Best Practices

IMPACT 2014 Highlights

When teachers are given the time to come together; terrific things are possible. This year, for the first time, we offered a variety of professional growth experiences for our teachers in several different areas. IMPACT 2014 still focused on developing critical thinking skills in our teachers and students, but we did not limit the number… Read more »

Living in the past, or looking to the future?

When I started teaching back in the late 1980s, we were just beginning to learn more about how kids learn. I remember being trained in college in a program called TESA (Teacher Expectation Student Achievement). At that time, it was believed that if teachers engaged in certain types of behaviors, students would get the message… Read more »

IMPACT is back

For over 20 years, our Lutheran schools have offered a weeklong professional-development experience designed to promote critical-thinking skills, and we’ve called it IMPACT (Involving Minds in Problem Analysis and Critical Thinking). There are two definitions of the word “impact.” The first is to have a strong effect on someone. That’s a good descriptor of what… Read more »

Concordia continues to excel

Students at Concordia are noted for their outstanding performance in and outside the classroom. They are immersed in a culture of caring-a learning community that prepares them for success in all aspects of life. Here are some recent accomplishments by Concordia and its students: Concordia again received an A Rating (Exemplary) from the State of… Read more »

What kids need

“Sit and get.” “Corruption of our schools.” “The newest ‘newest thing’ turns out to be ‘child-centered,’ ‘project-based,’ ‘cooperative,’ and ‘hands on.’ The only difference is the technological veneer.” These are quotes from a recent blog post. The author tells the reader to critique and dismiss many contemporary classroom innovations as misguided distractions from what really… Read more »

Is the tail wagging the dog?

I was recently blessed with the opportunity to visit the Atlas Rubicon Training Center in Portland, Oregon, to spend time learning more about the curriculum-mapping process. Here are my major takeaways.

Making an IMPACT

What’s the one thing that could be changed in your school that would increase student achievement? Smaller class sizes? Better facilities? Less standardized testing? All of these improvements would make teachers, students, and parents happier and could increase student achievement. But none of these strategies directly impact students. Wouldn’t we do better to design strategies… Read more »