Best of the EduBlogs 2016–2017

Welcome to our Best of the EduBlogs 2016–2017! Below are our EduBlog’s five most popular posts of the past school year. We hope that some or all of these blogs offer both introspection and inspiration as you reflect on the past year and look ahead to the 2017−2018 school year. Have a great summer!


1. The Power of Reflection for Teaching & Leading by Lee Anne Housley, M.Ed.
What is reflection? What is the value of reflective thinking? Many dictionary definitions refer to reflection as careful thought or consideration. The research on reflective thinking includes metacognition or a self-reflection of your own learning process or current practices. Given the work we do as educators, I have asked teachers and leaders to be reflective and metacognitive for years but am now fully realizing the power of that process. Being reflective and open to feedback along with using many forms of data guides the work I do on a daily basis and provides me with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Read more.


2. Literacy Instruction: Casting a Wider Net by Ellen Gaske, Ed.D.
Over the course of 40+ years in Special Education, my enduring passion has been dedicated to individuals with significant reading disabilities (Dyslexia). Historically, professionals working with this population have largely targeted individuals of average or above average intellectual ability who had an unexpected difficulty learning to read relative to IQ. This discrepancy formula dictated “who” qualified for services. Unfortunately, by focusing primarily on individuals of average or above average IQ, an entire group of students with below average IQ may not have received literacy instruction supported by research. Read more.


3. The Special Education Teacher Identity Crisis: Prescriptive or Pragmatic? Part II by Ellen Gaske, Ed.D. 

In Part I of this blog, I discussed the special education teacher “identity crisis” as it relates to taking a more diagnostic/prescriptive role to planning instruction versus a more pragmatic role. I also described my observations of two special education teachers at the same school: one a novice and the other a master teacher. There is a great deal the novice teacher can learn from a master teacher across all facets of the school day; however, the greatest gift the master teacher can give to the novice teacher striving to meet the needs of students is how to apply the principles of data-based individualization (DBI). This process alone provides the key to having a firm foundation on which all strategies and methodologies will follow. Read more.


4. Boosting the Power of Presentations to Enhance Learning by Lara EnglishHill, Ed.D.
Think about the many PowerPoint presentations you have sat through. Add the PowerPoint presentations that you yourself have given. I am pretty sure the total is quite high. Now try and remember the most recent presentation you attended—and the key concepts that were presented. In most cases, you may remember the topic . . . if that. I doubt that you remember much else. I know that has often been my experience. But why? Read more.


5. “Who Cares?” How to Reach Challenging Adult Learners Using Your Head & Your Heart by Pamela Bradley
“Who cares?” is a question sometimes posed by apathetic students in the classroom, but it’s not a question that I expect to hear from professionals who work with them. Considering the research relating to how teacher-student relationships correlate with academic performance, one might wonder if the same holds true for instructors with challenging adult learners. My experience says it does. Read more.


EduBlogs will be on vacation for the remainder of July and August. Please check back in mid-to-late August for the first of our back-to-school blogs! Happy summer!


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