Approaching Teaching: Week of November 18, 2018

 What is your learning mission?

MISSION: Data Devotee

Learn and Earn

Executive Data Science Specialization. In this online opportunity offered through Coursera, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, learn the skills to lead a Data Science Team, analyze data, and to make data-driven decisions.

MISSION: Feedback Fanatic


Group Essay Writing. In this blog post from edutopia, a teacher shares her how to’s for a group essay writing assignment as a formative feedback opportunity that improved student writing.
Learning From Mistakes. In this article from MindShift, learn about a grading strategy that puts the focus on learning from mistakes.
Making Feedback Visible. Read this blog post about how one MYP educator took action and turned to four levels of feedback when he became concerned with the difference between marking and feedback

MISSION: IB Programme Innovator


Executive Functioning. Executive functioning issues (think: ATL skills) can make learning difficult. Kids may have trouble planning, managing time and organizing. Fortunately, there are classroom accommodations that can help them stay on top of their work. Find some common accommodations teachers can make in this at-a-glance article.

Misconceptions about Inquiry-as-Curriculum Framework. Looking at actual teaching practices provides a frame for critiquing common misconceptions about an inquiry-based curriculum. Read more here. Readers’ and Writers’ Workshops in the PYP and MYP. Read this blog post to learn how readers’ and writers’ workshops marry beautifully with the PYP and MYP to become even stronger together than apart. Likely because they are both grounded in inquiry, agency, conceptual understanding, and skills for lifelong learning. Student Well-Being. This article, from the Sharing PYP blog, illustrates a year 6 team’s journey to incorporate well-being into inquiries and encourage students to take meaningful action by emphasizing positive purpose.

Personalized Learning. Learn more in this article from the researcher who is the lead author of one of the few empirical studies to date about personalized learning. It found that schools using some form of personalized learning were, on average, performing better.

Reflection in the PYP Classroom. In this blog post, one PYP educator shares some insight into the ongoing process of reflection for those new to the PYP and additional ideas for those who are experienced.


The Social Classroom. Increasingly, modern classrooms support group work and peer-to-peer collaboration. The science says that’s right on. Watch this video (part of a short series from edutopia) to learn more.


Curation. In this podcast, from the Cult of Pedagogy, learn how to boost higher-order thinking through curation activities.

In an age where information is ubiquitous and impossible to consume all at once, we rely on the curation skills of others to help us process it all.


Learn and Earn

Harvard’s Project Zero. Discover research-based practices that promote critical thinking, curiosity, and creativity. Choose online courses from Harvard’s Project Zero as your Category 3 PD options. These programs, including six online course and one on-campus institute, are based on research and grounded in day-to-day practice. Apply here for the upcoming term, February 25 – May 26, 2019. $525/course.

2019 IB Workshops and Resources. In the new 2019 workshop catalogue, discover new professional development opportunities to support you in delivering the four IB programmes. For the PYP, workshops will support the implementation of the enhanced programme. For the revised DP mathematics and language courses, find both workshops and subject-specific seminars (the latter take place from February to May 2019).

Student Podcast Challenge. Here’s an assignment for your students for next semester: Take a topic, a lesson or a unit you’re learning about, and turn it into a podcast. National Public Radio is launching the first-ever NPR Student Podcast Challenge. It’s a chance for teachers and students in grades five through 12 across the country to turn your classrooms into production studios, your assignments into scripts and your ideas into sound.

Tuition-Free Master’s of Education. The IB has collaborated with the University of the People and launched a tuition-free, online Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) programme. The M.Ed. offers teachers and schools across the world an opportunity to further their careers, regardless of where they live and teach. Find out more here. Apply here to begin as early as January 2019.

MISSION: Literacy Enthusiast


How to Peer Edit an Essay. In this very short video, Mignon Fogerty (a.k.a. Grammar Girl) offers a three-step approach for the next time your students are asked to be a peer editor. Read the script here.


Authentic Audience. In this piece from The New York Times, learn ten reasons to send student work out into the world. Additionally, learn about contests and writing-prompt forums sponsored by NYT and get your students involved in writing for audiences other than the teacher and each other.

Ending the Reading Wars. Learning to read transforms lives. Reading is the basis for the acquisition of knowledge, for cultural engagement, for democracy, and for success in the workplace. There is intense public interest in questions surrounding how children learn to read and how they can best be taught. Read more in this journal article about how research in psychological science has provided answers to many of these questions but, somewhat surprisingly, this research has been slow to make inroads into educational policy and practice.

Micro-Writing. Read this article about how one teacher uses micro-writing exercises in order to provide low-stakes, shareable writing assignments to engage students in writing.

Reflecting with Kindergartners. In this blog post, a PYP teacher shares how she and her team used a reflection process from Writers Workshop and transferred it to three-way conferences.

Writing Workshop in the PYP. Read this blog post to learn about how one IB Continuum School (PYP, MYP, and DP) embraces the workshop model in support of inquiry, agency, and conceptual understandings.

Role of Knowledge in Reading Comprehension. In this blog post, the author shares essential research that isn’t always common knowledge…that knowledge matters to reading comprehension.

Selecting a First Shared Text. Thought-provoking ideas about what reading is and how we can help students grasp that idea.

Student-Led Discussion. Read this article to learn ten different classroom discussion strategies to allow students to run their own discussions.

Learn and Earn

Close Reading the Internet. How do we teach students to be critical thinkers online? What do students need to consider when they search online, and how do they evaluate the results they get? In this edWebinar, Ben Cogswell, elementary school teacher, coach, and edtech specialist, will present strategies for teaching students to be effective researchers and critical consumers of online media. He’ll explain how online queries work and the steps to take to determine whether a webpage is trustworthy. This edWebinar is geared toward K–12 teachers in all subject areas. November 29, 2018 @ 4:00 PM (EST) / November 30, 2018 @ 12:00 AM (AST). Learn more | Register.

Encouraging ELLs to Speak. Encourages ELL students to practice language skills, both at school and at home, can improve their chances of success. Educators can lead the way by implementing evidence-based classroom strategies that foster a welcoming environment for language development. This edWebinar takes place November 28, 2018 @ 3:00 PM (EST) / 11:00 PM (AST). Learn more | Register.

MISSION: Mastery Learning Master

MISSION: Math Maven


Computational Thinking Creates Better Learners. In this article, learn more about computational thinking, a skill set that teaches children to look at problems from a logical angle and have them try to solve these problems as if they were a computer. Think of planning, giving and following clear instructions, problem solving, decomposing large problems, using patterns and algorithms.

Productive Struggle. Giving middle school students tough problems in advance of instruction pushes them to work like mathematicians. Read this blog post from edutopia, to learn more about promoting productive struggle in math class.

MISSION: Teacher Leader


Six Rules of Listening. According to Eric Fromm, istening “is an art like the understanding of poetry” and, like any art, has its own rules and norms. Drawing on his half-century practice as a therapist, Fromm offers six such guidelines for mastering the art of unselfish understanding.

What Great Listeners Actually Do. In this article, the authors report on their analysis of data describing the behavior of 3,492 participants in a development program designed to help managers become better coaches. They compared the best listeners to the average of all other people in the data set and identified the 20 items showing the largest significant difference. With those results in hand they identified the differences between great and average listeners and analyzed the data to determine what characteristics their colleagues identified as the behaviors that made them outstanding listeners.

Learn and Earn

ECIS Leadership Conference 2019. The ECIS Leadership conference takes place each April, and is aimed at international and independent school leaders, be they middle or senior leaders, Heads, Governors, or proprietors. This extremely popular conference focuses on effective leadership, and covers areas such as instructional Leadership, Business Leadership, Community Leadership, and leading and supporting students and adults. April 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal: Register your interest here!

ECIS Middle Leader Certificate. This core module, The Culture of Leadership, focuses on the unique and crucial aspect of effective operation of international teacher leadership at the middle level. January 2019 in Hannover, Germany: Learn more | Register. March 2019 in Ho Chi Min City, Viet Nam: Learn more | Register.

Sneak-PEAK. Present at the AIS Sneak-PEAK event on Sunday, November 25, 2018. Sneak-PEAK is an opportunity for educators at AIS to present to their colleagues and administrators in preparation for the PEAK (Professional Educators Around Kuwait) conference February 2, 2019. AIS teacher-led workshops can also be considered for submission to the NESA Spring Educators Conference, which takes place in Bangkok, March 29 – 31, 2019. Candidates of AIS teacher-led workshops who are chosen and set to the NESA Spring Educators Conference must be contractually committed to AIS in 2019/20. If you have any questions, please contact the AIS PEAK representative. Submit your Sneak-PEAK workshop proposal using the form shared with AIS staff via email.

MISSION: Technology Trailblazer


Low Tech Lessons. In this article, learn more about low tech lessons that can make your class ready for the high tech world.

Online Discussion Tools. In this article, learn about seven online discussion tools to facilitate student discussion and how to get started using (one of) them.

Transformation, not Tools. In this article, the author explores why edtech specialists should focus on transformation, not tools.

Learn and Earn

COETAIL. Learn more here about the COETAIL (Certificate of Educational Technology and Internet Literacy) + Tech Leadership Certificate with University of Kentucky. The spring semester COETAIL Online 11 cohort is open for registration!

ISTE U. A new slate of online courses is now open at ISTE U, a virtual hub of best-in-class PD designed to help educators build critical skills for teaching and learning in a digital world. Most courses begin January or February 2019.

The Connected Teacher. This academic-year-long online mentorship program includes 25 weeks of course content learning (divided into 4 key themes for a connected classroom) that is immediately applicable to your own school setting and will enable you to deepen the learning experience for your students. Highly experienced and approachable mentors provide ongoing support via weekly emails, regular video conference meetings, and forum feedback. Find out more about this Edurolearning micro-credential here.

Tech-Rich Unit Development. Let Edurolearning help you design engaging and innovative technology-rich learning for your students! This self-paced course has everything you need to plan an amazing technology-unit from start to finish. Recommended time: approximately 1 – 3 hours. Special price: $27

MISSION: University Degree

Learn and Earn

Certification. Search Associates is pleased to announce a partnership with TEACH-NOW, the most innovative online teacher certification platform in the education field. Under the partnership, Search Associates will refer their candidates, who are seeking teacher certification, to TEACH-NOW, who will prepare them towards getting a teaching license, to make them ore competitive in their international job search.

TEACH-NOW Graduate School of Education is a nationally accredited institution of higher education that offers a 9-month teacher preparation certificate program which can be completed from anywhere in the world. The program, which is open to candidates of all nationalities, culminates in a full, regular state teaching license from Washington, D.C. and is accepted all over the world. Teachers eligible to work in the U.S. can even become reciprocally licensed in almost every state. Designed to be the very best preparation teachers can receive, it’s built around a collaborative, activity-based learning model and can be completed alongside full-time teaching.

For more information about the TEACH-NOW program, please visit their website or contact

Stackable graduate certificates. Learn more here about how a partnership between COETAIL and the University of Kentucky offers the opportunity to stack graduate certificates on your way to a Master’s in Education (or even Ph.D.!) from a Research 1 university. Tuition-Free Master’s of Education. The IB has collaborated with the University of the People and launched a tuition-free, online Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) programme. The M.Ed. offers teachers and schools across the world an opportunity to further their careers, regardless of where they live and teach. Find out more here. Apply here to begin as early as January 2019.

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