Category Archives: Curriculum Resources

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of JOY -Creating and Maintaining a Positive Team

Today I entered into a discussion with young principals and assistant principals on the importance of professionalism. This led into great dialogue on various views of what did or did not constitute professional best practices, regarding setting expectations for one’s school team.

Should school teams have school spirit shirts and be allowed to wear them once a week to enhance esprit de cour or does the team wearing t-shirts look unprofessional? If parents see teachers in the office laughing, is that unprofessional and therefore the office is a quiet zone or does the laughter model the joy of the learning environment and promote creativity, team-building and relationships?

Over the last 25 years serving in various roles in education, and the last 8 years serving as a principal, I have found that amazing things can happen in learning environments with a joyful team. Research shows that a positive school culture effects student learning and teacher retention. A negative school climate has been found to reduce student participation in school activities and student learning (Chen and Weikart, 2008).

I had a mentor tell me early on in my career, that in education, it is important to always keep one student in mind bwhen making any decision. If this practice is followed, then the classroom and building environments being created, the expectations being modeled in word and action, will always benefit the student.

Research shows that by creating “team traditions” like Thankful Thursday Team Spirit Days and “allowing” and promoting laughter throughout the school, will help not hinder in promoting a positive school culture. Research shows that a positive school culture effects student learning and teacher retention.

I am passionate on this topic, as I feel it takes intentional leadership to create positive teams and a positive school culture. I have seen the amazing impact that being intentional in these areas can have on student, staff and parent morale and student learning.

Below is a picture of some of my favorite books on this topic🤗

Thoughts to ponder…

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

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Recommended Christmas Novels & Short Stories for Students of all Ages

It is that busy time of year where classroom instruction seems to fly by and engaging students of all ages can be challenging. Exhale and know that you are making a difference. Intentional planning can really help maintain the calm in the classroom these last few weeks leading up to the holiday break.

For those looking to enhance their students’ reading surrounding this season, I thought I would share this great website that offers a comprehensive list of recommended Christmas Novels and Short Stories .

I love to share the good when and where I find it!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

 

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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Resources, Educational Websites and Resources, Favorite Sites, Promoting Literacy, Recommended Book from Teens for Teens, Recommended Books for Ages 8-15

A Book Recommendation for Inspirational Leaders…“Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek

While on vacation, I am looking for books to read to enhance the Ethical Leadership class I am taking. I stumbled upon, “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek. After reading for a couple of hours, I am comfortable in HIGHLY recommending this book.

Two talking points I am reflecting on from this morning’s reading, is (1) The importance of creating circle of safety among a team to eliminate individual silos, and (2) A child’s sense of well-being is not effected so much by the hours of work the parents put in, but the attitude of the parents when they arrive home from work.

I 100% agree with this author. I have spent the last 8 years as an educational leader building up my team and working with other schools on team building strategies. Regardless if in a school or in a home, a positive attitude can change and transform any environment!

This blog has had over a half a million viewers read one blog posting or another- thank you! The blog postings on this Unlock the Teacher blog that has had the most views, are the posts directly promoting positive behaviors with students, in the workplace or among the family unit.

Sharing the good is synergistic. Thank you for reading and sharing the good with me to post on this blog, and for striving to make a difference in the lives of those around you.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

SharingTheGood

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Sharing The Good

As those who read or follow this blog know, I love to share the good.

This blog has almost reached over 400,000 views, thank you!

As a doctoral student, my time has been a little busier than normal. However, I will be making time to find, reflect on and share the good in this upcoming year. Thank you for the continual encouraging comments and requests.

I find a lot of joy by sharing the good, so if you have a good idea or best practice to share to enhance education or team empowerment, please share.

Bless your holiday season…

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Words have Power…let us be Intentional

Words have power…let us be intentional in teaching and modeling for our leaders of tomorrow!

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Be a Leader that Creates Bridges and Chooses to See and Share the Good

Tuesday Reflection:

Not everyone has the skill set to lead others. However, we all have it within us to choose to see and share the good. When a team adopts this type of philosophy, of intentionally focusing on the good in one another, it can transform a work environment. If you are that person with whom the gift of leadership has been given, may you choose to be a leader that creates bridges and models for the team on what it looks like to be a positive builder of men and women! #ShareTheGood

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Teachers Sharing the Good with One Another

I am so excited to share that Maria Chubb and Karina Lepkowski mastered educators teaching at Most Holy Trinity within the Archdiocese of Detroit Catholic Schools will be coming to share their best practices they have been sharing at Detroit area EdCamps and Archdiocese of Detroit professional development sessions on March 3rd for our Archdiocese of Baltimore and Loyola University “Harness the Power Within” Professional Development Day!

#SharingTheGood #WeAreAllOneBodyinChrist

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

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Join #AOBEDCHAT Premiere January 8th with Guest Fr. Matt Foley

We would love to have educators join the conversation on Monday, January 8th at 7 PM for the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools premiere Twitter edChat. We will be discussing student service learning with guest, Friar Matt Foley! #ShareTheGood #AOBCatholicSchools #RiseAbove

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Recommended Online Math Resources

Algebra PictureMany students have 4-6 weeks off of school between June and September. Students are “scheduled” during the school year and do need “down” time. However, given our informational age, letting our brains pause for too long could have negative effects too, especially in regards to math. Learning is all about the lens we choose to view it in…let us promote learning as a fun, year-long, life-long process.  Encouraging those around us of any age, to get excited about reviewing our knowledge or learning something new. Having the ability to learn is a gift, and is something that should be celebrated.

For summer introduction, practice, mastery or review these sites are a good place for students in grades K-12 to explore mathematic concepts. I have also recommended these sites as homework resources too.

Discovery Education

Grades 1-8

Visit Website: https://school.discoveryeducation.com

Enjoy the fun and challenges of mathematics. Students can click on “Homework Help” or “Games and Interactives” to review math concepts and skills. This site offers resources to help students master the basics of mathematics of numbers and number operations. Videos and tutorials explain basic operations and help with the mastery of math skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division–essential building blocks for success in mathematics.

 

Front Row

Grades K-8

Visit Website: https://www.frontrowed.com/

Zero in on math and ELA with personalized practice and assessments

 

SoftSchools.com

Grades K-12

Visit Website: http://www.softschools.com/math/games/

Interactive free math games

 

Prodigy

Grades: 1-8

Visit Website: https://www.prodigygame.com/

Adaptive math practice wrapped in role-playing adventure

 

Get the Math

Grades: 7-10

Visit Website: http://www.thirteen.org/get-the-math/category/the-challenges/

Solve real-life algebra problems

 

AAA Math

Grades: K-8

Visit Website: http://www.aaamath.com

Get introduced, practice, master or review math concepts outlined per grade level

 

Khan Academy

Grades: K-12

Visit Website: https://www.khanacademy.org

Mini math instructional videos that cover a wide array of math concepts. Parents/students can personalize learning by setting up a free online classroom.

 

Kuta Software

Visit Website: https://www.kutasoftware.com

Grades 6-12

Download free worksheets ranging from Pre-Algebra to Infinite Calculus

 

SoftSchools.com

Grades: 6-8

Visit Website: http://www.softschools.com/math/algebra/

Algebra Worksheets, Quizzes and Activities

 

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Resources, Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Math Resources Online for Grades K-12, Recommended Learning Apps, Summer Syllabus for Math

Reflective Leadership …Words of Wisdom for Industry Leaders


Best leadership statements read on Twitter this morning:
“If you are not read to serve, re-think your role as a leader…”

“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” –John C. Maxwell

“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” –Publilius Syrus

“A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.”

–Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

“Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it is a takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them.” –Diogenes of Sinope

How much time do we spend reading best practices and reflecting on being a good leader? Are we intentional with our teams, really making sure that they are valued members of the organization? Do we “see” them and “listen” when they speak? Do they know we care?

I believe effective leaders have an innate ability to see problems as opportunities and challenges as growth moments. However, it has been my experience as an educational leader and professional development coach, that sometimes a person may have leadership tendencies, but due to a lack of development or vision, these missed leadership opportunities are manifested in behaviors that can often be viewed as negative or argumentative in the workplace.

I encourage taking time to draft a thought out strategic plan for professional development incorporating reflective practices (Maxine Greene) for not only individual employees but “team” strategic thinking.  Create opportunities for various team members to lead. Exhale and enjoy watching the leadership blossom and come to fruition among those that may not have even seen the leadership potential within themselves.

Good leaders develop leaders, not followers  and create opportunities for many voices to come together to create unified vision and positive synergy for future growth and development among the team and organization.

When we train our eyes and ears to see and hear the good, culture transformation can occur within any organization!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things-

Denise

#SharingtheGood #SpeakLife

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