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…

A Principal Asks… Teacher Nests

An Old School LYS Campus Leader asks the following:   SC, Back when I was a teacher, I seem to remember big discussions along the lines of removing “teacher nests.” I want to share some information with my teachers about this very thing. I figured I’ll go straight to the source to help frame a…

A Reader Asks… Ignoring Best Practice

A LYS Campus Leader asked the following question:   SC,   Yesterday, I was working with some of the math teachers on my campus when I realized that they had completely dug in their heels on Frequent Small Group Purposeful Talk. It was the typical broken record of:   “I don’t have time to stop…

It’s Not an Instructional Decision, It’s Bigger Than That – Part 2

As I discussed in yesterday’s post, “It’s Not an Instructional Decision, It’s Bigger Than That – Part 1,” the instructional strategies that we choose (and choose not) to use have an impact on our students beyond our classrooms. Today we will look at three skills and practices that are strongly correlated to adult success: Literacy,…

It’s Not an Instructional Decision, It’s Bigger Than That – Part 1

With today’s post  I’m piggy-backing on the presentation LYS Coach (and newest member of the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD Hall of Fame), Sherilyn Cotton, made at the recent LYS / TASSP Leadership Academy – Rigor Without Mortis.   Schools and teachers are constantly sorting students into different and distinct groups. Sometimes, this is on purpose, often it…

A Reader Asks… Lesson Frames in Kindergarten

A teacher asks the following:   LC,   Our district is following the steps of the Fundamental 5 (love it!) but I have a question about Framing the Lesson in Kindergarten. We are self-contained, so we teach ALL content, Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science. Do the objective statements have to be specifically stated…

A LYSer Shares… A Fundamental 5 Implementation Idea

One of the original LYSer’s (now an Assistant Superintendent) shares the following:   SC,   I attended a Fundamental 5 training this morning at one of my middle schools.  Campus leadership added a 3-minute chime each period to their bell schedule as a cue for Lesson Closure. I haven’t seen this before and thought it…

The Expectations Sea Change

Blog Post: The Expectations Sea Change I was recently talking to a group of teachers when I was asked, “What do you see as the biggest change in education in recent years?”   That is kind of a loaded question, because there have been a number of significant changes in recent years, both positive and…
Menu