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The Alabama Best Practices Center works to help teachers and district & school leaders develop the competence, commitment, and courage to do whatever it takes to improve student learning.

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Professional Learning Blog

Adam Grant Teaches Us to “Think Again” as We Collaborate

The pandemic has forced many of us to rethink and unlearn things we did and believed in before Covid. Yet, lest we become smug about the progress made, we need to “Think Again” – the title of a new book by behavioral scientist and popular author Adam Grant. Cathy Gassenheimer’s review helps us understand Grant’s contention that we become better educators and collaborators when we “know what we don’t know.”

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Jimmy Casas: How We Can Build Respectful and Supportive School Cultures

As schools struggle to teach standards, prepare students for college and career readiness, maintain discipline, and hopefully teach and reinforce character, co-authors Jimmy Casas and Joy Kelly offer today’s educators a unique set of strategies for building strong cultures that help everyone work more effectively and respectfully to accomplish our challenging task. Dr. Stoney Beavers reviews Handle with Care.

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The School Teams of PCN West: Teaching the Whole Child in a Time of Great Challenge

In the COVID-19 pandemic era, paying attention to the whole child – including children’s social-emotional learning needs – has never been more urgent. Dr. Holly Morgan shares some of the work school teams in the PCN West professional learning network are doing to assure a school culture of safety, support and self-reliance that will help every child not only fly but soar.

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A Super Resource for Formative Assessment and Student Background Knowledge

Formative assessment guru Dylan Wiliam and education data science expert Kathleen Scalise offer a powerful three-part series on remote teaching and gauging student progress and background knowledge – featured in ASCD Express. Read Cathy Gassenheimer’s overview and find descriptive links to each article. While the advice focuses on digital teaching, much of it also can be applied in face-to-face learning.

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