Blair Clanton

EDM 510



A Proven Solution for Dropout Prevention

A Proven Solution for Dropout Prevention

Dropout prevention is the key to raising the graduation rate.  Most of the time when students dropout they never go back to school. In this day and age students are expected to graduate high school and be prepared to go into the work force, enter further education or enlist in the military.  If students do not do this they are less likely to become a productive member of society. Yet, research says nearly 25% of America’s youth are not completing high school on time.  The dropout rate in low-income communities is much higher. Consequently, these young people are not prepared for future success.

The main reasons provided by the students for dropping out of school are well documented over the last 10 years.  The main reason focus on students not be satisfied with school policies and practices. In addition, students in high-risk circumstances demonstrate a high disengagement with school.  This sometimes starts at a very young age.  Sometimes this happens even before starting school.  These are the most common reasons provided by students:

  • I do not like school.
  • I do not like the teachers.
  • The material being covered was of no value to me.
  • I have family issues.

The National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University has identified and extensive set of risk factors associated with dropping out of school. These risk factors are organized into four domains: Individual (student) Factors, Family Factors, School Factors, and Community factors. The student factors include lack of future orientation, low academic achievement levels, low attendance, and special learning needs. The family factors include low socioeconomic status, low expectations for schooling, and mobility of family, and language and literacy levels of the family.  School factors include lack of alternatives for learning opportunities, no individual learning plans for students, unfair behavior and disciplines issues, and retention policies.  The community factors includes lack of community involvement, lack of support for schools, high levels of violence and drug abuse, and few recreational facilities. Unfortunately, there is no one answer to reduce the unacceptably high dropout rate across America.   A wide range of strategies are needed to improve the high school graduation rate. One of the promising tools that is being used is quality afterschool and summer learning programs. These after school and summer learning programs are aligned with effective, research-based dropout prevention programs.  These initiatives can be integrated in order to generate increase school attendance, continued student academic gains and improved behavioral patterns, all leading to increased graduation rate.

Drop-out Prevention



Image result for dropout students









Stop Bullying

What is the definition of bullying? Bullying behavior is done by a person or group who have more social status or physical power than their targets.  It is also repeated by the same aggressor toward the same target.  Bullies intend harm. The action harms or is unwelcome. First, we all need to know what is considered bullying behavior:

  • Physical aggression
  • Threats
  • Taking or breaking property
  • Name calling of all kinds
  • Exclusion and ostracism in many forms
  • Digital and online behaviors that are the same as before.

Second, some behaviors of peers mistreating other are against the law. For example:

  • Assault
  • Criminal threatening
  • Harassment

Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school.  It can also have a negative impact on their ability to learn.  The ways to stop bullying is to stop it before it starts.  Prevention is the key.  There are some things to help prevent bullying in you school.

Assess your schools prevention and intervention efforts around your student’s behavior, including substance use and violence. You can build upon them or integrate bulling prevention strategies. Next assess your school to see how often bullying happens, where it happens, and if the bullying preventions are working.

It is very important for everyone in your community to work together. Get parents, teacher, community members and students working together to launch an anti-bullying campaign.  Establish a school safety committee to evaluate the programs you have in place to prevent bullying. The students can help create a school mission statement, code of conduct, school-wide rules, and a bullying reporting system.

Everyone should treat other with respect. No one should be mean to others. Students should stop and think before you say or do anything that could hurt someone. Talk to an adult if you are having problems.  Teachers and parents need to talk to students about how everyone is different. No one is better or worse they are just different.  If you think you have bullied someone in the past apologize to them even if it was a long time ago.

If a student feels he or she is being bullied here are a few things they can do:

  • Tell the bully to stop in a clear confident voice.
  • Walk away and find an adult to help.

It is very important for student to feel save in their school and community. Bullying is a huge problem today.  There are so many different types of bullying and things to do to stop the bullying.  Be proactive as a school and a community to keep the students safe.

Stop Bullying Now


Image result for bullying images

Twitter used in the classroom

Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows users to send out small burst of information called tweets to other users.  Twitter is a great learning platform for students and educators of all ages. Twitter is used by educators in three general ways: communication, professional development, and class activities.  Some teachers use Twitter to communicate with parents, students and other stakeholders. Twitter connects students and parents on a wider level as well as on a personal level. Twitter makes a classroom with no boundaries as it can be accessed for in where with any mobile device.  It also individualizes learning for each student.  After all the research I have completed and the PD I have been a part of this is where education is going.  Twitter can also be used as a resource.  Educators use Twitter mostly to discuss professional development as they participate in conversations about lessons, ideas, and resources.  Most educators use Twitter for their personal use but do not bring it into the classroom for the students. Research has shown that if Twitter is used in the classroom and out of the classroom for assigned activities will expand understanding of key course concepts.

There are numerous way Twitter can be used in an elementary classroom.  Here are a few examples: Create a single classroom account for all students, unique hashtags, follow only selected people, and respond to others tweets.  When creating a single classroom account for all students make sure the students have the permission of the teacher before they make the initially tweet. If you do not want the students to actually do the tweeting you could have them write the tweets down and the teacher can tweet them.  The students also need to put only their first name on the tweet. Hashtags are used to gather all tweets related to a certain topic. Remember when creating a hashtag for the classroom topic, make sure it has not been used before. Twitter feeds will be seen by all of your students when they log in to the class account, so, follow only people you think have useful tweets for your students.  Look for other class accounts like yours, just tag them in your tweet.  Tweet a math problem and if they want to solve it they can tweet you class back.  There are a lot of class accounts like these, your students will love to engage in these type of activities. To keep your parents informed you can tweet out newsletters, school calendars, and classroom links. In an effort to increase the visibility of a classroom twitter account and to show the value of the account you can embed the Twitter stream into a class website.  This can help show photos, videos and Tweets can be viewed from the website.

I have enjoyed doing this assignment because it has given a lot of different ideas to use in the classroom. I can see where my kindergarten students could do some of these things and I could tweet them out for them. I think they would be very excited to see when different people or different classrooms around the world tweeted us. Most of these idea I have not really thought about before, but my students would be very interested in doing some of them.  My Kindergarten students would not be able to do most of them by themselves but we could use this as a teaching tool.  My parents would love the idea of learning about what is happening in the classroom from the class website and Twitter.  I know I would look at it if it were used in my children’s classroom.

Ed-tech Review

Matt Coaty


The teacher-student relationship: What if you don’t click

The teacher-student relationship: What if you don’t click

When you are a teacher, you do your best with every student.  Some students are harder to connect with and make that bond you need with some students.  As a teacher it is very hard to admit that I do have better bonds with some students than with others.  These are the students you really have to find a way to make those bonds with.  There is a new study that shows that this is nothing to be concerned with as long as you have a good working alliance with all of your students.  The social and emotional well-being, academic performance, and sense of belonging all depends on the critical relationship between the teacher and the teacher.  But this relationship has been characterized as an emotional bond of liking the absentness of problems and correcting the child.  Teachers will need to expand the relationship with students to focus on collaboration and learning goals.  Each child should be in control of their learning goals and the teachers should be teaching each child as an individual.  This will help control some of the conflicts that arise.  Students need to be challenging them self not competing against each other but against their goals.  Relationships should not be defined as just emotional bonding.

To help teachers and educators rethink the bond between the teachers and students, researchers have adopted the Working Alliance Inventory. This is based on 3 interdependent components.

  1. “Bond- positive and emotional attachments based on mutual trust, liking, respect and caring
  2. Task- the more cognitive and collaboration aspect of a relationship such as understanding and agreement on task relevance and willingness to complete task that relate to goals.
  3. Goal- the degree to which both parties develop shared objectives based on individual needs.”

Research has been complete with the WAI.  The research has determined that collaboration is the most important bond that can be developed.  Teachers might not feel the closest bond to the student but collaboration on the student’s academic goals will help the student the most.

As a teacher you will not be able to make the same bond with every student.  Those students that you have a hard time with are the ones you need to make the bonds with the most.  Each child is an individual and they have different life experiences.  Each child in your classroom should be treated as an individual and should have different goals they are working toward.  This is how I try to build bonds with those students.  Success is what every child wants to experience.

Educational Research


Habit 5, 6 and 7

Habit 5- Seek First to Understand, Then to be understood

The key concept is to listen before you talk.  I truly listen to others ideas and feelings.  I do not interrupt others. I try to see things from different people’s points of view.  I make eye contact with others when they are talking. When others are finished talking I voice my ideas in a confident voice.

Communication is one of the most important skills in life.  Everyone spends years learning how to read, write, and speak but we have never been trained to listen.  We need to learn how to listen.  This habit helps us to learn how to listen before we begin to talk.

Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood classroom poster

Habit 6- Synergize

The key concept is together is better. The strength of everyone is valued.  I can learn from others.  I get along other even if they are different.  Working in groups can help us to solve problems that we cannot solve alone. Two heads are better than one.  This habit does not happen on its own.  It is a process.  When you synergize you can discover jointly things you would not be able to own your own.  The idea is the whole is greater than the sum of all its parts. When you synergize you should value differences.  This is seen as a strength not as a weakness.  They add zest to life.

Synergize classroom poster

Habit 7- Sharpen the Saw

The key concept means preserving and enhancing the greatest assets you have.  Have a balanced program of self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual.

Physical is eating healthy, exercising and resting.

Social/emotional is making social and meaning connections with others.

Mental is learning, reading, writing, teaching and listening.

Spiritual is spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service.

As renew yourself in all of the areas, you can create growth and change in your life. This habit keep you refreshed so you can continue to practice the other six habits. This allows you to be able to increase your capability to produce and handle the challenges all around you. When you do not have this in your life your body becomes weak, the mind becomes mechanical, the emotions become raw, the spirit insensitive, and the person is selfish.  This type of person is not what you want to be.  Feeling good does not just happen. Living a life in balance means you need to take time for yourself.  It is up to you.

Sharpen the Saw classroom poster

The Leader in Me

Habit 3- Put First Things First & Habit 4- Think Win- Win

The Key concept First work then play.  The most important things I do first.  I say no to things I know I should not do.  I have priorities, I make a schedule, and follow my plan.  I am organized and I am disciplined.   This concept is hard for everyone but especially young children.  You must be taught how to do these things and why they are important.  Students understand simple examples such as do your homework before you can play video games or do your chores before you play outside.  Teaching children at an early age to importance of this habit with stay with them for life.

To have more balance in your life, not doing everything that comes along is ok.  Focus on your highest priorities and realize that it is ok to say no.  There is no need to stress yourself out by overextend yourself.  Habit 3 is about life management.  What is your purpose, value, roles and priorities?  Your first things are those things you, personally, find of most worth to you.  When you put first things first, you are organizing and managing time and events according to your personal priorities you established in Habit 2.

Put first things first classroom poster

Habit 4- Think Win- Win

I balance courage for what I want with consideration for what other may want.  When problems arise I look for a third alternative to solve the problem.

Think Win-Win is not about being nice.  It is also not a quick- fix technique.  It is learning how to interact and collaborate with others.  Most of us think there is always a winner and a loser.  That is not always the case.  Win- win sees life as cooperative arena, not a competitive one. This is a frame of mind and heart that is seeking benefits for everyone in all interactions.  Win-win means solutions and agreements are beneficial.  For example we both get to use the same marker, and it writes the same.

A successful person or organization that has conflicts should approach it with a win-win attitude.  There are three character traits that should be used.

  1. “Integrity: sticking with your true feelings, values, and commitments
  2. Maturity: expressing your ideas and feelings with courage and consideration for the ideas and feelings of others
  3. Abundance Mentality: believing there is plenty for everyone” (Covey)

Many times we think in terms of either/or: either you are athletic or you are smart.  This habit requires that you be both.  You must balance consideration and courage.

Think win-win classroom poster

7 Habits

The Leader in Me Habit #2

Habit #2

Begin with the End in Mind

The Key concept is to plan ahead and set goals for yourself.  I do things in my life to make a difference.  I am important to my school and my classroom.  I look for ways to help other in my community and school.  This habit is something everyone should try to do to make the world a better place.  These are life changing habits.  It is amazing watching student’s think of these things when making decisions on their own.  When students use the habits they take them home and then parents start using them.  It becomes part of the community.  To change one students makes all the difference in the world.

Habit 2 is based on imagination- the ability to see in your mind what you cannot see with your eyes at the present moment.  It is based on the principle that all things are created twice.  The first creation in in your mind. The second creation is physical.  For example a building has a blueprint, the physical creation follows mental creation.  Once you have the blueprint you can build the building.  If you do not have a blueprint you cannot build the building exactly how you imagined it. You must make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in your life, then you will allow people and circumstances to influence you in your life by default.  “This habit is about connecting again with your own uniqueness and then defining the personal, moral, and ethical guidelines within which you can most happily express and fulfill yourself” (Covey).  Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each project assignment and each day with a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and where you want to go with each project.  Remember Habit 1 you are in charge of your life.

One of the best ways to incorporate Habit 2 into your life is to develop a Personal Mission Statement.  This Mission statement should focus on what you want to do and what you want to be.  This is your plan for success.  This will put your goals in focus, and reaffirms who you are.  You are the leader of your life by creating your mission statement.  You can create your own destiny and secure the future you want.

The Leader in Me  Habit #2

Begin with the end in mind classroom poster

The Seven Habits of Happy Kids

The Seven Habits of Happy Kids is a program that along with my self and my co-workers, we are becoming very familiar with this year.  This is a part of The Leader in Me by Franklin Covey. The Leader in Me is a program that is teaching students to take control of their learning and everyday situations that they may come in contact with and being in control of them. The Seven Habits of Happy Kids is teaching 21st Century leadership and life skills to students.  It empowers the students to be and work on becoming leaders. Along with my self and all the teachers at my school, we have been through multiple trainings for the Seven Habits of Happy Kids and we are now taking what we learned in the trainings and teaching our students in the classrooms. Each week I am going to be blogging and explaining about one or two habits of the seven. These habits are not only beneficial to students but to adults as well. In order to teach the Seven Habits of Happy Kids, you as a teacher have to be living proof of each habit.

Habit 1- Be Proactive

The key concept of habit 1 is you are in charge of everything in your life. Everything is up to you. For example you are choosing to be responsible for your: actions, moods, and attitudes. By taking responsibility of your actions, moods, and attitudes, you have no one to blame if something does not work out but yourself. A person who is living by the habits daily would use words such as : I can, I will, and I prefer instead of someone who is reactive and their language use would be I cant, I have to, and If only. Reactive people try to control things that are out of their control and blame problems on things around them such as people or the environment.

There are two areas that we fall in to when we face problems and they are the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence. The Circle of Concern is for reactive people that try to take control over things that they cannot control. The Circle of Influence is the circle that we strive to be in and it is the one that we can be in control and change things such as our actions, moods, behavior, and health. Once one becomes aware of what they cannot control and lets it go they too can also become a part of the Circle of Influence and start living a proactive life style.

The Leader in Me

Be Proactive classroom poster

Blogging My Way Through the Class

An important part of teaching is communication. I have discovered an app called Remind.  I was introduced to this app from a colleague that used it in her classroom.  My daughter’s teacher used in her classroom last year but I was not familiar with the app myself until this year. Remind can be used for communicating with parents, colleagues, administrators and school staff.  Remind is app you can download on to your phone or other devices.

Remind can increase parent engagement and satisfaction. Remind can be used to engage parents and family members about how to talk to you child about what they are learning about, field trip reminders to celebrations and activities at school.  PTA and PTO use remind in get more parents involved. It is also used sometimes to reduced absentee and chronic tardiness.  Older students that get themselves up and ready for school could use this to help them get motivated and join the chat in the mornings.  When there is a deadline coming up or an important events coming up you can send out reminders 3 days, two day and then the day of the event.  Boosting students literacy is another way to use Remind.  This gets the family involved in what to ask when the students get home.   This builds vocabulary skills for the older students and helps with reading with the younger students.  Remind is available in six different languages.  This can be used with your English Language Learners.  Teachers can download parent letters in the parents native language in case the parent are not involved because of the language barrier.  You can also use remind to send positive motivational messages congratulating students and families on progress.

Here is a list of the top ten way to use remind:

  1. Send reminders about events going on in the classroom.
  2. Use attach to send permission slips to parents.
  3. Take photos of class events of things happening so the parents that could not attend stay connected.
  4. Schedule deadline reminders
  5. Sends students warm up questions or trivia facts to get the students thinking before they come into class.
  6. Send students links to outside resources.
  7. Send students positive and encouraging messages for their hard work.
  8. Homework assignments
  9. Send colleagues resources and Professional development opportunities.
  10. Send parents topics of materials covered in class.

I have started using remind in my classroom this year.  I have almost all parents using remind in my class.  I teach Kindergarten so Remind is used for the parents in my classroom.  I send out important events coming up, homework assignments, projects and other things.  The parents can send me questions when they arise.  The parents do not have my personal phone number but they can use Remind to get in contact with me. Remind is simple, safe, and free!

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