The Power of Principal Read Alouds

Principals need to be engaging with students in their classrooms for them to be an effective leader. It is imperative that we get a feeling of what the teachers’ and students’ lives are like in school on a regular basis. Random walkthroughs and class visits don’t always give this immersed feeling because they are quick … Continue reading The Power of Principal Read Alouds

Twitter Teacher Tips

I'm often asked by teachers and schools how to get started using Twitter. Our school team has been fortunate enough to help many other schools begin their social media journeys by providing social media workshops. At these workshops, we typically provide a tip sheet to give teachers to take away with them as reminders or … Continue reading Twitter Teacher Tips

Principal’s Book Talk – Legacy

We have a team of readers at Ashland and I wanted to inspire, not require, them to read this great book Legacy by James Kerr. Legacy provides insight into the amazing culture of one of the world's most successful sporting teams, the All Blacks, a rugby team from New Zealand. This book provides powerful lessons … Continue reading Principal’s Book Talk – Legacy

20 ‘18’ Ways to Start the New Year

Happy (Early) New Year! As you are wrapping up the last few days of 2017, taking in those last hugs, smiles, high fives, and waves for a few days we (Lindsy, Eric, Jessica, Andy, Todd, and Nick) wanted to challenge ourselves, and our PLN, to think about how to ring in 2018 when everyone returns. … Continue reading 20 ‘18’ Ways to Start the New Year

How to Be Happy in Your Work

Are you happy in life? Are you happy in your job? Do you even know the things that should make you happy? As a renewal of motivation in our school, I met with all of my school teams recently to discuss this very thing. To be effective with students, I have come to realize that teachers … Continue reading How to Be Happy in Your Work

“I Believe” Staff Video

When inspiration, reflection, and engagement comes together with your staff, this is an example of what you can accomplish. At our 1st staff meeting in January, we asked teachers to write what they believed for their students and then show it on video. The twist is that we played the video back in reverse! This … Continue reading “I Believe” Staff Video

Effective Leadership Starts with Positive Thinking -This I Believe

I was recently tasked in one of my graduate classes at Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) to write a statement about my beliefs in the form of "This I Believe." This style was founded through NPR as a series that is pretty similar to what Ted Talks have now become. I thought not only was this … Continue reading Effective Leadership Starts with Positive Thinking -This I Believe

A Positive Mindset

This guest post is written by Lauren DeIntinis @laurendeintinis, a 2nd Grade Teacher in Manassas, Virginia. Check out more of her information at the end of the post. My name is Lauren DeIntinis and I am a 2nd grade teacher at the FABULOUS Ashland Elementary School in Manassas, VA. I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA but have lived in Virginia for … Continue reading A Positive Mindset

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

Edcamp: Learn tips and takeaways from a successful example

Edcamp started in 2010 in Philidephia, Pennsylvania, and continues to take off as a professional learning trend in education. It's designed to be free, have noncommercial sessions, and use the 'Rule of 2 Feet' where participants can come and go as they please during sessions. Session topics are created by the participants on the day of … Continue reading Edcamp: Learn tips and takeaways from a successful example

Use Cell Phone Videos to Make Instructional Hooks

  Look closely. No, not at Jason Aldean, the country music superstar. Look at the crowd. What do you notice? In a quick count, I see more than 70 lights from cell phones, let alone my own as I took this picture and probably hundreds behind me in the crowd. This really caught me as a … Continue reading Use Cell Phone Videos to Make Instructional Hooks

Teachers Need to Talk to Learn

Whoever does the talking, does the learning. So who talks in your staff meetings, professional development, and classrooms? Ever since the really cool invention of projectors, there has been a serious and sad condition called, "Death by PowerPoint" in staff meetings worldwide. But don't worry, there is good news! We have a cure! There are a few … Continue reading Teachers Need to Talk to Learn