Spring Cleaning Your Classroom Culture

Time for Spring Cleaning? Here’s How You Can Unclutter Classroom Culture

Categories: Instruction, Mathematics, School Improvement

It’s that time of year again: spring! For many, this means it is time to unclutter the home and “spring-clean” as winter gives way to summer. I know for me, it is this time of year when I suddenly feel the need to purge unused items and scrub windows and floors to make the house feel like new.

Lately, as I work with mathematics teachers and teams, the urge to unclutter makes me wonder what spring-cleaning might look like in classrooms. I wonder what the clutter is that hampers student learning and might need to be “cleaned” or freshened as students work to learn remaining standards. Read more

Reflective practices can help differentiate learning.

I’m Different! And, You are Too!—Using Reflection to Differentiate Instruction

Categories: Instruction

Differentiation means different. It means different than every other human being. It means, “I’m unique and so are you.” And, it means that, literally, we’ve been different places, we know different things, we’ve read different books, and we’ve listened to different music. More importantly, we think different thoughts, make different connections, and generally, have a unique uniqueness that no one else on the face of this earth has. Read more

Teacher performance evaluation is only the first step in reaching professional teaching goals.

6 Steps to Empower Collaborative Teams to Learn New Instructional Strategies

Categories: PLC, School Improvement

Sharing the Burden of Professional Growth and Development between Principals and Peers

One of the challenges facing 21st-century leaders is helping teachers to grow and learn. Identifying the most promising, research-proven teaching strategies is not the problem. Recently, books such as Visible Learning for Teachers (Hattie, 2012), Teach like a Champion (Lemov, 2010), and Classroom Instruction That Works (Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, 2010), and others have provided us with research that enables us to know which teaching strategies hold the most power to improve student learning. Helping teachers to adopt and use these strategies, however, can prove challenging for school leaders. Read more

Richard DuFour

Following the Sun: What I Learned from Rick DuFour

Categories: PLC

That day in late spring, the Arizona sun was a searing cauldron. Lush, prickly teddy-bear cactus lined the winding, rising mountain trail as our shoes slipped and gripped in the gravel. Although the desert is my home and the trail familiar to me, guests Rick and Becky DuFour took the lead charging up the steep pathway. That day, years before, and years after, I took pleasure in learning from and following Richard DuFour. In following him, I learned a lot. Given his recent passing, I’d like to celebrate him and share just a few things I learned on the trail. Read more