ASCD Association News

New book: Teaching in the Fast Lane

ASCD SmartBrief | May 22, 2017

"Teaching in the Fast Lane" offers teachers a way to increase student engagement: an active classroom. Author Suzy Pepper Rollins details how to design, manage and maintain an active classroom that balances autonomy and structure. She offers student-centered, practical strategies on sorting, station teaching and cooperative learning that will help teachers build on students' intellectual curiosity, self-efficacy and sense of purpose Read sample.

Lifting school leaders

ASCD SmartBrief | May 22, 2017

Great schools depend on great leadership, from administrators to teacher-leaders. The latest issue of Educational Leadership explores what it takes to develop and support outstanding leaders throughout schools -- and how school leaders can enhance their practice and mindsets. Read more in Educational Leadership. Read now.

5 perspectives for leadership success

ASCD SmartBrief | May 19, 2017

New school leaders typically start out with enthusiasm -- but sometime in their first year, they often find themselves disappointed, exhausted and full of self-doubt. In this article, Cathy A. Toll discusses five perspectives that sustained her enthusiasm for the job when she was a new school leader. Read her advice for new school leaders in Educational Leadership. Read now.

4 tips for media literacy lessons that appeal to teens

ASCD SmartBrief | May 19, 2017

Studies show that teens can be the most vulnerable to misleading media, despite their birthright as so-called "digital natives." Media literacy lessons that stick with teen readers need to make a compelling case for critical literacy, reveal students' own media literacy blind spots, provide depth and nuance to the terms and phenomena discussed, and have relevant applications to teens' everyday use of media. Read now.

Is your school better because you lead it?

ASCD SmartBrief | May 18, 2017

Baruti K. Kafele prompts school leaders to consider their leadership identity, mission, purpose and vision, and suggests how leaders can go about developing them. Read inspirational examples from his own experiences and those of other school leaders in Educational Leadership. Read now.

3 reader reflections to check for bias

ASCD SmartBrief | May 18, 2017

Get students to value information that is sourced from multiple perspectives by building the habit of asking three questions, during any reading: What story is being told, who's telling it, and how would the story be different if someone else told it? Just as guiding questions can help students make sense of literature, these questions can help students root out the agenda of digital and informational texts. Read now.

New book: Flipping the Learning

ASCD SmartBrief | May 17, 2017

How can educators change the way students view homework while ensuring that they still benefit from the additional learning it provides? It's easy. Flip the learning! In "Solving the Homework Problem by Flipping the Learning," Jonathan Bergmann, the cofounder of the flipped learning concept, shows you how. The book outlines how teachers can create flipped assignments that both engage students and advance student learning. Read sample.

Stop sabotaging feedback

ASCD SmartBrief | May 17, 2017

School leaders need to be able to give and receive feedback -- to give it skillfully to teachers, and to receive it skillfully from, well, everyone. Authors Douglas Stone and Jenn David-Lang offer guidelines for establishing a positive schoolwide feedback culture in the latest Educational Leadership. Read now.

Free webinar: Teaching in the Fast Lane

ASCD SmartBrief | May 16, 2017

Join author Suzy Pepper Rollins in this engaging webinar and leave with structure and strategies in hand -- and a renewed passion for the energy that lies in our creative minds. Let's unleash the power of crafting compelling, active learning experiences together. May 18 at 3 p.m. ET. Register now.

Learning to listen

ASCD SmartBrief | May 15, 2017

How do school leaders navigate a complex change process? They listen. Shane Safir outlines five reasons for becoming a "listening leader": Listening helps leaders tune into and shift the dominant narrative; keep their finger on the pulse of complex change; stay true to their values in the face of pressure; model compassion in times of trauma; and reimagine data to bring student, parent and teacher voice into the equation. Read more in Educational Leadership. Read now.

Critical literacy strategies for young learners

ASCD SmartBrief | May 15, 2017

The role of the school librarian has shifted -- from helping students find information, to helping them evaluate information for overall meaning, relevancy and credibility. In this elementary library, young learners practice questioning the author and sharpen their critical observation skills with explicit instruction in advertising literacy supported by resources from Read now.

3 questions to identify fake news

ASCD SmartBrief | May 12, 2017

The constant and connected nature of modern communication means, now more than ever, we must learn to be both responsive and responsible readers. Yet, when students are taught that the term nonfiction means "true," they accept more than question and share more than verify. Asking these three questions of any purportedly true text can help students identify fake news. Read now.

Why I Teach: Part 1

ASCD SmartBrief | May 12, 2017

This piece is part of a series on the ASCD Inservice blog entitled, "Why I Teach," where we asked teachers from various backgrounds and years of experience to reflect on their why. Part 1 follows Brooke Serra, a second-year teacher in New York City, as she reflects on how her passion for education stems from her sister's medical battle and her determination to make things better. Read now.

New book: School Culture Recharged

ASCD SmartBrief | May 11, 2017

In this follow-up to their insightful "School Culture Rewired: How to Define, Assess, and Transform It," authors Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker offer practical advice and strategies that help you build positive energy to reinvigorate your school's culture and staff. Written as a standalone guide, "School Culture Recharged: Strategies to Energize Your Staff and Culture" clarifies the difference between culture and climate and zeroes in on key school improvement efforts. Read sample.

New book: The Perfect Assessment System

ASCD SmartBrief | May 10, 2017

In "The Perfect Assessment System," Rick Stiggins calls for the ground-up redevelopment of assessment in US education. Speaking from more than 40 years of experience in the field, Stiggins maps out the adjustments in practice and culture necessary to generate both accurate accountability data and the specific evidence of individual mastery that will support sound instructional decision making and better learning in the classroom. Read sample.

4 reflections for a positive outlook for all learners

ASCD SmartBrief | May 10, 2017

Four reflection questions provide a positive frame for developing relationships between exceptional students and their teachers and peers. These questions ask educators to consider what students and teachers have in common, how students are grouped, what strengths learners possess and how to reframe language to be more student-centered. Read now.

High expectations, all students, no exceptions

ASCD SmartBrief | May 09, 2017

A former special educator and current classroom coach offers six tips for using intentional language and practices to manage classrooms of diverse learners. Inclusive practices, like positively narrating to everyone equally, delivering clear instructions using few words, and using people-first phrasing, help educators see all students as capable of achievement. Read now.

Targeting competency with differentiated writing rubrics

ASCD SmartBrief | May 09, 2017

Regardless of diagnosis or label, all students deserve good teaching that identifies where they need support. Here's an example of how self-regulated strategy development helps teachers target writing instruction, through differentiated rubrics, so that all learners can reach competency. As students master writing expectations, they level up to an increasingly rigorous rubric. Read now.

Webinar: Engaging Secondary Students in Real-World Problem Solving

ASCD SmartBrief | May 08, 2017

This interactive webinar presented by ASCD's Emily Davis and Spark 101's Susan Patterson will provide teachers with free skills videos, lesson plans and resources to engage students in authentic STEM problem solving. The videos meet national and state education standards. Spark 101 works with employers and professional educators to design, produce and freely distribute real "on-the-job" challenges that feature the application of skills in high-opportunity careers. May 11, 2017, 6-7:30 p.m. ET. Register now.

Developing and leading positive school culture change is hard ... like really hard

ASCD SmartBrief | May 05, 2017

When was the last time you arrived at work and you were enthusiastically greeted by staff members that were asking for change? Here are the points I focus on and offer as advice for those seeking to develop and lead a positive school culture. Read more.

What are the literacy demands of your discipline?

ASCD SmartBrief | May 04, 2017

If you aren't sure ... your students won't be either. How do we, as teachers, make explicit the literacy demands -- thinking, reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing -- of our specialty area so students build confidence and feel comfortable wearing the hat of our discipline? Read now.

Classroom-tested Strategies to Build Students' Mathematical Understanding

ASCD SmartBrief | May 04, 2017

Unpacking Fractions provides teachers with concrete strategies for achieving that reality -- helping all students gain the knowledge they need to feel at ease with fractions. Monica Neagoy offers three fundamental reasons why it's imperative for us to take a closer look at how we teach fractions, (1) fractions play a key role in students' feelings about mathematics, (2) fractions are fundamental to school math and daily life and (3) fractions are foundational to success in algebra. Learn more.

Career advice and job listings on ASCD Job Ramp

ASCD SmartBrief | May 03, 2017

Spring is a time for many educators to consider their next career move. ASCD's Pathfinder job ramp page has useful resources, including advice and tips for taking the next step in your career, interviewing successfully and building a school dream team. Plus, you can post a job in your district or search for your next opportunity. Learn more.

12 ways to thank your teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week

ASCD SmartBrief | May 02, 2017

With Teacher Appreciation Week here, we have put together a list of ideas you might like to use to help support your teachers this week and beyond. Because we believe that teachers should be celebrated by the community, we created this list for students, parents, principals, central office staff and even other teachers. Read now.

How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students

ASCD SmartBrief | May 01, 2017

Properly crafted and individually tailored feedback on student work boosts student achievement across subjects and grades. In this updated and expanded second edition of her best-selling book, Susan M. Brookhart offers enhanced guidance and three lenses for considering the effectiveness of feedback. (1) Does it conform to the research? (2) Does it offer an episode of learning for the student and teacher? (3) Does the student use the feedback to extend learning? Learn more.

Typical instruction strategies for atypical learners

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 27, 2017

"With Building on the Strengths of Students with Special Needs," special-education expert Toby Karten focuses on specific disabilities and inclusive curriculum scenarios for learners in K-12 environments. She offers valuable advice on how to prevent labels from capping student potential and encouragement to help teachers continually improve learner outcomes. This resource walks teachers through the process of reinforcing, motivating, scaffolding and planning for instruction that targets learners of all ability levels. Learn more.

Webinar: How to Differentiate Instruction

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 26, 2017

In this engaging webinar, based on the ASCD book "How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms," author Carol Ann Tomlinson will share a few key foundational and practical revisions from the most recent edition of the book. Among the ideas she will survey are the reason for a (slightly) new title, why it's important to "teach up," specific guidelines for supporting particular categories of learners, and advice for appropriate use of learning styles in the classroom. May 4, 3 p.m. ET. Register now.

High-impact strategies to provide access to all students

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 26, 2017

Universal Design for Learning regards difference as the norm, rather than the exception and embraces variance to improve the quality of instruction for the entire class. Here's how to use UDL strategies, like targeted classroom talk -- making use of think-pair-share, talking chips and role cards --, student choice and voice recording to engage, support and challenge students with a wide range of learning needs. Read now.

New differentiated instruction book

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 25, 2017

"How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms" is an expanded third edition of Carol Ann Tomlinson's groundbreaking work that covers the fundamentals of differentiation and provides additional guidelines and new strategies for how to go about it. This practical guide reflects evolving best practices in education, the experiences of practitioners throughout the US and around the world, and Tomlinson's continuing thinking about how to help each and every student access challenging, high-quality curriculum. Learn more.

Whole Child Symposium: Confronting Inequity

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 25, 2017

Join us on May 10, 2017, at ASCD's Whole Child Symposium for a conversation about equity in education that will cover issues of race, economics, culture, gender and more. This discussion will feature a diverse group of panelists who will address some of the various factors that should be considered when working toward equity in education. Attend the event in person in Washington, D.C., or stream it live. For more information, visit the Whole Child Symposium website.

5 fallacies that are NOT differentiated instruction

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 24, 2017

Differentiated instruction begins with an accurate understanding of what DI is -- and is not. You may be surprised how easy it is to incorporate into your classrooms. And no, DI is not a separate lesson plan for each student. Read now.

Webinar: Building on the Strengths of Students with Special Needs

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 24, 2017

In this free live webinar, Toby Karten offers K-12 and special educators ways to focus on learner strengths. She shares curriculum scenarios to guide teachers of students with different learning needs. April 25, 3 p.m. ET. Register now.

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