October 20, 2015
When Jacelyn entered third grade at Genesee Community Charter School in Rochester, New York, she was more than two years below grade level in reading. At the beginning of September, her scores put her at late-kindergarten level, and she could tell she was behind other kids in her class. But her teacher, Jean Hurst, had a plan to help Jacelyn get back on track: use the power of data, and help Jacelyn learn how to use it too. Like many teachers, Hurst pays close attention to each student in her class, tracking how well they read aloud and how confidently they tackle new words and challenges....
October 15, 2015
The second video in our Smarter Schools Project series tells the story of “MB,” a young student in Washington, DC, who hated school – until his teacher, Milton Bryant, found a way to get through to him. Milton’s breakthrough in helping his student came from using “screencasts” – videos of himself teaching a concept – to help MB master the material. He based his videos on models like Khan Academy, but incorporated his own style, including plenty of jokes and the same fun soundtrack he uses in his classroom. For his student MB, the change of tone made a big difference: hearing his own teacher...
October 14, 2015
Bringing about change in our schools takes an extraordinary skill set and mindset. Lead learners at all levels - teachers, department/grade level chairs, principals, and superintendents -- all focus on building programs that challenge and grow students to thrive in demanding world and support teachers in their efforts to be lifelong learners and continue to develop and build their skills as instructional designers, facilitators and change agents for our students. All lead learners have to keep in mind that people are at the heart of our plans, not an app or a book or a device - but a person...