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…

A Reader Asks… Lesson Planning

A reader asks the following question:   SC,   With the schools that LYS coach and support, do you recommend a weekly lesson plan or lesson plans by 6 or 9 weeks? SC Response All of those options are a recipe for failure, so I recommend none of them.   The only acceptable answer is…

The Problem With Individual Teacher Tests

Recently I was working with a campus staff that is aggressively improving. Not because they have to; but because they want to.  Which is significantly more impressive.  They are getting ready to embrace the common assessment process next year and the question came up, “Why are common assessments better than individual teacher tests?”   A…

A Reader Asks… A Common Scope and Sequence

A LYS Principal asks the following:   SC,   We have all heard / been told, “A scope and sequence is a living document.”    But I don’t think, “The scope and sequence is a living document that can be changed,”should be anyone’s justification for not following it at any given time.   Before I…

The Jack/Jill of All Trades – Elementary School Version

In the real world, not the fake world of schools, it is understood that to become an expert, one must narrow his/her focus.   Yet in schools, we spend years, effort, and resources to build a better “Jack/Jill of All Trades.” Not a bad in teacher all subjects; but also, not provided with the structure…
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