Newsletter: April 2020

Newsletter: April 2020

Jaclyn Siano

Welcome to Inspired Instruction’s monthly newsletter. We share the most relevant articles, blogs, videos, and classroom resources related to all aspects of education.

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For Administrators

By now, most of us have figured out that we need to be patient with ourselves and those we lead.  But how can we navigate this crisis proactively?  The Harvard Business Review’s article “You’re Not Powerless in the Face of Uncertainty” shares research on people who are successfully dealing with uncertainty, and the good news is this trait can be learned!   Check out our Reframing Challenges Reflection sheet you can share with your team.

As we are learning more about how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting communities of color, we will want to be sure to learn how we can support those families during this time.  Teaching Tolerance’s article on having a “Trauma Informed Approach to Teaching Through the Coronavirus” is just one of their excellent resources.  Inspired Instruction is committed to ensuring that all teachers consider Culturally Responsive Teaching and Trauma-Sensitive Practices.  

While we are all very focused on teaching remotely in the current environment, new research shows that the coronavirus slide will be significantly worse than the traditional summer slide.   Northwest Education Association has leveraged research on the current pause in face-to-face instruction and the projections are concerning.  Learn more by checking out our blog, “Start September Strong: What Comes After Quarantine?

illustration of  computer user

For Teachers

Need something to celebrate? April is poetry month!  Now that kids are learning from home, this is a great time to introduce them to the genre. has put together a can’t miss resource: “30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month at Home or Online.” Then download Inspired Instruction’s Poetry Analysis Worksheet to guide students through their reading.

Another can’t-go-wrong activity for online learning is doing a Read Aloud!   KQED’s article, “How Online Book Read Alouds can Help Students’ Literacy and Connection During Social Distancing,” shares the benefits of Read A loud for all students during this time. Pair a book read aloud with one of Inspired Instruction’s many literary activities for a student-centered learning experience!

The New York Times is hosting a podcast contest for middle and high school students.  This is great for content area teachers as students can choose any topic of interest (or you may want to assign a topic).  Creating a podcast involves multiple higher-level thinking skills and allows for creativity.  Download Inspired Instruction’s Creating Your Own Podcast Checklist to guide your students through the process.

School Spotlight - Chester Upland

Chester Upland High School in PA has partnered with two of our coaches to transition their Academy programs into Project-Based Learning classrooms.  They have been focusing on identifying the elements of PBL that would dovetail with the existing curriculum, as well as identifying places where curricular change needs to occur.  The 6 components of PBL drive every aspect of the process.  See the handout for the critical questions that need to be asked at every stage.  We can’t wait to see the end results, one of which is going to be a Robotics course as part of the IT Academy. 

project based learning classroom

Interested in these resources?  Just email Michele. for a copy and directions on how to use them.

Tips and Tricks

Do you have any tips or tricks that you’ve found to be effective during this challenging time? Email them to Jaclyn Siano and you may be featured in one of our future editions.

Creating Rigorous Activities for All Content Areas During At-Home Learning Webinar

Did you miss our Creating Rigorous Activities for All Content Areas During At-Home Learning webinar on April 3rd? Don’t stress!  You can access the recording here.

Don’t Miss It!

Connection and communication webinar

We hope you can join our upcoming webinar, which will be on the keys to supporting our students and ourselves, Connection and Communication: SEL during Distance Learning

Interested in joining us on April 28? Sign up here.

What’s Next?

We’d love to discuss how we might help you with your most pressing priorities.  Need a place to start?  Contact us for a free Needs Assessment to determine the strengths and opportunities of your curriculum, assessment and instructional practices. Email to schedule yours today!

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