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FTK

Monday, December 10, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning For the Kids

One of the ACE Teaching Fellows’ favorite sayings is “FTK,” which stands for “for the kids.” Everything we do, we do on behalf of the students we serve. So how is the Higher-Powered Learning Program impacting students?

Leader Feature: Bridget Kramer

Monday, November 26, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning Program Bridget Kramer

In the few short months we have known Bridget Kramer, we have seen her take full ownership as she leads a new initiative while remaining steadfast in her commitment to all of her other responsibilities as the leader of a beautiful school. Learn more about the key steps Bridget has taken to advance the Higher-Powered Learning Program and cultivate a positive school community for teachers, parents, and students in today’s post.

3 Ways Your Small-Group Instruction May Be Failing

Monday, November 12, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

3 Ways Your Small-Group Instruction May Be Failing - Higher-Powered Learning

In recent years, small-group instruction has become one of the hottest topics of education. Because blended learning enables small-group instruction, it is extremely important to us. Many people assume that a lower student-to-teacher ratio automatically leads to higher quality instruction, which leads to more effectively meeting students’ needs. But is that really the case?

Teacher Feature: Rachael Hillman

Monday, October 29, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Rachael Hillman Higher-Powered Learning

We are thrilled to feature for the very first time a classroom from one of the Higher-Powered Learning Program schools in Minnesota! Read on to learn more about one of the most innovative classrooms in the program and what Rachael Hillman has learned in her first few months of blended learning.

Celebrate Good Times....with Data!

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by By: Francesca Varga

One critical piece of a successful blended learning program is the teacher’s use of student data. No matter how detailed data reports may be, they are useless without a teacher analyzing and acting upon them. We have seen creative, fun ways that teachers are implementing data tracking and celebrations in their classroom and wanted to share four of our absolute favorites with you. Need data celebration inspiration? Read on!

Five for Five

Monday, October 01, 2018 by Francesca Varga

Higher-Powered Learning Five for Five

When we initially visited and selected schools for the first cohort of the Higher-Powered Learning Program, our three-year, blended-learning implementation program, we were shocked by the differences among schools. The largest schools have nearly 400 students each, while the smallest has just over 100. A few of the schools have more contemporary architecture with clean, white walls and big windows; others have the look of a classic Catholic school, with rock-solid walls and exposed brick (maybe they’re just being trendy?).

STAR Goals: The Importance of Personalized Student Goals

Monday, September 17, 2018 by Francesca Varga

Rocket Fuel - Higher-Powered Learning

As we mentioned in this post, one of the most powerful ways our teachers increase student engagement and learning is to help students set individual goals for their learning. Of course, setting goals for student learning is not something that only happens in blended classrooms, but we have found that it is especially crucial to the success of blended classrooms because learning is so much more individualized. Therefore, we generated four of our own criteria for successful student learning goals, and we want to share those with you today.

"Ohana" Means Family

Tuesday, September 04, 2018 by Francesca Varga

Ohana Means Family Higher-Powered Learning Blended Learning

The Higher-Powered Learning team is growing, and we are excited to introduce you to our newest member, Francesca Varga! Francesca was a teacher and instructional leader for nine years before joining us at ACE this summer. She has extensive experience with blended and personalized learning at the middle and high school levels. Below is Francesca’s first contribution to our blog–but certainly not her last!


We often preface the concept of blended learning by citing the need to fill students’ learning gaps through data-informed instruction. However, in my nine years of teaching, I have found that culture and building community and strong relationships with students is essential to the success of blended learning, and of learning more broadly. Here is a quick glimpse into my inspiration for implementing blended learning in my classroom and the students who made it possible...

UDL & Blended Learning: The WHY of Learning

Monday, August 20, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

UDL & Blended Learning: the WHY of Learning

Many proponents of blended learning lament standardized, one-size-fits-all approaches to education, and with good reason. But you don’t have to be a blended-learning fangirl like me to believe that classrooms should be flexible and adapted to meet the individual needs of each student. Customizing assessments, teaching methods, and materials to match students’ learning preferences, prerequisite skills, goals, and more are not strategies specific to blended learning – it is simply good teaching.

Should Data Really Drive Your Instruction?

Monday, August 06, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Should Data Really Drive Your Instruction?

I’d like to start this post with a direct quote from a teacher at a professional development session I led recently: “Elizabeth LOVES data.” To be honest, she’s not wrong! I’ve written before about the importance of data in blended-learning classrooms and how data from adaptive software programs can enable teachers to deliver targeted instruction when and where students need it most. It’s safe to say that I am a HUGE fan of student performance data, but I also recognize its shortcomings.

Lift Off in the Twin Cities!

Monday, July 09, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher Powered Learning Program Take Off

June 18 marked a momentous occasion for our team – the official launch of the Higher-Powered Learning Program (HPLP) in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis! After months of anticipation and careful preparation, our cohort of 30 leaders and teacher-leaders from five schools joined forces to begin our three-year journey together.

The "Why" Behind Your Blended-Learning Program

Monday, June 25, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning - The Why

Do you remember the post we wrote about protecting purpose in the blended classroom? We explained that one of the most common mistakes teachers make in blended classrooms is planning activities without having a learning goal in mind for them. Teachers should resist the urge to plan activities simply so that they can increase the number of “stations” or “centers” in their classroom and focus instead on planning activities that will help students reach the learning goal for that lesson.

Blended Learning 2.0: What's Next?

Monday, June 11, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Blended Learning 2.0: What's next?

I just returned from three very full days of professional development with our Blended Learning Advancement and Strategy Teams from the Notre Dame ACE Academies in Indianapolis, and I am feeling so many things: grateful for the amazing group of teachers and leaders and their incessant hard work; proud of how far we have come in just one year; and hopeful for the future of the students in these innovative schools.

The Real Power of Blended Learning: Formative Assessment

Monday, May 28, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning Blended Learning Formative Assessment

Raising the topic of assessment at a dinner party or an education conference is generally a pretty sure way to end up alone. Assessment is often an emotionally charged topic for students, parents, teachers, leaders, policy makers, and philanthropists alike, as many have strong but differing opinions about the purpose of assessments, how often they should be given, and their impact (or lack thereof) on student learning.

Blended Learning and Guided Reading

Monday, May 14, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Blended Learning and Guided Reading

We often say that the greatest benefit of blended learning is that teachers are able to work with students in small groups rather than with the whole class at the same time. There is an assumed benefit when teachers work with small groups of students at different times rather than with the whole class at the same time, but the truth is that teachers must use their small-group time very strategically in order to ensure it actually has a positive impact on their students.

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