Newsletter: February 2020

Michele Regan
Director at Inspired Instruction, LLC
February 25, 2020
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For Administrators

We know that school leaders deal with enormous levels of stress navigating the many roles the job requires. What can you do to counteract these challenges? ASCD’s recent article, “How Principals Manage Pressure” shares practical techniques from principals themselves. In our work with administrators, we’ve found that reflection can be transformative. Check out our resource for a fun team-building activity that can support both you and your team!


As an administrator, how can you share the love with your teachers this month? Education Week shares some opinions from educators on how their principals can support them in “Teachers to Principals: Here Are the Best Ways to Show Appreciation.”

21st century students live technology-centered lives. Although many schools have banned or decreased the amount of technology (especially cell phones) used in classrooms, New York Times writer, Michael T. Luongo, argues that use of “screens” can have benefits in “Screens in the Classroom: Tool or Temptation?

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For Teachers

Need resources for Black History Month that will resonate with your students?  Check out the Code Switch podcast playlist from NPR. Get ready to be inspired by these stories of ordinary people and heroes alike, from history and the current day.  What better way to engage students in this important topic, and encourage listening skills as well! Add an element of choice by allowing students to pick the podcast they are interested in, and then have small groups share.  Check out this Podcast Reflection sheet we created to use with your groups or as an individual listening station.


What does research say about the obstacles facing students’ abilities to comprehend what they read?  Since most of what we do all day is literacy-based, you will want to check out the recent study in Psychological Science, which quantifies the importance of prior knowledge and its effect on student reading achievement.  Don’t miss this important article from Edutopia, “Research Zeroes in on a Barrier to Reading”, for the findings of this interesting research as well as some great teaching strategies.

Learn more about how Inspired Instruction can support you and your students with hands-on PD in critical areas such as Close Reading, and Reading Across the Curriculum.

Engaging activities, like the ones found in project-based learning, can spark new interests in students and promote overall excitement about learning. Some schools in Finland use projects similar to PBL and have had very positive results. The Hechinger Report describes not only the basis for this kind of interdisciplinary project but also “The Teacher’s Role in Phenomenon-Based Learning.”

School Spotlight

Janis Dismus Middle School teachers have been working through our coaching program to focus on literary analysis tasks and research simulation tasks in preparation for the NJSLA. Teachers have engaged in creating mini-lessons based on students’ areas of need in addition to designing aligned assessments. Check out some of the strategies and resources our consultants shared during these coaching sessions.

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Interested in these resources? Just email Michele Regan 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 in regards to preparing for standardized testing? Email them to Jaclyn Siano and you may be featured in one of our future editions.

Events & Webinars

Did you miss our Habits of Mind Webinar on February 11th? No worries.

You can access the recording here.

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Webinar Event

Our upcoming webinar will be on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and how it can be applied easily and effectively.


Interested in joining us on March 10th at 3:30pm?

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 jaclyn.siano@inspiredinstruction.com.

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