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The Language of Possibility

How Teachers’ Words Shape School Culture and Student Achievement

Does your language lift or limit your students? In this essential resource, school improvement expert Michael Roberts uses brain-based research to address the stifling effects “teacher talk” has on student growth and school culture.

Benefits

  • Understand how limiting language stifles student growth and academic success.
  • Utilize figures and other resources to better recognize limiting language and replace it with positive language.
  • Reflect on the culture of your own school and improve collaborative work.
  • Access and analyze data that will equip you to better handle obstacles in developing your professional learning community.
  • Improve communication among all classrooms within your school or district.

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The Language of Possibility

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part 1: What We Say About Students
Chapter 1: Talking About Underserved Students
Chapter 2: Talking About Expectations for Students
Chapter 3: Talking About Student Motivation
Chapter 4: Talking About Student Data
Part 2: What We Say About Colleagues
Chapter 5: Talking About Taking Responsibility
Chapter 6: Talking About Research and Best Practices
Chapter 7: Talking About Teacher Individuality
Chapter 8: Talking About Collaboration
Chapter 9: Talking About Trust
Epilogue

PRINTABLE REPRODUCIBLES

Introduction

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Appendix

SUGGESTED RESOURCES

Books

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  • Buffum, A., Mattos, M., & Malone, J. (2018). Taking action: A handbook for RTI at Work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Calderón, M. E., Trejo, M. N., Montenegro, H., Carreón, A., D’Emilio, T., Marino, J., et al. (2016). Literacy strategies for English learners in core content secondary classrooms. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Conzemius, A. E., & O’Neill, J. (2014). The handbook for SMART school teams. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • DuFour, R. (2015). In praise of American educators: And how they can become even better. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & Karhanek, G. (2004). Whatever it takes: How professional learning communities respond when kids don’t learn. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., Many, T. W., & Mattos, M. (2016). Learning by doing: A handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Eaker, R., Keating, J., Hagadone, M., & Rhoades, M. (2021). Leading PLCs at Work districtwide: From boardroom to classroom. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Ferriter, W. M. (2020a). The big book of tools for collaborative teams in a PLC at Work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Friziellie, H., Schmidt, J. A., & Spiller, J. (2016). Yes we can! General and special educators collaborating in a professional learning community. Bloomington, IN, Solution Tree Press.
  • Gregory, G., Kaufeldt, M., & Mattos, M. (2016). Best practices at Tier 1: Daily differentiation for effective instruction, elementary. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Kanold, T (2021). SOUL!: Fulfilling the promise of your professional life as a teacher and leader. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Kerr, D. (2021). Answering the first critical question from an English learner’s point of view. In S. V. Kramer (Ed.), Charting the course for collaborative teams: Lessons from priority schools in a PLC at Work (pp. 81–108). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Kramer, S. V. (Ed.). (2021). Charting the course for collaborative teams: Lessons from priority schools in a PLC at Work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Kramer, S. V., & Schuhl, S. (2017). School improvement for all: A how-to guide for doing the right work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Marzano, R. J. (2017). The new art and science of teaching. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Mattos, M., DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & Many, T. W. (2016). Concise answers to frequently asked questions about Professional Learning Communities at Work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Muhammad, A. (2018). Transforming school culture: How to overcome staff division (2nd ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Muhammad, A., & Cruz, L. F. (2019). Time for change: Four essential skills for transformational school and district leaders. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Roberts, M. (2020). Shifting from me to we: How to jump-start collaboration in a PLC at Work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Spiller, J., & Power, K. (2019). Leading with intention: Eight areas for reflection and planning in your PLC at Work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

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