About Cathy Gassenheimer

Latest From Cathy Gassenheimer

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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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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Want to Make Classes More Learner-Driven? Try Four Easy Ideas to Deepen Engagement

Looking for some easy ways to introduce “learner-driven” teaching practices in your classrooms? Cathy Gassenheimer found lots of good ideas in the recent Corwin title “Evolving Learner: Shifting from Professional Development to Professional Learning” by teacher educators Lainie Rowell, Kristy Andre, and Lauren Steinmann. She shares four of her favorites in this post!

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Using Great Teaching Strategies to Address “Unfinished Learning”

As you think about addressing learning loss, take some time to revisit what works best when we really need to get teaching right. Cathy Gassenheimer has been reading a new book that addresses this topic, Great Teaching by Design, by the powerhouse team of Hattie, Bustamante, Almarode, Fisher, and Frey. Check out her review and follow a link to watch an authors’ video highlighting key points.

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How Personal Disruption Can Lead to Professional Growth

Global executive coach Whitney Johnson’s belief in the individual as the fundamental unit of growth in any enterprise led her to conclude that disruptive innovation happens to people as well as organizations. In a recent webinar, Johnson talked about the power of cognitive dissonance as we experience the disruption, holding on both to our current selves and a new, different self. Here’s what Cathy learned.

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What We Gain When We Do Our Own Thinking

Are you sometimes intimidated when asked to make a big decision? Do you too often defer to experts over your own knowledge and experience? In a “book talk,” sponsored by the Next Big Idea Club, Vikram Mansharamani shares five key insights from his latest book Think for Yourself: Restoring Common Sense in an Age of Experts. Read Cathy Gassenheimer’s quick summary and link to his video talk.

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Across the Board – A New Monthly A+ Report on State Education Policy Developments

This month, the A+ Education Partnership introduced a new monthly blog series dedicated to keeping you informed about key policy discussions and decisions made by the Alabama State Board of Education and State Department of Education. We wanted to cross-post the first edition to make ABPC network members more aware of this excellent resource written by Vice President of Policy Dr. Matt Smith.

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Helping Our Students Apply Prior Knowledge to New Situations

“Some students do not use their capacity for making connections, a uniquely human capacity. They approach every situation as if it is the first time they ever saw such a problem or task.” When Cathy Gassenheimer came across this article by Art Costa and Bena Kallick recently, she was hooked. So much so that she asked them for permission to post it here. In this short piece, the Habits of Mind authors and advocates share insights and practical tips to help students access and apply prior knowledge to current learning.

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Making Writing Fun and Easy: Using Generative Sentences

During a Zoom chat with Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey about their book This Is Balanced Literacy, Cathy was intrigued by the generative sentence strategy they shared. “It’s flexible and stretchable ( think ‘silly putty’) and can be used from first grade through high school. And its deceptive simplicity makes it a useful tool for teaching writing face-to-face and online!”

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