3 steps to creating classroom equity

Writing about equity is always a bit awkward for me. I am extremely white, extremely male, solidly middle class, and I have not had the same experience with some of these issues that other people have. It makes for a gigantic elephant in the classroom, so to speak. Yet, student equity is still something I care very much about, and I believe that many other educators feel the same way.     

Regardless of who you are and what your life experiences have been like, the issue of equity is a critical one to help all students grow and thrive. To better promote equity for our students, we need to understand who they are: how they see themselves, how they see the world, and how the world sees them. This is not simple and involves listening to our students and how they frame their own stories.

Small, bold steps…Read More

Lexia Learning Launches Customer Advisory Board to Deepen Educator Insights, Relationships, and Collaboration

BOSTON (Aug. 23, 2021) – Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, today announced the formation of its customer advisory board, a group of key customers who will support the company’s goal of helping more learners read, write, and speak with confidence.

“It is extremely important to find more ways to foster meaningful conversations with customers so we can better understand their priorities and learn how we can directly address their needs,” said Lexia Learning President, Nick Gaehde. “We now have support from a group of outstanding educators who will help determine how we can best serve present and future customers and enable us to build stronger, deeper relationships with our customer base.”

The Customer Advisory Board consists of school district leadership from across the United States:…Read More

Lexia Names Kerri A. Larkin as Senior Education Advisor, Education Partnership

BOSTON (May 11, 2021) – Lexia Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, today announced the appointment of Kerri A. Larkin to the position of Senior Education Advisor, Education Partnerships, effective immediately. Larkin will serve as a thought partner and advisor for school districts across the country as they design and scale specialized academic programs based on student strength and need. She will also serve as an advisor for Lexia team members.

“The addition of such a strong special education leader to our team is part of Lexia’s ongoing commitment to support the needs of school districts striving to help every student to read, write and speak confidently and proficiently,” said Lexia President Nick Gaehde. “Kerri has demonstrated a clear vision for individual and team development, program execution, strategic planning and student-centered outcomes. Her insights will be invaluable to our company and our customers.”

Larkin comes to Lexia from the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) where she served as Senior Deputy Chief of Specialized Instruction for five years. During her tenure, she led the implementation, facilitation and monitoring of special education services for students from age 3 through 22.  As a leader in a large urban district, Larkin and her team leveraged DCPS and national data to illuminate the urgency of institutionalized racism within the special education system in order to dramatically decrease its impact on children with IEPs and their families.…Read More

Renaissance Launches Major Updates to Star Spanish Assessments

Renaissance, the global leader in pre-K–12 education technology, has enhanced Star Spanish, its assessment platform for students who speak, or are learning to speak, Spanish, with new reports and the first authentic K–12 learning progression for Spanish available in the country.

Star Assessments are available in both English and Spanish in order to give educators insight into the abilities, skills, and progress of emergent bilinguals, dual-language learners, and immersion students.

“We’re so excited to be able to offer educators the tools they need to uncover student understanding and track learning progress for students who speak Spanish,” said Doris Chávez-Linville, Director of English Learner Innovations at Renaissance. “Educators are experts at removing barriers, and we’re thrilled to help them take an asset-based approach to bilingualism, where the focus is on what students know and can do, and how educators can build on this.”…Read More

The changing role of literacy today, part 2

We know we must teach children to read proficiently, yet the age-old challenge of getting a child to read on grade level still persists. Fortunately, science and technology are providing a roadmap.

Science tells us that when we are born, we house all of the tools to learn to speak. On the other hand, we must learn the skill of reading. There is no corresponding “reading center” to the language center in our brains. Instead, every child must go through the meticulous task of learning to read; through the amazing adaptive abilities of the brain we can acquire a skill that was invented only a few thousand years ago.

According to Professor Maryanne Wolf, John DiBiaggio professor of citizenship and public service, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research, and professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University, “It took our species roughly 2,000 years to make the cognitive breakthroughs necessary to learn to read with an alphabet … our children have to reach those same insights about print in roughly 2,000 days.” Those 2,000 days are roughly from birth to about first grade—in other words, at a fairly fast pace.…Read More

Text, tweet, email, call—what do parents want in school communications?

When it comes to school communications, parents today want more information from their children’s teachers and schools, but they also want that information to be timely, targeted, and personalized to their children or their interest areas.

The latest data from Speak Up Research Project gives insights on school-to-home communications. In “Text, Twitter, Email, Call—What Do Parents Say About School Communications?” Dr. Julie Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow, shared these insights from parents, educators, and administrators, and discussed takeaways from the research.

Currently: How Most Parents Receive Information…Read More

Report warns a decline in language learning could spell bad news for U.S.

A diminishing share of United States residents speak languages other than English–a trend that could have important consequences for business, international affairs, and intellectual exchange, according to a new report from American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Academy’s new report, The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait, summarizes the nation’s current language capacity, focusing on the U.S. education system. A joint venture of the Academy’s Commission on Language Learning and Humanities Indicators, the report draws on the most recent national, state, and local data sources available to draw a more complete picture of language use in the nation.

“This very important work is ongoing and we look forward to the Commission’s final report and recommendations that will be available in February [2017],” said Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.…Read More

Flexcat collaboration system gets big upgrade for ISTE

The classroom audio system now has expanded coverage, Whisper Coaching, and a new iOS app, making it a powerful tool for teachers and their mentors

At ISTE 2016, classroom audio provider Lightspeed Technologies will introduce three new features of its Flexcat system. The only classroom audio system designed for small-group learning, Flexcat consists of a wearable microphone for the teacher, a speaker for whole-group instruction, and a set of two-way audio pods that allow teachers to listen and speak to small groups from anywhere in the classroom so they can reinforce, respond, and challenge students in their moment of need.

Lightspeed’s new mobile app, launching in July, turns teachers’ iOS device into a Flexcat remote control. This allows them to switch among the two-way audio pods directly from their device, making the Flexcat an even simpler and more seamless tool for gathering critical learning insights. The new app unlocks some additional new features of the system.

With the app, the new Flexcat includes expanded coverage for up to 12 audio pods, making it a powerful tool for large classrooms, small-group instruction, team teaching, and professional development events.…Read More

One startling fact about flipped learning

Flipped learning now surpasses all other digital trends

flipped-learning-speakFlipped learning has been on education’s radar for the last two years, with many schools experimenting with a teaching and learning style well-suited for 21st century learning. But new results from a national survey reveal just how popular flipped learning has become.

According to the recently released 2013 Speak Up National Research Project findings, flipped learning—defined in the survey as using lecture videos as homework while using class time for more in-depth learning such as discussions, projects, experiments, and to provide personalized coaching to individual students—is surpassing all other digital trends in K-12 schools.

Among district administrators, 25 percent identify flipped learning as already having a significant impact on transforming teaching and learning in their district, surpassing other trends such as educational games and mobile apps (21 percent), and even online professional learning communities for teachers and administrators (19 percent).…Read More