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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.

Finding Community at April Retreat

Friday, May 11, 2018 by Emma Doerfler, ACE 25 - Stockton

ACE 25 April Retreat

A weekend full of prayer, learning, and relationship building came to an abrupt close for the off-campus members of ACE 25. As April Retreat ended on a Sunday afternoon, we waited for the bus to take us from Notre Dame to the Chicago airport. Someone announced that the bus had been cancelled. Before we could panic, the ACE Pastoral Team concocted a plan: we would pile into their cars, race to the South Bend station, and catch the train scheduled to leave in 10 minutes. “When you get to the train, just get on!” they told us. “You can buy your tickets later, but you have to get on board!”

High Leverage Practices: How Do They Impact Catholic Educators?

Thursday, May 10, 2018 by The PIE Team

PIE High Leverage Pracitces

Beyond the social justice and civil rights perspectives that guide us to serve the marginalized in our classrooms, we have an additional reason to reinforce the need to pay attention to this population. Jim Wright, a school psychologist and the creator of Interventioncentral.org, says, “The quality of a school as a learning community can be measured by how effectively it addresses the needs of struggling students.”

Three Foundational Principles for Personalized Learning

Monday, April 30, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

John Reyes Higher-Powered Learning

Would you believe me if I told you that the director of instructional technology for the nation’s largest archdiocese presented at our Blended Learning in Catholic Schools Symposium and hardly ever mentioned technology?

That’s right, folks. Even directors of instructional technology are looking beyond technology itself to identify the student and teacher practices that allow technology to have a transformative impact on learning.

To build on our last post about personalizing learning without technology, today we are sharing three foundational principles for personalized learning that Dr. John Reyes, the director of educational technology for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, shared at the Symposium in March.

4 Steps You Can Take TODAY to Personalize Learning for Your Students

Monday, April 16, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning - 4 Steps You Can Take TODAY to Personalize Learning for Your Students

If you have followed our work for a while, you have probably noticed a recurring theme: outstanding blended-learning programs are about so much more than just technology.

Driven by this belief, we encourage teachers new to blended learning to spend a few months transforming their classroom without introducing a fully blended model. Teachers can harness the power of student data and personalize their instruction in a multitude of ways without using adaptive online learning programs, and we prefer that teachers master those practices first to avoid becoming overly reliant on technology.

Fighting the Good Fight to Finish the Race

Thursday, April 05, 2018 by Dan Brndjar - ACE 24, Atlanta

Dan Brndjar Marathon

Twenty miles down, three hours into the race, and my left quad starts cramping. This is really hard. This hurts. Why did I sign up for this? How am I going to finish? With these thoughts racing through my mind, a runner passes by me uttering words of encouragement: “This is what we trained for! We can do it! Just keep going!” Spectators on the sidewalk enthusiastically cheer, urging us onward. The negative thoughts start to pass away. Here we go. For the kids. I have to finish. Upon crossing the finish line of the Georgia Marathon little over an hour later, several ACE friends immediately swarm around me, congratulating me on finishing. Limping over to the ACE tent, I began to celebrate with the 40 other teachers who had all come to Atlanta from across the country to run, cheer, and fundraise for St. Peter Claver Regional Catholic School. Time passed, and the pain subsided amid good food and great fellowship. Over these next few hours, I began to reflect on all that had just happened. I began to see that this marathon experience really is a great metaphor for my first year in ACE.

Francisco Castillo-Fierro: Culturally Responsive Tech

Monday, April 02, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Francisco Castillo-Fierro

The United States’ education system has been fraught with issues of inequity for longer than any of us can remember. Many of these issues were created in our previously segregated school system and have persisted even long after schools integrated, resulting in unequal educational opportunities, and ultimately attainment, for students from minority populations or impoverished backgrounds.

Breaking Down the Walls for Students with Special Needs

Monday, April 02, 2018 by Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt - Senior Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Toledo

Breaking Down the Walls for Students with Special Needs

The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) believes that all students should be welcomed, served, and celebrated in Catholic schools. It is critical that we break down those walls, open our doors, and live out our Catholic calling to inclusively educate the children of God. Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt, the Senior Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Toledo and a friend of PIE, provides insight into this practice and the crucial role of the principal in leading this change. Many thanks for his guest authorship!

                     ~Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

"Window Moments" in Brownsville

Thursday, March 22, 2018 by Kelly Griffith - ACE 23, Brownsville

Kelly Griffith Window Moments

Saying “yes” to ACE was the most hesitant “yes” I have ever said. For the first time, I jumped blindly into something with no way of knowing how I might come out on the other side.

Blended Learning in Catholic Schools Symposium: Exceeding Expectations

Monday, March 19, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

BLiCSS

This past week, we welcomed 40 outstanding individuals to the Blended Learning in Catholic Schools Symposium (BLiCSS), a unique gathering of blended-learning thought leaders to further innovation in K-12 Catholic schools. We hoped that this event would be an opportunity for leaders in Catholic education to form a unified mission and vision for blended learning in Catholic schools, to share best practices, and to identify ​research opportunities from across our schools – and it is safe to say that BLiCSS exceeded our expectations!

Community in ACE: Stockton, CA

Friday, March 16, 2018 by ACE Stockton

The members of ACE Teaching Fellows in Stockton provide a look into their experiences of living as a community.

Seeking the Living Sacrament in the Classroom: Part Two

Friday, March 09, 2018 by Daara Jalili - ACE 24, LA East

 Seeking the Living Sacrament in the Classroom (Part Two)

I was once told that small acts of love–routine or not–were called “lower-case-s” sacraments, for they brought God’s grace into our lives. My life each day as a math and science teacher at Cantwell Sacred-Heart of Mary High School in East Los Angeles is rich with these small signs of God’s grace. Yet, even as I write this reflection, I find myself hesitant to share the anecdote from the first part of this reflection. After all, we are called during these 40 days of Lent to cleanse body and mind in order to receive God’s ultimate sacrifice. We are called to prepare ourselves for the Living Sacrament–capital S. With an act of such infinite self-giving love on the horizon–one that is the very center of our faith–why would I share such a seemingly inconsequential story?

Seeking the Living Sacrament in the Classroom: Part One

Wednesday, March 07, 2018 by Daara Jalili - ACE 24, LA East

 Lenten Blog

After observing Ash Wednesday to start Lent, we have been thrust into a season of intentional reflection and prayer. As a Catholic educator, I feel called not only to prepare lesson plans and materials for my students in these 40 days but to also curate opportunities for my students to reflect on the season of Lent in the classroom. The first of these opportunities for students was one that is a staple among Catholic school-teachers across this country. I had students write down their Lenten promises on small purple pieces of paper and posted them on a bulletin board.

Ruth Hurrle: Driving Student Success with Blended Learning

Friday, March 02, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Ruth Hurrle Central Catholic

If you have been following the Higher-Powered Learning blog for some time now, you know that we really value the leaders of our blended-learning schools. In our last post, we explained why we believe that school leaders drive student success, and how we have witnessed that in our Notre Dame ACE Academies implementing blended learning. So today, we want to share a bit more about one of the school leaders who is making us look good as she helps her teachers implement blended learning.

Fasting for Inclusion

Thursday, March 01, 2018 by The PIE Team

Fasting for Inclusion - Program for Inclusive Education

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?" – Isaiah 58:6-7

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