Overloaded and Underprepared Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids

Overloaded and Underprepared Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids

Denise Pope, Maureen Brown, Sarah Miles

Language: English

Pages: 259

ISBN: 1119022444

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Reduce stress and improve academic success with this research-backed framework for change

Many American students are overworked, stressed-out, and still underperforming relative to their global peers. Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids gives you the tools you need to begin making immediate changes at your school, in the community, and at home to benefit all kids. It provides a concrete framework to reduce student stress while engaging kids in real learning. The book helps you identify areas for improvement at your school, brainstorm possible solutions, identify potential obstacles, and achieve buy-in from multiple stakeholders, and it outlines the research-based SPACE framework, providing best practices on:

Students' schedule and use of time
Project- and problem-based learning
Alternative and authentic assessments
Climate of care
Education of parents, students, and faculty about well-being

Our current fast-paced, high-pressure culture works against everything we know about healthy child development. We all want our kids to do well in school and to master certain skills, but our largely singular focus on academic achievement has resulted in a lack of attention to other components of a successful life—the ability to be independent, ethical, and engaged critical thinkers. Using real-life case studies from schools throughout the country, this book is a guide for change, offering a practical action plan that can be implemented in a single classroom or on a school-wide scale.Overloaded and Underprepared helps educators better prepare students—mentally, emotionally, and academically—to handle the challenges of college and careers.















practices for assessment, occurred regularly, often at the beginning of a unit, and seemed to help students better understand the material without the pressure of grades. English teachers, for example, explained that typically, students skipped over the teachers’ comments on their papers and just flipped to the back page to view their grade. When the teachers did not put a grade on the papers but still offered plenty of feedback, they were pleased to see how many students actually read the

setting, Janice recognized the need to proactively 148 Overloaded and Underprepared focus on student well-being and to continue with the tradition of developing intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. From 1990 to 2009, she synthesized many principles from best practices in conflict resolution, creativity, and group and personal awareness to set in motion at Nueva a full-scale SEL program that was experientially appropriate for the different age groups, first grade through eighth grade.

environment. At the end of October of that year, the school embarked on a multimonth training program that included Mindful Schools instructors teaching 15-minute lessons to students twice per week; these included specific exercises on breathing, focus, and attention. Instructors worked with each grade level and individually with teachers. Scheduling the sessions was a challenge, but classroom teachers were mostly cooperative in giving up instructional time. Though a few teachers initially

others, and have some ownership over what and how they are learning. As we mentioned in Chapter Four on project-based learning, these kinds of play-based projects and activities, in which students of all ages have a choice and voice, can lead to authentic motivation to learn and important lifelong skills. Playtime for middle and high school kids looks a little different from playtime for younger kids, both at home and at school. For kids in middle school and high school, playtime often means

two-hour shift to fulfill at a paid job)—we urge them to resist interrupting this valuable time. After a brief respite, the teen will likely be more productive and, more important, will have found time to debrief and consolidate her thoughts (Carey, 2014). We also urge schools to consider ways to build in more downtime throughout the school day. In Chapter Two we discuss late starts and longer breaks and lunch periods as important ways to increase downtime in school. Teachers can also schedule

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