Tag Archive for ascd

PrincipalCast Podcast Hosts ASCD Authors

Innovation and Leadership:  Strategies & Tips from Three Authors

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Mark Barnes, Bill Sterrett, and Michael Fisher

On Sunday, May 4th, join the @PrincipalCast team (including‪@DrSpikeCook ‪@PrincipalStager) for an interactive discussion on the TeacherCast network  with three @ASCD authors (‪@markbarnes19‪@fisher1000 and @billsterrett ) as they discuss learning, innovating, and leading in education.  If you have never listened to the podcast, we broadcast live at 8:30 pm CST on teachercast.tv.  If you cannot listen live then you can download the podcast at itunes or elsewhere for your android (I use the app BeyondPod).


Author Mark Barnes (@markbarnes19) is a 20-year classroom teacher and the author of The Five Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom?

Mike Fisher (@fisher1000) is and instructional coach and educational consultant and the author of Digital Learning Strategies: How do I assign and assess 21st century work?

Bill Sterrett (@billsterrett) is an educational leadership professor, former principal and middle school science teacher and the author of Short on Time: How do I make time to lead and learn as a principal?  Bill spoke on an earlier PrincipalCast (#13) about time management and joins us again today to focus on collaborative and innovative leadership.

For more about the ASCD Arias series: http://www.ascd.org/ascdarias/home.aspx

Fostering Grit

fostering gritI recently finished reading the book Fostering Grit, which is an ASCD Arias book (it is short enough to read in a 1 hour sitting) written by Thomas R. Hoerr.

Every great educator knows that we can not only teach students content; that we must also teach character traits such as respect, responsibility, kindness, etc.  Hoerr wrote this short guide under the premise that we must also teach the virtue of grit, which he defines as tenacity, perseverance, and the ability to never give up.  The author points out that teaching grit can be difficult for educators, because “it runs counter to the caring school environments that we all esteem.”  The author shares that we need to teach our students to respond positively to setbacks and to respond appropriately when things go wrong; as he writes, “turn a failure into a good failure, one from which we learn.”

As I read Hoerr’s book on how grit helps us to be resilient and to persevere when we fail, I made many connections to what I learned when reading Mindset by Carol Dweck.  The concept of having grit goes hand in hand with the teaching students the concept of having a growth mindset.

Hoerr writes that as educators we can help teach our students to develop grit by introducing them to levels of complexity that are out of their comfort zone, to cause frustration and then help students to understand the frustration and how to respond to it.  Students will benefit from us sharing our personal stories with them of how we have overcome obstacles and talking about the importance of grit.  We can also share examples of others we know or famous people such as professional athletes, actors or even former presidents that our students may be surprised (and interested) in learning about the obstacles they overcame and how having grit helped them to be successful.

The author of Fostering Grit shares Six Steps of Teaching for Grit that each have great strategies to foster grit in your students:

1. Establish the environment

2. Set the expectations

3. Teach the vocabulary

4. Create the frustration

5. Monitor the experience

6. Reflect and learn

During Daily 5, students come back to the carpet in between “rounds” for a check-in which often serves as an opportunity for students to reflect on the reading/writing work they did.  Many of our teachers have added other opportunities for reflection throughout the day. As I read Step 6, “Reflect and learn” I realized what a great opportunity reflection can be for students to stop and think about how easy/challenging a task is for them and think about how they felt when they didn’t give up on a frustrating task.

What other ways can you foster grit in students?

fostering grit quote

Book Review: Teaching with Tablets

In addition to the many great books that ASCD publishes, they have now started coming out with ASCD Arias Publications ; shorter books in print or ebook. The value of the aria is that they are each short enough to read in one sitting, yet filled with great information on the topic you want to know more about.

teaching with tabletsI recently read Teaching with Tablets: How do I integrate tablets with effective instruction? by Nancy Frey, Doug Fisher, and Alex Gonzalez. In each chapter, beginning with A Transformation in Education, the authors paint a visual picture for you of what happens in a classroom with tablets. They mention the apps that are used for various purposes to give educators ideas of ways to integrate tablets into learning.  This book is not a how-to; once you read an idea that you want to try out in your classroom you will have to turn to google or youtube to find out how to use the app.

The authors point out that it can be easy for educators to get too excited by all that the tablets can do and surrender their own knowledge of sound teaching and learning practices to the tablet.  They shared the story of one teacher that realized her tablet-using students were basically completing battery-operated worksheets and not collaborating with each other.  The authors emphasize that this is what can happen if you are not mindful of the teaching part of teaching with tablets.  If battery-operated worksheets are a concern for you, then the aria book Teaching with Tablets is a must read!