ASCD Association News


Elevate your teaching with ASCD's new one-day workshops

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 24, 2015

ASCD's new one-day workshops cover the topics educators care about most -- from formative assessment to smarter grading solutions -- and will bring ASCD authors and Faculty members to school campuses to give hands-on training in effective practices from their best-selling ASCD books. Schools participating in the workshops will learn research-based practices to implement immediately for a student achievement boost. Learn more.


"The Best Feeling I know" -- A Q&A with author Jeffrey Benson

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 24, 2015

Jeffrey Benson has worked in almost every school context in his 35 years as an educator, from elementary school through graduate programs. Benson's book, Hanging In: Strategies for Teaching the Students Who Challenge Us Most, shows educators the value of tenacity and building connections when teaching the students who most need our help. In a recent Inservice post, Benson sat down for an interview to discuss his thoughts on creating inclusive learning environments, supporting struggling students, and more. Read on. Learn more about his book.


Unanimous panel moves forward to replace NCLB

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 23, 2015

In the latest issue of ASCD's Capitol Connection newsletter, you'll read how the U.S. Senate education committee has unanimously approved the Every Child Achieves Act -- representing the most promising progress in rewriting our nation's main education law in years. After three days of debate, the committee reached a consensus on what it believes is the best way to move education policy forward, away from the long outdated policies of No Child Left Behind. Read on. Get involved and become an educator advocate.


Solving 25 Problems in Unit Design: How do I refine my units to enhance student learning?

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 23, 2015

In this new ASCD Arias publication, Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins, creators of the Understanding by Design®(UbD™) framework, explain how to avoid the 25 most common problems in unit design and provide recommendations on how to effectively plan new units. They also guide educators in using the process of backwards design to troubleshoot units and achieve tighter alignment and focus on learning priorities. Learn more. Pick up your copy.


Five myths about engagement

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 22, 2015

"Student engagement is very important, yes, but I am not sure that we're all that clear on what true engagement really is," writes author and ASCD EDge community member Robyn Jackson. In a recent blog post, Jackson dispels five myths about student engagement and explains how educators can tell the difference between a student that is entertained instead of engaged. Read on.


Create inclusive learning experiences with ASCD professional development resources

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 22, 2015

ASCD has assembled a list of professional development resources that discuss different ways to successfully create inclusive learning experiences for struggling students. These resources will help guide educators on creating positive and productive learning experiences for students with a wide range of backgrounds, characteristics, and expectations. The offered resources include professional development publications, free podcasts, free webinars, and more. Learn more.


Book excerpt: When students are performing but not learning

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 21, 2015

Veteran educator Jeffrey Benson says one of the biggest traps when working with challenging students is feeling the need to rescue them. In his book, "Hanging In: Strategies for Teaching the Students Who Challenge Us Most," Benson draws on real-life scenarios to explain how to create a patient and supportive environment that helps all students learn. Stop by the Inservice blog, to read an excerpt of the his book. Read an excerpt. Learn more about the publication.


ASCD 2014 Annual Report celebrates the power of learning by featuring the association's stories about teaching and leading

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 21, 2015

ASCD has released its 2014 Annual Report, titled "Celebrating Learning: Stories of Teaching and Leading." The report provides a high-level overview of ASCD's membership, conferences and institutes, professional development resources, and more. It also highlights the association's mission to promote the Whole Child and its commitment to being a professional learning leader. Take a look and celebrate the power of learning with ASCD at www.ascd.org/ar2014.


The best gift to give students

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

"The best gift you can give to students is NOT your knowledge. Knowledge is immediately available," writes ASCD EDge community member Mindy Keller-Kyriakides. In a recent blog post Keller-Kyriakides explains why a teacher's knowledge is not the most valuable thing they can give to their students. Read on.


Teachers will tune up their skills in Music City

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

ASCD will host thousands of educators to explore bold new directions in their teaching practice at the 2015 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence. Held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., June 26-28, the conference will bring together diverse teachers from around the globe to gain new strategies and solutions for making excellent teaching a reality in every classroom. Learn more. Register today.


Happening now: Senate debating NCLB replacement

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 17, 2015

In the latest issue of ASCD's Capitol Connection newsletter, you'll read about the bipartisan bill that could replace the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The bill will be formally unveiled and debated by the Senate education committee this week. The bill, the Every Child Achieves Act, is a major and extremely encouraging step in finally replacing NCLB's outdated provisions. Read on. Get weekly education policy updates.


Contribute to Educational Leadership's "Tell Me About" Column

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 17, 2015

Educational Leadership's Summer 2015 digital issue will be all about improving schools from within, and we're currently collecting stories for the "Tell Me About" column. Think about an excellent school you've worked in or observed. What one word best describes what makes that school special? After providing your one word, explain its importance in one to three sentences. All entries must be submitted by April 27. Share your story.


Rethinking school report cards

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 16, 2015

"Designing a user-friendly school report card is the easy part; determining what should be measured and reported is the challenge we must address collectively," writes educator and ASCD Emerging Leader Melany Stowe. In a recent Inservice post, Stowe shares key takeaways from her research analyzing each state's current school report card system. Read on.


New ASCD Arias titles address issues in unit design and teacher retention

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 16, 2015

ASCD has released two new ASCD Arias™ professional development publications that address issues in unit design and teacher retention. These short-format titles offer expertise from education thought leaders and provide support for those who are struggling with planning highly effective units and retaining novice teachers. Learn more.


Using PD OnlineĀ® for Blended Professional Learning

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 15, 2015

The use of digital tools, virtual networks and online courses combined with face-to-face, job-embedded learning has emerged as a best practice for ensuring that professional learning transfers to classroom practice. Join us for a free webinar on April 23, at 3 p.m. ET, to learn what strategies and structures schools have in place to make a blended approach work. You'll also learn how ASCD's PD Online courses and PD In Focus® platform can be integrated into effective job-embedded professional learning. Learn more.


Teaching excellence: A foundation for academic success

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 15, 2015

"Excellence is not a gift, nor is it a talent. Learning to strive for excellence is a skill and this skill is undeniably necessary in the 21st Century classroom," writes ASCD EDge community member Vivian Margareth Beck. In a recent blog post, Beck shares 13 keys for teaching excellence and explains how educators must help students understand that excellence is not an outcome, but a lifestyle built on habits of the mind and heart. Read on.


ASCD general membership election 2015

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 14, 2015

If you're an ASCD member, there is only one day left for you to cast your ballot for the two future members of the ASCD Board of Directors. The deadline to vote is April 15, and successful candidates will take office on July 1, 2015, and will serve for four years. Help decide the association's future leadership by voting today. Vote now.


Are you really listening? 3 ways to tell

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 14, 2015

When you convene a community meeting to discuss an important school issue are you really listening to what the community members have to say? In a recent Inservice post, Educational Leadership author Jean Johnson offers three questions to keep in mind as you head into a public event. She explains how the three questions can determine whether public meetings enlighten or polarize. Read on.


Communication that energizes during tough times

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 13, 2015

In a recent ASCD Express article, second-grade teacher Rebecca Hipps explains that all leaders can turn any communication into the opportunity for positive transformation. She shares that in her experience, leaders who helped her grow professionally and weather tough transitions communicated in the same ways: they appreciated effort, led with authenticity, and provided models and resources to inspire best teaching practices. Read on.


Contribute to Educational Leadership's "Tell Me About" column

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 13, 2015

Educational Leadership's summer digital issue will be all about improving schools from within, and we're currently collecting stories for our "Tell Me About" column. In 200 words or less, describe something new you're planning to do this summer that will improve your effectiveness as an educator in the upcoming school year. Selected responses will appear in the summer issue. All entries must be received by April 22. Share your story.


Spotlighting principal leadership and PD

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 10, 2015

The increased focus on raising the performance of all students has required principals to shift from leading by command to a model that emphasizes collaboration, communication, and shared responsibility among all school staff. The latest issue of ASCD's Policy Priorities examines the gap between principal preparation and the knowledge and skills required of effective school leaders. Read on.


The who, what, why and when of e-mail communication in schools

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 10, 2015

"The most important advice I can give is to write e-mails as if your principal or superintendent is reading them. This way, even if an e-mail is accidentally sent to the wrong person the effect will not be as destructive," writes principal Jasmine Kullar. In a recent Inservice post, Kullar explains why e-mail communication is so important in schools and shares some quick tips to keep in mind. Read on.


Elementary research skills: Grades 3-5

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 09, 2015

Teaching isolated research skills to students in grades 3-5 is generally perceived by both the students and the teacher as busywork. The picture changes when teachers use student inquiry as a springboard to develop research project ideas. This PD Online course provides strategies and tools that educators can use when teaching students research skills. The course covers creating and using text sets, applying keyword search strategies, ensuring students have access to the information needed to answer their questions, and more. Learn more.


The 5 C's of accountability for continuous improvement

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 09, 2015

"Continuous improvement through accountability requires that our responsibility is no longer to a number. Our responsibility is to educate the child behind the number," writes ASCD EDge community member Nashett Garrett. In a recent blog post, Garrett explains why test scores should be only one of many components of accountability for continuous improvement. Read on.


ASCD supports educators' career growth with Pathfinder

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 08, 2015

Pathfinder, a series of career articles, is designed to help educators advance their careers or redefine their jobs at any stage. Written by ASCD Emerging Leaders, a cadre of young, promising educators, each article provides action items and expert advice. Topics covered include how to write your best cover letter and resume, what principals want to hear, how to ace an interview, and more. Learn more.


Writing as a conversation

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 08, 2015

"No matter the subject, we teachers need to view each class as an opportunity to engage students with the writing tasks they need to be college and career ready," writes English teacher Sean Hackney. In a recent ASCD Express article, Hackney explains why simply assigning more writing doesn't lead to student engagement. He shares his experiences applying collaborative response groups and blogging as vehicles for students to develop writing skills. Read on.


Forget about speaking up: Listen up to great leadership

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 07, 2015

"Leadership, when done right, is one of the most complex, sophisticated, and beautiful things on the planet; a great leader can elevate and inspire individuals to accomplish phenomenal things," writes Inservice guest blogger Brandy Price. In a recent blog post, Price shares the four best communication practices for education leaders. Read on.


Essential Questions: Opening Doorways to Student Understanding

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 07, 2015

In this professional development institute, ASCD authors and essential question experts Jay McTighe or Grant Wiggins will share examples of essential questions along with classroom video examples of essential questions in action. Participants will preview websites containing excellent resources for essential questions and much more. Learn more.


Celebrate Learning: Stories of teaching and leading

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 06, 2015

The ASCD 2014 Annual Report celebrates the power of learning by featuring the association's stories about teaching and leading. This year's report, titled "Celebrating Learning: Stories of Teaching and Leading," shares ASCD's successes and shows how members are using our resources to ensure student success in the classroom. Learn more.


The 3 no's students want to hear

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 06, 2015

"By deliberately responding 'no' to three questions, teachers can elicit a resounding 'yes' to increased student engagement and critical thinking," writes educator Rose Reissman. In a recent Education Update article, Reissman explains that by answering "no" to three common questions, teachers can liberate students from the constraints of scripted learning. Read on.


ASCD Express calls for content: Words, words, words

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 03, 2015

How can teachers balance what vocabulary to teach; build students' independent word-learning skills; assess students' vocabulary learning; and encourage students to use powerful vocabulary in their writing and speaking? ASCD Express is looking for 600-1,000 word essays or brief multimedia content on the theme "Words, Words, Words." Learn more.


Congress to cut education funding by billions

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 02, 2015

In the latest issue of ASCD Capitol Connection newsletter, you'll read how both chambers of Congress have passed spending blueprints to guide the federal government's spending for FY 2016 and beyond -- and both chambers propose severe cuts to education funding. The House funding blueprint would slice education spending by $135 billion from 2016 to 2025, and the Senate proposal would cut education spending by $63 billion. Learn more. Stay informed about education policy news.


Educator Baruti Kafele poses 50 critical questions for principals in new publication

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 01, 2015

How can administrators inspire excellence from their entire school community? What can they do to demonstrate appreciation for their staff and hold teachers accountable? Author Baruti Kafele addresses these burning questions and more in his just-released book The Principal 50: Critical Leadership Questions for Inspiring Schoolwide Excellence. Learn more. Pick up your copy.


What's the 'extra' in your extra credit assignment?

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 01, 2015

"As educators, much of our time is spent assessing student needs. Before we can truly help our students, an understanding of our own learning is key," writes ASCD EDge community member Jennifer Davis Bowman. In a recent blog post, Bowman shares a short quiz to examine the effectiveness of extra credit work you assign. Take the quiz.


Disrupting Poverty: Turning High-Poverty Schools into High-Performing Schools

ASCD SmartBrief | Mar 31, 2015

What does it take to disrupt poverty's adverse influence on student learning? It requires far more than a teacher's diligent and often heroic effort in the classroom. During this professional development institute, you'll learn how teachers, principals, central office personnel, and others can work from various vantage points to create cultures of high expectations and support for all learners -- students and adults. Learn more.


Writing for a purpose

ASCD SmartBrief | Mar 31, 2015

In texts, Snapchat, or passed notes, students write to entertain, to inform, and to make arguments. Yet in school, many students struggle to articulate a reason for writing. In this issue of ASCD Express, teachers use audience, the writing domains, choice, and community to engage students in authentic academic writing experiences. Read on.


A social media recap of #ASCD15

ASCD SmartBrief | Mar 30, 2015

The 70th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Houston, Texas, featured thousands of attendees from across the globe, more than 350 sessions, and hundreds of exhibitors. Attendees were treated with sessions featuring Sarah Lewis discussing the factors that enable creative endeavors to Carla Hall's session on helping students make sense of food and nutrition. Stop by the ASCD Inservice blog to see a recap of the conference through the eye of social media. Read on.


Celebrating learning: Stories of teaching and leading

ASCD SmartBrief | Mar 30, 2015

The ASCD 2014 Annual Report celebrates the power of learning by featuring the association's stories about teaching and leading. For more than 70 years, ASCD has focused on improving the learning experience for children, and, over the years, our commitment has only strengthened. This year's report, titled "Celebrating Learning: Stories of Teaching and Leading," shares ASCD's successes and shows how members are using our resources to ensure student success in the classroom. View the report.




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