November 2014

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McCoy Educational Consulting, LLC Newsletter 

 

You meet new challenges every day. Although they are often invigorating, sometimes frustration and fatigue threaten to set in. If that happens, think of the following quote: I'm thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn't have stumbled across my strengths (unknown). When things get tough, trust that the difficulties that you face are making you a stronger leader, educator and person.

Trust Your StruggleIf you need support to address issues or challenges in your organization, contact McCoy Educational Consulting, LLC. Whether you require specialized consultation, mentoring services, professional learning or other specialized services our team of professionals is ready and willing to help your school system move ahead. We don't provide 'cookie cutter' services. Instead, we collaborate with you to offer services that are uniquely suited to the needs and context of your organization. Call us at (603) 490-5874 to talk about how we can help you!

Newsletter articles this month relate to a variety of topics including professional learning, 'expectations' for students with disabilities, math fluency and more. We hope you enjoy them and share them with others who may find them useful. 

Low Expectations vs. Unrealistic Expectations: Finding the Balance

Girl on Balance BeamHow can the needs of students with disabilities be addressed in ways that maximize growth? The trick is to determine what is both rigorous and realistic, given appropriate supports and services.

Unfortunately the predominant culture of education today has some blind spots that make this task very challenging. In order to get past these obstacles, it is helpful to acknowledge them and then take conscious steps to work against them.

Since the era of 'No Child Left Behind' started, there has been intense pressure on schools to close the achievement gap between students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers. In essence, a culture has evolved that says to schools...

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Meet Mary Buck, M.S., O.T.R./L - Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Mary BuckMary Buck has 30 years of experience working in the school systems of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  She is certified in sensory integration (S.I.P.T.) and has been an advocate for implementing sensory-based strategies to address a wide range of behaviors from feeding disorders to non-compliance.  

She currently holds an O.T. license in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Mary has worked in diverse school settings servicing children with disabilities.  In Massachusetts she worked at the North Shore Special Education Consortium and serviced children with extreme physical or emotional handicaps...

 

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Rethinking Professional Learning to Promote Real Changes in Practice

Knoster's Model

Consider the time and money that has been spent on professional development for those within your organization. Have these investments resulted in tangible, 
consistent and sustainable improvements in your school system? Unfortunately, our traditional approach to professional development is does not bring about organizational learning.

Most educational leaders, perhaps assuming there is no other viable option, unconsciously accept and perpetuate an ineffective approach to professional development. A constructive alternative is to rethink professional learning as a way to leverage organizational change. Depart from the traditional path and ... 

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Math Fluency Matters

Boy likes mathMost educators know that poor math fluency has an adverse impact on students, but to what extent?  Well, math fluency has a profound impact on every student's ability to succeed in mathematics, not only in calculation skills but in all types of problem-solving and higher order mathematics that the student will encounter over the years.

That begs the questions, 'What is meant by math fluency?' and 'What can we do to strengthen it?'

Math fluency is not the old-fashioned (and sometimes mindless) skill and drill of yesteryear.

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Math Fluency Tools and Ideas

I love mathIf you are looking for more strategies and tools that will help you boost math fluency for your students, check out Intervention Central at

http://www.interventioncentral.org/response-to-intervention.

There you will find resources that can be used to promote math fluency...

 

 

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Leadership Requires Flexible Thinking

Reframing Organizations

All of us have our own personality styles and mental lenses that we gravitate to.  Although it may not come naturally, effective leaders must nurture within themselves the ability to examine situations and challenges from a range of perspectives – especially from the perspectives that don’t ‘come naturally’ to them.  

Free your mind and increase your problem solving ability (and thus your ability to lead) by reading Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership by Lee Bolman and Terrance Deal. I wish I had read this book ten years earlier. Bolman and Deal masterfully crafted a user-friendly text that can expand the thinking and skills of leaders through multiple frameworks...

 

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Sincerely,

McCoy Educational Consulting