Category Archives: Best Practices

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

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

Supporting New Teachers

Learning Academy Provides Classroom Strategies, Camaraderie

by Linda Odette, School News Network 

Imagine what it would be like to keep up to thirty 5-year-olds under control without a lot of knowledge on how to manage such a group. Then imagine you’re also a new teacher.

Enter The Learning Academy, a Kent ISD professional development program started in 2013 that brings together new teachers for lectures, simulated classes and observing master teachers to help them be more successful in the classroom. Continue reading Supporting New Teachers

5 Misconceptions of Personalized Learning

In 2015, the Michigan State Board of Education identified as a priority, “Increasing the use of personalized teaching methods, including the integration of technology for K-14 students to improve learning and outcomes.” In 2016, The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) released their plan to become a top 10 state in 10 years, which incorporated personalized learning as 1 of its 7 strategies. While  the state has a strong focus on personalized learning, many local districts in Michigan are just beginning to develop their understanding around this educational concept. Continue reading 5 Misconceptions of Personalized Learning

Will ESSA Impact You? Yes!

“With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal—that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will.” — President Barack Obama

New Education Law

In 2002, No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was put into effect to help educators identify when students were making progress and recognize when they needed additional supports without discriminating based on race, income, language, etc.  Over time, we found this act was not helping us all reach the goals of fully preparing all students for success in college and careers.

On December 10, 2015 President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  This new law reauthorizes the 50 year old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is a national law that gives equal opportunity to all students. The new law will build upon NCLB and ESEA to fully prepare ALL students for success in college and careers.

But the real question is, how will these changes impact us as teachers, administrators and students? And exactly how will it impact the classrooms and schools? Continue reading Will ESSA Impact You? Yes!

How New Teachers Are Fitting In Required PD

Did you know that new teachers in Michigan are required to have 15 days of professional development in their first three years of teaching?

It’s true.  And, this 15 days of professional development is in addition to their district provided professional development (DPPD).

Many districts do not have the funding to provide a program that supports this requirement and often ask new teachers to find their own professional development, which can also be costly to the district. While new teachers can find professional development, these opportunities may not match their specific needs for improvement. Continue reading How New Teachers Are Fitting In Required PD

One Simple Lesson, a Scientific Study and Life-Changing Results

I want to share with you the most exciting study I’ve read in the past year; it’s by David Yeager and Adriana Miu. In less than 1,000 words, I’ll lay it out briefly and then explain why I think it basically proves that our most idealistic conceptions of teaching — that teaching is magical, that it makes a difference, that it creates change that ripples on for centuries — are actually quite reasonable.

The study

600 freshmen students from three different high schools were given a short reading and writing exercise in September of their 9th-grade year. They were randomly assigned Continue reading One Simple Lesson, a Scientific Study and Life-Changing Results

A Student’s Perspective on NovaNow

There is still time to register for NovaNOW! This unique conference will be held on Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6. Check out this this student’s perspective on NovaNow…

Kent ISD EdTech Blog

We are only two weeks away from NovaNow, a unique opportunity for educators, business professionals, and even students that focuses on innovations in education. As we ramp up for this event, we asked Ben Wieringa, a Kent Innovation High student, to share his experiences with NovaNow. We have included his response below.

Hello, My name is Ben Wieringa I have been a student at Kent Innovation High (KIH) for the past four years. I have also been involved with NovaNow since it started two years ago. For those that are not familiar, NovaNow is a conference that takes place in a school, where educators talk with presenters and everyone has a voice to share what they think is best for students in the classroom.

I spent the first year of NovaNow as a tour guide where I would show guests around the open, free-flowing workspace of KIH. From the feedback…

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Dreams Do Come True…Announcing an Early Warning System!

Have you ever dreamed about knowing where each student was with their learning at the click of a button? What about the ability to see resources that would help each student to improve according to their specific needs?

Imagine the ability to have data from multiple sources, such as DIBELS, NWEA Map, and more, compiled into one report and one proficiency score. Now add the ability to zoom into one student at a time; right down to the standard, and in many cases, sub-standard level to deliver targeted instruction.

In May 2015, Kent ISD received a state consolidation of services grant to develop an early literacy alert and intervention system to help teachers throughout the Reading Now Network identify and provide resources to students who are not reading at grade level.

Over the summer, Kent ISD worked closely with local teachers, Kickstand and Bare Bulb to create an ecosystem comprised of teacher created resources, a data warehouse, and a learning management system. The key features of the ecosystems include: Continue reading Dreams Do Come True…Announcing an Early Warning System!

Refocus Your School Year with this 5 Minute Activity

Now that we’re about a third of the way through the school year, take five minutes to shoot from the gut and get your head and heart straightened out with this simple exercise. You won’t get any copies made or a parent newsletter drafted or a curriculum mapped or whatever other urgent tasks assail you during the five minutes I propose, but I do think this can help you think more clearly about the things you choose to do with the remainder of your school year.

Continue reading Refocus Your School Year with this 5 Minute Activity