As 2019, and the decade, quickly come to a close, we took a moment to look at the top posts from this past year on the EDU blog. From community engagement, to writing strategy, and creating a culture of reading—this year’s contributors and interviewees provided meaningful insights into their lessons learned from years working closely with educators, families, and students.
In alphabetical order by author, below are the top five most-read posts of 2019.
By Dawn Gerundo
In Maricopa County, Arizona Valley of the Sun United Way is fighting to break the cycle of poverty, starting with school readiness. They developed a School Readiness Kit for families of children in grades pre-K–K, including activities aligned with developmental milestones. These Kits were distributed to families in the community who otherwise might not have access to high-quality preschool programs. Dawn Gerundo, Community Impact Director for Valley of the Sun United Way, shares the impact this made on families in Maricopa County and beyond.
By Rebecca Leon
Editorial Director, Education for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, Rebecca Leon, traveled to Berlin, Germany, along with 29 K–12 educators from across the United States through the organization EF Educational Tours. She shares how over the course of five days, her travel group explored the power of storytelling and its role in the classroom. “As an editor of Classroom Magazines, where our mission is to bring the world to students through stories, I’m excited to see the many ways storytelling can become a natural part of learning in schools everywhere.”
By Grace Long
In this blog post, Grace Long, author of ACE: Short-Response Writing, dives deep into the “ACE strategy”—Answer, Cite evidence, and Elaborate. This strategy helps teach students how to articulate and effectively express their thinking and justify their thoughts. “We need to make this integration of skills clear and explicit for our students, offering them common academic language to use throughout the day, in various content areas, and in any classroom,” explains Grace. This powerful approach, she adds, is applicable across all content areas, for all students, in all school districts across the country.
By Evan Robb
“The culture and climate of a school set the tone for educational excellence or mediocrity. Positive school cultures develop when the principal and staff are on the same page, working to best improve their school for students, families, and the community.” Evan, an author, speaker, and Principal of Johnson Williams Middle School in Clarke County, VA, lists his five suggestions for 10-minute commitments that principals can make at least once a week to advance a culture of reading in their schools.
By Brittany Sullivan
In September, we sat down for a Q&A with Michael Haggen, Chief Academic Officer, Scholastic Education to learn what was on his mind timed with the kick-off of the 2019–2020 school year. He detailed highlights from his summer seeing students enter their minutes in the Scholastic Read-a-Palooza, in addition to tips for principals to foster a culture of literacy in the new school year, and more. When talking about how teachers can evaluate their classroom libraries, Michael noted, “Classroom libraries, should reflect the individual needs and interests of your students. So, I highly recommend principals work with teachers to support them and look at what’s currently in their libraries.”
Thank you to everyone who wrote for EDU this year!
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