Beyond Tests: 5 Alternative Assessment Strategies

We know assessments — both formative and summative — are critical components of teaching and learning, but so often they become straight-up burdens. At best, they can be boring and uninformative. At worst, they can take on a life of their own, and overtake what we know is most important in the learning process. ThisContinue reading “Beyond Tests: 5 Alternative Assessment Strategies”

5 Educational Concepts To Eliminate in 2023

The start of a new school or calendar year gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on what is working and what needs to change. This is the 7th installment of 5 Educational Concepts We Need to Eliminate. The first installment was written back in 2017. This article series has been read tens ofContinue reading “5 Educational Concepts To Eliminate in 2023”

7 Ways to Kick-Start Student Engagement

We surveyed administrators in the fall of 2021 and again in 2022 to discover the top concerns on K-12 administrators minds. In 2021, the top 3 concerns were learning loss, mental health, and teacher morale. And in 2022, the top 3 concerns were student engagement, improving teaching and learning, and teacher morale. So, administrators areContinue reading “7 Ways to Kick-Start Student Engagement”

5 Ways to Get Started With Project-Based Learning

It’s time our schools function less as factories that churn out pupils laden with decontextualized content knowledge, and more as innovation zones that develop the next generation of problem solvers. What if schools were beacons of curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking? There’s never been a better time to create classrooms that matter, to make project-basedContinue reading “5 Ways to Get Started With Project-Based Learning”

5 Must Haves For Your School’s PLCs

Many schools claim to have productive and comprehensive Professional Learning Communities. However, most of these schools are only scratching the surface when it comes to true collaboration and creating a student-centered approach. There are several elements that must be in place for any PLC to be successful and purposeful. If these elements are not inContinue reading “5 Must Haves For Your School’s PLCs”

Essential Topics at June 20-21 Online Education Conference

One glance at the flyer above, and you’ll find some must-have presentations! From literacy and numeracy to data-driven MTSS strategies, you’ll discover workshops that you’ll need in order to plan your PD for the 2022-23 academic year. Our speakers and facilitators are preparing to engage you in meaningful conversations so you can immediately integrate thisContinue reading “Essential Topics at June 20-21 Online Education Conference”

Teachers on the Brink: 4 Ways of Protecting Teacher Morale and Mental Health

This goes without saying, yet it’s too important not to mention: Educators had a positively traumatic end to the 2019-20 school year, found themselves in a constant state of adaptation in the 2020-21 school year, and entered 2021-22 with a false sense of optimism, almost willing it to be a normal school year. It didn’tContinue reading “Teachers on the Brink: 4 Ways of Protecting Teacher Morale and Mental Health”

Filling in the Gaps: Collecting and Analyzing the Right Student Data 

We were all hoping to wake up one morning and things would be back to normal. Normal work, normal play, normal school, normal lives.  We need to face the facts. We just aren’t there yet.  As we look at the 2021-22 school year, we must do so with honesty, realism, and eyes wide open. ManyContinue reading “Filling in the Gaps: Collecting and Analyzing the Right Student Data “

SEL for All: 7 Ways to Prioritize the Social and Emotional Needs of Your Staff

Everyone agrees that social and emotional learning is critical for our students. But who is looking out for the well-being of school staff? Schools have worked tirelessly this school year identifying and supporting the physical, social, and emotional needs of their students. But what about the needs of our teachers? What about your needs? HowContinue reading “SEL for All: 7 Ways to Prioritize the Social and Emotional Needs of Your Staff”

Out with COVID, In with Big Ideas: Going Beyond Learning Loss

By Dawn McCotter, Van Andel Education Institute Learning Loss, Instructional Loss, Unfinished Learning…whatever you call it, the 2020-21 school year has left its mark on the learning process. Rather than focus on the negative, use this as an opportunity for schools to reimagine their instructional practices by leveraging the lessons learned from pandemic teaching andContinue reading “Out with COVID, In with Big Ideas: Going Beyond Learning Loss”