In Defense Of Lesson Plans

There is some buzz building among principals to stop requiring teachers to turn in lesson plans. Lots of reasons why people think this is a good idea. Most of them seem rational and logical.   They are all wrong.   For example, I heard a principal say out loud, “I don’t want my teachers spending…

When To Start Re-teaching

The warm-up, during the first three to five minutes of class, is the perfect time to re-teach critical concepts that students are struggling to understand. And this is a classroom routine that you want to establish immediately. However, most teachers want to wait until students struggle with current content before beginning the practice.   Don’t…

When To Start Tutoring

Over the next couple of weeks the new school year will begin (or it already has begun). So should before school and after school tutoring… During the first week of school.   You might protest and say, “But no one needs tutoring yet.”   If this is you, that would be wrong.  On the first…

Don’t Junk Up The Field

In sports, the field (or court, gym, course) is nearly sacred. Great care and attention are expended to make sure that it is maintained in near pristine condition to ensure that the game is enhanced and optimized when it is being used.  Broken equipment is not stored on the field. Equipment for other sports is…

Who’s Room Is It

This is the time of year when teachers start setting up their rooms. Too often, what appears to be set up is a themed living room / kitchen combo. You know, the classroom with a teacher recliner, family pictures, coffee pot, microwave and two content related posters.   Just know that when you do this,…

Summer Regression And The Educator Belief In Magic

As educators, we all know that student regression over the Summer is a real thing. Teachers with a couple of years’ experience have a pretty good feel for how much regression to expect by grade and content for the students served at their particular campus.   You may now nod your head in silent agreement.…

The 5th Five Fest

Save the date! Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: TASSP Summer Conference; TEPSA Summer Conference;  NAESP Summer Conference; NASSP Summer Conference; Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote); RISE Education Conference Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.

Credit Recovery

Recently I was asked, “Does a credit recovery program cheapen a high school diploma?”   That is a great question, that requires a little reflection before answering.  Because the short answer is, “Yes. A credit recovery program does cheapen a high school diploma.”   The complicated answer is,  “Yes. But it doesn’t matter” . Here…

A Reader Asks… Power Zone in the Choir Room

A LYS campus leader asks the following:   SC, This one has stumped us, so we’re leaving it up to you to clarify. Our choir teacher is playing the piano while the students are singing.  Is he considered to be in the Power Zone?   SC Response That’s a good one. My answer…   It…

A Reader Asks… Lesson Closure in a Performance Classroom

A LYS Teacher asks the following: SC, I have a particular question about Fundamental 5 and Framing the Lesson. I have been teaching now for 20 years, and this year is the first time I have taught with the objective in mind and not with the lesson in mind.  I am finding greater success and am…

A Reader Asks… Lesson Closure

A teacher asks the following question.   SC,   My fellow teachers and I have a question. Our district is focusing on Lesson Closure. Administration states Lesson Closure must occur at the end of class… Period.   As math teachers, it makes sense for us to do the “I will” or Lesson Closure at the…

A Reader Asks… Fundamental 5 Resources

A teacher asks the following:   SC,   I’m a teacher looking for resources to implement better Fundamental Five. Can you point me in the right direction?   SC Response I have a couple of suggestions. With resources, three are immediately accessible to you.   There is the book, The Fundamental 5. It is available…

Top LYS Tweets – April 8, 20

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   If you are not regularly talking to your people, you…

Don’t Wait… Schedule Your Curriculum Mapping Camp Now

You have to have a map to reach your destination! Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Upcoming Conference Presentations: ASCD Empower19 Conference; TASSP Summer Conference;  NAESP Summer Conference; NASSP Summer Conference; Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote)  Follow @LYSNation on Twitter and Lead Your School on Facebook.

The RTB Series – Part 7: Response to Obstinance

Over this ongoing series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 7 in The Response to Barriers Series – Obstinance.   The obstinate teacher just refuses to do “it;” whatever “it” may be.  As a…

The RTB Series – Part 6: Response to Helplessness

Over this ongoing series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 6 in The Response to Barriers Series – Helplessness.   Sadly, there are those in our profession who have given up hope. They truly believe…

The RTB Series – Part 5: Response to Fear

Over this ongoing series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 5 in The Response to Barriers Series – Fear.   Fear is a tremendous barrier to change, especially in education. If you look at the…

The RTB Series – Part 4: Response to Choice

Over this ongoing series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 4 in The Response to Barriers Series – Choice.   Choice is a good thing… isn’t it?  Conventional wisdom says,“Yes, and the more choice…

The RTB Series – Part 3: Response to Habit

Over this ongoing series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 3 in The Response to Barriers Series – Habit.   You have determined that your staff is not ignorant of better instructional practices and…

The RTB Series – Part 2: Response to Inadequate Training

Over this series of eight posts, we are identifying and addressing the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 2 in The Response to Barriers Series – Inadequate Training.   Once it is determined that the staff is not ignorant of better instructional practices,…

The Response To Barriers (RTB) Series – Part 1: Response to Ignorance

Over the course of the next two to three weeks we will identify and address the seven primary barriers to changing instructional practices and the appropriate response by leadership. I present to you Part 1 in The Response to Barriers Series – Ignorance.   The first barrier to changing instructional practices is ignorance, meaning that…

Student Cheating

As I have participated in and observed education over the past 25 years, my opinion on student cheating has evolved.   Originally, I believed that cheating in school was a sign of dishonesty and weak character. And with college and post-secondary students, I still lean that direction. But with K-12 students I don’t think that…

A Reader Asks… The Power Zone

A LYS Campus Leader sends in the following question…   SC,   This morning, we were having a discussion about the Power Zone. We realized that we need some clarification on how proximity, teacher location and teacher activity impact the determination of if a teacher is in the Power Zone when we are conducting a…

Instructional Rigor: What Does “Creating” Look Like – Part 2

Note: First read the 1/24/2019 post “Instructional Rigor: What Does Creating Look Like – Part 1.” Once it dawns on instructional leaders the daunting and rare nature of “Creating” level rigor, the protests begin… “Well how is that supposed to occur in a (insert any grade / content) classroom?!” My response is, “Why should it?” This…

Instructional Rigor: What Does “Creating” Look Like – Part 1

I get to work with hundreds of instructional leaders who are actively engaged in the formative observation and coaching process. I’m not counting the big seminar sessions that I do throughout the year. This is on-site, in the field, hands-on training and real discussions.  We spend a lot of time working to accurately determine the level…

A Reader Asks… Sentence Stems

A LYS Teacher asks the following: SC, What are the best sentence stems for critical writing? SC Response Good question.  A good critical writing stem meets two criteria: 1. The sentence stem requires the writer to make a connection between the sentence subject and something else. For example: prior knowledge, a past experience, a prediction, another…

Teach As I Did Vs. Teach Like I Never Did

Back when I was a principal, the secret to school success was to get most of the teachers teaching like I taught. Not bragging, in my era, I was a decent teacher (as is the case with most principals). But I haven’t been a classroom teacher for over 20 years. Any teacher who today mimicked…

Be Careful What You Ask For

I was talking to a teacher about the need to embed high-yield instructional practice, with increasing frequency and quality, in our instructional delivery.  The teacher was resistant to having to change anything he was currently doing. His case…  1. His traditional delivery was more than adequate. 2. The same practices worked just fine for him…

Top LYS Tweets – December 17, 2018

Blog Post: Top LYS Tweets – December 17, 2018 If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list. The Lesson…

Wasted Time

I share with teachers the fact that in the typical classroom only 60% – 70% of the required content is adequately covered. You can guess how that news is received. I have to quickly point out that I’m not stating that they only work 60% to 70% of the time. On the contrary, they work…
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