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class list software comparison

Class Composer: The Best Solution for Student Placement

February 9, 2022

Choosing a class list creator or placement software can help elementary school teachers plan balanced classes. Don’t purchase any class list software before reading this article.

How Educators Should Lead

This Principal Starts Each Day with a Morning Assembly and is Seeing Amazing Results

February 28, 2022

Why not start the day with a centered purpose? Learn how one principal is starting each day with an assembly and the impact it’s having on the school.

paper class lists

Creating Fair and Equitable Classes Doesn’t Have to Bring You to Your Knees

March 2, 2022

Where does it hurt? When it comes to assigning elementary school students to their classes, it’s the knees, the back and the head. Why? Because the vast majority of elementary school educators are still using blue and pink paper cards, sticky notes, and oftentimes the floor to come up with class rosters. The result is…

reviewing class list papers

How the Challenge of Creating Balanced Classrooms Completely Changed My Career

March 18, 2022

This article was originally published on We Are Teachers April 20, 2017 Every year as a third-grade teacher, I eagerly looked forward to the fresh start of a new school year and a new group of students. While every classroom presented its own challenges, I was always hopeful for a group that was balanced academically and…

innovating new approaches to old problems

That’s the Way We’ve Always Done It

March 23, 2022

On March 15, 2022 the U.S. Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act. This bill would make daylight savings time the new, permanent standard time which would end the twice-annual changing of clocks.  Daylight savings time has been observed in most states since 1966 with the passage of the Uniform Time Act.  Sen. Marco Rubio (R.,…

positive girl having video call and asking for help

I Hope I Get a Good Class this Year

April 7, 2022

Any elementary teacher who has taught for any length of time knows the experience of having one of “those” classes.  The class that is imbalanced with challenging behavior students, students who should have been separated but weren’t, too many struggling readers, or any other combination of students that can make teaching a real challenge.  These…

female business coach makes presentation for staff

Is All This Data Analysis Making a Difference?

May 16, 2022

At the elementary school where I taught for 13 years, we would have twice a year meetings called Data Days. Our grade-level team would meet with the principal, the literacy coaches, and the special needs teachers to analyze all the assessment data we had on all the students in our grade level. We took this as…

mtss continuous monitoring feature

What is MTSS? The Basics

July 1, 2022

A Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a framework designed to meet the needs of each and every learner in a school district. According to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, 2015), a multi-tiered support system is “a comprehensive continuum of evidence-based, systemic practices to support a rapid response to students’ needs, with regular observation…

RTI Growth

Response to Intervention (RTI): An Introduction

August 6, 2022

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a strategy geared towards students who face learning challenges. Students struggle for a variety of reasons and it’s important to understand why these students are struggling and the best way to create a learning path so that they are successful and feel good about themselves. The premise behind “interventions” is…

professional learning community

Community Engagement Through Analytical Processing 

August 26, 2022

Data in schools is based around which instructional methods are working and how instruction needs to be changed and improved. We use data every day as teachers to guide and execute our instruction. Administrators use data every day to make decisions about their schools. Data can also feel overwhelming and chaotic. Data, however, can also…

mtss triangle

What is MTSS? Part 2

September 9, 2022

In the previous blog, I outlined the first step of initiating MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports), a framework designed to meet the needs of each and every learner in a school district. When your school community has completed its inventory of instructional tools and supports for academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning, it is time to…

RTI Growth

Response to Intervention (RTI): Part 2

October 9, 2022

In my first post on Response to Intervention (RTI), I provided a brief introduction to this framework.  In summary, Response to Intervention (RTI) is a strategy geared towards students who face learning challenges. The premise behind “interventions” is to ensure that students receive the supports they need so that the gaps in learning are not…

casel sel framework

What is MTSS? Part 3

December 13, 2022

This is the time to revisit the inventory taken at the beginning of the adoption process and consider building a resource library. You may find that current instructional methods require only slight modifications to be considered tier 1 and tier 2 practices.