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Volume  2,   Issue 5           October 2016
Newsletter Editor:  Dr. John E. Holmes
Four tips for using
nonlinguistic representations
September – 2016
Today’s learners are continually fed linguistically presented information, such as lectures, videos, directions, math chants, and reading assignments. Most opportunities for students to interact with peers happen primarily with words.
It’s all too easy, while employing various aspects of instructional design and delivery, to overlook ways that students might also engage in learning through nonlinguistics.
It’s all too easy, while employing various aspects of instructional design and delivery, to overlook ways that students might also engage in learning through nonlinguistics.
When used intentionally and consistently, nonlinguistic representations are powerful instructional tools that can have a positive effect on student achievement. They provide varied ways for students to process new information without solely relying on language.
Read these tips for engaging nonlinguistic learners 
10 Easy Ways To Create an Amazing #SchoolCulture as a Principal This Year
1. Be outside and welcome people in the morning. 
2. Go into classrooms and hang out.
3. Make a YouTube video to welcome people back
4. Twitter videos to share awesome things happening in classrooms.
5. Learn the names of all students.
6. Make a spreadsheet with every staff member’s name and list their strength(s). 
7. Fill the halls with pictures of kids that are there right now. 

8. Have lunch with students. 
9. Call families of colleagues to thank them.
10. Treat the school like family.
One of the elements that is not on the list is to simply be available.  Don’t be the principal that needs an “appointment” to connect with others.  
(Read the rest here)
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow @NAEA_Hope

NAEA Monthly Twitter Chats – (30 Minute)

Next Chat: October 25, 2016
Topic: Mindfulness/Meditation in #alted schools!
Engage Here
NAEA Board
Kay Davenport, President 
Jacqueline  Whitt, Vice President
Pat Conner, Treasurer
Dr. Ed Lowther, Secretary
Dr. Ja Net' Bishop, Dr. Pam Bruening, Kathleen Chronister, Dr. John E. Holmes, Denise Riley, Richard Thompson, and Joel Shutte, Board Members
Quick and Easy Formative Assessment
Assessments FOR learning happens while learning is still underway.

Vince Lombardi said it this way
"There are a lot of coaches with good ball clubs who know the fundamentals and have plenty of discipline but still don’t win the game. [They’re missing] the third ingredient: if you’re going to play together as a team you’ve got to care for one another. You’ve got to love each other. Each player has to be thinking about the next guy and saying to himself: ‘I have to do my job well in order that he can do his…’ The difference between mediocrity and greatness is the feeling [the teammates] have for each other.”
One of the most important roles of a classroom teacher is that of classroom manager. Learning cannot take place in a poorly managed classroom. Conversely, the best classrooms provide environments where teaching and learning can flourish. Follow these tips and you’ll improve your classroom management skills immediately.
10 musts for effective classroom management
1 – Maintain clear expectations: Teachers must work with their students to establish clear, mutually understood, expectations for behavior by establishing clear rules and procedures.
2 – Be positive:  Focus on each student’s strengths and the amazing things they, with your help, can accomplish. While difficult, never hold grudges against students; treat each day as a new day.

Read Rest of List
Differentiated Instruction: A Primer
How can a teacher keep a reading class of 25 on the same page when four students have dyslexia, three students are learning English as a second language, two others read three grade levels ahead, and the rest have widely disparate interests and degrees of enthusiasm about reading?

What is Differentiated Instruction?

“Differentiated instruction”—the process of identifying students’ individual learning strengths, needs, and interests and adapting lessons to match them—has become a popular approach to helping diverse students learn together. But the field of education is filled with varied and often conflicting definitions of what the practice looks like, and critics argue it requires too much training and additional work for teachers to be implemented consistently and effectively.

Via EdWeek, Read More
Psychology has identified three mindsets shared by people who actually follow through on their goals
In my professional life, I work with schools to help struggling students re-engage with academics. One major focus is addressing students’ mindsets. According to the Chicago Consortium on School Reform (along with many other educational experts), three concepts influence whether students will persist when things get rough at school:
  1. The belief that hard work can and will lead to improvement 
  2. Confidence that you, and people like you, belong in school and that it is a place where you can thrive 
  3. The belief that what you are doing is valuable and relevant to your goals 
Read the rest here

The Difficult (and Satisfying) Run of Teaching Defiant Students
By Allison Riddle
My dad and I share an insane joy of running.
The best advice he ever gave me had to do with the hardest runs. He taught me that when a run feels the most challenging, I am probably making the most progress. "After an especially difficult run," he said, "notice how much stronger you feel on the next run. Your discomfort is gone, your speed is back, and you are ready to tackle whatever the road offers you."
Working with defiant students can be a difficult run. Not every day is hard, but some can be incredibly rough....

Read Full Article
How to Talk a Student Down From Violence
Erin Harris–April 2015
Like too many students in most urban schools, many kids in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) district deal with poverty, violence, drugs, gangs, hunger, abuse, neglect, and a laundry list of other causes of trauma. Likewise, staff at MPS often face enormous challenges: insults, threats, assaults — plus shrinking budgets, swelling class sizes, and a host of other issues that unfortunately are not uncommon in schools throughout the US.
But one educator, MPS safety assistant Maria Navone, has made it her mission to help her students and coworkers handle the factors that affect behavior, learning, and success. In a CPI podcast, she discussed how she used her Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® skills to bring a 10-year-old boy in a Special Ed classroom from threatening to kill everyone in the room to calmly sitting next to her and telling her what he needs to calm down, learn, and be happy. Here are the steps she took to talk the boy down from crisis.

Via Medium, Read More
2017 NAEA Video Conference! 
Video Contest
“UNLEASH THE INNER STAR,” that’s what it’s all about! Tell the story of your alternative program in a 2-5 minute video or rap. This contest is open to middle and high school students who attend alternative education programs. Your video should communicate the message and mission of program and relate to the annual national NAEA conference theme “UNLEASH THE INNER STAR.” Entries can express this theme in any genre or shooting style, but must be submitted by a link to a YouTube URL 
Winners will receive the following cash awards:
First Prize—$400.00 Second Prize—$300.00 Third Prize—$200.00
Up to five Honorable Mentions—$100 each
Entrants must be currently enrolled in and attending a middle or high school alternative education program at the time of the submission.
Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
  • overall impact 
  • effectiveness of conveying theme 
  • artistic merit 
  • technical proficiency 
A panel will make the final selection of winners. Judges’ decisions are final.
All entries must be sent to: Denise Riley ( and by DECEMBER 15, 2016. 
Entries must be submitted by DECEMBER 15, 2016. 
More on Video Contest Rules here:
Planning For Critical Thinking: A 5-Step Model
November – 2013
Like anything else that you’d like to see happen in your classroom, promoting critical thinking skills is a matter of planning and priority.
While teachers are often admonished to push students towards higher-level thinking activities, beyond Bloom’s Taxonomy (or one of TeachThought’s own learning taxonomies), there are precious few models and frameworks that are accessible, comprehensive, or universal enough to be used on a daily basis.
In was in that light that we found the above model by Duran, Limbach, and Waugh (2006) useful. And better yet, it (more or less) parallels Hunter’s basic lesson design that has been used for years as a model for lesson planning, making it far more accessible to most K-12 teachers without having to shoehorn yet another “thing” in.
5 Steps To Plan For Critical Thinking
Step 1: Determine learning objectives
Step 2: Teach through questioning (Might we recommend the QFT strategy?)
Step 3: Practice
Step 4: Review, refine, and improve
Step 5: Provide learning feedback (Note: You can find our post on 20 Ways to Provide Effective Learning Feedback here.)
U.S. Department of Education Releases New Guidance on Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments During Back to School Bus Tour
September 2016
The U.S. Department of Education today [Sep 16, 2016] released new guidance, Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments, to support evidence-based decision-making by states, districts, schools, educators and partners. This non-regulatory guidance is intended to help stakeholders make more effective education investments by leveraging rigorous, relevant evidence to improve outcomes for kids under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
"We have made major progress during this Administration in directing investments in education to evidence-based strategies," U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said. "Relevant, rigorous evidence must be an essential part of a strong framework for decision-making. We hope this guidance will help decision makers as they consider, choose, implement, and refine their strategies to support students."
UT Professors Create New Repository for Research into Education of Black Males
August 8, 2016
AUSTIN, Texas — To help researchers, journalists and policymakers locate available research on the education of black males, University of Texas College of Education Professors Louis Harrison and Anthony Brown launched The Black Male Education Research Collection, a new website.
African American males face many obstacles in education: disproportionate dropout, expulsion and suspension rates, overrepresentation in special education, and underrepresentation in gifted education. Yet research on the issues black males face in the realm of education has been difficult to find.
“Dr. Brown and I, as well as researchers across the nation, have dedicated our research focus to understanding and providing critical analyses of the questions and concerns surrounding black males in the educational arena. Yet we have heard a constant refrain about the scarcity of this research, which we found perplexing,” says Harrison. The two sought funds from various organizations on campus to help collate and house the available research.
The accessible, web-based repository provides a comprehensive collection of scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journals that focus on higher education and includes everything from mentoring and psychological health to sports and athletics. The research provides information for other academics, mentors, educators and policymakers that addresses root causes and overlooked factors regarding roadblocks to black male academic success.
Read More
Why Can't I Skip My 20 minutes of Reading Tonight?
2017 NAEA Conference!
When: March 8–10, 2017
Where: Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria, 
Dallas, TX
5 Things Teachers Want from PD, and How Coaching and Collaboration Can Deliver Them—If Implementation Improves
June – 2016
Img Credit: Jesus Sanz / Shutterstock
Karen Johnson
We rarely accept “sit and get” instruction as ideal for our students. So why is it still the most common form of professional development for teachers across the country?
. . . we found that both teachers and administrators value the same things in professional development—and it’s not sitting and getting. 
Even though educators acknowledge the weaknesses of presentation-based professional development, 80 percent of teachers still participate in a sit and get each year. As part of our research on what PD should look like, we found that both teachers and administrators value the same things in professional development—and it’s not sitting and getting. In a nutshell, they want professional learning opportunities that are:
  1. Relevant. As with students, teachers’ professional learning needs are rarely one-size-fits-all. “It looks different in every context,” one teacher told us. “It has to be personalized.” 
  2. Interactive. Rather than listening to lectures, teachers want to apply learning through demonstrations or modeling and practice. “The best usually involve hands-on strategies for the teacher to actually participate in,” shared another teacher. 
  3. Delivered by someone who understands their experience.Teachers value learning most when it comes from other teachers. “Anything that a fellow teacher who is still in the classroom [presents] beats out everything else,” one educator said. Another was more pointed about ideal PD opportunities: “Top-down would be gone.” 
  4. Sustained over time. Professional growth is a process, not an hour blocked off on a calendar. “PD needs to be something that you keep working on for a semester or a year,” explained a teacher. 
  5. Treats teachers like professionals. As one teacher told us, “PD should treat us as adults, rather than children.” As obvious as this point is, it doesn’t seem to be reflected in the reality of PD for most teachers—fewer than one in three are highly satisfied with current PD offerings. 
 Read the rest of this article here
Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions
Volume 27, Number 5 September/October 2011
Students in Hayley Dupuy’s sixth-grade science class at the Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto, Calif., are beginning a unit on plate tectonics. In small groups, they are producing their own questions, quickly, one after another: What are plate tectonics? How fast do plates move? Why do plates move? Do plates affect temperature? What animals can sense the plates moving? They raise questions “that we never would have thought of if we started to answer the first question we asked,” says one of the students. “And just when you think you already know the question you want to focus on, you realize: ‘Oh, wow, here’s this other question that is so much better, and that’s really what you need to think about.’”
Far from Palo Alto, in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Mass., Sharif Muhammad’s students at the Boston Day and Evening Academy (BDEA) have a strikingly similar experience. Many of them had transferred to BDEA for various reasons from other schools and had not always experienced much success as students. But working individually, they find that formulating their own questions engages them in a new way. One of the students observes: “When you ask the question, you feel like it’s your job to get the answer, and you want to figure it out.”

Congratulations to Dr. Lateshia Woodley!
Since 2008, Dr. Lateshia Woodley has worked as a transformational leader in some of the lowest-performing schools in the State of Georgia.
Dr. Woodley was named the 2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Crystal Star Awards of Excellence Individual Winner at the 2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference in Detroit, Michigan.  
Congrats to Dr. Woodley, and McClarin Success Academy.
Read More
6 Types of Music for Maximum Productivity, According to Science
May 2016
Peter DeWitt
Music can be instrumental (pun intended) in helping you maintain focus, dig into your work, and get things done. But only if it's the right type of music.
For example, a 2010 study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology states, "Absorbing and remembering new information is best done with the music off." However, it went on to explain, "when a well-practiced expert needs to achieve the relaxed focus necessary to execute a job he's done many times before, music can improve performance."
So, if you're grinding out tedious Photoshop tasks, or restructuring your Google Calendar for the week, maybe it would be best to turn on some jams and get cranking.
Read more

National Alternative Education Association  •  110 Glen Echo Drive  •  Smyrna, TN 37167

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