Coaching Strategies for Teachers: 7 Smart Tips for Success

Research consistently shows that teachers, particularly new teachers, who work with instructional coaches are more likely to remain with their schools.1,2 Many schools and districts continue to be challenged with hiring and retaining qualified teachers, making it important to employ strategies to both retain and develop teachers. Coaches are increasingly [...]

December 10th, 2020|Categories: Coaching, EduBlog, Professional Development|

Back-to-School Tips for K-12 Educators

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! Whether you're finishing your preparation for students to return or already a few weeks into instruction, right now is an exciting and busy time. We support over 300,000 students through 500 district partners across the country each year, and we've compiled a set [...]

September 6th, 2019|Categories: EduBlog|

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 [...]

September 3rd, 2019|Categories: EduBlog|

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, [...]

September 3rd, 2019|Categories: EduBlog|

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

It’s August 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 2019-20 school year. As principal, you [...]

August 12th, 2019|Categories: EduBlog|

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

School is in session across the country and that means communities are coming together for the 2019-2020 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, [...]

August 12th, 2019|Categories: EduBlog|

[Webinar] Leverage Research and Partnerships to Succeed with Every Student!

Partnering with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Catapult Learning and Legacy Traditional Schools presented a set of actionable strategies for accessing and leveraging research and partnerships to provide high-quality special education and behavior modification to students most in need. About the Presenters Catapult Learning helps [...]

May 17th, 2019|Categories: EduBlog|

When your child’s education calls for a holistic approach

All students have dynamic needs, but when traditional education isn’t working for your child, it may be time to consider alternatives. Often educators look to add academic or behavioral interventions but fail to program strategies that support students’ holistic needs. When educators take a holistic approach that [...]

April 22nd, 2019|Categories: EduBlog|

It’s Time to Reflect on Inclusion

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 59 children in the U.S. are on the autism spectrum. Two years earlier, that statistic was at 1 in 88 children. Despite autism spectrum disorder touching so many families, a large percentage of people don’t realize they’ve [...]

March 29th, 2019|Categories: EduBlog|Tags: |

Year-End Solutions to Support Students and Build Instructor Capacity

Year-End Solutions to Support Students and Build Instructor Capacity According to recent ESSA guidelines, “funds must be obligated for the fiscal year in which they were allocated.” At Catapult Learning, we’re here to help ensure you get the most from your funding. Allocate your school’s year-end funds on turnkey solutions [...]

March 24th, 2019|Categories: 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 [...]

February 27th, 2019|Categories: 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 [...]

November 8th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|

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 [...]

November 5th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|

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 [...]

October 24th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|

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 [...]

October 3rd, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|

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 [...]

June 28th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|

Cultural Competence – Part I: First Steps

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to the change the world.”—Nelson Mandela As educators, we must work to meet the needs of all learners in our classrooms. To do this, we must participate in continuous professional learning and self-reflection. We are obliged to study [...]

June 4th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|

Better Hearing & Speech Month – Part 2: Safe Hearing & Listening

By Janelle Paul, M.S., CCC-SLP, Supervisor of Specialized Services, Catapult Learning Earlier in the month, I wrote about caring for your teacher voice in Part I of my blog highlighting National Better Hearing & Speech Month. But it wouldn’t be Better Hearing and Speech Month without some tips about hearing [...]

May 29th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|

Better Hearing & Speech Month – Part I: Caring for Your Teacher Voice

By Janelle Paul, M.S., CCC-SLP, Supervisor of Specialized Services, Catapult Learning I am excited to inform you that May is National Better Hearing and Speech Month! As a speech-language pathologist (SLP), I often use this month as an opportunity to provide knowledge and tips about good vocal hygiene and good listening [...]

May 23rd, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|

In-Service Days Complement Professional Development Activities

A rich knowledge base exists on the benefits of thoughtful, multi-year professional development activities for schools, districts, and dioceses, inspired in large part by federally funded research on school improvement, organizational change, and adult learning styles. Effective educational leaders are familiar with insights gleaned from this knowledge base, and typically [...]

May 8th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog, Professional Development, School Leaders|

How Strong Instructional Leaders Can Bring Out the Best in Educators

Great leaders and managers recognize the importance of maximizing their resources, including recruiting and retaining the right people for their organizations. In the book, First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently, authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman state, “Select a person, set expectations, motivate the [...]

January 25th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|

More than an Extracurricular: Integrating Service Learning into the Curriculum

If your school is anything like the schools where I work or the schools where my children attend, parents organize service learning opportunities throughout the school year. There are food drives at Thanksgiving, coat and gift collections during the holidays, a full day of service on Martin Luther King, Jr. [...]

January 17th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|Tags: , |

Investing in Self-Reflection: A Resolution for the New Year

“Happy New Year!” This time of year, and specifically those words, often lead one through a customary self-reflection of the previous year—personally and professionally—with recollections of the good, the bad, and the indifferent in hopes of setting new goals. January 1st brings optimism for a new beginning, the perspective of [...]

January 10th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|Tags: , , |

Investing in Self-Reflection: A Resolution for the New Year

“Happy New Year!” This time of year, and specifically those words, often lead one through a customary self-reflection of the previous year—personally and professionally—with recollections of the good, the bad, and the indifferent in hopes of setting new goals. January 1st brings optimism for a new beginning, the perspective of [...]

January 10th, 2018|Categories: EduBlog|Tags: , , |

Student Agency: The Heart of Personalized Learning

During a visit to our school’s eucalyptus grove this year, I was amazed to watch a group of our kindergartners demonstrating the student agency inherent to this age group. Watching these young people interact in natural surroundings was witnessing student agency at its finest. Without prompting or instruction, [...]

December 1st, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

Getting Started with STEAM: A Mini Toolkit

STEM is an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term STEM is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to competitiveness in science and technology development. STEAM is designed to integrate STEM subjects into various relevant disciplines in education [...]

November 20th, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

Another Look at What Is Special About Special Education

Two years ago, I wrote my first blog for Catapult’s EduBlog, titled “Back to the Future of Special Education.” That blog post explored the question, “What is special about special education?” from the perspective of the importance in taking a diagnostic and prescriptive approach to special education. Two [...]

November 16th, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

Honoring Background Knowledge

"Education is all a matter of building bridges.” —Ralph Ellison One of my favorite television shows is Modern Family, and a favorite character on the show is Cam, the self-proclaimed farm boy from “Missoura” who often refers to his upbringing with tales that often include hog raising and [...]

November 7th, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

Increasing Critical Thinking & Cognitive Demand in Your Classroom

Can you imagine a classroom where all students think and learn at high levels and demonstrate clear depth of understanding? The classroom described above does exist beyond the limits of our imagination and can become a reality when teachers use instructional strategies that engage students and both encourage [...]

October 17th, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

Student Questions & Creating a Culture of Inquiry

Ask any builder and they will tell you the most essential part of creating a home that will stand the test of time and endure the elements is a strong foundation. A focus on 21st Century Learning and Innovation Skills has prompted schools to identify opportunities for students [...]

October 12th, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

Making Your Classroom Lessons Breathable

Let me start out by saying that I appreciate the attention to “best practices” that goes into the creation of the professional development (PD) sessions that consultants like myself deliver to teachers. The work of a consultant is challenging, time consuming, and sometimes grueling. To do what we [...]

June 8th, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

Boosting the Power of Presentations to Enhance Learning

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 [...]

April 13th, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

Developing Learner Voice: The Transition to Student-Directed Learning

Research has shown that developing learner voice may be the most powerful lever available to improve student learning in schools. Students learn better when they are engaged partners throughout the educational process.1 When students plan educational activities, their investment, ownership, and consequent learning is greatly increased.2 At Catapult [...]

April 4th, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

Using Social Stories to Support Autism Students’ Learning

Navigating the autism community and differentiating between what may be “the buzz” and what is an evidenced-based strategy is often difficult for teachers and parents alike. Further compounding this navigation is that the media often covers only fads, or “quick fixes,” rather than those strategies that have been [...]

March 15th, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

The Power of Reflection for Teaching & Leading

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” —Peter Drucker, author and founder of Drucker Business Institute A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview a superintendent and a school board member for a graduate school assignment on [...]

January 31st, 2017|Categories: EduBlog|

Leadership Development Aligned to Mission and Vision of Excellence

Leadership Development: Start with the mission and a vision for your organization Excellent schools need excellent leaders whose principles and practices align with the school’s educational mission and vision. They are inspired and motivated by the vision of excellence and possess the desire and skills necessary for making [...]

December 19th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Literacy Instruction: Casting a Wider Net

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 [...]

December 13th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Lifelong Learning and Innovation Skills

The partnership for 21st Century Learning, or “P21,” was founded in 2002, intending to bring together the business community, education leaders, and policy makers in order to, “position 21st century readiness at the center of US K-12 education and to kick-start a national conversation on the importance of [...]

November 30th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Building Classroom Walls That Teach

As educators, we know that environment influences learning, and in particular, that classroom environments influence literacy development. We also know this to be true for grades Pre-K−12.While the start of school is still a week away for some of us, I wanted to write about a topic that [...]

August 29th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Top 10 EduBlogs of 2015−16

As we look back at the blogs posted by our EduExperts over the last eleven months,  we notice several topics popular with our blogs readers throughout the 2015−16 school year. These topics range from the Every Student Succeeds Acts (ESSA) to differentiated instruction to special education and more. Following is a list of [...]

July 5th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Creating Authentic Learning Experiences in Your Local Community

Preparing students for the real world is central to current education pedagogy. To do this, educators create problem- and project-based learning assignments, encourage students to work collaboratively, develop engaging lessons, and produce a myriad of learning opportunities and assessments.  Whether we are talking about project-based learning, inquiry learning, [...]

June 29th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

NAEP Results: Less “Bang for Our Buck” (But Plenty of Whimpers)

“Between the idea and the reality . . . falls the shadow.”      —T.S. Eliot A new report from our friends at the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” provides data on student performance in reading and mathematics across multiple [...]

May 24th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Using Visual Supports for Students with Developmental Disabilities

It is true, no two learners are alike. Some learn better through reading; others through listening or doing. For students with developmental disabilities, who have difficulty communicating with others and especially difficulty understanding what people in their environment are communicating to them, it is important to present information [...]

May 17th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Engaging Special Needs Students with Experience-Based Learning

Students with special needs have unique strengths, motivators, preferences, and interests in a learning environment. By identifying and addressing these elements, educators can encourage a higher level of engagement. In experience-based learning, facilitators take a step-back approach—allowing for natural discovery of consequences and problem-solving-based learning The result of [...]

May 9th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Facing Hard Facts and Tough Decisions

As I looked at the calendar and considered what I wanted to write about in this blog, I started to reflect on my last few months of work-related travel and my conversations with school leaders throughout the country. I also thought about the countless conversations about education that [...]

April 26th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Five Ways to Motivate the Reluctant Learner

Educators can readily identify the student who seems to lack motivation. While he or she is generally not a behavior problem in the classroom, the unmotivated student can cause a teacher many sleepless nights. There are a variety of labels used to describe a student who just doesn’t [...]

April 5th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Three Ways to Celebrate Women’s History Month in Your Classroom

Women’s History Month began last week. In 1980, President Carter signed documents proclaiming March 2−8 to be Women’s History Week; by 1987, Congress passed a proclamation establishing March as Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service [...]

March 8th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Academic Intervention: What Does It Really Mean?

Outside the classroom, the word “intervention” has pretty clear associations. Think of the literal meaning of the word—a coming between—and how it manifests itself in our culture. We all know of instances where people have had to place themselves in someone else’s pathway and make them travel in [...]

February 22nd, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Teacher Education, Part II: What Makes an Effective Teacher Education Program

“Evidence shows that effective teachers are the most important in-school contributors to student learning.” —from “Best Practices for Evaluating Teacher Ed. Programs” How do we prepare effective teachers? What are the components of an effective teacher preparation program? To begin researching the answer, I wrote the blog “Teacher [...]

February 2nd, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|

Bridging the Knowing-Doing Gap: How School Leaders Can Transfer Knowledge into Action to Impact Student and Teacher Learning

“Action expresses priorities.”   —Gandhi “Action is the foundational key to all success.”   —Pablo Picasso A new year has begun, and along with it come the resolutions–to eat better, exercise more, read more, stay in touch with friends, travel; the list goes on. The beginning of a new year [...]

January 19th, 2016|Categories: EduBlog|
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