Welcome to Core Connections, a blog by Success at the Core. You'll find stories of best practices, inspiring experiences, and effective strategies related to leadership development, classroom instruction, and student engagement.

Treasuring the Precious Objects that Catalyze Student Learning

Heather Byington
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Summer is a time during which I can reflect on things that happened during the busy school year and how they will shape my future decisions. I am still processing and reflecting on two events that occurred this June: the robbery of my home and moving my classroom to another school.  What do these two events have in common? They both caused me to reflect on precious objects that I don’t want to lose and why they’re precious to me.

Of all the items stolen from my home, there was one object that hurt the most to lose because of the …

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Leadership Teams: How Can You Improve Effectiveness Based On Specific Needs?

Merrilou Harrison
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The name varies from school to school: Instructional Leadership Team, Building Leadership Team, School Improvement Team.  Regardless of what you call it, chances are that you have a leadership team at your school.

This summer, as you think about leadership teams you are a member of and/or lead, you are likely reflecting on what went well this past year. And, with promise that a new school year always brings, you’re probably already thinking about what you can do to improve the team’s structure, focus, and effectiveness.

As I work with leadership teams across the country, I find that while most teams understand …

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Comprehension Through Video: The Power of Visual Learning

Corrie Freiwaldt
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We just celebrated my daughter’s 12th birthday, and as part of the festivities, we pulled out home videos from the past eight years. As we watched and reminisced about each adorable childhood phase, I realized just how important video is to our lives. As a parent, these videos allowed me to access memories that were buried deep in my brain. As my kids watched, they learned more about our family, the house we kept, the parenting techniques we used, and how we interacted with one another. It was unbelievable how happy our family was as we relived so many memories …

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Friday Forum: Any ideas to prevent ‘summer setback?’

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Friday Forum is a bi-weekly advice column for educators seeking guidance on educations issues. Please join the discussion – we want to hear your stories and suggestions, too! 

Q: Hi, I am a teacher returning to the elementary classroom after 5 years.  I am moving to a 4th grade class, which I have never taught before, and am seeking ideas I can use this summer with my incoming 4th graders to try to prevent “summer setback.”  Do you have any specific ideas I can include when I contact them, ideas that will encourage them to continue learning?  Any help is greatly …

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