Finding the Right Fit

Parents, Students Tout Benefits of Accelerated Math Pilot

Written by Janice Holst,  School News Network

How do you turn a would-be class clown into a productive student? How do you motivate a fifth-grader who just doesn’t fit in or refuses to keep up with classroom assignments?

Some area parents have turned to ATYP Junior — a Kent ISD pilot program that offers accelerated math for elementary students.

“Nolan’s experience thus far with ATYP has been nothing but positive,” said Mickey Larson, father of the Sparta fifth-grader. “The recognition that comes along with being part of such a select group has finally helped make him proud and appreciative of his intelligence. His newfound self-confidence leads him to see himself not merely as the ‘class clown’ – as he’s done in years past – but rather as the smart, witty kid that he is.” Continue reading Finding the Right Fit

MDE is Offering Free Minecraft Licenses for up to 300,000 Students

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is excited to announce a partnership with Microsoft EDU to provide 150,000 to 300,000 free student licenses for the Minecraft Education Edition (M:EE) for one year. This version of the popular open world game, Minecraft, is specifically designed for education, containing features that make Minecraft more accessible and effective in a classroom or after-school program setting. This program aligns to the MDE’s Top 10 in 10 Strategic Plan by enhancing access to effective technology tools that support deeper and personalized learning. The free licenses can be deployed in both Microsoft enabled districts, as well as Google classroom districts. Continue reading MDE is Offering Free Minecraft Licenses for up to 300,000 Students

Top Educational Gift Ideas

It is the gift giving season! What gifts can you give a child to ignite learning? 

I have found with my children that the right toys inspire learning. So together, with other Kent ISD consultants and parents, I have populated a list of educational gifts that we have seen engage our children and students.

I have categorized the ideas, but many of these really could fit into more than one category. I encourage you to read through each list. Continue reading Top Educational Gift Ideas

The Power of Reflection

In considering the various “R’s in Education”, how important is the process of “reflection”?

The power inherent within your personal reflection of your educational practices should never be undervalued. But, does “reflection” fall into my 5 R’s of Effective Engagement? A component of this reflection strategy are the proverbial “Look In The Mirror” Moments.

For me, when I awake in the morning as I am preparing myself for work, I look in the mirror and ask myself, “Will you give your best today?” Without hesitation, my reflection always responds back with the affirmative, “Yes!” Continue reading The Power of Reflection

Does Practice Make Better for the SAT?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Practice Makes Better?”  The results are in, and official SAT practice pays off.  A study of 250,000 students, from the class of 2017, showed that a little practice goes a long way—regardless of gender, race, income, or high school GPA. In fact, 20 hours on Khan Academy® was associated with an average 115-point increase from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT. Continue reading Does Practice Make Better for the SAT?

Kent ISD Provides Resources for Accelerated Learning

Ever heard of the Academically Talented Youth Program (ATYP) at Kent ISD?

In 1999, at the request of superintendents from multiple local districts, Kent ATYP began . Why? Because these districts had middle school students who were way beyond their peers in readiness to learn math, but no one district consistently had enough accelerated students to justify developing a program to support their needs for acceleration. Continue reading Kent ISD Provides Resources for Accelerated Learning

Improve Retention: Affective Domain- Bloom Taxonomy’s Secret Weapon

blog post written by: Carlos Esquivel

A dollar drops in the tin bucket as the young troubadour croons his rendition of “Rhinestone Cowboy,” with guitar and boots to match, but just as you put your twenty dollar bill back into your pocket, you hear the sound of two voices dramatically singing, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The young couple are also on the street downtown, busking as it’s called, and now they are pulling you into the experience. Whichever performer is bestowed your Facebook post or twitter accolade will be determined by the degree of phenomena that is given and received during the experience.

The same situation happens in classrooms every day as teachers compete for the embattled attention span of our students. Smartphones, sleep deprivation, hunger and many more competitors, are all vying for the precious and finite attention of our audience. We are the buskers and they have all the freedom to choose who will get the dollar in the bucket. So, the curtain rises (the bell rings) and the bright lights are on you. It’s time to create the experience using the affective domain. Continue reading Improve Retention: Affective Domain- Bloom Taxonomy’s Secret Weapon

Change Illusion

Blog post written by: Dr. Anthony Muhammad

Change is a very difficult process, but it is the catalyst to continuous improvement.  It tests our ability as professionals at many different levels.  Sometimes, when things get too challenging, we tend to look for short-cuts or we quietly surrender.  We live in a political climate that demands that we change, whether we choose to or not, but I have found that some organizations are good at creating the illusion of change, rather than being fully involved in the process of change.  There are three key phrases which clearly indicate that an organization is not fully committed to the change process. Continue reading Change Illusion

Simple, Effective Method for Teaching Writing Across the Content Areas

Written by: Lindsay Veitch, Caledonia Community Schools Teacher and Author

I brought my two-year-old to his pediatrician, Dr. Lisa Brown, for a well-visit the day Dave Stuart Jr. launched my ebook, The Write Structure. I casually mentioned this exciting news to Dr. Brown, and she replied as only the doctor of children could.

With an incredibly warm look on her face, she asked a remarkably direct question, “That’s wonderful! Can you crystallize your text in one or two sentences?”  

Well, that’s not much to work with, doc, but here goes: “The Write Structure is a simple format that is totally transferable. The book is based on solving a common problem with writing in schools. Kids don’t know where to start, so they loathe writing. When teachers recycle The Write Structure (and the teaching methods that go with it), kids’ anxiety goes down and success goes up.” Continue reading Simple, Effective Method for Teaching Writing Across the Content Areas

Observation and Formative Feedback: Best Practices

Written by Steve Seward, Associate Director, MASSP

“Teaching is complex work. You don’t have to be bad to get better!”  Candi B. McKay

Regardless of age or role, we all deserve formative feedback for growth that is centered on clearly specified areas of focus and success criteria. Those that are most effective as leaders, in all educational capacities, consistently engage in the process inquiry through the gathering and gaining feedback for growth.

There are multiple ways to give and receive feedback and multiple uses of feedback. Most important is that feedback is provided based on a strengths-based approach. As John Hattie explains, “Feedback must be timely, relevant, and action-oriented”. The goal with formative feedback is to provide feedback that moves learning forward by causing the learner to think, and at the same time be the owner of their learning. Continue reading Observation and Formative Feedback: Best Practices

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