ASCD Association News

Connect 21 Camp: Becoming a 21st Century Teacher, Leader, and School

ASCD SmartBrief | May 29, 2015

During this three-day professional development academy, attendees will join ASCD author and founder of Curriculum Designers, Inc., Heidi Hayes Jacobs, and her Curriculum 21 team to explore solutions to contemporary education challenges, including the modernization of curriculum and upgrading classroom and district assessments. Participants will build their own professional development by creating their personal learning path and choosing activities that meet their learning goals. Learn more.

Peer Coaching to Enrich Professional Practice, School Culture, and Student Learning

ASCD SmartBrief | May 29, 2015

In ASCD's newest publication, teachers can learn how to sharpen their skills and support one another in improving their professional practice. In this book, author Pam Robbins explains how peer coaching can help create a collaborative, learning-focused school culture, enhance professional learning, and increase student performance. Robbins discusses the meaning of peer coaching, explains how it works and maps out a strategic approach for how to implement an effective peer coaching program in any school. Learn more.

Mitigating the effects of poverty on students' learning and lives

ASCD SmartBrief | May 28, 2015

"Mitigating the effects of poverty is an ongoing process that requires a regular review of schoolwide data and parent input in order to identify the needs of your students and their families," writes Title 1 teacher specialist Tara Sample. In a recent Inservice post, Sample shares strategies that her school has implemented to meet the areas of need within her school community and mitigate the effects of poverty on students' learning and lives. Read on.

ASCD policy recommendations go global

ASCD SmartBrief | May 28, 2015

ASCD has released its Global Policy Agenda, providing recommendations to promote the success of students, educators, schools and communities worldwide. The ASCD Global Policy Agenda seeks to engage the global education community in conversations about what works in education and shift the discussion toward long-term educational progress that serves the whole child and honors the profession. Learn more.

The Strategic Teacher: Developing Every Teacher's Instructional Know-How

ASCD SmartBrief | May 27, 2015

This three-day interactive academy, presented by experienced educators and ASCD authors Harvey Silver, Tom Dewing and Daniel Moirao, will help teachers move beyond instructional strategies to the larger concept of instructional know-how. During the academy, attendees will learn the critical thinking and literacy skills that are most important to student success, specific instructional strategies that build these competencies, the research and design elements behind effective instruction, and more. Learn more.

5 communication tips for educators

ASCD SmartBrief | May 27, 2015

"If education is viewed as a relationship with students, families and the community, then good communication should be a priority," writes ASCD EDge community member Steven Weber. In a recent blog post, Weber explains why effective communication is so important in education. He also provides five communication tips that will help educators positively impact student achievement, family engagement, school culture and teaching and learning. Read on.

Interested in serving on ASCD's nominations committee?

ASCD SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

ASCD is currently seeking individuals interested in serving on the ASCD Nominations Committee. The ASCD Nominations Committee is charged to recruit, select, interview, and recommend candidates for the ASCD Board of Directors. Applicants must be ASCD members and demonstrate leadership characteristics. All applications must be submitted by May 31. Learn more.

5 tips for managing mobile devices

ASCD SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

"Locking up devices because we fear they'll distract from learning is the exact opposite direction I want to see education heading," writes teacher Catlin Tucker. In her May Educational Leadership article, Tucker shares five strategies to help ensure that mobile devices enhance, rather than distract from, learning. She explains that teachers need to establish new norms that clarify responsible use, cultivate a culture of sharing, use devices to challenge and engage, and more. Read on.

Gripped classrooms

ASCD SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

"As a teacher, I've realized I can have the most influence on closing the achievement gap by focusing on making my instruction more effective," writes teacher Scott Rosenkranz. In a recent ASCD Express article, Rosenkranz explains why instead of flipping his classroom, a he designed his own app for gripping the part of the achievement gap he can control: his own instruction. He uses technology to fine-tune his approach to engagement and different learning needs. Read on.

Global policy recommendations focus on reduced testing reliance, whole child support

ASCD SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

ASCD has released its first Global Policy Agenda, which makes recommendations to promote the success of students, educators, schools and communities worldwide. The specific global recommendations include establishing a multimetric accountability system, reducing the reliance on standardized testing, promoting a whole child education, and honoring and supporting the education profession. Learn more. View the agenda.

5 ways to support diverse families

ASCD SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Empowering all families requires that we "work best with whoever the parents or guardians are in our students' lives" and "certainly not be judgmental of them," says educator and education blogger Larry Ferlazzo. In the May Education Update, learn how to be inclusive of all diverse families, from the language you use to the programs you offer. Read on.

ASCD Express calls for content: In sync with families

ASCD SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Research shows that parent involvement helps kids do better in school. But what kind of outreach brings families into their children's education as partners and taps into their strengths and perspectives? ASCD Express is looking for 600- to 1,000-word essays or brief multimedia content on the theme "In Sync with Families." All stories must be submitted by June 1. Share your story.

Become a strategic, 21st century teacher at ASCD's 2015 Summer Academies

ASCD SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

ASCD's 2015 Summer Academies will provide a three-day, intensive learning experience for teachers and school leaders over the summer months. Hosted by leading ASCD authors Harvey Silver and Heidi Hayes Jacobs, the academies will equip educators with an expansive portfolio of tools and strategies that will inspire teachers to reach new levels of excellence in their professional practice. Learn more.

Educators address poverty's effects in schools

ASCD SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

In the latest issue of ASCD's Capitol Connection e-newsletter, you'll read about the key takeaways from ASCD's Whole Child Symposium that highlighted how educators can continue to combat poverty's effects in their classrooms and beyond. You can view the archived webcast of the symposium, view highlights from the symposium's Twitter conversation, and get ideas about how schools can mitigate the effects of poverty. Read on.

Real Engagement: How do I help my students become motivated, confident and self-directed learners?

ASCD SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

In this new ASCD Arias publication, authors Allison Zmuda and Robyn Jackson discuss the four key elements of real student engagement -- clarity, context, challenge, and culture -- and explain how teachers can use these drivers to create a classroom filled with students who ask intriguing questions, seek feedback on their performance and immerse themselves in learning. Learn more.

6 ways to drive a successful BYOD initiative

ASCD SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

"Instead of viewing smartphones, tablets or other technology as a distraction on campus, how can we use these technological tools to provide real learning opportunities during the school day?," asks educator Eric Sheninger. In a recent ASCD Express article, Sheninger explains that taking full advantage of mobile learning technology requires careful planning. He also shares six key drivers of a successful BYOD initiative. Read on.

Teach Reflect Learn: Building Your Capacity for Success in the Classroom

ASCD SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

Join ASCD authors Pete Hall and Alisa Simeral for a free webinar on Thursday, May 21 at 3 p.m. ET. During the webinar, you'll explore the awareness, intentionality and responsiveness of truly effective classroom instruction. You'll learn about the Reflective Cycle and how you can increase your reflective practices -- and your effectiveness -- no matter what changes come down the pike. Learn more and register.

Teacher Teamwork: How do we make it work?

ASCD SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

In this new ASCD Arias publication, authors Margaret Searle and Marilyn Swartz guide teachers, paraeducators, and supervisors through the four key stages of team development: establishing guidelines and protocols, resolving conflicts, improving decision-making skills, and building team capacity. Packed with strategies, tips, and activities, this book shows how to build committed teams of teachers who are focused on student results. Learn more.

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

ASCD SmartBrief | May 15, 2015

The September issue of Educational Leadership will be all about questioning for learning, and we're currently collecting stories for the "Tell Me About" column. In 200 words or less, please explain how you ask questions that encourage students to really think, instead of just looking for the "right" answer. If appropriate, give an example of a specific question that sparked student thinking. Selected responses will appear in either the online or digital issue. All responses must be received by June 22. Share your story.

Building teacher capacity: The art of reflection

ASCD SmartBrief | May 15, 2015

"Reflection is not the barrier for teachers. Identifying a consistent time to reflect with teachers who teach the same grade level or subject is often the main barrier," writes Inservice guest blogger Steven Weber. In a recent blog post, Weber shares five ways to reflect to increase teacher capacity and student understanding. He also shares tools that can support teacher teams as you become more intentional about reflection. Read on.

Characteristics of a culture of learning

ASCD SmartBrief | May 14, 2015

"Schooling focuses on teaching, while a culture of learning focuses on the whole child and student understanding," writes ASCD EDge community member Steven Weber. In a recent blog post, Weber explains why educators should be focusing on designing a culture of learning rather than trying to tweak education. He shares the characteristics of a culture of learning to help get you started. Read on.

New ASCD Arias titles offer solutions for teachers and student engagement

ASCD SmartBrief | May 14, 2015

Teamwork, collaboration and engagement are among the key topics discussed in ASCD Arias™ publications, "Teacher Teamwork: How do we make it work?" and "Real Engagement: How do I help my students become motivated, confident, and self-directed learners?" These short and practical titles offer strategies to help teachers work together as a team and create meaningful classroom experiences for students. Learn more.

The final push before summer

ASCD SmartBrief | May 13, 2015

"The last part of the school year is learning gold because we are freed from the restrictions and ceilings of the standards. That's when we can be creative," writes elementary-school principal Scott Thorpe. In a recent Education Update article, you'll learn how to flex your creativity and engage students until the final bell. Read on.

Resources to help you build teachers' capacity

ASCD SmartBrief | May 13, 2015

One powerful approach to improving students' education is to build teachers' capacity, and teachers can take control of their own growth through reflection. ASCD has compiled a number of resources to help you build teachers' capacity in your school, if you are a professional development leader, or for yourself, if you are a teacher. Resources include professional development books, webinars, podcasts and more. Learn more.

Why teach digital communication?

ASCD SmartBrief | May 12, 2015

"In the field of education today, it sometimes feels as though a relentless stream flows only in one direction. Teachers are asked to teach more, but with the same number of hours and days," writes Educational Leadership author Elizabeth Englander. In a recent Inservice post, Englander expands upon her May Educational Leadership article and examines teachers' role in helping students think about their online behavior. Read on.

Strengthening connections in a brain-friendly classroom

ASCD SmartBrief | May 11, 2015

"Educators faced with the challenge of being content experts have tremendous potential to create rich learning opportunities by designing instruction with students' brains in mind," write educators Elizabeth LeBlanc and Becky Kappus. In a recent ASCD Express article, the authors explain what teachers can do to create brain-friendly classrooms and help students build long-term connections to new learning. Read on.

Teach, Reflect, Learn: Building Your Capacity for Success in the Classroom

ASCD SmartBrief | May 11, 2015

In this new ASCD publication, teachers will learn how to take charge of their own professional growth. Authors Pete Hall and Alisa Simeral share useful tools and strategies that help teachers develop a deeper understanding of their practice and make improvements in their instruction. Hall and Simeral also share insight into the four stages that compose the Continuum of Self-Reflection and explain how each stage contributes to teachers' overall self-improvement. Learn more.

Reflective teachers are more effective: Improvement doesn't happen by accident

ASCD SmartBrief | May 08, 2015

Reflective educators are intentional in their actions, accurately assess their influence, adjust their actions on the fly and engage in ongoing reflection. On the most recent episode of the Whole Child Podcast, panelists explore how to develop and grow your capacity for success through self-reflection and its effects on student learning, the quality of schools, and the state of the profession. Listen to the broadcast.

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

ASCD SmartBrief | May 07, 2015

ASCD has released its 2014 Annual Report, titled "Celebrating Learning: Stories of Teaching and Leading." The downloaded 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

Poverty and education

ASCD SmartBrief | May 07, 2015

ASCD has released the latest issue of Policy Points on Poverty and Education. Using the most recent data, the issue delves into the scope of poverty in the United States, examines poverty's effect on education, and provides concrete recommendations to help on-the-ground educators mitigate poverty's impact on schools. Read on.

ASCD shows appreciation for teachers and offers free resources to further their learning

ASCD SmartBrief | May 06, 2015

In honor of Teacher Appreciation week, ASCD has assembled a list of free professional development resources for teachers seeking to improve their practice. In addition to the free resources, educators can also show their appreciation for teachers by taking advantage of ASCD's special promotions on ASCD Arias™ publications and ASCD membership, available only during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8. Learn more.

Connect 21 Summer Camp: Becoming a 21st Century Teacher, Leader and School

ASCD SmartBrief | May 06, 2015

Join ASCD author Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs for a free one-hour webinar on Wednesday, May 13 at 3 p.m. ET to learn how to thoughtfully integrate digital, media, and global literacies directly into all aspects of teaching, learning, curriculum planning, and assessment design. Through this webinar, you'll learn how to become a 21st century teacher, leader and school. Learn more.

The reason every educator needs a PLN

ASCD SmartBrief | May 05, 2015

"Educators need each other because we simply cannot have the answer to every lesson, have a deep understanding of all instructional strategies, or keep up with the emerging online resources that support teaching and learning," writes ASCD EDge community member Steven Weber. In a recent blog post, Weber explains the power of a professional learning network and shares ways any educator can begin building one. Read on.

What does awesome look like?

ASCD SmartBrief | May 04, 2015

"If your new initiative were to succeed beyond your wildest expectations, how would your students be different as scholars, citizens, and people?" asks Educational Leadership author Justin Reich. In a recent Inservice post, Reich expands upon his May Educational Leadership article and explains why schools need to articulate a clear vision for how new technology will improve student learning. Read on.

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

ASCD SmartBrief | May 04, 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 recently-released book The Principal 50: Critical Leadership Questions for Inspiring Schoolwide Excellence. Learn more.

3 ways to create an inclusive learning environment

ASCD SmartBrief | May 01, 2015

"Schools need to provide a welcoming experience for all students, not just those who struggle, so that effective classroom strategies can be successfully employed," writes science teacher Jasper Fox Sr. In a recent Inservice post, Fox shares three tactics to consider when creating an inclusive learning environment. Read on.

The what, why and how of teachers as leaders

ASCD SmartBrief | May 01, 2015

Teacher leadership continues to be a high priority for educators hoping to leverage teachers' strengths. ASCD's new report, "The What, Why, and How of Teachers as Leaders," examines key takeaways from the Fall 2014 ASCD Whole Child Symposium on teacher leadership and concludes that collaborative, shared leadership -- between classroom educators and building administrators -- is essential to meet increased student achievement expectations and support student success. Read on. Learn about the upcoming Spring Whole Child Symposium.

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