Written by Patricia Ward, Mindful Schools
Everyone can agree that stress levels in schools are at an all-time high, not just for students but for teachers and staff as well. A promising practice that is being used in schools all over the world and right here in the Grand Rapids area is Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the new ‘running’ for health and wellness. Twenty years ago, if someone said ‘I’m going out for a run’ you would want to know what they are running from. Today, people know running (or walking) is one way we take care of our physical and mental health. Thirty years ago, Mindfulness was an intervention used primarily with adults that were suffering from stress, chronic pain or depression. Today it is being integrated into schools all over the world to help students with attention, emotional regulation and empathy for self and others.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention — to thoughts, physical sensations, and the environment — without constantly feeling the need to judge what’s happening or to make it other than it is. Mindfulness is a way of meeting our experience with the presence of mind to respond skillfully to life’s challenges, rather than reacting based on intense emotions. Continue reading Resiliency isn’t just for students
“Personalized learning is intended to facilitate the academic success of each student by first determining the learning needs, interests, and aspirations of individual students, and then providing learning experiences that are customized—to a greater or lesser extent—for each student. To accomplish this goal, schools, teachers, guidance counselors, and other educational specialists may employ a wide variety of educational methods, from intentionally cultivating strong and trusting student-adult relationships to modifying assignments and instructional strategies in the classroom to entirely redesigning the ways in which students are grouped and taught in a school.” (Glossary of Education Reform, 5/14/15)
On May 3rd, Kent ISD will host The Personalized Learning Conference (PLCON). This conference is beneficial to all educators who want to learn more about personalized teaching and learning.
Leaders in education have a unique opportunity to create organizational priorities and values that support personalized learning for every student. Administrators can maximize time and teachers to create student success! Continue reading Top 5 Sessions for Admins at PLCON 2017
There are many responsibilities that the principal has throughout the year. Principals are the instructional leader, motivator, assessment coordinator, many times counselor, behavior specialists among many other roles.
As you continue your growth this year as a principal, we want to offer you some strategies that will assist you to RAISE your leadership. The topics we will be sharing are around Relationships, Assessments, how to Inspire, Shared Leadership, and how to Elevate. It is essential to foster your own growth, so in turn you can support the growth of your students and staff. Continue reading How to RAISE Yourself as a Leader
“Young people who had mentors report setting higher educational goals and are more likely to attend college than those without mentors,” according to “The Mentoring Effect”, a January 2014 report from The National Mentoring Partnership.
Kent ISD’s Career Readiness Department is excited to announce that the student registration for Groundhog Shadow Day 2017 opens on December 1 (click here to register). This program will run on February 2, from 9:00 am -2:00 pm and will be open to all Kent County students grades 9-12 that register. Continue reading Student Registration Open for Groundhog (Job) Shadow Day
“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!
There are nearly 15,000 English Learners in Kent County schools. Nationally, 1 in 4 students is an English Learner.
How are you supporting English Learners (EL) at your school in Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts?
Last year participants from 20 districts came together to learn, discuss, and devise action plans to increase the achievement of their EL students. The 2016/2017 EL Coaching Network will focus on support for ELs in the K-12 content areas. EL teachers, EL staff, and content teachers are welcome to join.
Did you know that Kent ISD has other Curriculum focused networks?
Not only can your district participate in our EL Coaching Network, the Teaching and Learning department at Kent ISD has created the opportunity for all Kent County districts to network and obtain resources related to each specific content area. Continue reading Opportunity for Curriculum Networking and Resources
In 2009, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described summer learning loss as “devastating”. Educators often refer to summer loss as “summer slide”.
It is estimated that the amount of loss a child might experience could equal one month of instruction, and the effect has a greater impact on disadvantaged children (Cooper, 1996). Researchers conclude that two-thirds of 9th grade reading achievement gaps can be explained by the accumulated summer loss they have experienced since early elementary, with nearly one-third of the gap already present when children enter Kindergarten (Alexander, Entwistle & Olsen, 2007). Continue reading Kids Who Read Beat the Summer Slide
For the Love of Reading!
Creating a culture of readers centers around the classroom library. The classroom library provides students with access to a wide range of high-interest fiction and nonfiction texts. Developing the classroom library most often is left to the teacher, diminishing school budgets, and sometimes through donations.
Research supports what teachers have always known, students who read more achieve more.
Teachers can support student’s reading habits by Continue reading Want to Enhance Your Classroom Library?
Did you know?
In 2013, 41% of Kent County high school students reported that they have consumed alcohol and 28% reported trying marijuana (2013 MiPHY Survey).
And, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in American teens. In 2013, 2,163 teens in the United States ages 16–19 were killed and 243,243 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes (www.cdc.gov).
Teen alcohol and drug use and teen driving are serious issues that can have lifelong or life ending effects. The good news is that both are preventable! Continue reading Prevent Teen Substance Abuse and Unsafe Driving
Do your students see you as a reader? What does a reader look like? Sound like?
Have you ever thought of developing interest in reading as marketing reading? Not so far-fetched, because reading has to compete with video games, sports, TV, the internet, going fishing, any and all of the intriguing options out there for our students.
When you hear the name Donalyn Miller, is “reading” the first word that pops into your head? A friend of Donalyn’s, Christopher Lehman, wrote an excellent post on Donalyn’s Blog on Education Week TEACHER, called What Kardashians Taught Me About Reading Instruction (No, For Real).
In his post, Chistopher Lehman does a direct comparison between Donalyn Miller and Kim Kardashian. Continue reading Brand Yourself As a Reader