10 Lessons from 2018 on Corwin Connect

Corwin Connect will celebrate its fifth birthday in 2019, and every year as our readers and authors grow in number, we learn so much more about education through the eyes of teachers and leaders in schools, living out the aspirations we preach every day. We discovered through a recent Corwin Connect survey that over 55% of our readers are teachers, about 17% are coaches, 7% are leaders, and 21% have other roles like professors, curriculum directors, PD directors, etc..

From the survey we learned that our readers are most interested in these topics:

  • Teaching methods
  • Literacy
  • Assessment
  • Professional Learning
  • Social-Emotional Learning

These interests are reflected in the top 10 blog posts from 2018. What did we learn, and what articles caught your eye most often on Corwin Connect? Read below and re-read your favorite posts!

1. We all need more clarity.

In our most-viewed post of the year, “Feedback Without Clarity Is Meaningless… At Best,” Kristin Anderson breaks down John Hattie’s simple formula for giving feedback in response to three simple questions.

2. Engaging students is still one of the top challenges teachers face.

How do you get kids to care beyond “Is this going to be on the test?” Author John Almarode provides eight ways for engaging kids emotionally, cognitively, and behaviorally.

3. We want to know how to make learning more visible.

One of teachers’ many roles is to be masterful diagnosticians of learning. But how can you possibly keep track of the complex learning of each child while keeping up with everything else on your plate? Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom author Kateri Thunder gives us “Progress Monitoring Tools to Make Learning Visible.”

4. We want kids to be able to assess themselves.

Being “assessment-capable” has a reported effect size of 1.33 (Hattie, 2018). But we’re not just talking about having kids grade their own papers. Instead, Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey describe these indicators of students who know how to learn: “Three Indicators of Assessment-Capable Visible Learners.”

5. Engagement is particularly challenging in math.

Engagement leads to achievement. Nanci Smith, author of Every Math Learner, has 10 ideas that are fun for both students and teachers.

6. We’re inquiring… about inquiry!

Concept-Based inquiry is “the use of inquiry-based approaches to teach for conceptual understanding.” Author Carla Marschall writes that Concept-Based inquiry inspires students to become agents of their own learning.

7. It’s really hard to write good success criteria.

We know from experts such as Larry Ainsworth, John Hattie, Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, Michael McDowell, John Almarode, and many others: it’s important to be clear on your learning intentions and success criteria. Children should always know what they are learning, and how they (and you) will know they’ve gotten there. Michael McDowell, author of Developing Expert Learners, writes a practical “How to Create Leveled Success Criteria.

8. We all know that one teacher…

Like it or not, we have to build relationships with the teachers around us–for the betterment of student learning. Feedback That Moves Writers Forward author Patty McGee writes about “The Five Teachers You Meet in Professional Learning.” This just might come in handy next time you’re in the teachers’ lounge!

Want to know what kind of teacher you are? Take the quiz Patty designed!

9. We know the power of our mindset.

Author John Almarode writes that our beliefs influence everything we do! That means that if we want to make a change, we have to start with our mindframes.

10. We’re asking good questions about Visible Learning.

With the abundance of fake news and how easy it is for data to be misread and misrepresented, it behooves us to ask questions about any new initiative. John Hattie’s Visible Learning research is a vast collection of meta-analysis, which have been distilled into a comprehensive school change model. In this post, John answers some of your most pressing questions about Visible Learning.


Looking ahead to 2019

We’re taking a short break for the winter holidays – there will be no new articles or newsletters between December 24 – January 6. We’ll be back on Monday, January 7 with more take-to-school PD in your inbox!


So what did you learn in 2018? Any articles stand out?

Wishing you all happy holidays!

Written by

Ariel is the Acquisitions Editor for Teaching Essentials at Corwin, and editor of Corwin Connect. When not working, you can usually find Ariel hiking, rock climbing, practicing yoga, reading with a glass of wine, or writing a book review on her blog, One Little Library.

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