Dear Indiana Teachers
14 Apr: Dear Indiana Teacher

You are probably sad and frustrated today, and I am grieving with you. A retired air traffic controller I knew who tutored high school math students lost his fight against COVID-19 three weeks ago. Doug was tough and selfless with kids, and he changed their lives. I think of his wonderful spirit, and I mourn with dedicated educators across this state who now face daily battles against this horrific pandemic. 

PL Connect - Navigating FERPA COPPA and CIPA
07 Apr: Navigating FERPA, COPPA, and CIPA: What You Need to Know to Keep You and Your Students Safe

An unexpected box of Oreos, Doritos, Party Pizzas, and Peanut Butter M&M’s all make their way into my cart. Not one of these items was on my list and, while delicious, are not things that I’ll feel good about eating. We’ve all walked into the grocery store hungry and know that feeling of giving in to temptation all too well. In these uncharted times of remote learning, we are asked to design for learning and instruction in ways we’ve never done before, and because of this… We, as educators, are all very hungry.

Students with books in classroom
10 Mar: Writing in Response to Reading: Top Three Strategies for Improvement

One of the most commonly asked questions I get from districts, leaders, and especially teachers is as simple as it is complex: How do we get our students to improve their short answer response?

High-impact Strategies that Support the Three Phases of Learning
11 Feb: High-impact Strategies that Support the Three Phases of Learning

As educators, we hear and learn all types of instructional strategies to support student learning. Something we may not be aware of is how these strategies align with the various phases of learning. Visible Learning research has introduced three phases of learning: Surface, Deep and Transfer.

PL Connect - The Key to Sustainable Clarity in Districts
14 Jan: Purposeful Redundancy: The Key to Sustainable Clarity in Districts

If there’s one overarching request from teachers, it’s the plea for more clarity. Specifically, they are desperate for building and district leaders to communicate vital information and initiative implementation.

PLConnect - Focusing and Funneling
10 Dec: Funneling or Focusing: What is it and when do we use it?

We are trained as educators to be the content experts. We’re told in our pre-service preparation that we are the conveyor of knowledge, and our job is to impart that knowledge to our students. I would argue, after 30 years in education, that is NOT our job.

PL Connect Blog - Visible Learning
12 Nov: Stop the Guessing Game: Implementing Visible Learning

Stop for a moment and ask yourself this question: When was the last time I took a risk? How you choose to define risk is entirely up to you, but I would venture to say that each of us has varying connotations of the meaning of the word.

Students raising hand in classroom
08 Oct: Prompt and Cue Students for Success and Accomplishment

One of the most misunderstood words in our educational vocabulary is scaffolding. What does it mean to scaffold for a student? Does it mean I should give him or her less? Should I break it down for the student into tiny pieces? The answer to both of those questions is, NO!

Teacher in classroom
11 Sep: A Challenge for School Leaders: Have the Audacity to Love Your Teachers

What is audacity and why this, why now? Audacity is the courage to be bold. I have always associated courage with bravery and noble acts. I never really thought about the necessary presence of fear to create courage.

CIESC - PL Connect - Visible Learning Conference
14 Aug: 4 Things I Learned at the Annual Visible Learning Conference

John Hattie and his work around Visible Learning is a comprehensive meta-analysis that examines the effectiveness of influences we use and have in our schools. During my 4th trip to the Annual Visible Learning Conference, I enhanced my learning concerning work that impacts schools in Indiana. Here are the four top things I learned at the conference.

Building Capacity and a Culture of Success for All with Professional Learning Cadres
02 Jul: Building Capacity and a Culture of Success for All with Professional Learning Cadres

PLConnect strives to empower teachers and educational leaders with impactful professional development. Our professional learning cadres, taught by leaders in education, provide a setting to learn and grow alongside other educators progressing toward a common goal.

Difficulty and Complexity chart
19 Jun: How to Design Classroom Assessments Using the Difficulty and Complexity Matrix

As we think about next steps to iLearn, specifically related to math, I believe the key is in selecting tasks for our classroom. Choosing the “right” task can make or break a lesson. Let’s take a look at a John Hattie model that can help us give students productive math tasks when they need to work on problem-solving and procedural problems when that is what is needed. How do we know when to do what?

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