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3 Literacy Ideas to Spark Joy in Your Classroom

Monday, December 02, 2019 by Francesca Varga

3 Literacy Ideas to Spark Joy in Your Classroom - Higher-Powered Learning

My classroom layout matched the colorful, vibrant personalities of my students. And similar to the lovely, ever-changing, adolescent personality, my classroom was constantly changing. I am a big fan of the flex model, particularly for older students because it gives teachers more flexibility to pull groups or individual students. I constantly adjusted my groups to keep instruction “fresh,” as my kids called it. My flexible groups also removed the stigma that can sometimes accompany ability grouping.

I Am Thankful for...Spirituality

Thursday, November 28, 2019 by Alaina Owen - ACE 25, Tucson

This is the third and final post in a series from ACE teachers that center around the pillars of teaching, community, and spirituality. It is authored by Alaina Owen, a member of ACE 25 in Tucson and focuses on her gratitude toward the spiritual nourishment she has received on campus and at her ACE school.

I am thankful for Spirituality - Alaina Owen ACE 25

This Thanksgiving, I thank God for the opportunity to join ACE Teaching Fellows and the spiritual formation I have received from the program. When I was first admitted to ACE and was told that I would be teaching high school biology and chemistry in Tucson, I had to trust in God’s plan for me. I chose to take the leap of faith and move to a new city across the country to teach students who were only a few years younger than me. While I was incredibly nervous at the beginning, I have learned so much more about myself and my faith throughout these past two years.

I Am Thankful for...Teaching

Thursday, November 21, 2019 by Andy Miles - ACE 24, Philadelphia

This is the second post in a series from ACE teachers that center around the pillars of teaching, community, and spirituality. It is authored by Andy Miles, a member of ACE 24 in Philadelphia and focuses on his gratitude toward the vocation of teaching.

I am thankful for teaching - Andy Miles ACE 24 Philadelphia

The pretzel salt was everywhere.

No matter how many times I swept my classroom after school, a new layer of salt dust seemed to coat the checkered tile floor each morning. It was beneath the corners of the rug in the back and within the pages of textbooks kept inside the desks. My housemates may claim I exaggerate, but I think I even once found pretzel salt in my shoes when I returned to our row house at the end of a long day.

Reteaching: Giving Students Extra Scaffolding to Reach their Goals

Monday, November 18, 2019 by Kourtney Bradshaw-Clay

Blended Learning Reteaching

You finish a class and think to yourself, “Wow! What a wonderful lesson. I can’t wait to grade these exit tickets.” 

However, after grading, you find a handful of your students ROCKED the lesson–but a group of students completely misunderstood the concept. How will you make sure these students don’t fall behind on future lessons?

Reteaching small groups of students is an effective way to ensure students receive instruction that targets their misconceptions.

I Am Thankful for...Community

Thursday, November 14, 2019 by Maria Lynch (ACE 19, ENL 13)

Throughout this month of gratitude, we will be publishing a series of blog posts from ACE teachers that center around the pillars of teaching, community, and spirituality. The following post is authored by Maria Lynch (ACE 19, ENL 13) and focuses on the love that she felt from her ACE Plaquemine community, as well as how she continues to witness transformational moments with a new community in Denver, Colorado.

Maria Lynch - ACE 19, Plaquemine - I am Thankful for Community


Smile - you paid for this.

A heckler with a sense of humor waved this sign at me as I passed the eleventh mile marker of a recent half marathon. Touché, dude.

I’m Already a Teacher…Now What?

Monday, November 11, 2019 by Kenna Arana

Paths for current Catholic school teachers

Since its founding in 1993, the Alliance for Catholic Education has been committed to serving Catholic schools by forming talented individuals into the next generation of school leaders, expanding access to high-performing Catholic schools, and enhancing the high-quality education that Catholic schools have historically provided.

Each year, the ACE Teaching Fellows program welcomes approximately 90 talented, faith-filled college graduates to enter formation as beginning teachers. For those who already serve as skillful teachers, ACE offers a variety of programs to foster their continued growth as educators and leaders.

Below, find an introduction to some of the programs that are strengthening and transforming Catholic schools across the country.

A Grateful Heart Matters - In the Classroom and Beyond

Thursday, November 07, 2019 by The Program for Inclusive Education

Program for Inclusive Education at the University of Notre Dame

We are called to welcome, serve, and celebrate every student.

That is our motto at the Program for Inclusive Education, and the goal to which every inclusive educator aspires. Moreover, we pray that all Catholic schools will embrace this mission by opening their doors to those academically on the margins and by supporting students so their God-given potential shines. Being grateful for what we have is the key to truly giving. PIE is grateful for what you have–your heart of inclusion!

Creating Equity Through Small-Group Instruction

Monday, November 04, 2019 by Kourtney Bradshaw-Clay

Small Group Instruction: Pre-Teach

Some may wonder, “If I have blended-learning, what is the point of pre-teaching concepts if I can go back and remediate?” In response to this question, a significant element of blended learning is equity: giving students exactly what they need. When teaching a whole-group lesson, every student must be able to access the lesson's objective. Equity is the reason why pre-teaching is essential.

When considering pre-teaching, the next logical question is:

How do I know which students will be in my pre-teach small group?

Morning Meetings: Start Your Day with the Right Energy!

Friday, October 25, 2019 by by: Casey Harris —ACE 25, Washington, DC

Casey Harris - Morning Meeting

My morning meetings are a time for the students in my homeroom to start their morning with the right energy. Over the course of our morning meeting, students:

  • Greet each other
  • Share something
  • Complete an activity

Students have ownership and are allowed to come up with certain parts of the meeting, but the structure always remains the same.

An effective morning meeting allows my students to learn new things about their classmates and teachers, while creating a place that is safe and welcoming.

Casey Harris - Morning Meetings

Title III Funds: What Are They and How Can They Benefit Catholic Schools?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 by Clare Roach, M.Ed.

Title3Blog

How can Title III help Catholic schools? Title III is an element of the older No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the new Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA), and it authorizes the use of federal funds to benefit immigrant and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students in public and private schools. The funding is designed to support the development and implementation of new instructional programs, the expansion or enhancement of existing programs, family engagement initiatives, and/or professional development for teachers of English learners in order to help LEP and immigrant students achieve English proficiency and meet the same academic content standards as their grade-level peers.  

The Sacredness of Small-Group Instruction

Monday, October 21, 2019 by Kourtney Bradshaw-Clay

Higher Powered Learning Blog

As an educator, small-group instruction time was always sacred.

Students knew there had to be an emergency if they interrupted my dedicated time with a small group of their peers. My students valued the intimate time they got to spend with me, and I treasured the opportunity to know my students better as learners and as people. To make the time most effective, I tailored my small-group instruction to the needs of my students. 

For the next few weeks, we will focus on formats that have produced effective small-group instruction. 

Is ACE What's Next for Me?

Thursday, October 10, 2019 by Kenna Arana

Is ACE What's Next for Me? Alliance for Catholic Education Notre Dame

For teachers and students, October marks the definitive end of the back-to-school season and the novelty of another school year. By this time, teachers and students are settling into the routines they worked so hard to set up in September. In October, pencils, erasers, and paper supplies–and sometimes patience–are starting to wear down, and teachers are working hard to keep momentum going with renewed energy and joy.

Innovation Spotlight: Archdiocese of New Orleans

Tuesday, October 08, 2019 by Fr. Nate Wills, C.S.C.

Higher-Powered Learning Blog - New OrleansSt. Cletus School in New Orleans

Minneapolis/St. Paul and New Orleans share some obvious similarities: both are cities on the Mississippi River, both are home to musical legends (Louis Armstrong from “the Big Easy” and Prince from the “Twin Cities”), and the food is… okay, yeah, the food is just way better in New Orleans. Never mind. 

A Place at the Table

Tuesday, October 01, 2019 by By: Diane Freeby - Program for Inclusive Education

A Place at the Table - Program for Inclusive Education at the University of Notre Dame

“We are better together…Everyone has ideas to bring to the table!  To be inclusive reminds us of what it means to walk like Christ did.”

– Monica Choquette 
PIE 2 Educator and Resource Teacher at the Basilica School of St. Mary in Alexandria, Virginia

An Intersection of Acronyms: My Experiences with ACE, AICSN, and ESS

Thursday, September 26, 2019 by By: Collin Gortner '20 - ACE 27

Collin Gortner - Education, Schooling, and Society/American Indian Catholic Schools Network

Like many students at the University of Notre Dame, acronyms have been a big part of my educational experience. 

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