Behavior Tip: Sensory Toys & Tools

Many of our students have sensory issues and we need to provide them with extra tools to address these needs throughout the day. This post and video helps explain some of the 'why' behind these toys and a reflection in video to the different toys/tools we have in our school. Thank you Ashland Autism Teacher … Continue reading Behavior Tip: Sensory Toys & Tools

Behavior Tip: Sensory-friendly supports and alternatives for intense lessons

There are times where some of our most interesting and engaging lessons are just too much for some of our students. The lights, sounds, and excitement can cause a lot of anxiety that ruins the amazing experience and all the hard work put in by the teachers. Students with sensory processing issues have difficulties with … Continue reading Behavior Tip: Sensory-friendly supports and alternatives for intense lessons

Sensory Friendly Haircuts

For many families like mine, even simple things can be very stressful. When our son was little, the barber shop and a tight haircut, one of my favorite things, was way too much and very overwhelming for him. I had to cut his hair at home for years myself. Now it's better, but I know … Continue reading Sensory Friendly Haircuts

Modeling Should Be Exact for Student Success in Lessons

As principal, I have the honor of observing classroom lessons to learn about instruction and student motivation. This week I was able to directly see the positive impact that specific and direct modeling had on student performance in a 4th grade math lesson by Jesse Raines  (@Mr_Raines on Twitter). His lesson's objective was for students … Continue reading Modeling Should Be Exact for Student Success in Lessons

Kindergarten Readiness Top Tips Video

As Hannibal in the A-Team used to say, "I love it when a plan comes together!" This year our kindergarten team decided to create a new program to help communicate to parents what helps students be successful in school. As students at Ashland register, they typically receive supply lists and will receive a school shirt, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness Top Tips Video

Traveling Tips #dadsasprincipals

This year we took the plunge and the whole family to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This is true both literally and figuratively since we all got wet flying down Splash Mountain! The trip was both fantastic and exhausting, and I learned a few tips along the way that hopefully may help other parents. Comment … Continue reading Traveling Tips #dadsasprincipals

Let Student Lead! Making a Case for Student-Led Conferences

It is critical that students know how they are performing and what they need to do to improve on their skills to be fully invested every day to achieve their learning goals. Student-led conferences are one way to support this effort, and research for many years has stated the positive aspects of involving students in this way. In … Continue reading Let Student Lead! Making a Case for Student-Led Conferences

Some Gifts Are Not So Obvious

Virginia Tech security just taught me a life lesson this week, but probably not the one you would expect! Every week, two times a week, we have class at the Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center. Hamish and I always make it a point to say hi and get to know the security guards or custodians … Continue reading Some Gifts Are Not So Obvious

Open Your Eyes To See Your Students Leading

Are you listening to your students when they have ideas for improvements or helping others? Do you turn these into opportunities for developing their leadership skills? What has really caught my attention over time is seeing individual students that have shown leadership WITHOUT adults giving them the ideas. This has taught me to keep my eyes … Continue reading Open Your Eyes To See Your Students Leading

Inclusive School Week is Every Week

This week is Inclusive Schools Week and we celebrate what it means to be inclusive through activities, readings, and discussions with our students. But why do we only talk about inclusive practices during this week? Inclusive Schools Week should be EVERY week! "Inclusive" is a powerful word. Remember that inclusive refers to mixed abilities but also … Continue reading Inclusive School Week is Every Week