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ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

ANet blog

As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, our primary concern is helping ensure equitable opportunity for all students.

Working alongside schools, we’ve learned that great teaching is grounded in standards, data, and insights shared among educators. We believe a blog can help us make a difference by spreading the ideas and effective practices of educators we work with.

We’re proud of the expertise our team has built over our ten years, and we'll be featuring contributions from ANetters across the org on topics in which they’ve immersed themselves.

Help us spread opportunity for all students: please share posts that you find valuable with your colleagues. And please add your thoughts in the comments: we would love this blog to facilitate knowledge-sharing in all directions.

Filtering by Category: Insight Sharing

Teachers drive their development at the Condon K-8 School

Becky Frutos

How do you make professional development more engaging and practical for teachers? Involve your teachers! At the Condon K-8 School in Boston, teachers design and facilitate their PD—and the impact on teacher investment and collaboration has been incredible.

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Sometimes the best way to help your students is not to help them.

Becky Frutos

I don’t like doing things I’m not good at, and I know I’m not alone. That’s why, as a teacher, I hated to see my students frustrated and struggling. And yet, when I gave them something easy to “build them up,” they often became distracted.

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Advancing student learning with shorter, more frequent coaching sessions

Becky Frutos

At Mission Grammar School each week, every lead teacher receives, at minimum,  a 15-minute instructional observation and a corresponding 30-minute coaching conversation. Teachers and students are reaping the rewards.

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Extra time selecting resources and planning yields results for Stanley

Becky Frutos

Stanley Elementary School is known for their dedicated educators, who care deeply about students and are constantly developing their practice to meet the needs of their students. As first-year ANet partners, they’ve chosen instructional priorities that will align instruction with standards. In ELA specifically, they’re prioritizing complex text. In math, the focus is on the major work of the grade.

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Leveraging assessments for instructional change

Becky Frutos

Most educators agree that assessments shouldn’t be a “departure from instruction” but, rather, an “integral part of it.” They’re on board with changing the conversation around assessments from student scores to what students have learned, and many agree that teachers should take the assessment. 


However, in light of the ever-increasing demands on the time of teachers and leaders, the questions become when can this work be done? And, is this work truly worth it? 

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The Wild West of open literacy resources: 3. Quality and reflection matter

Becky Frutos

In this post, we want to share a case study of two Chicago teachers’ approach to using the open-source materials offered by the Vermont Writing Collaborative.  

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The Wild West of open literacy resources: 1. Quality matters

Jeff Odell

We’ve all been there: You’re scrambling to prepare a lesson and you think, "Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s check the interwebs." You google your topic and…28,000,000 results pop up. How on Earth do you decide what might be worth using with your students?

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Integrating planning and PD saves time, gets results

Jeff Odell

If there’s one thing teachers and school leaders are short on, it’s time.

That's what led Marilyn McCottrell to streamline her sessions with her teachers. Instead of carving out separate times for professional development and curriculum planning, she’s found a way to enable teachers and leaders to tackle both of these critical aspects of their work at the same time.

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With assessments, one size can’t fit all.

Jeff Odell

Think about some of the reasons that we assess: to measure growth, as a diagnostic, for accountability/evaluation, or to inform teachers’ instructional decisions. 

How could any one assessment do all of those things well?

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3 steps to productive coaching observations

Jeff Odell

Most of Isaac Castelaz’s professional development work doesn’t happen in a packed conference room or a post-observation debrief. It happens before he ever sets foot in a classroom to observe a lesson when he sits down to study and internalize the lesson himself.

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Student discussion at the heart of learning

Jeff Odell

A classroom culture that values discussion encourages students to take ownership of their learning. Discussion engages students and allows for real-time feedback, which can ultimately deepen their understanding of math content. In this video you’ll see some of fifth-grade teacher Carina Pruitt’s strategies for building an effective culture of student discussion in her classroom.

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