Best Practices


Helping kids with math NOW

Did you know that we are all born mathematicians? Research shows that even infants notice the differences in various patterns and changing quantities.1 Young children already know who has more goldfish and who has less. Kids love to count and stack and compare. Somewhere along in their educational journey, many of our students begin to fear or dread math. The great tragedy of this situation is that by shying away from mathematics in high school and college, our students are self-limiting their post-graduation options and lifetime financial gains.2 If you are looking for ways to bring your students back to their mathematician roots, I have a few easy suggestions to help you on your way, and to make an immediate difference for all of our struggling students.

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Dyslexia Awareness Month

As a classroom teacher, I saw students struggling to learn to read, and it brought me back to growing up in my own family. While I loved to read as a child, I watched my younger sister struggle to learn to read. My parents didn't know what to do. She was well-spoken, quick- witted, and even tested into gifted services- but she couldn't read or write. Growing up in the 90s, dyslexia was not discussed or recognized like it is today. I was sympathetic to her struggles, but it wasn't until years later that I began to ask myself why those struggles existed for her and not for me. These questions became my passion, and I have seen what a difference a teacher or a parent makes to a student who is struggling to read. I understand the uncertainty many teachers or parents may feel about how to best support children with dyslexia.

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Choose Joy

Earlier this week I was speaking to my student interns about what I loved most about working in Pk-12 schools. No contest, it was JOY. Whether it was a sweet picture drawn by an elementary student, or a middle schooler creating a rap about a favorite teacher, or a high school student celebrating a hard-earned success, working in pk-12 schools afforded me the opportunity to witness and feel joy. Lately, joy has been harder to find, and when I looked into my students' glazed eyes, I knew for sure that joy has left the building. For those of you who have been in education for years, I am sure you have felt the slow leak of joy out of our work. We have been coping with pandemics, hurricanes, moving our classes online, moving back to face to face, new safety measure, and loss. It is a lot. We are a resilient lot here in Louisiana, but I know we are all ready for a break from the stress. It is no wonder that we are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety.

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The Case for Literacy Leadership

Today's public schools need well-prepared, capable leaders. Today's schools need strong instructional leaders, specifically, literacy leaders. Literacy leadership takes many forms - perhaps stellar classroom teachers who possess expertise and deep literacy knowledge and who share faculty responsibilities as literacy coaches, or an outstanding principal who leads her faculty with a critical literacy lens, possibly a district-level director whose literacy background and experience provides valuable literacy leadership to many units across a system or network, to top-level educational leaders such as assistant superintendents or superintendents who make informed, knowledgeable systems-wide literacy decisions, and finally, collegiate faculty who prepare, shape, and influence the next generation of teachers and leaders - all examples of literacy leadership.

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Write On!

Established in 1985, the Louisiana State University Writing Project, LSU WP, an official site of the National Writing Project NWP, promotes the exploration of writing, dissemination of writing research, and the sharing and diffusion of recommended writing practice among educators. Housed in the School of Education, within the College of Human Sciences and Education, the LSU WP is the School of Education's most senior Project and enjoys a rich tradition of disseminating writing pedagogical practices in Louisiana and beyond. The LSU WP is one of 175 national writing projects, based in universities, nationwide. So, when did writing projects begin and who is involved?

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June 2021

Summer 2021 will be critical for recouping learning losses. Educators and parents are entering the summer months fearing "summer slide" - one that might be greatly exacerbated by the COVID slide. If you plan and invest in this summer, your children will come out the pandemic stronger.

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May 2021

First, parents want their children at school to be physically and psychologically safe. Then, every parent wants the absolute best that can be afforded or provided to their child. To that we share "What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community (we) want for all its (our) children."

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Idea for future topic


November 2021
math, mathematicians, growth mindset, evidence-based interventions, math confidence

October 2021
dyslexia, special education, dyslexia awareness month, difficulty in reading, difficulty in phonological processing

September 2021
K12 school culture, grief, natural disaster, pandemic, student and teacher support, intentionally choosing joy at your school

August 2021
literacy leadership, educational leadership, school culture, framework for literacy leadership

July 2021
writing, National Writing Project, LSU Writing Project, writing instruction, teacher-leadership, professional development

June 2021
free online educational resources for children, parents and teachers, coding resources, virtual summer camps 2021, math resources

May 2021
teacher preparation programs, policy, quantity versus quality, teaching profession, accountability

April 2021
early childhood care and education, NAEYC, Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children, LSU Early Childhood Education Institute

March 2021
international students, higher education, facts and trends of international students in U.S. colleges, immigration, enrollment, transitions and challenges for international students

February 2021
social research, evaluation, strengthening communities, education, public safety, health and wellbeing, program evaluation, data and analytics, training, outreach

January 2021
education profession, accreditation, growth, continuous improvement, quality, teacher preparation programs

December 2020
curriculum theory project, internationalization, curriculum camp

November 2020
emergent writers, preschool, emergent literacy, building identity as a writer, supporting emergent writing

October 2020
teacher leaders, quality, national board certified teachers, education policy, workforce, teacher shortage

September 2020
college access, helping students go to college, college opportunities, preparatory programs, college financing, #WhyApplyDay, resources for college access

August 2020
teaching, physical education, values, motivation, innovation, teaching virtually, teaching with social distancing

July 2020
play, COVID-19, school reentry, parents and teacher resources, listening, supporting a child's sense of wonder

June 2020
world language conference, remote teaching and learning, world languages, innovative teaching techniques and practices, online learning environments

May 2020
dispositions, engagement, reflection, teacher burnout, preventing burnout, COVID19, professional development

April 2020
COVID19, coronavirus, trauma-sensitive schools, school re-entry plans, grief, coping strategies, mindfulness

March 2020
research, principal, superintendent, hiring, autonomy, accountability, mental health, rural

February 2020
career development, play, extracurricular activities, soft skills, academic choices, work-based learning, volunteering, post-secondary choices, career book list

January 2020
education profession, accreditation, growth, continuous improvement, quality, teacher preparation programs

December 2019
why higher education, social, cultural and economic prosperity, higher education

November 2019
homeless youth, national homeless youth awareness month, homelessness and schools, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, classroom library, relationships with parents, gaps in academic preparation

October 2019
bullying prevention, national bullying prevention month, bully resources, types of bullying, teacher preparation

September 2019
transforming education, BESE, best practices, critical issues in education

July 2019
education law, First Amendment, free speech, censorship, speech codes, higher education, postsecondary education

June 2019
online learning, experiential learning, mixed reality, technology leadership in education

May 2019
arts integration, research-driven, standards-based, student teachers, adapting arts requirement for college courses, cognitive and noncognitive skills, educator preparation

April 2019
poetry, spoken word poetry, ELA educators, making poetry accessible, verse novel, poetry podcasts, poetry resources

March 2019
globally engaged, empathy, study abroad, communication, 360-degree processing,
service-learning, internationalization, pre-service teachers, Chile, culturally adept

February 2019
Black men and boys, African American educational success, relationships with students, building community

January 2019
counseling, depression, anxiety, teenage girls, resilience, body image, social media

December 2018
curiosity, love of learning, early childhood, choice, creativity, Reggio Emilia philosophy, long-term projects, documentation

Introduction to Best Practices
Our intent is to share concepts, issues, and research supported in the literature in an accessible and meaningful way. We work best with you. If you have an idea for a future topic, please click the button at the top of this column to submit.