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November e-ClassNotes

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Edu-Themes this Fall: ELL, CCSS, Tech & Data

We recently attended two major education conferences—the Council of Great City Schools and the Association of Middle Level Learners. Crystal Wirth, director of educational programs, reflects on the similar themes that emerged from each.

  1. Are we successfully addressing English Language Learners’ unique needs?
  2. How do we get students to where they need to be—college- and career-ready?
  3. Are we using data and technology effectively?

Crystal poignantly notes that middle school can be a speed bump in bilingual education. Her team works with more than a dozen schools across the country that have high populations of ELL students; they’ve witnessed first-hand the ways that our literacy programs can help build critical reading skills. Read Crystal’s blog post to dive deeper into these themes.

Getting Schooled at Classroom, Inc.

We hosted a group of educators at our offices earlier this month to learn from Meesha Brown, who has served in schools and communities as a teacher, instructional leader, and administrator. Meesha now uses her experience to consult with teachers by providing coaching and training on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

For a third year in a row, Meesha ran a professional development seminar for teachers who we work with throughout the school year. On tap this time: how to take existing tasks and texts and turn them into CCSS-aligned lessons. Heavy focus was given to accommodations and modifications that can be made for learners struggling with various concepts by incorporating the Universal Design for Learning principles. And teachers found their time together valuable: “There were so many UDL resources given, I will definitely pass on to my peers.” “The UDL framework will help me plan my lessons.” We’re committed to helping teachers find new resources to support their practice. Thanks, Meesha!

Giving Tuesday: A Day to Give Back

This is the time of year when we are inundated with advertisements about deals, gifts, and the latest must-have items. December 2, Giving Tuesday, is a global day to give back—allowing us to take a break from consumerism and celebrate generosity. We’re proud supporters of Giving Tuesday and we hope you will be too. You can make an online donation to our work, share the image above on Facebook and Twitter, or post your own messages on social media about why you’re celebrating Giving Tuesday. We’re grateful for your support!

We’re Hiring!

On our brand-new website we have a careers page to help stellar candidates learn about open positions and become part of our team. Currently, we’re hiring for two different positions:

Check them out today and please share with your network.

Partner Focus


National Summer Learning Association

Last week, all 50 states hit the freezing mark! It feels like summer is a distant memory, but we’ve been heating things up with our friends at the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA). We’re committed to quality educational opportunities for students year round, which is why we joined the New Vision for Summer School Network. The network brings together 30 districts that are developing broad visions of summer learning.

A few of us were lucky enough to warm up at the NSLA annual conference in San Antonio earlier this month. We participated on a panel, Connected Learning: Opening New Pathways to Opportunity for All Youth, alongside the Hive Chicago Learning Network/Mozilla Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Dallas City of Learning, and the Chicago City of Learning. The panel honed in on how digital media has exploded the boundaries of where, when, and how learning can happen.

Read more about this exciting work.

What we're reading

Check out the full list of news, blogs, and reports that caught our eye this month in our November RoundUP.

Chromebooks Gaining Popularity in Schools, Education Week:
Educators are impressed with the low costs and ease of use with Google’s digital devices. The web-based laptops accounted for nearly 1/3 of all mobile-digital devices sold to schools during the first half of this year.A 3rd Grader Pleas for More Game-based Learning, MindShift:
Hear from a third grader why games are so important for the classroom.

Reimagining Teaching in a Blended Classroom:
TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) is out with a report that helps educators and administrators understand how to create a blended classroom.

We’re making our plans for various events over the next couple months. Want to meet up with us?

Email: CInewsletter@classroominc.org
Tweet at us: @ClassroomInc

SIIA Education Business Forum:
New York, NY, Dec. 9-10, 2014
Orlando, FL, Jan. 20-23, 2015