Resources for Teachers and Instructional Coaches – July 2022

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Summer is going by quickly. Missed the top resources for teachers and coaches from July 2022? We’ve got you covered!

This past month, we’ve been reading about student voice and edtech choice, both important to intentionally incorporate into your classroom this fall.

Here are our top picks for the July 2022 reads to catch up on. Read on for highlights, article links, and related content.

Putting student voices front and center

Resources for teachers may be focused on enhancing student well-being, but are student voices leading the way?

This ASCD article notes, “to increase healing and well-being in school, make sure your students are part of the process.”

It continues, “Children can impact the way things usually go in schools and recreate their school ecology so that it reflects them, works for them, and contributes to their well-being.”

Here are four ways to help student voices lead and shape the classroom culture.

  1. Listening with Care.
    Researchers and practitioners at the Rural Vitality Lab piloted and refined schoolwide strategies for fostering student voice and empowerment in schools to promote mental health, well-being, and emotional healing.
    This requires that we listen to students and trust them as experts on their own experience and that we engage them as full and active partners in school and community transformation.
    We initiated a set of whole-school practices designed to engage children around pressing and meaningful aspects of their lives, provide opportunities for students to express and access what they love and want from school, and allow them to speak about and explore what feels unfair or impedes their education and growth.
  2. Starting with Somedays.
    Every student and teacher in our partner schools completed this sentence: “Someday in school, I would like to ___.” And then, each day for the rest of the year, the coach and a team of educators in each school did their very best to make those wishes come true.
    The response to Somedays had a surprisingly profound impact on the development and trajectory of our work. Teachers’ perspectives of children changed, relationships deepened, and families reappraised the social boundaries between home and school.
  3. Moving Toward Microadventures.
    In addition to Somedays, we piloted a related initiative called “Microadventures.” When we asked students about the kind of changes to their schools they would like to make, we heard over and over again: More outdoor time, more recess, more movement. Together with students and teachers, we brainstormed ways to incorporate movement and outdoor time into the school day.
  4. Empowering Students to Lead.
    With adult scaffolding, the student leadership team distributed climate surveys to other students and staff and helped younger children fill out their forms. Once the results were tabulated, the team set three schoolwide goals for the coming year: (1) make the school feel safer; (2) connect learning to student interests, talents, and strengths, and (3) include student voice in school decision making and offer more opportunities for students to work with, talk with, and learn from teachers and other students.

Read the full post at ASCD: Letting Student Voice Lead the Way

Thinking about how to include more student voices from outside the classroom? Check out this conversation with expert Andre Daughty about virtually connecting with diverse voices.

5 questions to choose the right edtech for your classroom

This Edutopia article from edtech expert Monica Burns acknowledges that there are a lot of classroom technology tools available. Feeling overwhelmed is understandable.

But, not to worry. Here are 5 questions “to help make sure that these tools truly have you covered or to facilitate a discussion with a group of colleagues.”

  1. Is there a tool to help check for understanding so that all students can share their learning?
  2. Have I identified open-ended creation tools that give students a space to create a product that demonstrates their learning?
  3. Will students be able to collaborate with their peers and work toward a common goal?
  4. Do these tools help students build transferable skills they can apply in a variety of contexts?
  5. Will these apps or websites work in the environment my students currently use (home, school, hybrid), and do they take connectivity, accessibility, and hardware into account?

Read more about choosing the best edtech at Edutopia: 5 Questions to Help You Make Edtech Decisions

Need more guidance on classroom tech tools? Check out our conversation with Monica Burns on what to prioritize when choosing edtech.

Missed last month’s edition of resources for teachers and coaches? Catch up on our June 2022 top resources for teachers and coaches

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