A monthly eblast highlighting school-based successful practices, tools, and resources that support teaching and learning.
June 2018

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Loose Canon is a free app for one teacher and up to 60 students that provides support and encouragement for independent reading. Students review books they are reading to build excitement for other students. The app includes book summaries for elementary, middle, and upper schools and provides a filter to guide choices, including grade levels (1-College Plus) and topics. Loose Canon also includes a broad range of assessment ideas, classroom activities, and research on reading.
Are you new to Competency-Based Education (CBE) or do you want to dig deeper? Either way, the Center on Innovations in Learning (CIL) has just the answer for you - Competency-Based Education: Staying Shallow or Going Deep?

“In this paper, we examine the growing trend of CBE and its link to college and career readiness standards; explore varying notions of what it means to be competent; and offer two learner competency frameworks that encompass the range of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that many states associate with college and career readiness. We conclude this paper by offering a framework and set of steps that states, districts, and schools can take to define competency in ways that reflect an emphasis on the full range of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for students to achieve college and career readiness.” (p.2)

Want to learn more about CIL’s resources? Go to the CIL Homepage and scroll down to the Featured Resources section.

The Center on Innovations in Learning (CIL) has created a series of outstanding Training Modules for districts and schools that want to improve their school improvement process. Whether you use an online platform for school improvement, like Indistar, or not, there is something here for you. 
The modules range from the broad view of school improvement (Getting Better at What We Do), to teaming (Getting Better in Teams), and coaching (Getting Better Together with Coaching) to some more specific skill building in assessing, planning, implementing, and monitoring the work of school improvement (Getting Better Together: Assessing an Indicator, Getting Better Together by Planning Our Improvement Tasks, Getting Better Together: Implementing and Monitoring School Plans). See them here:
Viewers can use the PowerPoint presentation and use the presenter’s notes to introduce the content, or they can select the Video presentation, which includes an audio track that presents the same information. They can mix and match to suit their preferences and presentation styles. There are supporting documents for every module for activities and reflection.
Use the summer months to become familiar with these modules and start now developing an implementation plan for next school year.  You’ll be glad you did!
IndistarConnect is the place to share ideas and be inspired. Educators can post thoughts in the Reflections section to spur discussions across the entire community.
Pam Sheley, Executive Director of the Academic Development Institute (ADI), provides inspiration in her Friday Musings on Creativity. She poses the question, “What if…” in response to her reading the book Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.
Read her stimulating blog and post your comment. Not a member yet?  It’s easy to join. Open IndistarConnect, scroll to the upper right-hand corner of the screen and sign up.
Where do we begin or advance our school improvement efforts? 
What practices have the greatest impact on adult performance and student achievement?
The answers to these two questions can be found in an excellent resource created by CIL, Effective Practices: Research Briefs and Evidence Rating. This document presents research-based evidence for specific indicators within effective practice areas. The strength of evidence ratings “… provide a broad snapshot of the degree to which each effective practice area is supported by high-quality research.” (p.5) These areas include:
  • School Leadership and Decision-Making
  • Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction Planning
  • Classroom Instruction
  • Personalized Learning (Digital and Blended Learning; Cognitive, Metacognitive, Motivational, and Social/Emotional Competencies)
  • Family Engagement in a School Community
  • Preschool Early Learning
  • High School: Leadership and Decision-Making
  • High School: Opportunity to Learn
This Research Brief supports collaborative school-wide discussions for your journey toward school improvement. Begin the journey today!
Helping Families Promote Early Literacy
The infographics below (English and Spanish) highlight seven research-based ways to promote early literacy.
The infographics introduce this document, Seven Research-Based Ways That Families Promote Early Literacy, which provides thorough explanations and links to valuable resources that support each of the seven areas. It is a wonderful planning document for a series of parent workshops or an evening during which parents can circulate and hear information about any or all of the seven areas.
 For more resources, explore the Resources for Parents AND Resources for Schools sections of the School Community Network.  Click on either Resources for Parents or Resources for Schools and search by topic or keyword. You are sure to find just the right resource to support your work with your community.
Copyright © 2018 Academic Development Institute, All rights reserved.

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