3456 Chapters
Medium 9781934009444

Chapter 3: Communication Is Key

Mark Van Clay Solution Tree Press ePub

If being efficient means the school board can act as it sees fit and not worry about anyone affected by its decisions, then serving on the board is anything but, given the legal, political, and practical constraints on the board’s actions. Because of these constraints, it’s more important how the board conducts its business than what that business is. The most critical part concerns how, when, and why the board communicates with tactical, operational, parent, and community groups, all of whose support your board will need to provide strategic leadership.

Communication takes care and time, which you must build into the board’s working schedule. Many boards will find they spend more time—and more productive time—communicating the background to and reasons for their decisions than they will making them. That may seem counterintuitive, but any successful leader knows that decisions alone change nothing. People change things, but only if decisions are communicated to them in ways that they can understand and relate to. Thus, the key to board leadership is your ability to persuasively communicate decisions, not just the power to make them. As the strategic leader of a school district, your board needs to communicate so that individuals in various roles can understand, relate to, and carry out the board’s strategic decisions.

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Medium 9781945349430

6 Expanding Technology and Coding Concepts

Meg Ormiston Solution Tree Press ePub


Expanding Technology and Coding Concepts

The term coding describes the multiple languages used to program computers to complete tasks. Coding’s evolution has rapidly transformed our society, changing how we develop products and services, how we build space-faring rockets, and how we interact on social media. As technology gets easier to use, the code that drives the apps and devices we use every day becomes more complex. As careers in coding grow, so too do the opportunities for students to learn to code. Taking advantage of these opportunities does more for students than merely teaching them coding language, however. When students learn to code, it teaches them critical-thinking and computational-thinking skills. By coding, students become computational thinkers, as ISTE (2016) states in its Standards for Students. In this context, computational thinking is a way of organizing thought processes to formulate a problem and find a solution that machines can understand. Coding allows students to build these skills while creating and testing automated solutions.

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Medium 9781935249559

Chapter 5: Changing the Process

Robin J. Fogarty Solution Tree Press ePub


Learning How Teachers Differentiate Learning Processes to
Meet Student Needs

This chapter is designed to parallel chapter 4 on changing the content. The ensuing discussion delineates the many ways teams within professional learning communities can modify, adjust, and change the processes students engage in, in order to learn the required content.

Changing the process of learning is one of Tomlinson’s (2005) stated strategies for differentiating instruction. As teachers seek ways to change the learning opportunities with challenge and choice, three areas offer fertile ground for substantive differentiation of the process: (1) changing the various aspects of direct instruction, (2) changing the structure of cooperative interactions, or (3) changing the mode of inquiry.

The following synopsis offers an introductory look at these three distinct learning processes. We then break down each process for PLCs to explore more fully. In fact, we designed chapters 4–6 to provide real fodder for collegial conversations that lead to purposeful and meaningful differentiated instruction. It is in these discussions, and the accompanying Action Options, that the ideas of the book come alive for authentic implementation purposes.

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Medium 9781936765508

Chapter 2 Implementing the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice

Solution Tree Press ePub

Reasoning and sense making must become a part of the fabric of the high school mathematics classroom. Not only are they important goals themselves, but they are the foundation for true mathematical competence. Incorporating isolated experiences with reasoning and sense making will not suffice. Teachers must consistently support and encourage students’ progress toward more sophisticated levels of reasoning.

—National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

The Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice have caused a shift in the instructional paradigm for mathematics. This shift means that you must teach standards that require demonstrations of student understanding as well as standards for student proficiency in mathematical practice. The Common Core State Standards Initiative (NGA & CCSSO, 2010) states, “The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe varieties of expertise that mathematics educators at all levels should seek to develop in their students. These practices rest on important ‘processes and proficiencies’ with longstanding importance in mathematics education” (p. 6). The ultimate goal is to equip your students with expertise that will help them be successful in doing and using mathematics not only across the high school mathematics curriculum but also in their college and career work. College instructors rate the Mathematical Practices as being of higher value for students to master in order to succeed in their courses than any of the CCSS content standards. This was true for mathematics, language, science, and social science instructors (Conley, Drummond, de Gonzalez, Rooseboom, & Stout, 2011).

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Medium 9781936764686

Chapter 2 Understanding the Common Core State Standards

Susan Udelhofen Solution Tree Press ePub

I thought I knew the standards, until I studied and discussed them; I realized I didn’t know them as well as I thought I did.

High School Mathematics Teacher

• The background and organization of the Common Core State Standards for ELA and mathematics

• The guidelines for cross-grade-level CCSS discussion

Curriculum building must have a clearly understood starting point. Standards, most specifically the Common Core State Standards, provide that starting point. However, they cannot be merely adopted with the assumption that they are mutually understood and will be competently taught and assessed. This chapter focuses on building understanding of the CCSS. If considerable work with these standards has already occurred and teachers have a good understanding of the CCSS, then a cursory examination of the key points will suffice. However, if teachers have had little opportunity to study the CCSS, this chapter will provide useful information about the structure and requirements of the CCSS. A cross-grade-level discussion guide on the CCSS is included at the end of the chapter to assist teachers and administrators in discussing the standards, organizational structure, and expectations.

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