Catapult Learning EduBlog

[Webinar] Using the Engineering Design Process to Engage Students

Explore STEM and examine how to provide students with authentic opportunities to engage in meaningful problem solving. In this recent webinar, provided in partnership between Catapult Learning and the National Catholics Educational Association (NCEA), you will also examine how to facilitate inquiry-based lessons that hone key skills, including habits of mind, that your students need to succeed in the 21st century, and apply this new learning to reflect on specific ways to infuse STEM principles in your specific content areas, whether you teach in STEM-related fields or in the humanities.

2019-03-18T12:13:27-04:00February 27th, 2019|

The Importance of Empathy in Our Work with Students with Special Needs

A debate currently rages about the nature of autism. Within this debate are two important questions: Is autism a disorder to be treated? Or should society be treated to fit the needs of everyone? Like other writers who try to avoid falling into the pit of political despair, this blog will serve only to say what Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would say—“It doesn’t matter!” for our day-to-day activities. I know what you’re thinking—“What a crock!” “Take a stance!” “Stir the pot!”—but my goal is not to figure out everything there is to know about people with autism, whether you see it [...]

2019-03-01T21:38:09-05:00February 1st, 2019|

When Your Child’s Behavior Becomes Extreme

When children refuse to clean up their toys or eat their vegetables, most parents know how to best handle the situation. But what if a child’s reaction to appropriate consequences is extreme, escalating to physical aggression and even property damage and making the home unsafe? This type of conduct could be the sign of emotional/behavioral issues that need to be addressed for the best interest of the child, parents and other members of the family. When children act out in these ways, it can be very disconcerting for everyone involved. Parents often take on blame and can feel too ashamed [...]

2019-03-01T21:31:42-05:00January 19th, 2019|

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 [...]

2018-11-08T06:50:21-05:00November 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 [...]

2018-11-05T14:19:27-05:00November 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 [...]

2018-10-24T10:00:22-04:00October 24th, 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 [...]

2018-10-03T14:17:38-04:00October 3rd, 2018|

Catapult Learning Launched a Back to School Sweepstakes to Recognize and Appreciate Teachers

In September, Catapult Learning held the inaugural Back to School Sweepstakes. We asked teachers and supervisors from across the organization to tell us why they were excited to start the 2018 – 19 school year. The responses were overwhelming. Some teachers shared the thoughtful and creative prep work they were doing in their classrooms for their students, such as color-coding folders and filling up candy jars. We also heard about the bright smiles and eager energy that the students bring every day. The winner was Tracey Coleman from The High Road School of Baltimore County. In November, we visited Tracey [...]

2018-12-11T21:46:42-05:00September 12th, 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 [...]

2018-08-18T04:59:05-04:00August 16th, 2018|

First Openly Autistic School Board Member visits High Road Academy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1 in 59 children in the United States have autism. Autism is not a predictable or uniform disability – it presents differently in every child – so there’s no “one size fits all” approach to autism education. To show special education students at the High Road Academy of Wallingford that autism shouldn’t keep them from pursuing their dreams, administrators recently invited in an “openly and proudly autistic” politician and professor to speak at the school. Sarah Selvaggi-Hernandez and her story of overcoming the challenges of living with autism caught the attention of school [...]

2018-08-18T04:59:16-04:00June 28th, 2018|