How to Create a Culture of Achievement in Your School and Classroom

Author: Douglas Fisher
Publisher: ASCD
ISBN: 9781416614081
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Education

What does it feel like to walk into your school? Is it a welcoming place, where everyone feels valued? Most school improvement efforts focus on academic goals, instructional models, curriculum, and assessments. But sometimes what can make or break your learning community are the intangibles--the relationships, identity, and connections that make up its culture. Authors Fisher, Frey, and Pumpian believe that no school improvement effort will be effective unless school culture is addressed. They identify five pillars that are critical to building a culture of achievement: 1. Welcome: Imagine if all staff members in your school considered it their job to make every student, parent, and visitor feel noticed, welcomed, and valued. 2. Do no harm: Your school rules should be tools for teaching students to become the moral and ethical citizens you expect them to be. 3. Choice words: When the language students hear helps them tell a story about themselves that is one of possibility and potential, students perform in ways that are consistent with that belief. 4. It's never too late to learn: Can you push students to go beyond the minimum needed to get by, to discover what they are capable of achieving? 5. Best school in the universe: Is your school the best place to teach and learn? The best place to work? Drawing on their years of experience in the classroom, the authors explain how these pillars support good teaching and learning. In addition, they provide 19 action research tools that will help you create a culture of achievement, so that your school or classroom is the best it can be. After reading this book, you'll see why culture makes the difference between a school that enables success for all students and a school that merely houses those students during the school day.

How to Create a Culture of Achievement in Your School and Classroom

Author: Douglas Fisher
Publisher: ASCD
ISBN: 9781416614579
Release Date: 2012-04-27
Genre: Education

What does it feel like to walk into your school? Is it a welcoming place, where everyone feels valued? Most school improvement efforts focus on academic goals, instructional models, curriculum, and assessments. But sometimes what can make or break your learning community are the intangibles--the relationships, identity, and connections that make up its culture. Authors Fisher, Frey, and Pumpian believe that no school improvement effort will be effective unless school culture is addressed. They identify five pillars that are critical to building a culture of achievement: 1. Welcome: Imagine if all staff members in your school considered it their job to make every student, parent, and visitor feel noticed, welcomed, and valued. 2. Do no harm: Your school rules should be tools for teaching students to become the moral and ethical citizens you expect them to be. 3. Choice words: When the language students hear helps them tell a story about themselves that is one of possibility and potential, students perform in ways that are consistent with that belief. 4. It's never too late to learn: Can you push students to go beyond the minimum needed to get by, to discover what they are capable of achieving? 5. Best school in the universe: Is your school the best place to teach and learn? The best place to work? Drawing on their years of experience in the classroom, the authors explain how these pillars support good teaching and learning. In addition, they provide 19 action research tools that will help you create a culture of achievement, so that your school or classroom is the best it can be. After reading this book, you'll see why culture makes the difference between a school that enables success for all students and a school that merely houses those students during the school day.

Mindsets in the Classroom

Author: Mary Cay Ricci
Publisher:
ISBN: 1618210815
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Education

Inspired by the popular mindset idea that hard work and effort can lead to success, this resource provides educators with ideas for ways to build a growth mindset school culture, wherein students are challenged to change their thinking about their abilities and potential.

Shaping School Culture

Author: Terrence E. Deal
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
ISBN: 0787962430
Release Date: 2003-02-10
Genre: Education

Just as culture is critical to understanding the dynamics behind any thriving community, organization, or business, the daily realities and deep structure of school life hold the key to educational success. Reforms that strive for educational excellence are likely to fail unless they are meaningfully linked to the school's unique culture. In Shaping School Culture, Terrence E. Deal and Kent D. Peterson show how leaders can harness the power of school culture to build a lively, cooperative spirit and a sense of school identity. The authors draw from over twenty years of research on school improvement as well as from their own extensive work with school leaders across the country to identify viable new strategies for effective school leadership. They describe the critical elements of culture--the purposes, traditions, norms, and values that guide and glue the community together--and show how a positive culture can make school reforms work. Deal and Peterson also explore the harmful characteristics of toxic cultures and suggest antidotes to negativity on the part of teachers, students, principals, or parents. Using real-life cases from their own research, Deal and Peterson provide concrete, detailed illustrations of exemplary practice in different school cultures. They reveal the key symbolic roles that leaders play in school change and identify the specific skills needed to change school culture successfully. Shaping School Culture provides an action blueprint for school leaders committed to transforming their schools for success.

Leadership for Equity and Excellence

Author: James Joseph Scheurich
Publisher: Corwin Press
ISBN: 9781483360751
Release Date: 2003-03-21
Genre: Education

This guide encourages school leaders and teachers to develop creative strategies for student equity and advancement using tools like accountability, equity audits, and proactive redundancy.

Using Data to Focus Instructional Improvement

Author: Cheryl James-Ward
Publisher: ASCD
ISBN: 9781416614845
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Education

Data. Does the word make you cringe? Does it evoke feelings of guilt? Are you unsure how to distill it and use it effectively? Grab this book and learn how to empower yourself and your school community with information gleaned from your school's data. Experienced educators and authors offer simple instructions that can help focus school improvement efforts and result in increasing teacher expertise--a factor that positively affects the quality of life for students long after they have left the classroom. Accepting responsibility for such far-reaching influence requires educators to adopt instructional improvement as a standard by which a school needs to operate and as a means to collaborate and interact with one another. More than that, though, instructional improvement is an important component of successful schools. Learn how to improve instruction by * Collecting the right data--the right way. * Incorporating relevant data into everyone's daily life. * Resisting the impulse to set brand-new goals every year. * Never settling for "good enough." * Anticipating changes--big and small, local and federal. * Collaborating and avoiding privatized practice. * Involving all stakeholders in identifying problems, setting goals, and analyzing data. * Agreeing on what constitutes high-quality instruction and feedback. The challenge is to understand that data--not intuition or anecdotal reports--are tools to be used in getting better at teaching students. And teaching students effectively is what schools are all about. Following the guidance in this book, overcome uncertainty and concerns about data as you learn to collect and analyze both soft and hard data and use their secrets for instructional improvement in your school.

Optimize Your School

Author: Lee Jenkins
Publisher: Corwin Press
ISBN: 9781506305325
Release Date: 2015-05-06
Genre: Education

Lead the change that you want to see in your school! Is your school or district heading in the right direction? A trusted advisor to numerous districts, author Lee Jenkins shows how to successfully transform your school culture – for the long-term. Discover how to: Evolve your leadership style to guide, empower and serve Apply the principles of continuous strategic improvement as an antidote to win/lose approaches to school accountability Spearhead change across classrooms, departments and organizations – with valuable insights for leaders of individual schools and school districts Develop a healthy, positive culture of achievement by deeply engaging your students in their own progress and success

Checking for Understanding

Author: Douglas Fisher
Publisher: ASCD
ISBN: 9781416619222
Release Date: 2015-12-18
Genre: Education

A teacher presents a lesson, and at the end asks students if they understand the material. The students nod and say they get it. Later, the teacher is dismayed when many of the students fail a test on the material. Why aren’t students getting it? And, just as important, why didn’t the teacher recognize the problem? In Checking for Understanding, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey show how to increase students’ understanding with the help of creative formative assessments. When used regularly, formative assessments enable every teacher to determine what students know and what they still need to learn. Fisher and Frey explore a variety of engaging activities that check for and increase understanding, including interactive writing, portfolios, multimedia presentations, audience response systems, and much more. This new 2nd edition of Checking for Understanding has been updated to reflect the latest thinking in formative assessment and to show how the concepts apply in the context of Fisher and Frey’s work on gradual release of responsibility, guided instruction, formative assessment systems, data analysis, and quality instruction. Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey are the creators of the Framework for Intentional and Targeted (FIT) Teaching™. They are also the authors of numerous ASCD books, including The Formative Assessment Action Plan: Practical Steps to More Successful Teaching and Learning and the best-selling Enhancing RTI: How to Ensure Success with Effective Classroom Instruction and Intervention.

Building Equity

Author: Dominique Smith
Publisher: ASCD
ISBN: 9781416624264
Release Date: 2017-07-21
Genre: Education

Imagine a school with a diverse student body where everyone feels safe and valued, and all—regardless of race, culture, home language, sexual orientation, gender identity, academic history, and individual challenges—have the opportunity to succeed with interesting classes, projects, and activities. In this school, teachers notice and meet individual instructional needs and foster a harmonious and supportive environment. All students feel empowered to learn, to grow, and to pursue their dreams. This is the school every student needs and deserves. In Building Equity, Dominique Smith, Nancy Frey, Ian Pumpian, and Douglas Fisher, colleagues at San Diego’s innovative Health Sciences High & Middle College, introduce the Building Equity Taxonomy, a new model to clarify the structural and interpersonal components of an equitable and excellent schooling experience, and the Building Equity Review and Audit, survey-based tools to help school and teacher leaders uncover equity-related issues and organize their efforts to achieve • Physical integration • Social-emotional engagement • Opportunity to learn • Instructional excellence • Engaged and inspired learners Built on the authors’ own experiences and those of hundreds of educators throughout the United States, this book is filled with examples of policy initiatives and practices that support high-quality, inclusive learning experiences and deliver education that meets critical standards of equality and equity.

Creating Cultures of Thinking

Author: Ron Ritchhart
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118974629
Release Date: 2015-02-23
Genre: Education

Discover why and how schools must become places where thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted As educators, parents, and citizens, we must settle for nothing less than environments that bring out the best in people, take learning to the next level, allow for great discoveries, and propel both the individual and the group forward into a lifetime of learning. This is something all teachers want and all students deserve. In Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools, Ron Ritchhart, author of Making Thinking Visible, explains how creating a culture of thinking is more important to learning than any particular curriculum and he outlines how any school or teacher can accomplish this by leveraging 8 cultural forces: expectations, language, time, modeling, opportunities, routines, interactions, and environment. With the techniques and rich classroom vignettes throughout this book, Ritchhart shows that creating a culture of thinking is not about just adhering to a particular set of practices or a general expectation that people should be involved in thinking. A culture of thinking produces the feelings, energy, and even joy that can propel learning forward and motivate us to do what at times can be hard and challenging mental work.

Making Thinking Visible

Author: Ron Ritchhart
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780470915516
Release Date: 2011-05-03
Genre: Education

"Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking that develops students' thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study. Rather than a set of fixed lessons, Visible Thinking is an extensive and adaptable collection of practices that include thinking routines and the documentation of student thinking. The routines are a central element of the practical, functional and accessible nature of Visible Thinking. Thinking routines are easy to use mini-strategies that are repeatedly used in the classroom. They are a small set of questions or a short sequence of steps that can be used across various grade levels and content. Each routine targets a different type of thinking and by bringing their own content, teachers can integrate the routines into the fabric of their classrooms. Thinking Routines help direct student thinking and structure classroom discussion. Thinking becomes visible as the students' different viewpoints are expressed, documented, discussed and reflected upon"--

Assignments Matter

Author: Eleanor Dougherty
Publisher: ASCD
ISBN: 9781416615101
Release Date: 2012-09-01
Genre: Education

What exactly is an "assignment," and why does it matter? How can educators ensure that their teaching meets the rigorous demands of the Common Core State Standards, so that all students are well prepared for college or careers? Drawing from her extensive experience as a teacher coach, author Eleanor Dougherty answers these questions and many more, with two aims in mind: (1) to guide teachers and administrators in crafting high-quality assignments, and (2) to help educators understand the powerful impact that assignments can have on teaching and learning. The book explains the critical differences among "assignments," "activities," and "assessments" and thoroughly describes the key elements of an assignment: prompts, rubrics, products, and instructional plans. Readers will learn how to * Follow a seven-step process for crafting effective assignments; * Link assignments to units and courses; * Devise "Anchor" assignments for collaboration and consistency across grades; * Tap into instructional "touchstones" that can enrich any assignment; * Create classroom and school environments that support assignment-making; and * Use assignments as a source of data about teaching and learning. Equipped with the knowledge and expertise gained from Assignments Matter, readers will be able to create meaningful learning experiences for their students and come to appreciate the author's belief that "assignments may well be the missing link in school reform efforts to improve student achievement."

Authentic Learning in the Digital Age

Author: Larissa Pahomov
Publisher: ASCD
ISBN: 9781416619598
Release Date: 2014-11-04
Genre: Education

How can you create an authentic learning environment—one where students ask questions, do research, and explore subjects that fascinate them—in today’s standards-driven atmosphere? Author Larissa Pahomov offers insightful answers based on her experience as a classroom teacher at the Science Leadership Academy—a public high school in Philadelphia that offers a rigorous college-prep curriculum and boasts a 99 percent graduation rate. Pahomov outlines a framework for learning structured around five core values: inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation, and reflection. For each value, she presents: a detailed description of how the value can transform classroom practice and how a “digital connection” can enhance its application; a step-by-step outline for how to implement the value, with examples from teachers in all subject areas; solutions to possible challenges and roadblocks that teachers may experience; suggestions for how to expand the value beyond the classroom to schoolwide practice; and anecdotes from students, offering their perspectives on how they experienced the value in the classroom and after graduation. The framework is a guide, not a prescription, and middle and high school teachers—individually or as a team—can use it to structure whatever content and skills their current school or district requires. The book also includes suggestions for how to integrate technology into inquiry-based education, but the principles and approaches it describes can be applied successfully even in places without abundant technology. Both practical and inspiring, Authentic Learning in the Digital Age is an indispensable handbook for reinvigorating teaching and learning in a new era.