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The ABPC Blog

Positive Culture: Lakewood Primary Hops on the Energy Bus!

Wherever you teach, the stress, demands and expectations can take an emotional and physical toll. At Lakewood Primary in Phenix City, Principal Sarah Kimmel and her leadership team recognized the need to support and encourage faculty and staff throughout the year to help alleviate these pressures. Using the motivational book The Energy Bus, they are well on their way to “turning negative energy into positive achievement.”

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Hattie Says Teacher Clarity Is One of the Top Learning Interventions. Here’s How It Works.

Learning should not be a mystery to students. John Hattie’s research shows that changes in practice to produce “teacher clarity” can have a huge impact on student success. A recent book from Corwin, Clarity for Learning, provides a roadmap for teachers and schools interested in engaging their students more deeply by making sure they understand what’s going on. Cathy Gassenheimer provides a helpful summary!

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Harlan Elementary Attacks the Reading Gap with “Goodnight, Harlan” Bedtime Stories and Other Strategies

The achievement gap between children who read or are read to, and children who are not, is well documented and widely discussed, writes Assistant Principal Jill Edwards. Some schools may view the gap as outside their control, but not Harlan Elementary in Florence City (AL), where educators are using a variety of “combat strategies,” including the newly launched video collection of Goodnight, Harlan bedtime stories.

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It’s Here! The Companion Guide to Leaders of Their Own Learning

Ron Berger’s comprehensive companion guide to his landmark 2014 book Leaders of Their Own Learning has been eagerly anticipated by educators in ABPC’s Powerful Conversations Networks. Cathy Gassenheimer highlights the impact of LOTOL on student-engaged assessment in Alabama and her own role in writing the Foreword to the just-released Leaders of Their Own Learning Companion.

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10 Takeaways from Our Hard Conversations Institute with Jennifer Abrams

In a time when the teacher workforce is rapidly evolving and schools are under great pressure to strengthen their systems for professional learning and collaboration, what better topics for a learning “retreat” than cross-generation communication and “hard conversations” about professional growth. Cathy Gassenheimer reports on ABPC’s two-day Hard Conversations Institute with expert Jennifer Abrams.

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Why Do We Need the Alabama Best Practices Center?

Over the summer, Cathy Gassenheimer had the chance to ask Greg Edge, principal of Attalla Elementary School, why he continues to be involved in ABPC’s professional learning opportunities. “I told him about the questions we often hear from potential funders, who want to know how ABPC programs differ from what Alabama educators might otherwise experience.” Here’s what Greg (and some other KLN participants) told us.

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How Can We Be Sure We’re Reaching Our “Quiet Kids”?

With half our population thought to be introverted to some degree, it’s important for educators to pay attention and adjust our lesson plans and teaching styles to better support our “quiet” kids, writes professed introvert and assistant principal DeAnna Miller. “Learning to help both extroverted and introverted students understand more about themselves and each other will only enhance our learning environments.”

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