Learning Links for March 2018 - Spring Break Edition!

Here are this month’s best articles, analyses, and stories in education from across the web! This month you’ll learn about new positions schools have created to overcome barriers between social supports and academics, how to encourage divergent thinking in the classroom, and several organizations that are empowering girls to make history. We also provide a link to a recent article that shares student perspectives on the terror of lockdowns.


Proven Methods for Surveying Students with Sarah Rosskamm (Thriving Schools)

What you’ll learn: “You’ll learn how to gain staff support for using student surveys, how to implement them most effectively, and see numerous examples of well written survey questions.”


Why Your School’s Next Hire Should Be an Opportunity Wrangler (Christensen Institute)

What you’ll learn: “Short of radically restructuring youth-facing funding streams or the school system at large, how might schools innovate in ways that overcome our modular system? One answer: hire someone who can traverse the boundaries that such siloed systems leave in their wake.”


7 Ways to Inspire Divergent Thinking in the Classroom (John Spencer)

What you’ll learn: “We, as educators, can boost divergent thinking for our students by integrating it into our daily practice. The following are specific strategies you can use as you inspire your students to think divergently.”


Right Is Right Starts With The Way You Ask The Question (Teach Like A Champion)

What you’ll learn: “Affirming mediocrity is calling an answer right when it’s actually not that good. Seems silly but we do this all the time because we want to be encouraging or are in a hurry. Or we just don’t think we’re going to get a better answer.”


Empowering Girls To Make History (Teach for America)

What you’ll learn: “This Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating organizations founded by TFA alumni that are working to encourage the next generation of girls.”


‘This Is Not a Drill’: 11 Students on the Terror of Lockdowns (New York Times)

What you’ll learn: “In the five months from August to December 2017, there were at least 671 bomb or gun threats – or both – directed at American schools . . . In the past month, since the Parkland shooting, there have been more than 465 bomb or gun threats or both. Here is a selection of student responses.”


At This Rust Belt Grade School, a Curriculum Centered on Texts is Defying the Effects of Generational Poverty (The 74 Million)

What you’ll learn: “The texts were intentionally selected to serve as both “mirrors and windows” – that is, they provide opportunities for students to see themselves reflected in the texts and also open up for students a knowledge of the world and the world of ideas.”


Aiming for Discipline Instead of Punishment (Edutopia)

What you’ll learn: “Brain-aligned discipline isn’t compliance-driven or punitive – it’s about supporting students in creating sustainable changes in behavior.”


New Report:

Whatever Happened to All Those New & Better State Tests? (Education First)

What you’ll learn: “In 2010, 46 states joined together in two different consortia (PARCC and Smarter Balanced) to create higher-quality, next-generation state summative assessments. Though these new tests were highly rated and received significant attention at the time, today only 20 states are participating in either consortia.”