4 steps to a successful SEL implementation

After several years of using a homegrown social emotional learning (SEL) approach, our district decided it was time for a more official curriculum that would support our middle and high school students’ mental health, academic achievement, and overall well-being.

With about 840 students in grades 8-12, we’d already developed a homeroom/advisory period meant to create community among students. Our goal was to develop a “belongingness” within our students and staff.

As we built that out, we started creating our own lessons using some of the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) curriculum. We assembled an advisory team of teachers who helped aggregate resources about mindfulness, kindness, and other core topics.…Read More

Poptential™ Free Curriculum Brings History Alive for Independence Day

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — (May 6, 2022) — Poptential™, a family of free social studies course packages that pair pop culture media with engaging digital storytelling, provides teachers and students media-rich lessons on the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence, celebrated July 4. Click to tweet.

“While the Declaration of Independence was adopted 246 years ago, the heroes guiding the birth of our nation are brought to life in popular culture, which appeals to today’s digitally-savvy learner, and can make teaching more effective and relevant,” said Fred Fransen, CEO of Certell, Inc., the maker of Poptential.

Poptential courses, used by more than 30,000 teachers in 50 states, include everything instructors need to teach a subject, digitally accessible in one place, including lessons, ebooks, bell ringers, quizzes, and tests, as well as pop culture media to make lessons interesting and relatable to students. Curriculum packages are standards-based and developed by social studies teachers.…Read More

Weaving SEL into curriculum doesn’t have to be hard

As an educator and curriculum content creator, I’m always seeking to develop lessons that offer students opportunities to express complex emotions and share personal experiences. Inspiring self-expression and building a safe communal space begin with authentically exploring social-emotional learning (SEL) content.

Students are always navigating developmentally appropriate mental health and emotional-regulation growth, but today’s students are also coping with the effects of the pandemic. We cannot deprioritize SEL in our school spaces, and the great news is that we’re seeing significant investment and support for SEL. District spending on SEL on SEL programming grew about 45% between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years, from $530 million to $765 million. When administrators and teachers were asked in a survey to rank their top priorities before and during the pandemic, improving students’ mental health and promoting students’ social-emotional competence rose to the number 1 and 2 priorities.

Currently, the grander concern for most educators in the classroom is the overwhelming “how.” Despite having a greater budget and public support for SEL, many teachers are unprepared to incorporate SEL into their instruction. Barriers include insufficient planning time, lack of parental consent, or lack of comprehensive SEL training for educators. …Read More

CenterPoint’s Illustrative Mathematics Certified and EL Education Aligned Assessments Now Integrated with Kiddom’s High-Quality Digital Curriculum to Support Learning and Instruction

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  CenterPoint Education Solutions, a nonprofit provider of assessment solutions, curriculum services, and professional learning designed to help schools and districts build aligned education systems, today announced that their Illustrative Math (IM) certified and EL Education aligned interim assessments will be available for the 2022-2023 school year on  Kiddom, the first all-in-one education platform for high-quality digital curriculum. The partnership will provide educators and students with instant access to high-quality assessments aligned to the curriculum already being used in their classrooms.

“CenterPoint welcomes this opportunity to expand student and teacher access to our one-of-a-kind assessments,” said LJ Sylvester, Vice President of Growth at CenterPoint. “Aligned assessments allow educators to gauge both student understandings and misunderstandings — paramount information to guide instructional planning. Kiddom supports aligned instructional models by connecting curriculum, instruction, and assessment onto one platform, which fits nicely with CenterPoint’s larger mission of building aligned education systems.”   

Interim assessments are administered throughout a school year and are key to supporting learning. They empower educators to measure student learning, identify where students are on their path to grade level expectations and provide data to drive instructional strategy. With Kiddom now hosting CenterPoint’s IM certified and EL Education interim assessments, students and educators are provided with expanded access to high-quality curriculum-aligned assessments that align with Kiddom’s digitized curriculum. Via Kiddom’s platform, CenterPoint’s assessments will make use of the existing assessment functionality in Kiddom, including technology-enhanced question types to heighten student engagement and real-time standards-aligned data reporting for teachers to inform instructional strategy. Additional benefits include:…Read More

Moving forward: New concerns–and promises–for post-pandemic classrooms

In this week’s episode of Innovations in Education, hosted by Kevin Hogan:

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Celebrating Earth Day with Dynamic Digital Resources from Discovery Education

Silver Spring, MD (Thursday, April 21, 2022) — In celebration of Earth Day 2022, observed on April 22nd, Discovery Education and partners are proud to present educators, students, and families a diverse array of dynamic digital resources inspiring students to explore the natural phenomena in the world around them. Available on Discovery Education’s Earth Day website, this collection of K-12 content is organized by grade band and has been curated by Discovery Education’s team of curriculum experts. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. 

The wide variety of digital resources now available from Discovery Education are specifically designed to integrate easily into educator’s and school system’s existing Earth Day and sustainability education efforts. Among the resources available on the Discovery Education Earth Day website for integration into sustainability-focused lessons are the following engaging on-demand events: 

Going to the Moon with NASA  
Hear Erica Alvarez, NASA Systems Engineering & Integration Manager for Advanced Exploration Systems, share fun facts about the Artemis mission, explain why it’s important, and discuss how studying the moon helps us better understand and protect our Earth.  
 
Exploring the Ocean with Luke Tipple  
Find ways to preserve our planet and its oceans with scientist and Shark Week host Luke Tipple! Learn about his adventurous career path, his passion for the ocean, and his experiences diving with one of the ocean’s most feared (and most misunderstood) predators.    
 
Growing a Forest with Vooks  
Teach students the importance of conservation with award-winning author Sophia Gholz. Explore her experience writing The Boy Who Grew a Forest, the true story behind it, and how she hopes this story will inspire children everywhere to make a difference.    …Read More

VHS Learning Supports Students’ College and Career Readiness via Expanded Catalog and New “Exploring College & Careers” Infographic

Boston – April 14, 2022 – Giving students the chance to explore subjects beyond those in a standard core high school curriculum is a crucial step in readying them for college and careers. Students taking online high school courses through VHS Learning will start the 2022-2023 school year with many unique for-credit options, from Python Programming to Law, thanks to the nonprofit’s newly expanded course catalog. These new courses add to the more than 300 courses already available.

VHS Learning’s new courses for the 2022-2023 academic year include the following:

  • AP® Chinese Language and Culture
  • Business Law
  • Career Exploration and Readiness
  • Chinese 3
  • Civics and U.S. Government
  • Law and the U.S. Legal System
  • Python Programming
  • Spanish 1 Credit Recovery
  • Spanish 1 Summer
  • Studio Art
  • Veterinary Medicine

AP® Chinese Language and Culture runs 33 weeks, while the other new courses are semester-length and run for 15 weeks. These new courses enable students to discover subject areas that might not otherwise be available to them at a high school level.…Read More

How we created a computer science curriculum in 5 steps

Even with a strict budget, limited teacher expertise in computer science, and the chaos of a pandemic, the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township (MSDPT) launched a comprehensive and engaging K-5 computer science curriculum for every student.

As an instructional specialist at MSDPT during the launch, I now understand how much collaboration, clever resource management, and hard work are required to run a successful K-5 computer science program. 

As computer science has been launched into the national spotlight, schools across the country are finding ways to integrate STEM themes into early education. Although we faced challenges at MSDPT, we were able to find solutions that fit our budget and empowered our existing faculty to teach this specialized subject with confidence.…Read More

3 ways to improve science literacy

While teachers often experience the same year or course again and again, students and their families can really see how students change over the years in school. Families can see that what students learn each year builds on what has come before.

But for that to happen efficiently and effectively, the curriculum must be designed so that it builds coherently. Learning progressions help educators see a student’s advancement.

A learning progression is an articulation of the steps a student might go through as they work toward mastery of a process or concept. As the Framework for K-12 Science Education points out, “If mastery of a core idea in a science discipline is the ultimate educational destination, then well-designed learning progressions provide a map of the routes that can be taken to reach that destination.”…Read More