Blog

Thoughtful Planning for Teaching, Learning, and Academic Equity

The work that Van Duyn Elementary School is doing to address teaching and learning around the core standards is amazing.  They are planning for success by designing backwards from the goal of increased student success on grade-level standards and expectations.  They are thoughtful about ensuring all students have access and instruction around these expectations resulting in academic equity.  I am so proud to be part of such thoughtful work and a committed team! - Lisa Henkel, Pathways to Academic Excellence

2018-05-24T01:15:00+00:00 May 24th, 2018|

5 Recommendations to Help Teachers Craft Effective Questions 

5 Recommendations to Help Teachers Craft Effective Questions addresses the importance of fostering an environment where students are routinely and deeply introduced to grade-level complex texts connected to researched-based learning goals, the standards.  Crafting effective questions is in paramount to this process as is scaffolding the instruction for student success. Scaffolding questions supports students’ work and their productive struggle with the skills and content students are expected to know at the end of each grade-level to be college and career ready. While scaffolding is a useful took. care should be given to avoid over-scaffolding.  Taking too much time to build up [...]

2018-05-23T00:29:35+00:00 May 23rd, 2018|

Why Do Building Leaders Need Coaches?

Embedded coaching for building leaders and leadership teams is so powerful when there is a strong relationship of trust and a clear, purposeful, prioritized plan based on data.  School administrators are inundated with numerous pulls on their time.  Leaders also bring different strengths to this work.  Having the opportunity to collaborate with a coach helps to keep the planned, priority work in focus while also build capacity, and as a result efficacy, of the leader and leadership team. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2018/04/why_do_leaders_need_coaches.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news2-rm&M=58470105&U=1783924 Lisa Henkel, Pathways to Academic Excellence

2018-05-02T11:06:03+00:00 May 2nd, 2018|

Tools of Power

Sonja Santelises, CEO of the Baltimore City School District, spoke recently at the Winter Standards Institute.  During her keynote, which is a must watch, she speaks to the importance of access for all students to the core standards which she refers to as tools of power.  Sonja stresses that equity is about bridging the disconnect in our work, how we link our work with standards to long-term livelihood for students.  These are deep conversations that should happen I’m all communities, especially for our students of color and those living in poverty.   Lisa Henkel, Pathways to Academic Excellence

2018-04-07T11:51:45+00:00 April 7th, 2018|

How Can Schools Measure Progress?

Ongoing progress monitoring for school-wide improvement is extremely effective in measuring progress.  Providing data regarding high-quality instruction, intervention, teacher collaboration, and data-driven systems to schools and school leaders help instructional leaders determine if, and to what extent, goals and priorities for improvement are being implemented.  Hats off to Franklin Elementary School for their involvement in school-wide progress monitoring on Friday.  What a pleasure to share data specific to measuring the implementation of their improvement goals and develop next steps.   Great job Franklin! -Lisa Henkel, Pathways to Academic Excellence

2018-03-31T16:19:33+00:00 March 31st, 2018|

The Power of a Coach

A great article on the power of a coach, for teachers and for principals, a precise set of standards, and alignment - proof that this can improve student performance.   An Instructional Coach Can Improve School Performance. Here’s Proof By Madeline Will February 21, 2018 Rachel Rodriguez doesn’t remember not wanting to be a teacher. And it has never occurred to her to leave her beloved hometown—Gallup, N.M., a small city in the heart of American Indian country. She started her career as an elementary teacher at the same school she attended as a child, with a sense of community and [...]

2018-03-13T12:17:09+00:00 March 13th, 2018|

National Read Across America Day!

National Read Across America Day!  Every student deserves the tools to access text independently.  Here are some resources to help support student reading success.  Thanks UnboundEd!   Let's celebrate National Read Across America Day on March 2! Every student deserves the tools to access text independently. Here are some resources to help you support student reading success in (and out of!) the classroom. Choose from 50-plus text sets that explore a range of knowledge and vocabulary-building topics through a robust and intentional reading sequence. The K-12 text sets include topics like the Earth's Place in our Solar System (Grade 1) and The African-American Experience During [...]

2018-03-02T23:37:11+00:00 March 2nd, 2018|

Great Resource That Reviews K-12 Instructional Materials

I’m afraid Detroit is not alone.  I work with many hardworking, caring educators who are unsure if the curriculum they are using is truly aligned to the standards their students are expected to master.  As this article indicates, research has found that improving curriculum is an inexpensive way of booting learning.  As instructional leaders, we need to ensure the curriculia teachers are expected to use are aligned and support the goals of the standards.  We need to align our curriculum to the standards and then live the language in the standards. EdReports.org (independent nonprofit) is a great FREE resource that reviews K-12 [...]

2018-03-01T13:12:28+00:00 March 1st, 2018|

The Standards Institute Keynote

Powerful keynote by Dr. Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Schools on Day 2 of the Standards Institute in LA!  Dr. Santelises moved and inspired listeners with her work and data on the impact of bias and lack of access to high-quality standards, especially to students of color. Her data speaks to how economically disadvantaged white students outperform non-economically disadvantaged African American and Hispanic students. This data is telling and requires school leaders to dig deeply into their data and create a call of action. All our young people need access and high-quality instruction aligned to core standards!  Zip code [...]

2018-02-01T02:27:51+00:00 February 1st, 2018|

Greetings from LA and the UnboundEd Standards Institute

Greetings from LA and the UnboundEd Standards Institute. An amazing Day 1 with much thought provoking discussion, reflection, and call to action around equity for all learners. The work we do with students and the lens we use to determine that work is critical and requires a bias reality check. It’s not okay to spare our students of poverty or color the challenge of the productive struggle. We need equal access and multiple entry points for all, especially around accessing complex texts.  Can’t wait for tomorrow!  Can’t wait to share my learning!  

2018-01-31T01:41:26+00:00 January 31st, 2018|