Managing the Residual Trauma of the Abrupt Transition to Remote Learning

Chaunte Garrett with Debbie Zacarian and Michael Silverstone. We’ve all been part of an unplanned global experiment in remote learning during COVID.  For many, the experience was traumatizing and there were millions of school-aged children living with adversity before COVID. Listen to this ASCD BAM radio interview as we discuss …

As Schools Reopen, A New Inclusive Paradigm is Needed

By Debbie Zacarian and Becki Cohn-Vargas As one school year ends and we plan for the next, we see the glaring inequities that the pandemic has amplified, and we recognize that steps must be taken to address them.  Beyond adopting new guidelines for hygiene and reducing our schools’ exposure to …

A SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY: PARTNERING WITH FAMILIES DURING THE PANDEMIC

By Becki Cohn-Vargas and Debbie Zacarian Strengthening Community Partnerships As educators, we should celebrate the Herculean shift that we and our students have made from in-person to distance engagement. We know that this transition and our future success are dependent on parents and guardians. Whether our students are being reared by …

Proactively Building a Rapid Response Team

by Debbie Zacarian On April 7, 2020, White House pandemic advisor Dr. Fauci stated that the pandemic “shine(s) a very bright light on some of the real weaknesses and foibles in our society.” Since the pandemic struck, I’ve been offering online and phone support to educators in their quest to stay …

5 Essential Trauma-Informed Priorities for Remote Learning

By Debbie Zacarian, Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz, and Judie Haynes As the COVID-19 pandemic upended communities worldwide, millions of educators moved at warp speed from gathering face-to-face to sheltering at home. In a matter of days, human connection required some type of device or a six-foot distance. Against this backdrop, children continue …

Planning for Online Connection and Collaboration with Primary-Grades Children

Michael Silverstone teaches at Wellan Montessori School, near Boston. With Dr. Debbie Zacarian, he co-wrote Teaching to Empower: Taking Action to Foster Student Agency, Self-Confidence, and Collaboration (ASCD). The following, by Michael, originally appeared on 3/20/2020 in Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo

Among the bigger surprises at the start of the COVID-19 era is how well-prepared we are to work off-site with each other and with administrators. In recent years, at my school, we have collectively created online calendars, collaborated on documents, and become increasingly more reliant on using online formats. Videoconferencing small-group planning meetings is the only new wrinkle. But, after a few of these, once the novelty falls away, there have been more times that we’re able to forget that we’re not in the same room. That’s the good news.

Read more“Planning for Online Connection and Collaboration with Primary-Grades Children”

SUDDENLY TEACHING AND LEARNING FROM HOME DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

This was a week of online firsts- jumping into the deep end of our ‘online’ selves in ways familiar and new.  It leads us to a discussion about the virtues of students having a voice and choice in their online learning. experiences. Debbie: I had my first tele-health conference. It was …

Teaching and Supporting Students Living with Adversity

This new publication is being released in January 2020! “Teaching and Supporting Students Living with Adversity,” is a Quick Reference Guide. It includes six pages of key easy-to-implement K-12 instructional strategies for students living with trauma, violence and chronic stress. Filled with examples, it is now available for pre-order! TinyURL.com/yx52hn33

Video: 3 Trauma-Informed Priorities

by Debbie Zacarian

This short video describes the rationale for using a strengths-based approach to support students living with adversity and includes three classroom-based strategies. The video originally appeared as part of a project for ASCD on “Trauma-Informed Practices”.

Top Seller, Teaching to Strengths: supporting students living with trauma, violence and chronic stress

Excited our book is a top seller. Thank you, ASCD for supporting educators’ working with Ss living with adversity. If you are using book for PD, a course, or your own professional development, don’t hesitate to reach out. https://lnkd.in/dtbXh4X

How can classroom walls be used most effectively?

Classroom walls can play a vital role in helping students maximize their productivity, motivation, and focus. As you design the space you will want to keep these intentions prominent in your mind: Support a Sense of Identity, Belonging, and Ownership: Students should be involved in making decisions about what is displayed …

Five Elements of a Positive Classroom Environment for Students Living with Adversity

How many of us have been formally trained to teach students living with adverse childhood experiences? When we ask this question throughout the U.S., few educators raise their hand. However, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health, almost half of all U.S. children have experienced one or more types of serious …

“What education buzzwords are the most overused?”

Larry Ferlazzo, a wonderful teacher and writer, writes a great blog for Ed Week where he asks questions from various people from the field. Here’s my response to his question: “What education buzzwords are the most overused?” One of the most common buzzwords used in education is ‘best practices’. Take …

Using a Strengths-Based Approach with ELs: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence and Chronic Stress

This piece was commissioned and printed by Colorin Colorado with support from the AFT and NEA and appeared Here:  https://www.colorincolorado.org/article/using-strengths-based-approach-els-supporting-students-living-trauma-violence-and-chronic by Dr. Debbie Zacarian, Dr. Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz, & Judie Haynes Using a strengths-based approach allows educators to draw upon students’ internal strengths and capacities, and it can be a particularly …

Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students living with trauma, violence & chronic stress included in Hurricane Relief Effort

Honored that ASCDs Hurricane Relief Initiative includes our book. Here is information about it from ASCD.  “Purchase an ASCD book from our online store from now until October 31 and use promo code “RELIEF,” and ASCD will donate one trauma-related resource, such as Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, …

Building Partnerships Through Classroom-Based Events, Debbie Zacarian & Michael Silverstone

Building Partnerships Through Classroom-Based Events, Debbie Zacarian & Michael Silverstone In the lead article of the Sept. issue of Ed Leadership, here’s how educators can design events that make families feel welcome, share their children’s learning, and integrate the rich assets they bring. As educators, we all want to build …

Teaching to Strengths: supporting students living with trauma, violence & chronic stress

TEACHING TO STRENGTHS:  SUPPORTING STUDENTS LIVING WITH TRAUMA, VIOLENCE, AND CHRONIC STRESS.  (co-written with Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz and Judie Haynes) Half the students in U.S. schools are experiencing or have experienced trauma, violence, or chronic stress. Much has been written about these students from a therapeutic perspective, especially regarding how to provide …

Data-Driven Decisions on Effective Performance Measures of English Learners

Delighted to have contributed a chapter and be included among esteemed colleagues in Shelley Wepner and Dee Gomez co-edited and much needed book. Challenges Facing Suburban Schools Promising Responses to Changing Student Populations.  Many of us might not realize the rapid demographic changes that are occurring in our nation’s suburbs and …

Identifying and teaching English learners with disabilities

The nation’s #1 website serving educators and families of English Learners, Colorín Colorado, with generous funding from the National Education Association, produced a new section about identifying, assessing, and teaching English learners who may have learning disabilities. Colorín Colorado’s new website section includes four comprehensive sections including:  (1) special education and ELs: challenges …

Interactions Matter:  impact learning through student, classroom, family and community partnerships

by Debbie Zacarian and Michael Silverstone Whether you are an administrator, teacher or a parent–a fan of standardized testing-indexed sanctions, or an advocate for student-directed learning experiences, there is one point of agreement that we all share. We want all students to feel and be successful.  For well over a …

What is a Growth Mindset and How Can It Be Applied in the Classroom?

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, founder of ‘growth mindset,’ defines the concept as believing that every student can succeed and teaching them to believe in their abilities to: (1) embrace the challenges and complexities of learning; (2) learn the positives of being persistent (3) value effort as a positive; and (4) …

Launching the Just-Right Tools for English Learners

Many are using social networking to get word out that the US Departments of Education and Justice released guidance and tools about the legal obligations of teaching English learners. Last month, the US Department of Education released an English Learner Toolkit to help state and local education agencies help English Learners (ELs) by fulfilling these obligations. The …

Rethinking the Possibilities of Strength-Based Teacher Evaluation Systems

With all of the time, effort and money being poured into teacher evaluation systems, the outcomes of students from underrepresented populations have not changed enough to see that what we are doing is working. Only 61 percent of English learners, the fastest growing group in the U.S., are graduating and …

Why Partnerships Can Energize Our Classrooms by Kevin Hodgson

A Middleweb Blog by Kevin Hodgson Like many educators, I find the first days of school are a time to get to know my students through community-building activities. I am always curious about family connections, yet never feel as if I do nearly enough to forge partnerships with families, beyond the …

We Can Only Make Education Work When We Are In It Together

by Debbie Zacarian & Michael Silverstone How do two separate people from different places and with different roles actually go about writing one sentence let alone a book? Our answer takes some explaining as it reflects what we believe is needed in education, now. Partnerships are key  The process of …

English Learners Living with Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress

The film, Spare Parts, was released last month. It’s based on the true story (and book) about 4 undocumented Latino high school students who formed a robotics team that beat MIT engineering students in a contest. Their personal stories as well as the more recent questions, responses and comments heard at President’s Obama’s …

HARNESSING THE POTENTIAL AND POSSIBILITIES OF ENGLISH LEARNERS

Many are using social networking to get word out that the US Departments of Education and Justice recently released guidance and tools about teaching English learners.  The two agencies remind us all that ELs should “have equal access to a high quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full …

IS MORE TESTING THE REMEDY FOR WHAT’S NOT WORKING?

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently reemphasized the importance of the annual testing requirement. One of the key reasons he’s advocating for them is that they provide information about what’s working and what’s not. A coalition of civil rights groups also support annual testing for the same reason– as a means to “target …

UNDERSTANDING THE OPPORTUNITY GAP AS AN ACADEMIC LANGUAGE GAP

Many educational scholars and practitioners, including me, have written extensively about teaching students from underserved populations.  The focus of this work has included students living in poverty, from diverse cultural and racial experiences, and who are English learners. These are made more relevant by an ever-increasing population of students and families …