Tag Archives: Academic term

An Innovative Program for Helping Students Succeed…Sharing the Good in Education

Given that Unlock the Teacher was founded on the principle of sharing the good in education, we look for this good where ever we go.  In the grocery store, at Starbuck’s, the local library and most importantly at the schools we are blessed to work in.

We wanted to share a wonderful educational program we are following and hope that it might plant a seed for another school looking to add a resource room to their school.

St. Regis Educare – An Innovative Program for Helping Students Succeed

St. Regis Educare (SRE) is a newly created program serving the students of St. Regis Catholic Elementary and Academy, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The SRE program is staffed by three certified teachers who are dedicated to supporting the varied needs of St. Regis students. Based on the premise that each student has unique gifts and talents, with different learning styles and academic abilities, SRE supports teachers in providing differentiated instruction within and outside the classroom. In keeping with the St. Regis mission: Respect, Educate, Give, Inspire, and Support, SRE is dedicated to respecting individual students’ needs and supporting and inspiring them to reach their fullest academic potential.

The service provided in this program is more than a library of resources for teachers and parents. It is more than a place where students can come for help with their homework. It is a professionally staffed center for learning, where students attend workshops, join literature circles, compete in Math competitions, and follow academic plans designed specifically to meet their individual needs.

SRE Services

St. Regis Educare provides three different types of assistance/enrichment for students. They work with individuals and small groups needing assistance or enrichment in academic subject areas. They  provide workshops to help students with concepts such as grammar or study skills, and  work with individuals and small groups on specific skills such as comprehension strategies or counting money. In order to make the concepts they are enhancing engaging, they  integrate technology, and utilize manipulatives, hands-on activities, and use modeling to help students achieve their goals.

With all this, they also provide the following benefits for teachers: assessments, which they will design and/or administer upon request; a central repository for teacher resources and reference books; and documented processes and forms to make using our services less complicated. To help bridge the ever widening need between parent and school, they provide a central repository for parent resources, and are in the process of planning workshops for parents, so they can learn new ways to help their children succeed in school.

Development of the Program

This school year, St. Regis Educare has evolved from an idea and an empty office, into a focal point of learning for students in need of assistance or enrichment, as well as a central location for student, teacher, and parent resources.

Some highlights include:

  • A room that is now both inviting and functional for assisting students
  • Resource materials, games, technology, and manipulatives that are arranged by subject matter on labeled shelves for easy access
  • Documented processes and forms that are based on research of best practices and collaboration with professionals both in and outside the school
  • An extensive list of services designed to meet the varied needs of our students

As of this writing, at least one student or group from every grade, is being serviced by SRE, and they have had an abundance of positive comments from students, parents, and teachers who are grateful for the expertise and supportive of this team’s efforts. It is too soon in the development of the program to provide concrete results; however, I plan to monitor this program’s progress …stay tuned!

If your school or community is doing something great to help students, teachers or parents, please share.  It is in the collaborative model that we all rise to the level in which we have the potential to be.

May we all continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

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Filed under Educational Resources, Sharing the Good, Sharing the Good in Education

A Glance Back at A Successful School Year

As many of schools are winding down for the school year, student energy is high, teacher energy low, it is important to look back, reflect and make notes on what worked and what did not, while your mind is still in “school” mode.

As an administrator, I find this is a helpful tool not only in regards to the building standard operating procedures, but in what worked in motivating my team or not. It is just important for an administrator to reflect as it is for a teacher, because it is in the exercise of being a reflective practitioner, do we  continue to grow and challenge ourselves to higher standards.

When I was in the classroom, I would spend the last week of school with my students and the last week after they were gone, to spend a few minutes each day writing in a journal.  I would reflect upon lessons taught, the differentiated tools utilized and next to each reflection, I would put IDEAS on how I could change it up for the following year to ensure more students’ needs were met.

I would spend time thinking about how I felt I impacted my building as a whole…did I contribute to the greater good, was I encouraging to those around me, did I spend most my time picking up versus putting down…This excercise helped me grow as a teacher and an individual.

Although it is easy to get caught up in trying to close down a building and get home to rejuvenate before it all begins again…in a matter of weeks…I encourage you all to pause, reflect and take a good look at how you made a difference this year in the life of a child.

To all the parents, children, teacher and administrators out there, our Unlock the Teacher team would like to say to you…”Job well done!”

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~

Denise

Recommended summer reading:

“Reeasing the Imagination” by Maxine Greene

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Filed under Curriculum Resources

Anti-Bullying Workshops gets Views and Comments…Thank You!

Thank you for reading our blog. In this week alone, we have had over 200 views of our Anti-Bullying Workshops.

The beginning of the school year has been very busy for us and as we continue to go into schools to conduct our ePublishing and Anti-Bullying workshops, we are also working with a few schools currently on CCSS Curriculum Alignment…and if this was not enough to keep us smiling, we have been writing and meeting with our parent and teacher focus groups.

Given our schedule the last couple of weeks, we are thrilled with the views and emails coming in requesting information about our Anti-Bullying Workshops…THANK YOU! 

We worked very hard last year creating student- friendly workshops that would be age appropriate.  We gathered input from parents, teachers and law enforcement (for grades 9-12 workshop) and gathered statistical data to help all stake holders realize just how important it is to talk about bullying, address questions and concerns and provide students with  problem-solving tools and strategies in bullying situations.

Please feel free to contact us to ask questions, provide input or feedback or to request letters of recommendations.

Thank you for your continued support, together we can make a difference!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Anti-Bullying Workshops, Book I in the Unlock the Teacher Series

Odyssey of the Mind and Team Building Lessons for the Classroom and Home

As the school year has just begun and we are busy in schools, I thought I would share a couple of great sites that offer “team buildinglessons for students.   We are excited to hear from and meet new teachers this year.  I think that these sites provide  great problem-solving scenarios for students to work through and can enhance any lesson in any discipline and be modified for any age to meet the needs of all students.  Enjoy and have a super school year full of many new discoveries!

Odyssey of the Mind

http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/

Computer Science Unplugged

http://csunplugged.org/

Computer Science Unplugged  is a great site to utilize in the classroom because it offers creative scenarios to solve or work through without utilizing a computer.  This site has various activities for both teachers and parents to utilize with students to enhance team building and higher-order thinking.

I love to know your thoughts, ideas or lessons found successful in enhancing these skills. Together we can make a difference!

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Science

Teachers are Planters of Seeds…What Kind of Seeds are you Planting?

As I sit and review my notes for Unlock the Teacher‘s first professional development session for the 2011/2012 school year, I reflect and wonder, what
words can I provide that might inspire and instill hope for all the amazing teachable moments that will happen in the life of the teachers with whom I will be speaking to tomorrow. Teaching is SO much more than a job, I honestly believe it is a calling; an urge that a person feels to make a difference, and is played out in the classroom.

We often think about all the teachable moments that happen throughout the school year for our students, our future. However, I also think of the amazing teachable moments that occur for the individual teacher. I hope that at this time of year, the teacher is reflecting and writing a curriculum map for the school year that will be used as a master plan.

The teacher, who starts the school year, is often different from the one who finishes it. Hopefully, this is the case, as a true reflective practitioner will evolve throughout the year as his/her students will…keeping in mind no two students are alike, no school year should ever mirror another for a teacher.

In regards to a teacher’s master curriculum plan, this is just a tool that is utilized to create lessons full of discovery for each quarter, with one scaffolding on the next to ensure that students are maximizing their potential. However, this is just a plan, as all good teachers know, true
“teachable moments” sometimes just happen and must be capitalized on in the moment.

I have chosen the theme of “Teachers are Planters of Seeds” for tomorrow.  I have had the pleasure of working with this staff on curriculum alignment and I am honored to be asked back into their building on their first day back to school before their eager students arrive next week.

I think as teachers, we have the awesome power to create new worlds in our students’ minds. We can take them to places they might not ever get an opportunity to experience, tell them and show them how to achieve the impossible dream OR we can crush the human spirit with one angry glance or snide comment.

Think about what kind of world we hope to have in the future and remember that it all begins with how we treat our children today, what opportunities we provide, what words of encouragement or defeat did we choose to utilize at the moment of chaos in the classroom. When we train our eyes to see the good and choose to use words to share the good, amazing things can happen!

 

Children Learn What They Live

By Dorothy Law Nolte

 

If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.

If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.

If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.

If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.

If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.

If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.

If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.

If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live!

 

What kind of seeds are you getting ready to plant this school year?

May we all continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

 

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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Professional Development Workshops for Educators

Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Student Workshop Responses Have Been Great…Thank You!

Response to our Common Core State Standards Workshops has Been Amazingly Successful…Thank You!

Unlock the Teacher workshop pictures in schools for the 2010/2011 School Year

Although we worked in schools this past school year 2010/2011 to help align building curriculum to the Common Core State Standards , since we posted our workshops to prepare our calendar for next school year, the response has been amazing!  We are thrilled with the response and inquiring emails are great…we are happy to answer any questions and we work with all schools to include but not limited to public, private and charter.

On this blog alone, we are averaging 40-100 views a day for our workshops and our subscriptions for our blog have doubled. (Note: Since this blog post was written, this blog has surpasses 750,000 views and averages 400-600 views a day. 6/2021)

As we continue to prepare for next year’s schedule, we are also finishing up a few academic eBooks.

Outside of our Common Core State Standards Workshops another hot topic of inquiry from our readers is our Anti-Bullying Workshops.  Brief examples of these workshops will be posted soon.

The positive responses from educators has been so rewarding, as they are my colleagues. To have such great emails commenting that you like what we are trying to do is very humbling and synergistic.

We appreciate all the emails, comments and questions.  We are also trying to write grants now to be able to provide workshops for those schools who have asked but cannot afford it for their staff or students.

Thank you!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Achievement Gap Blogs, Blogs that Inspire Us, Common Core State Standards "Nuts & Bolts", Curriculum Resources, Student Workshops, Teacher and Administrator Workshops