Learning Links for September 2017

Once again, our network has scoured the internet to find you this month’s best articles, analyses, and stories in education. This month’s pieces include key insights from both the Rocketship and BASIS networks, a review of 11 research-based classroom management strategies, and how to effectively implement cold-calling to start the year. Oh, and 600 elementary kiddos in Tennessee would like to share with you an idea on how you and your students can spread kindness in your community . . .


Committing to College at YES Prep with Ashleigh Fritz and Part 2 (Thriving Schools)

What you’ll learn: “YES Prep is routinely praised for its college initiatives and results, and so we wanted to ask Ashleigh Fritz about the programs and systems that make it work.”


10 Lessons from Rocketship’s First 10 Years (Rocketship Blog)

What you’ll learn: “Although we’ve made a remarkable impact in the communities we serve, Rocketship Education is still a work in progress — we’re always learning how to better serve our students and communities. And we’ve definitely learned a few things during our first decade.”


BASIS: Inside the Acclaimed School Network That’s Blended Together the World’s Best Education Practices (The 74 Million)

What you’ll learn: “Taking the lead from nations that score at the top on international exams, BASIS adopted matriculation tests that kids must pass to advance to the next grade; following Korea’s focus on educator credentials, BASIS insists that its teachers be experts in their fields and boasts a teaching corps where 70 percent of instructors have at least a master’s degree in the subject they teach; adopting Finland’s approach of boosting attentiveness through play, BASIS gives its youngest students extra recess; and following Olga’s experience in Prague of students owning their learning, BASIS gives kids a communication journal to transport between home and classroom — making students responsible for updating their parents on lessons, priorities, and grades rather than providing an online academic portal.”


11 Research-Based Classroom Management Strategies (Edutopia)

What you’ll learn: “Discover kernels – simple, quick, and reliable ways to deal with behavior challenges.”


Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? (The Atlantic)

What you’ll learn: “Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.”


Why Leader Learning Matters (The Achievement Network Blog)

What you’ll learn: “As a school leader, you can get so focused on student learning that you overlook your own learning. But the leadership team at MAS Charter School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, sees a direct connection between their own learning and teachers’ and students’ ability to succeed.”


IDEA Public Schools Enters 4th Year of Healthy Kids Here Initiative (Idea Public Schools)

What you’ll learn: “Yet sadly, a study by the Harvard Chan School of Public Health showed that 54% of children in the United States are not adequately hydrated and approximately 25% of students are not consuming any plain water.”


Two Cold Calls from the First Days of First Grade (Teach Like a Champion)

What you’ll learn: “Teachers sometimes wonder—at what age can you start Cold Calling and how do you start so that it’s a positive experience? We think the video from Jen’s class is powerful in helping to answer those questions.”


Restorative Justice Brings Community to High Schools (The Houston Chronicle)

What you’ll learn: “On a Tuesday morning at YES Prep Northbrook High School, a small group of staff and students gathered around for a circle. Each person passed around a talking piece, a stone, and said how they felt that morning on a scale of 1-10 and why. This is all a part of a program implemented at the school called Restorative Justice, which is an approach to create and build relationships to improve student engagement.”


Why 600 Kids in Tennessee Are Writing Inspiring Notes (and Hashtags!) on Rocks and Placing Them All Over Town (The 74 Million)

What you’ll learn: “To mark the start of the school year, Carpenters Elementary School, in Maryville, Tennessee, which has made kindness a touchstone, took a cue from the Kindness Rocks Project and had all 600 students paint words of inspiration and caring on rocks that will be distributed all around their Blount County community.”