SchoolCasts by School Improvement Network

Welcome to SchoolCasts by School Improvement Network!

SchoolCasts are downloadable audio documents of webinars and videos. You can stream the audio right here on your computer or device, or you can download the file, listen to it on your media player, and take with you wherever you go!

Browse the library of available SchoolCasts. This is a growing library, so check back after every webinar for the latest audio files.

Bullying in Schools

There is an infection intruding in the learning environment, which is negatively affecting the well-being of students.  The intrusion isn’t an unknown force; it’s their own classmates. It is bullying.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, violence has declined in schools, but incidents of bullying have increased by five percent between the years of nineteen ninety-nine to two thousand and three. The N.E.A. has stated that bullying has been identified as a major concern by schools across the U.S. A., and the growing trend of “cyber bullying” has filled the news. In the past these issues have largely been dismissed with a “boys will be boys” mentality. However, in recent years an audible outcry of parents, students, and teachers has called for an end to this plague.

This compliance issue will deal with “bullying,” and its tech-savvy counterpart, cyber bullying. In this segment we will give a definition and overview of this issue, followed by segments 2 and 3 which give an in depth coverage of cyber bullying and intervention.

Segment four will outline individual follow-up and support for students. 

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Classroom Management: Addressing Misbehavior

These are the four goals of addressing misbehavior: maintain student dignity; create a lasting change; keep cool by being a model of social and emotional intelligence, and use punishment as a rare and last resort.

“Maintain student dignity,” Cummings begins, “because once you strip a child of their dignity in class, what's going to follow? More misbehavior. Increased misbehavior. Did you know that kids would rather look bad in front of their peers than dumb in front of their peers? There are some kids, if they feel humiliated in front of their peers, they will continue to act bad. I can exacerbate misbehavior just by how I handle it.” 

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Classroom Management: Teaching Social and Emotional Behaviors

Classroom Management - How to Win Students Over- Elementary Edition
Segment 5 of 8 of this prograrm. Most students lack the opportunity to learn good social and emotional skills.
 -Kindergarten students learn emotional and social behaviors. (0:28)
 -Support provided for each student.
 -Emotional and social behaviors need to be learned. (1:59)
 -Social skills should be practiced throughout the year. (2:38)
 -5th grade students role-play behavior problems. (4:30)
 -Anger management strategies. (5:19)
 -5th grade students learn social skills from literature. (6:05)
Length: 7:05
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Classroom Management: The Law of Least Intervention

The proactive teacher uses the law of least intervention, a way of managing minor classroom disruptions without giving them a lot of attention.

"All that means is we want to use the least amount of interruption to the classroom environment," says Carol Cummings, a renowned leader in teacher education. "That means the least amount of negative feeling tone so that we don't destroy the learning environment for the majority of the kids in our classroom."

The law of least intervention incorporates management strategies such as the use of physical presence, automatic scanning, cuing, and avoiding power struggles. A quick way of quieting problems before they happen is showing a physical presence. In the same way that adults check to make sure they are obeying traffic laws when an officer is nearby, students tend to pay attention when an adult is present.

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Common Core 101: Why, What, and How with Curtis Linton

In "Common Core 101: Why, What, and How," best-selling author and equity advocate Curtis Linton focuses on the rationale behind the creation of the Common Core Standards and why 48 states are part of this initiative. You will learn about inequity and persistent gaps in American education and examine why the Common Core Standards provide an opportunity to re-engineer our education system. You will receive an overview of the process of change that states, districts, and schools will engage over the next few years as Curtis Linton addresses the question, What will educators need to know to effectively integrate the Common Core into their schools and classrooms?

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Content Leaders Network

Segment 5 of 11 of this program. To facilitate Common Core Implementation, the Kentucky Board of Education has created Content Leadership Networks.

-The goal of Leadership Networks is to build capacity at the district level. (1:36)
-Content specialists interpret the broad goals laid out in the senate bill and create actionable items. (3:12)
-Kentucky's five goals for effective leadership networks are listed. (3:40)
-Building Content Leadership Networks. (4:52)
-Content specialists should be in the buildings on a daily basis. (7:58)

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Creating State Unity

Segment 2 of 11 of this program. Kentucky leaders agreed that successful implementation of the Common Core Standards would require state unity.
 -Elected officials, teachers, administrators, students, principals, parents, business owners, and taxpayers each have a stake in the educational outcomes.
 -Senate Bill 1 charged Kentucky to move forward with the Common Core Initiative. (1:08)
 -Implementing the Common Core required community buy-in. (1:37)
 -The vision has been set forth by state legislators and state agencies coming together to rally behind Senate Bill 1. (3:02)
 -Kentucky assembled a planning committee that included leaders from all stakeholder groups. (5:25)
 -The vision of the Common Core movement is that all students will be college and career ready when they exit a Kentucky high school. (7:14)
Length: 9:01
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Equity 101, Part 1: Equity and Leadership Webinar with Sandy Nobles

This webinar is the first of a 6-part series in Curtis Linton's Equity 101 Series. Curtis herein interviews Principal Sandy Nobles of Richardson Independent School District in Richardson, Texas. She discusses how to engage with teachers and schools leaders to accomplish equity, eliminate achievement gaps, and lift 100% of students to grade level success.

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Equity 101, Part 2: Equity Framework with Michael Fullan

This is part 2 of a 6-part series entitled "Equity 101" by Curtis Linton. In this webinar, Curtis interviews world-renowned education expert Michael Fullan. Michael Fullan builds on the previous webinar, featuring Sandy Nobles, as he continues the discussion of leadership and equity in education. Michael Fullan is an Educational Advisor to the Premier of Ontario, and author of The Moral Imperative of School Leadership, Motion Leadership, and many other books.

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Equity 101, Part 3: Building an Institutional Culture of Equity with Curtis Linton

This is part 3 of a 6-part webinar series entitled "Equity 101" by Curtis Linton. Curtis takes on challenging questions and pushes educators to find answers within themselves. Curtis herein defends his claim that the institution itself—whether a school or district—poses the greatest challenge to students from a diverse background in receiving an equitable education. This webinar focuses on the following essential questions:

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Equity 101, Part 4: Creating a Safe Learning Environment with Bonnie Davis

This is part 4 of a 6-part series entitled "Equity 101" by Curtis Linton. This webinar captures an online conversation between Curtis and Bonnie Davis, best-selling author of How to Teach Students Who Don't Look Like You. In this Equity 101 webinar, Curtis and Bonnie discuss equitable school culture wherein culturally competent administrators and teachers together create a safe learning environment for educators and students alike.

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Equity 101, Part 5: Developing a Healthy Culture with Dorothy Kelly

This is part 5 of a 6-part webinar series entitled "Equity 101" by Curtis Linton. CUrtis interviews Dorothy Kelly, an equity culture practitioner, on how she worked to build an equitable culture for students. An equitable school culture inivolves a leader who is focused on achievement, and his or her attitude and actions permeate all aspects of teaching in the building. A healthy school culture exists when students have support in their learning endeavors, whether they need special or gifted education.

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Equity 101, Part 6: Practices with Curtis Linton

This is part 6 of a 6-part webinar series entitled "Equity 101" by Curtis Linton. CUrtis iscusses how practices need to change in order to accomplish equity with all students. Curtis also reviews what administrators and teachers need to do in order to assure that pedagogy supports the learning of all students. Based on nthe successful practices of highly diverse schools that have eliminated achievement gaps, the practice component of the Equity Frameowrk will lead you toward equity.

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Evaluation as a Form of Continuous Learning

"Evaluation as a form of continuous Learning for the paraprofessional" provides ongoing support and growth.

Jill Morgan, Education Consultant in Swansea, Wales, gives a presentation to an audience of professional educators, and discusses the evaluation process.

“A good professional approach here to the evaluation is to look at the positive aspects,” she says. “There are always things you can find to criticize. You can always find dust if you want to look for it. Let's take a positive approach to evaluation and supervision.”

Evaluation is a natural extension of classroom practice focused on improving services to students.

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Functions of a Standards-Based School

In standards-based schools, education is a partnership between students and teachers. Teachers group students by instructional level, not grade level. Teachers approve progression based on mastery of content, not time. Teachers act as facilitators; students assume responsibility for goal setting and proficiency on specific learning targets. Together they create learning-centered environments in the classroom for students to personalize their learning goals and communicate their progress. Teachers and students conference to allow students to demonstrate mastery. Teachers and students track evidence and learning targets.

Mary Esselman, the Assistant Superintendent for the Kansas City Missouri School District in Kansas City, Missouri discusses how others might view standard-based schools.

“I think a lot of people actually think that standards-based school just means that we work on standards and show mastery,” she explains. “But for us it’s really different and we’ve started talking about it more as student-centered learning.”

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Globalizing Our PLCs

Segment 9 of 9 of this program. There has never been a better time for educators from across the nation to create a national professional learning community for sharing best educational practice.
 -Because of the high demands placed on educators, PLCs are able to flourish only where time is carved out of the school day. (1:27)
 -The common ground brought about by the adoption of the Common Core Standards opens new potential for expanding PLCs beyond school boarders. (2:03)
 -New technologies have the potential to virtually eliminate constraints that geographic distance or time zone differences used to pose. (3:07)
 -School Improvement Network offers many opportunities to share ideas and resources with a national community of educators. (3:45)
Length: 5:40
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How to Increase Minority Student Achievement

An equitable school culture where all students succeed at high levels is designed to be an “inclusive environment” for students and teachers alike. Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College in Atlanta, Gerorgia, suggests that “creating climates of engagement” makes an inclusive environment.

Dr. Tatum describes the meaning of engagement.

“I think it's important to think about what we mean by engagement,” she says. “When somebody feels alienated, they're not likely to be learning very well. It's hard to feel intellectually engaged if you're socially alienated. And so when we think about creating a climate of engagement, we want to think about that in terms of both social engagement as well as intellectual engagement.”

Mary Cavalier, principal of Amherst Regional Middle School in Amherst, Massachusetts, has focused closely on creating climates of engagement in the classrooms.

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How to Stop Bullies: Top 10 Strategies

The classroom is a model of society, an area where students learn how to interact with peers, develop learning, and implement skills that will impact the rest of their lives. Teachers have a unique opportunity to educate and support students in this society. It is important that students feel safe to develop and learn in an environment free of criticism and bullying.  In this segment we will review ten strategies that represent “best practice” in bully prevention and intervention. These strategies come from the U.S. Health and Human Resources website “Stop-Bullying Now” and are base in part upon the work of Susan P. Limber, and her article “What Works and Doesn't Work in Bullying Prevention and Intervention."

The first strategy is to focus on the social environment of the school. In order to reduce bullying, it is important to change the social climate of the school and the social norms with regards to bullying. This requires the efforts of everyone in the school environment—teachers, administrators, counselors, school nurses and other non-teaching staff: such as bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, and school librarians. Parents and students are also key in this effort. Everyone has an opportunity to influence the environment of their school. 

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Job-Embedded Professional Development: Benefits for Teachers

Anthony Bradfield, a literary coach in Newark, New Jersey, says in the video, "Sometimes  you can go home, you know, have your cup of coffee, and instead ofwatching a TV show, you can watch something that will  help improve your teaching. And that’s really had an impact on our teachers."

Principal Norma Fair-Brown says, "So within an 80 minute PLC or an 80 minute common planning, depending on what the results are from the previous one, they actually can watch one or two, you know, depending on the length of the videos, and they’ll have time to still talk about it. It’s not just that, you know, “we have these questions”, or 'we’d like to discuss this and we have don’t have anybody to talk to because it’s time to go.' So it allows for scheduling of the time that you have for, for professional development a little bit differently."

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Proactive Classroom Management, Elementary Edition

Understanding classroom management is a prerequisite to becoming a great educator. As a beginning pilot needs skills to fly, so do beginning teachers need skills to get their careers off the ground. When educators create a community of learners who are self-managers, teachers and students both benefit. A well-managed classroom nurtures learning. Like a pilot knowing his instrument control panel teachers must understand the principles and procedures that make a classroom run smoothly.

Proactive classroom management provides a structure for new teachers who are winning students over, not winning over them. Proactive classroom management is anticipating problems or interruptions before they occur and finding ways to eliminate or lessen their impact on learning.

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Processing Student Responses

Typically teachers give corrective, positive or negative feedback.

Positive feedback confirms the correctness of the response; corrective feedback guides the student’s incomplete answer toward the correct answer; and negative feedback simply indicates the answer is wrong.

“What the literature seems to be in agreement about are these findings,” says Sattes. “First of all, high-achieving students receive more than their share of feedback. And they receive more praise than low achievers.”

“The second one is related to that,” she continues. “Everybody needs feedback. But low- achieving students need it more. They have a higher need for feedback. They are less sure of their answers than high achievers. So the first thing is we know high achievers get it more, low achievers need it more. We need to be sure every student in the class knows the correct answer. So feedback is important whether it is praise or corrective. And the fourth thing we say about feedback is that in discussion, particularly feedback, even though things might be going hot and heavy, feedback can really terminate thinking.”

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Standards-Based Schools as a Foundation of the Common Core Standards

In SBS classrooms, learning is guided by the Common Core expectations and is achieved through student-driven activities.  Students’ learning levels are determined by their own pace, not by grade levels.

The Common Core Standards act as a guide for proficiency that builds on concepts from one grade to the next. The Common Core Standards are met within the standards-based schools (SBS) classrooms. The student-led process and teacher facilitators make the SBS classroom unique.

Common Core State Standards have been set in place to define exactly what students need to know to enable them to succeed academically in credit-bearing, college entry courses and in workforce training programs. These standards represent a set of expectations for student knowledge and skills in English language arts and mathematics.

While most states have adopted the Common Core Standards, many still have questions about how to implement them into curriculum. Kansas City District, as an early adopter of the Common Core Standards, has incorporated a blended approach to make the Standards a key component of the curriculum. They have integrated these Common Core Standards into their standards-based schools.

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Student Achievement Best Practices: Assessing Policies, Programs, and Procedures

By assessing policies, practices, programs, interventions, and school culture, schools will extend data's reach as they move deeper into the use of data to close the achievement gap.

Dr. Ruth S. Johnson, professor at California State University, talks about the usefulness of data in education.

“What does it look like in an underachieving school,” she asks, “and what does it look like in a higher achieving school? There are differences in the behavior of people in schools. So you look at that and that's a piece of data. You look at expectations and you look at instruction. Is the instruction responsive to kids from different backgrounds? As we look at our curriculum we should ask, what is the rigor of the curriculum? As we look at where the school is on the dimension around use of data, it's not looking at data when the test scores come out. Everybody looks at the data and says we did better or we did worse than last year. But is there a data used culture in the school where, when people are sitting down and looking at student work, or looking at what's going on in the school, that they're informed and that they're getting information to inform their work?”

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Student Achievement Best Practices: Creating Meaningful Student Achievement Goals

Effective teamwork leads to creating meaningful student achievement goals. As renowned education expert Mike Schmoker puts it, “a goal is a dream with a deadline.”

James L. Kieffer, superintendent at Glendale Union High School District inGlendale, Arizona, discusses the importance of emphasizing student achievement in schools.

“When you say you focus on student achievement,” he explains, “that becomes a driving force and that's the question you constantly ask. Whatever the setting might be—be it members of the top administrators of the district or principals' meeting, or whatever—discussion is going on.”

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Student Engagement and Future Focus with Lisa Leith

How can the Common Core Standards help teachers reduce classroom conflict, increase student engagement and promote future focus? Dr. Leith will address the roles of collaboration and goal setting in the classroom, and provide direction for achieving desired results while freeing students to make their own choices. She will explore the connections between relationships, self-image, motivation, and student success. 

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Translating ELA Standards with Ann Johnson

Learn effective strategies from Curriculum 21’s Ann Johnson for translating the English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core Standards. Ann Johnson will demonstrate how to unpack the Common Core Standards, giving you the ability to define the major components of a grade-level consensus unit map; identify the major components of a Consensus Unit Map; identify the non-negotiable content and skills from the Common Core Standards; and align components of your instruction to the Standards in one class and across grade levels. The goal of this webinar is give you the skills to ensure depth of knowledge increases from year to year within the ELA Standards.

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Translating Mathematics Standards with Debbie Sullivan

Dr. Sullivan will demonstrate strategies for the translation of the Mathematics Common Core Standards to create rigorous classroom lessons and targeted assessments. She will offer practical instructions for aligning the components translated from the CCSS, within a grade-level map, with instructional design, engaging performance tasks, formative assessments, and targeted interventions.

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Using the Applied Differentiation Map

Segment 1 of 3 of this program. 4th grade teacher uses the Applied Differentiation Map to organize a lesson and activities on the water cycle.

 -The teacher goes through each step of the Applied Differentiation Map as she discusses her lesson.
 -Teacher makes a large version of the Applied Differentiation Map.
 -The activities are differentiated according to students' interests and learning profiles. (3:33)
 -The lesson will incorporate Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. (4:10)
Length: 8:13


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