5 Ways To Smartly Purchase Educational Technology

Edtech is a multi-billion dollar business. Edtech purchases have increased 5 times over the past five years. However, are these purchases actually doing students any good where it counts? Are they actually benefitting students in the classroom? As a technology in schools advocate, I urge all educators to carefully research and purchase devices and programs for their schools. With education funding trending downwards, it is vital that schools and districts purchase Edtech smartly.Continue reading “5 Ways To Smartly Purchase Educational Technology”

5 Ways to Decrease Disciplinary Issues in the Classroom

Many educators indicate that mastering classroom management is one of the most difficult parts of the profession. Teachers who struggle with poor classroom management skills will never get their students to learn at their highest potential. Their students are seen off task, talking to their friends, defiant, and disrespectful. These students are often assigned consequences for their actions that do little to change their behavior. These consequences include benching students at recess, after-school detention, parent/teacher conferences, sending students to the office, and Saturday school. The goal in these situations is to change the behavior, not to continuously battle for power with a child in the classroom. Sending them out of the classroom only gives in to what some of them ultimately want.Continue reading “5 Ways to Decrease Disciplinary Issues in the Classroom”

Five Ways To Ensure Your Next IEP Meeting Runs Smoothly

IEP meetings are some of the most important facets of an educator’s job. Ensuring that appropriate placement and services are being provided for some our most at-risk students should always be a top priority. It is vital that these meetings are productive, collaborative, and student focused. Sadly, too often these meetings get derailed by emotions, politics, and a fundamental difference of beliefs.Continue reading “Five Ways To Ensure Your Next IEP Meeting Runs Smoothly”

5 Ways to Make Classroom Walk-Throughs More Powerful

Conducting classroom walk-throughs (CWTs) is not a new concept. Educators have been walking through classrooms, gauging instructional practices for years. Unfortunately, CWTs are often conducted due to mandates from downtown and not from the internal desire to improve educational practices. Administrators go through the motions of walking through without the school getting the benefits of this researched based activity.Continue reading “5 Ways to Make Classroom Walk-Throughs More Powerful”

5 Ways for Educators to Use Social Media

Social media has changed the way that we approach communication and networking. Educators around the world are learning and sharing together. While many educators have taken to social media like a fish to water, there is still some resistance and anxiety. Most of this anxiety comes from not knowing what to post or how to connect. Here are five ways that educators can utilize social media.Continue reading “5 Ways for Educators to Use Social Media”

5 Educational Concepts We Need To Eliminate In 2017

As we come to the end of another year, it is time once again to think about the changes we will make in the next 12 months. The world of education is changing rapidly. However, there are still many areas that need to be addressed.Continue reading “5 Educational Concepts We Need To Eliminate In 2017”

5 Ways to Create a Powerful Response to Intervention Plan

Schools across the country are creating intervention plans for students. However, most of these plans fall short and are just mere shells of what they could and should be. Schools are spending thousands of dollars and wasting precious time implementing plans that simply do not work, further frustrating students, teachers and parents. Students are still falling through the cracks both academically and behaviorally.Continue reading “5 Ways to Create a Powerful Response to Intervention Plan”

5 Ways to Differentiate Professional Development for Teachers

We often talk about the need to differentiate instruction to meet the diverse needs of students. Rarely, do we speak of differentiating teacher professional development to meet the diverse needs of teachers. Teachers, like their students, are in different places in their careers. They have different skills sets as well as different areas of strength and opportunity. Schools located within the same district might have different needs or are at different stages of development. However, schools and district continue to require teachers to attend one-size-fits-all professional development. This is counter-intuitive to the mindset of an educator.Continue reading “5 Ways to Differentiate Professional Development for Teachers”

7 Ways To Support English Language Learners

When working with English Learners, educators often hear such phrases as:

Model. Watch your rate of speech and offer wait time. Use non-linguistic cues. Provide opportunities to build background knowledge. Have clear expectations and instructions. Check for understanding. Encourage development of home language.Continue reading “7 Ways To Support English Language Learners”

Five Ways to Filter Assessment Data

Assessments are useless unless you do something with the data. It is not enough to administer assessments to students and then create colorful graphs and charts that display the data. Data must be filtered down in order to see trends, outliers, areas of opportunity, and areas of strength. Overall all percentage numbers are just a starting point. We need to go deeper to uncover the root of the problem, not just look at the symptoms. Above all, data must be acted upon. Continue reading “Five Ways to Filter Assessment Data”