Catapult Learning EduBlog

3 Tips for Effective STEM Instruction

STEM is an engaging, hands-on learning experience driven by inquiry-based learning. Students develop their skills in collaboration, problem solving, and critical thinking to tackle challenges and objectives. With growing career opportunities in STEM-related fields, and the applicability of those 21st Century skills across academic and career disciplines, there is increased attention placed on STEM instruction. Catapult Learning offers supplemental STEM programs and professional learning to support the implementation of effective STEM instructional practices and curriculum. We asked one of our coaches, Jodon Orimaco, to share a few tips he offers to the schools and districts he supports. 1. Organize [...]

2018-11-08T06:50:21+00:00November 8th, 2018|

How to Foster a Growth Mindset in the Classroom

Teaching isn’t simply about getting students ready for tests. As educators, we know our work goes way beyond that to prepare them for a successful life. In every classroom, teachers have the power and platform to become positive influences, even role models and mentors – especially for students who lack these examples elsewhere. Fostering a growth mindset is key to creating a healthy learning environment where students flourish academically, behaviorally and socially. It also helps them develop an understanding of how to think about and evaluate success. Here are three tips on how to promote this type of thinking in [...]

2018-11-05T14:19:27+00:00November 5th, 2018|

Strategies for Developing Core Values at Your School

Every school has its own culture that expresses shared values and expectations for students, faculty and staff. As the principal, you to set a positive example for others as they contribute to a productive learning and teaching environment. Core values help communicate your school’s story – its mission, standards and desired outcomes. Establishing those ideals provides the foundation for building the type of atmosphere you want to foster. These standards also offer a way of thinking about which educational philosophies or initiatives your school supports. Well-established core values can help strengthen a school community. However, determining what those should be [...]

2018-10-24T10:00:22+00:00October 24th, 2018|

Educator Spotlight – September

The Educator Spotlight is a monthly feature on our Catapult Corner Blog. The educators that are highlighted are nominated by their Catapult colleagues in recognition of the positive impact they have on children and schools throughout the country. They are our very own shining stars! For 2018-19, we are letting our nominees shine in person through recorded interviews. Our first nominee and winner is Jinaki Bright! Jinaki Bright is an instructional coach in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Jinaki’s patience and compassion for her students and colleagues shines throughout our conversation. She was nominated by Heather Bickley from our Philadelphia Program. Heather [...]

2018-10-24T11:28:19+00:00October 23rd, 2018|

Create a Culturally Responsive Classroom (Monthly Steps)

In May 2018 I wrote about Culturally Responsive Teaching. To be a culturally responsive teachers we ourselves must be culturally competent. According to The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “cultural competence means to be respectful and responsive to the health beliefs and practices—and cultural and linguistic needs—of diverse population groups. Developing cultural competence is also an evolving, dynamic process that takes time and occurs along a continuum.” What is a Culturally Responsive Teacher? Let’s start this school year by reidentifying the definition and importance of being a culturally responsive teacher. The Diversity Toolkit: Cultural Competence for Educatorssays, “Cultural competence is the ability to successfully teach students who [...]

2018-10-03T14:17:38+00:00October 3rd, 2018|

Back-to-School Tips for Superintendents (Part 2)

The new school year is well underway. As superintendent of your district, your leadership sets the tone for how the months to come will unfold. You likely have already visited your schools and made contact with all of your principals and teachers. They know you are there to help, offering guidance and assistance any way you can. Routines such as regular sit-downs with your principals and their leadership teams and attendance at faculty meetings can establish your availability as a source of support. Now that the foundation for the year is set and internal connections are [...]

2018-09-18T12:59:01+00:00September 12th, 2018|

Back-to-School Tips for Principals (Part 2)

The new school year is well underway – and hopefully off to a great start. As the principal of your school, the tone you set in these early days serves as the foundation for the months to come. You have likely already established habits that promote an open and friendly atmosphere where your presence is welcoming and well-received. While you may be focused on offering help and guidance to your teachers and staff members and showing care and concern for your students’ wellbeing and success, it’s also critical to pay attention to collaboration and learning. This [...]

2018-09-18T12:55:00+00:00September 12th, 2018|

Back-to-School Tips for Principals (Part 1)

It’s September at last and that means students across the country are back in the classroom. It’s a time when students anticipate new clothes, school supplies, lessons and experiences. Your faculty and staff spent a portion of their summer preparing for a great 2018-19 school year. As principal, you lead the way – listening to your team, responding to requests and creating an environment that fosters success. Through our close relationships with the principals who participate in our coaching programs, we’ve gained insight into the everyday trials and triumphs that back-to-school season can bring. Here are three [...]

2018-09-18T12:56:11+00:00September 5th, 2018|

Back-to-School Tips for Superintendents (Part 1)

School is in session across the country and that means communities are coming together for the 2018-2019 academic year. Your principals, teachers and staff have already welcomed students back into the classroom. Students are reconnecting with one another and anticipating many new and exciting lessons and experiences. As superintendent, your presence is critical for establishing and maintaining the enthusiasm and momentum for the months to come. Through our close relationships with the superintendents from the districts we support – over 500 from coast to coast – we’ve gained insight into the everyday trials and triumphs that back-to-school [...]

2018-09-18T12:50:31+00:00September 5th, 2018|

Capitalizing on Structures that Invite Teachers to Invest in Instructional Coaching

If you’ve ever coached a sport’s team, you may have noticed how the process of coaching baseball players and teachers is so much alike. Contemplate the chorus in John Fogerty’s 1985 song, Centerfield: Oh, put me in coach, I’m ready to play today. Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today. Look at me, I can be centerfield.” That anthem to baseball just seems to exude the essence of confidence, a sense of competence, and a willingness and enthusiasm to be part of something greater than yourself! That’s what great coaches do . . . provide encouragement [...]

2018-08-18T04:59:05+00:00August 16th, 2018|