How to build relationships with instructional coaches

Teaching at any level can often be a solitary occupation. Even with a classroom full of students, teachers often work in isolation from peers. Teachers rarely receive instruction on how to work with co-teachers or teacher assistants in their pre-service teacher education programs. Therefore, it is often difficult or awkward for teachers to ask for help or effectively collaborate with others. Instructors often don’t know how to accept help from the instructional coaches, even when they would like to.

Educational practice is shifting from isolating practice to collaborative efforts, and creating healthy and productive team dynamics is often a challenge. Instructional coaches can positively impact these relationships, but the trust must be in place for it to occur. Even in systems where working with a coach is expected, building those initial relationships can be challenging.

Instructional coaches, instructional designers, and even assigned co-teachers often struggle to establish working relationships with individual classroom teachers. Librarians regularly complain that they spend more time clearing jams from printers instead of assisting students with reference questions. However, clearing that paper jam can help the student see the librarian as a resource. In the same way, the instructional designer might start to build a relationship by helping an instructor properly format hanging indents for a research paper. One instructional coach started building a positive relationship by making copies for classroom teacher. Just like the proverbial salesman who had to get a foot in the door, sometimes the first step is a small one.…Read More

3 keys to supporting students during a mental health crisis

A January 2022 study published in JAMA Pediatrics confirmed what many educators, administrators, and support staff already knew: School closures, disrupted learning, and a pandemic year have coalesced to create an alarming mental health crisis among teenagers.

The study found that up to 60 percent of students are experiencing “strong distress,” including anxiety and depression. The results echoed a recent American Psychological Association (APA) report, which found that more than 80 percent of teenagers experienced “more intense stress” during the pandemic.

In other words, as Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, notes, “Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade.”…Read More

5 ways to support students’ access to diverse books

Access to diverse books positively impacts children as readers and as people. Having access to diverse texts helps children expand their vocabularies, deepens their understanding of language, provides opportunities for problem-solving, provides critical affirming experiences to students’ lives, and presents opportunities for students to learn about people with different lived experiences.

Students of all races, genders, religions, languages, abilities, interests, and beliefs should have opportunities to have affirmative literary experiences, where they see themselves reflected in the books they’re reading. These opportunities still do not exist today for many children.

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center publishes research on books depicting characters from diverse backgrounds. The research showed that books included very low representation of primary characters for many backgrounds and experiences. According to this data, many students are more likely to encounter a book with a primary character who is an animal or other nonhuman character (29.2 percent of total books) than a book including a primary character who is Black/African (11.9 percent of total books), Asian/Asian American (8.7 percent of total books), Latinx (5.3 percent of total books), a person with a disability (3.4 percent of total books), or LGBTQIAP (3.1 percent of total books).…Read More

Pivot Interactives Announces New Iris™ Technology to Increase Students’ Active Phenomena-Based Learning

(May12, 2022) — Pivot Interactives introduces a new set of tools, Iris™, which make learning critical science concepts—such as heat transfer, Beer’s Law, light emission, population density, temperature (infrared and blackbody), pH, and wavelength—accessible to students regardless of classroom equipment or teaching experience. With this new patent-pending collection of color and light measuring tools, students can now take quantitative measurements of color & light for themselves directly from information encoded in a video within a web browser.

“Making measurements using light is a fundamental practice of science. From optical measurements made by microbiologists to the light gathered by powerful telescopes, light, and color-based measurements are at the heart of science at every scale,” says Peter Bohacek, CEO and Founder of Pivot Interactives. “But light- and color-based measurements are normally out of reach in the classroom, limited to expensive and complex equipment. Pivot Interactives brings the power of light- and color-based measurements to students’ fingertips. As the leader in using interactive videos for science education, we are thrilled to be the first to make the power of light- and color-based measurements available to classrooms everywhere.”

Iris technology addresses three critical issues that science classrooms face:…Read More

Eason Rytter Of New York, Ny Named 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar In The Arts

NEW YORK, NY (May 12, 2022) – Eason Rytter, 2022 YoungArts award winner in theater, from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art, and the Performing Arts in New York City, has been named a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. The U.S. Presidential Scholars award—one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify artistic and academic excellence, leadership qualities and community service—is presented on behalf of the President of the United States and honors up to 161 graduating high school seniors of high potential each year. This year marks the 58th anniversary of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program and the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. A full list of 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts can be found here.

Rytter joins an illustrious group of YoungArts award winners and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts alumni, including Tony Award-nominated performer and choreographer Desmond Richardson; Los Angeles Music Center President Rachel S. Moore; novelist and National Book Award Finalist Allegra Goodman; Grammy Award-winning violinist Jennifer Koh; Bravo’s “Work of Art” winner Abdi Farah; Obie Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin; and RCA Records award-winning singer-songwriter and Grammy Award-nominated artist Chris Young.

As part of the application process, nominees for the U.S. Presidential Scholars were asked to write about the high school teacher who has most influenced their development. Mala Tsantilas, of the Drama Studio at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School was nominated by Eason Rytter. Tsantilas is also recognized as a U.S. Presidential Scholars Distinguished Teacher. A list of the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars Distinguished Teachers can be found here:…Read More

VHS Learning’s New Flexible Courses Expand Student Options for Online Course Enrollment

Boston – May 12, 2022 – Scheduling flexibility is frequently cited by students and teachers as a major benefit of working with VHS Learning’s asynchronous online courses. Starting in August, students will be able to take advantage of an even more flexibly paced course format.

The new Flexible course model will be available for 16 courses beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year:

  • Algebra 1 Flexible
  • AP® Calculus AB Flexible
  • AP® Calculus BC Flexible
  • AP® Computer Science Principles Flexible
  • AP® Environmental Science Flexible
  • AP® Macroeconomics Flexible
  • AP® Microeconomics Flexible
  • AP® Music Theory Flexible
  • AP® Physics 1 Flexible
  • AP® Spanish Language and Culture Flexible
  • AP® Statistics Flexible
  • AP® United States Government Flexible
  • AP® United States History Flexible
  • English 9 Flexible
  • English 11 Flexible
  • Spanish 1 Flexible

Each Flexible course is self-paced, and teacher led. Courses begin on the first of every month from August through February (August through December for AP® courses). The courses will end at the completion of the school year, so later enrollees will progress through course material at a faster pace.…Read More

Transforming summer school with high-dosage tutoring

Summer school as we’ve traditionally known it hasn’t worked well for a long time, especially from an equity standpoint, but we all know that change tends to come slowly to educational institutions. I would submit that in 2022, after two years of extraordinary learning loss, a transformation shouldn’t wait any longer.

Today’s students have different summer learning needs, and we have better tools and methods to teach them. It’s time to start using them.

The old model of summer classes in school buildings every day from 9 a.m. to noon stopped being convenient decades ago, when stay-at-home parenting stopped being the norm. Even if families manage to find transportation for their kids to and from school at those hours, there remains the question of filling in the remaining hours with part-time child care — never a cost-effective option even when it is available.…Read More

Showbie brings Hybrid learning around the World content to TrilbyTV

Tuesday 3rd May 2022 – Showbie and TrilbyTV have announced an exciting new partnership that will bring ‘Hybrid learning around the World’ content to digital signage screens in schools across the UK. It adds to an already epic education line-up that includes; Vocabulary Ninja, Rodocodo, Britannica and WWF. 

The perfect combination to get students learning about different languages

The partnership combines TrilbyTV’s easy to use digital signage solution with Showbie’s ‘Hybrid learning around the World’ content, creating a fantastic way to get students to learn about different languages. It shows short, easy to remember words and phrases, automatically switching between different countries, enabling students to pick up bite sized pieces of information to expand their foreign language vocabulary. TrilbyTV’s Neil Emery, had this to say about the new partnership,…Read More

IRIS Debuts Powerful New Application Where Students Use Seismic Waves Data to Learn about the Layers of the Earth

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 3, 2022) — The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) has created an online version of its popular activity “Determining and Measuring Earth’s Layered Interior” to challenge students to use evidence in the form of earthquake data to understand the Earth’s interior layers. This free web-based tool for Earth Science classrooms was funded in part by the National Science Foundation. 

The activities contained within the tool emphasize the use of models and the importance of using empirical evidence to make discoveries in Earth Science. When using the tool, students act as scientists as they discover and analyze real-world data. This exploration encourages independent thinking, data analysis, and engineering and design, as it builds an understanding of this dynamic planet and its internal engine.

“Students today have unprecedented access to seismic data and web tools that allow them to explore fundamentally big ideas such as the predictive power of models to help explain the Earth’s system and to measure the Earth’s core,” said Michael Hubenthal, Senior Science Education Specialist at IRIS. “The “Determining and Measuring Earth’s Layered Interior” tool allows students to explore and analyze the data that scientists use to understand the layers of the Earth.”…Read More