Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Can’t Get Enough of Those ‘Top Ten’ Lists

I think I am addicted to reading “Top Ten Lists” and “The Best of …. Lists”, (type in any year you wish). I find at the end of the year I look forward to watching them roll off the presses, hit the newsstand and attract my attention. This goes for anything from Newsweek to Popular Mechanics. Education “Best of” lists are no exception, and I just discovered ASCD’s “Best of 2007” list of articles, studies and reports and want to pass them on to you.

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development has been a treasured membership of mind for over two decades. As a classroom teacher interested in accelerating student learning, as a principal wanting to improve my instructional leadership skills, and as an assistant superintendent with the full responsibility of district Curriculum and Instruction, ASCD provided me with resources, ideas, and colleagues around the world to help me do a better job. I value their thinking and believe you will too.

Below is the “Best of 2007” list compiled by Susan Rush, ASCD SmartBrief Lead Editor. This top ten list touches on topics that hit very close to home like staph infections in our schools, effective classroom instruction for the young adolescent and elementary learner, and setting national standards. You may be able take some time over the holidays to peruse these ideas.

Top Ten List of Topics and Web Access:

1. Teacher's songs help second-graders learn math

2. Study: Oral reading tests may result in inappropriate placements

3. Report: Focus on children, not testing

4. Study: Too much reading, math in elementary classrooms

5. Drug-resistant staph infections hit some U.S. schools

6. Column: Newsweek's top schools offer rigorous education

7. Studies: Homework value uncertain; little change in dropout rate

8. The challenge of educating young adolescents

9. Study: Elementary school a better fit for sixth graders

10. Study: Some top states set standards low

Ask Yourself:

Do I have a “Top Ten” or “Best of …” list I can share with my colleagues?

What are the best ideas I learned this year to improve my teaching?

What are the best ideas I learned this year to improve student learning?

And Most Importantly: Can I find a way to “pay it forward”?