Top 10: Most Popular Articles of 2018

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The New Year is around the corner and while we’re all getting ready to set our New Year’s goals and start 2019 feeling fresh and motivated, we want to pause to highlight the 10 most popular and shared blog posts of the year.

These posts come from a variety of sources including our valued LSI authors, talented experts in the field and even the many dedicated teachers and school/district partners who have seen growth in their students. We hope you enjoy and continue to share these relevant and valued writings.

10. Protecting Student Data in the Age of Cambridge Analytica

by Jackie Speake

Recently, I was asked, “How do districts ensure that student data and information are protected?” This question was precipitated by the recent disclosure Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data. If you have unsubscribed from the news (personally, I unsubscribe for days at a time for a brief respite from reality), the New York Times article, “Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: What You Need to Know,” should bring you up to speed. As I thought about the question, I realized my answer would require some research.

9. Dylan Wiliam: Teacher Learning is Every Leader’s Priority.

LSI author Dylan Wiliam sits down with Ollie Lovell of ERRR (Education Research Reading Room) 

“For a long time I have cited Daniel Willingham’s book ‘Why don’t students like school’ as my favourite education book, and the book that had the biggest impact on me as an educator, but after reading ‘Leadership for Teacher Learning’ I’d have to say I now have two favourite books! I can’t emphasise strongly enough the wisdom contained in Dylan’s writing and I’m extraordinarily excited that you’re about to hear much of this wisdom shared, in this podcast episode.

8. Reflecting on a Year of Growth at Des Moines Public Schools 

By Kara Bentley

Staff members at an Iowa elementary school reflect on the take-aways, challenges, and rewards of becoming a School for Rigor.In August 2017, I had the privilege of working with the instructional staff of Monroe Elementary School in Des Moines Public Schools in Iowa. Our goal was to craft a new vision of instruction as a School for Rigor, which encompassed a shift in instruction and a shift to transfer the learning over to students.

Their shift involved utilizing multiple instructional techniques (Ignite Core Instruction) and focusing on minute-to-minute monitoring and verifying of student learning through purposeful observation and feedback. I asked participating teachers, coaches, and administrators to reflect on how the shift in instruction impacted their classroom experience.

7. Six Fun Strategies to Transform Your Learners into Leaders

By Sara Croll

students working with lights

Pull up a chair and join author Sara Croll and teacher leaders from Kathleen High School in Polk Country, Florida for a Q and A session. Read what happened after they implemented student teams using the strategies in Sara’s new book, “Student Teaming: You Got This! A Teacher’s Survival Guide.” Recently I had the privilege of working with an enthusiastic group of teachers implementing teaming in Kathleen High School in Polk County, Florida. After answering some of their questions, I thought it may be beneficial to share this learning with all of you who are trying out teaming in your classrooms.

6. “Owning” Learning: A Step Above “Doing” and “Understanding”

by Robert Crowe and Jane Kennedy

If you are reading this post, it’s probably because you know that student motivation is key to greater academic success. And if you are like a lot of other educators, you’ve probably had days where it feels like no matter what you do, you can’t get your students motivated. Well, we believe that motivation can be taught and in our new book, Developing Student Ownership, we share our expertise and a roadmap for increasing student motivation, and thus student achievement, by increasing student ownership.

5. Making Students Think: 10 Powerful Feedback Techniques Dr. Dylan Wiliam Recommends

By Dylan Wiliam

Dr. Dylan Wiliam is an incredibly valuable resource for teachers working to embed minute-to-minute formative assessment into their lessons and units. We’re happy to share the following techniques that he recommends. If you’d like to check out his new book, read the first chapter here.

4. Important Reminder: “Wrong” Answers Are the Ones That Deepen Learning

By Shannon Pretorius

You ask your class a question, expecting a particular answer. You planned for that answer, but the students’ responses are completely different from what you anticipated. What do you do? Too many times, I’ve seen teachers barely acknowledge the unexpected answers and say something like, “No, that’s not what I was looking for.” Which leaves me wondering…

3. Student Teaming: 3 Strategies for Turning Students into Teachers

By Sara Croll

Oftentimes, kids are so used to the teacher telling them what to do that they don’t know how to operate without that constant direction and guidance. But, if we give students specific ideas on how to politely disagree and push each other’s thinking, teams will begin taking ownership and becoming more self-regulated. This is at the very heart of creating student-centered classrooms.

2. Greensboro Elementary School: Finding Joy in the Journey

By Kara Bentley

In Greensboro, Maryland, near the eastern shore, Greensboro Elementary School shines brightly as students, instructional staff, and administrative leadership work diligently to transfer the ownership of learning to students—a feat that’s difficult and not met overnight.

On any given day, as you walk through the halls, you will hear the voices of students discussing learning, politely disagreeing, challenging each other’s thinking, and supporting one another to deepen their understanding of grade-level content.

1. The Number One Factor in Student Success? Relationships With Teachers

by Jennifer A. Cleary

Just Ask Students. In 1996, Mouton et al. conducted a study on students they referred to as “low-attached”—students who lacked a sense of belonging. These students often feel a sense of alienation, which is demonstrated in a number of ways, such as withdrawal from school activities, discipline and attendance issues, negative overall attitudes about school, and dropping out.

Interestingly enough, when students who were labeled as high-risk for these types of school failures succeeded despite their labels, they cited relationships with teachers, counselors, principals, and peers as the ultimate factor in their successes.