Participate in the Great Kindness Challenge January 25 to 29

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The best thing about kindness is that it can be done anywhere, at any time. It can be done at school, or on Zoom, in your community, or simply in your backyard. Whether you’re a teacher, an administrator, a caregiver, or a learner — anyone has the power to be kind. It all starts with one small act.

So how might your classroom celebrate kindness this month?

Join The Great Kindness Challenge

We are proud to celebrate seven years of sponsoring The Great Kindness Challenge (GKC) event, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. …

By Christina Quarelli, K-8 Curriculum Specialist at McGraw Hill

Part 1 of our series, “Make Every Remote Learning Moment Count,” where we explore no-plan strategies to boost student engagement quickly.

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Drawing from Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation, active participation cannot meet its true potential if a safe learning environment with positive rapport isn’t initially established and consistently maintained.

Students will not engage if they don’t feel safe, even remotely.

Although it seems like a no-brainer, it should always be at the forefront of our minds, especially since there’s been a significant uptick recently in school-age children experiencing anxiety and depression.

Assigning tasks that embed social-emotional principles and require metacognitive application can not only create a consistent and positive atmosphere in your virtual classroom, but also break down common mental or emotional obstacles students face when approaching their learning goals. …

No-Plan Strategies to Boost Student Engagement Quickly

By Christina Quarelli, K-8 Curriculum Specialist at McGraw Hill

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“Let me share my screen.”

“Eye contact please!”

“Unmute yourself.”

“Remember that you are on camera!”

“Drop it in the chat box.”

The list of our new remote learning “mantras” goes on — and they don’t seem to be going away any time soon.

As teachers and students across the globe have had their agility, patience, and emotions tested and retested, there has been a consistent challenge: how to make the most of their time together. In addition to the technical logistics, student access, and a whole host of other obstacles that have come with abrupt and revisited distance learning, the challenging feat of how to make every minute of instructional time more interesting, relevant, and engaging has been one of the more difficult hurdles for teachers. …

By Dr. Gerald Paterson, Principal in New Jersey

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On December 15, 2020, I was going to participate in a panel hosted by McGraw Hill on Twitter. I was extremely excited to share all the amazing work my staff has done thus far during the pandemic.

In addition to offering two learning platforms, 70 percent of students were able to return to school full time, five days a week, and 30 percent of students were able to learn from a full-time virtual teacher.

Shortly before the 15th, the District decided to move to full remote due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the surrounding area and the difficulty of filling teaching positions at school. …

Sixty Seconds of Actionable Advice, Based on Science, Brought to you by Character Lab

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By Angela Duckworth, Character Lab Founder and CEO

Published as a part of a collaboration between McGraw Hill and Character Lab, where this piece first appeared. Character Lab advances scientific insights that help kids thrive (you can watch a short video here). By connecting researchers with educators, Character Lab seeks to create greater knowledge about the conditions that lead to social, emotional, academic, and physical well-being for young people throughout the country.

Where does the conviction that I can do this if I try come from?

In 1977, the psychologist Albert Bandura asserted that the most important determinant of self-efficacy is what he calls mastery experiences. …

An Introductory Guide to Identifying the Signs and Symptoms

By Dr. Jan Hasbrouck, Author and Educational Consultant

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In our previous blog, Understanding Dyslexia, we discussed how almost a century of research from a variety of scientific fields has disproven many myths about dyslexia that are unfortunately still prevalent in our culture. We now know that dyslexia is neurobiological in origin and typically results from a deficit in the phonological component of language. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. Like all learning disabilities, dyslexia is a spectrum disorder that varies in the level of impact and has no correlation with intelligence.

This blog will attempt to explain the prevalence of dyslexia, what signs parents and teachers should look for so we can detect dyslexia earlier — sometimes even before students learn to read — and how we can address it in the classroom, so we can turn struggling readers into confident ones. …

A Virtual Care Package for Teaching and Learning How to Be Brave in the Face of Uncertainty

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What is Bravery?

Of all the characteristics that make us human, our capacity for courage is perhaps the most admirable — and yet also the most surprising. After all, when we are brave, we take positive action despite uncertainty, risk, and fear. That we can achieve such an incredible feat is a testament to our humanity, and this is something worth celebrating.

Today, in times such as those we are experiencing, we are all calling upon our own courage as we navigate experiences and challenges that are simultaneously unfamiliar and formidable. Uncertainty, risk, and fear seem to lurk in every corner.

Fortunately, research on the human brain and how we learn has demonstrated that all people — no matter their age — are capable of demonstrating courage. Moreover, bravery serves as the cornerstone of how we learn; without courage, we can never take the risk of trying new skills or exploring new ideas. …

Reflecting on our Most Successful Education Stories In a Year Like No Other

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As we close out an unforgettable year, we are honored to have been a part of the many evolving conversations centered on education. Alongside our community of talented and passionate educators, administrators, and parents across the world, we have bore witness to the disruptions and changes teachers of all kinds have faced and overcome. We covered a range of important topics, from the sudden shift to remote learning, to anti-racist teaching strategies, to maximizing student engagement in ever-changing environments, to the importance of teacher mental health. …

Literacy and Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Pedagogy

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What is literacy?

When asked, many people might define it as the process of learning to read, write, communicate, and understand language in many forms in many contexts.

They might point out important features in literacy instruction that include background knowledge building, text quality and complexity, effective and explicit instruction of literacy skills and strategies, differentiated instruction, and rich discussion and collaboration.

But some literacy researchers and scholars would say this definition is too limited.

In their view, literacy can enable citizens to participate in society, expand their life opportunities, and engage in what is happening in the world around them, while also leading to self-empowerment, self-determination, and self-liberation (Muhammad, 2020).

Reflecting on the Challenges, Transformation, and Wisdom the Year Has Brought

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To look back on the year and how it has changed education forever, we hosted a Twitter Chat this past week with a panelist of several standout Art of Teaching guest bloggers. We covered all things 2020, from how a pandemic disrupted the way education is delivered, to why social and emotional learning, and equity and inclusion, must be present in all aspects of instruction. We were thrilled with the engagement and responses we received from participants across the country. …


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