship Week?

Shifting Routines for Student Proficiency Gains

As we approach the end of the first six weeks of the school year – educators are starting to see community form, relationships build, and role modeling taking place in the classroom.  Many students begin to self-regulate, utilize sentence stems, and probe one another’s thinking. 

Routines, a sequence of action followed regularly, are forming in and out of the classroom. These include daily routines, nightly routines, weekly routines, and sometimes no routine.  A routine might include brushing your teeth, packing your lunch, taking the dog for a walk, going for a run, or watching your favorite television show.  Continue reading Shifting Routines for Student Proficiency Gains

Create True Engagement in Your Classroom

Teachers, you know those wonderful, but seemingly rare moments when all your students are suddenly on fire with their learning? 

If you want to create true engagement – that on fire type of learning – more of an intentional, regular occurrence in your classroom, you should check out Engaging Children:  Igniting a Drive for Deeper Learning K-8 by Ellin Oliver Keene.  The focus of this book is exploring how we can promote authentic, student-driven engagement. Continue reading Create True Engagement in Your Classroom

Diversity, Belonging, Equity & Inclusion: 2019-20 Grounding Principles

As the 2019-20 school year launches, I can’t help but think of four major principles that I believe all educators are called to wrestle with: diversity, belonging, equity, and inclusion. Educators engage these principles personally (e.g. through awareness, identity, and growth) and professionally (e.g. through mindset, practices, processes, and responsibility). These four concepts are the overarching principles of Kent ISD’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and should be integrated into everything we do. Continue reading Diversity, Belonging, Equity & Inclusion: 2019-20 Grounding Principles

STEM Career Connection: Connecting Classrooms with Careers

“STEM occupations on average will grow faster than non-STEM occupations and provide higher wages”  – Bureau of Labor Statistics

STEM education prepares students for what’s next by bridging the gap between academics and careers. Through the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics students learn how to solve complex real-world problems. Using a STEM approach helps students build valuable problem-solving skills as they develop and apply solutions to important real-world challenges. Continue reading STEM Career Connection: Connecting Classrooms with Careers

Leaders and Coaches Join to Improve Literacy

For 15 years coaches have been meeting at Kent ISD toward the goal of improving literacy. Over this time the network has grown to include other key literacy leaders.

The evolving nature of the network has prompted a name change to better reflect the members. The new name, Literacy Leaders and Coaches Network (LLCN) puts emphasis on our mission to connect leaders, enhance practice, and improve literacy. Continue reading Leaders and Coaches Join to Improve Literacy

What’s New with SCECHs?

Welcome back to another great school year! We hope you had a wonderful break. We have been working hard all summer at Kent ISD to prepare for another great year of professional development. We have some exciting new changes in the world of SCECHs (State Continuing Education Clock Hours) we wanted to share with you! Continue reading What’s New with SCECHs?

Moving beyond song and dance toward true student engagement!

Written by: Kelli Campbell Brockway, Director of T&L at Kent ISD

Teachers, have you ever felt like more of an entertainer than an instructor?  

If you struggle with how to get kids consistently excited and responsible for their own learning, I highly recommend the book Engaging Children:  Igniting a Drive for Deeper Learning K-8 by Ellin Oliver Keene.  The focus of this book is exploring how we can promote authentic, student-driven engagement. Continue reading Moving beyond song and dance toward true student engagement!

Can Improving Mental Health, Improve Achievement?

“Kids who suffer from mental health disorders…inevitably miss out on opportunities for learning and building relationships.” -David Anderson, expert on schools and mental health at the Child Mind Institute

There are more than 50 million public school students in the United States, and as many as 1 in 5 show signs of a mental health disorders—conditions that disrupts a person’s mood, thought or behavior, often for a long period of time. Most of these students, nearly 80% , won’t receive any form of treatment.  The research is clear: when these needs are unmet, students are much more likely to underachieve, be absent from school, be suspended or expelled, fail to graduate high school and face other negative consequences later in life. Continue reading Can Improving Mental Health, Improve Achievement?

Pattern Interrupted- Timed Tests, Part 2

written by: Andrew J. Smith, Kent ISD

“Technical changes are changes to tools or mechanisms professionals use to do their jobs effectively.  These changes within a school context refer to changes in structure, policies, or teaching tools. These changes are definitely necessary to effect improvement in student performance, but they produce very few positive results when people who do not believe in the intended outcome of the change use them.” (Muhammed, 2018, p. 22)

In our society, culture, and educational system we are constantly influenced by technical changes.   As educators we are used to technical changes that come at us from a variety of sources. We have to decide how it is we might react to those changes, as well as, what implications those changes might have on us and on our students. Continue reading Pattern Interrupted- Timed Tests, Part 2

News from Kent ISD's Professional Development Hub