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Skill + Confidence = WIN!

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As a teacher in the nineties, the focus in our classrooms was self esteem.  Self esteem is important and I have done my fair share of helping others believe in themselves.  But like many initiatives, some things get lost in our pursuit of something else.  Lately, I've noticed something.  It seems that many of our young professionals have a whole lot more confidence than skill.  I am not saying that this group lacks skills, rather I am saying that often times the ego promises a lot more that what the skill can deliver.

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Writing: Making It Fit!

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Writing can seem like a daunting task for both teacher and student.  If you are still not sure how to fit it into your content area, here are a few ideas to consider.

 

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Formative Assessments and the Common Core

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Many teachers use formative assessments as a way to prep students for state testing.  Teachers, in many ways have been "forced" to use formative assessments in this way in order to reach a proficiency target.  However formative assessments are so much more than test prep, in fact I would say they should not be for test prep but rather a way to gauge where students are in relationship to the content goal.

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What Part of the Mess Do I Own?

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My work with teachers this past year with the Common Core standards has resulted in the same question that other teachers across the nation are asking.  "What does Common Core look like in the classroom?"  

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Kansas Gets Waiver!

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From Diane DeBacker:

I am pleased to announce that Kansas was successful in our request for an ESEA Flexibility Waiver from certain provisions of NCLB! In a press release earlier this morning, Kansas was approved along with five other states and the District of Columbia. A total of 32 states have been granted waivers.

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Podstock: linking technology and teachers to great classroom practices

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Hanging at Podstock in Old Town in Wichita, KS Thursday and Friday this week! Love the stuff I am learning. Lots of connections between College and Career Readiness skills, and mathematical practices, especially using technology tools strategically and capably.

Check out Podstock online for ideas and be sure to follow Podstock on Facebook and Twitter so you can join us next year!

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A Parent's Guide to the Common Core Standards

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Schools across the nation have adopted the Common Core Standards.  Nearly every state http://www.corestandards.org/in-the-states has joined in and that means that you may start to see changes in your child's classroom and in the school as a whole.  

What those changes look like depend heavily on your child's school and the way they have been doing business.  Here is a glimpse of key factors and how they might affect your child's classroom.

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Diagnose the Situation

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Leadership is tough.  Moving people from point A to put B can be quite a challenge, especially when you, as the leader aren't exactly sure what point B looks like and especially when there are so many variables that may or may not lead to point B and also the fact that point B may turn out to be where you don't want to go at all.  You may decide you are more interested in point C, J and M.

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Common Core: A School Leader's Checklist

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As we continue to unpack the standards documents for the Common Core, many questions arise. Questions that school leaders should have on their radar as we continue this transition.

Following is a baker's dozen of some of items school leaders should consider having on their checklists.

1. Have all my teachers been introduced to the Common Core standards? And by all, I mean ALL!

2. Do I understand what changes should occur in the practices that I should see in the classrooms when I conduct walkthroughs?

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Teaching and Leading the Common Core: Whose job is it anyway?

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The Common Core Standards are here and we have been busy at ESSDACK unpacking the documents and helping teachers and school leaders get a better handle on what the standards are all about and what our classrooms will look like. As we all explore the similarities and differences these new standards will bring us, it is easy to wonder, who is going to be in charge of making sure we know everything.  The answer to that question is ALL of US!

So who is responsible for teaching the Common Core Standards?

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