Reopening: Moving Toward More Equitable Schools
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EL Education’s Top 25 of 2017

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    Kat Klopp

2017 was a big year for the movement to transform public education. Thanks to many of you, the national conversation about the purpose and potential of school caught fire. You helped us spread the message that every school has the power and the promise to prepare children for great scholarship and great citizenship.

In honor of our 25th Anniversary, we’re sharing the top 25 highlights of  2017, featuring diverse voices from across our organization. These videos, resources, and commentaries garnered the most visits, sparked the deepest conversations, inspired the greatest impact, and even earned accolades from top media, including Education Dive, ASCD Express, The 74 and Edutopia.

We hope you’ll continue to share these into 2018 and fuel the movement to give every child the kind of education they deserve: one that inspires academic excellence, character, and high quality work.

Top 5 Blogs

What Makes a Collaborative Classroom Work? by Anne Vilen
Anne offers three considerations to teachers as they help students “work productively and listen to one another inquisitively.”

The Importance of Academic Courage by Ron Berger
Ron writes that courage exists in math as much as in mountain climbing, and students can develop the courage to tackle academic and life challenges.

Saving Democracy: What Schools Can Do by Ron Berger
Ron shares how schools can help preserve democracy by fostering an ethic of active, respectful citizenship.

How to Scale Up Deeper Learning by Libby Woodfin
Libby discusses how schools can ensure that all students get the opportunity to learn deeply.

How to Teach When the Political is Personal by Sarah Norris
Sarah discusses how teachers can address politically sensitive topics with their students by giving them real material to engage with and supporting them to do work that matters to them.

Top 5 Videos

Walking in Solidarity
This video about Portland, Maine’s Casco Bay High School’s walk in solidarity following a hate crime last winter highlights EL’s commitment to social justice and joining character to academics. The film preceded Atak Natali’s riveting speech at this year’s National Conference.

The Way School Ought to Be
Highlighting Capital City Public Charter in Washington D.C., this one-minute video created by ELO films illuminates learning that is alive with passion, rigor, and joy. This film celebrates the kind of rich education that all children in America deserve.

Revisiting Rochester
Ten years after leading a city-wide project to revitalize downtown Rochester, NY, four EL Education alumni return to Rochester and reconnect with their school and community. This video introduced alumna speaker Kennethea A. Wilson at this year’s National Conference. Stay tuned for more videos about expeditions that improve communities around Better World Day!

Implementing the K-2 Skills Block
This video shows our award-winning curriculum K-2 Skills block in action at Lead Academy in Greenville, South Carolina. It has been a key tool for professional development of our newly launched curriculum block that will help achieve equity for all students through targeted differentiation.

Behind the Practice: Implementing the K-2 Labs with Kady Taylor
Part of a new series in which teachers and coaches explicate their practice and give helpful tips, second grade teacher Kady Taylor of Kuumba Academy in Wilmington, Delaware speaks passionately about allowing primary students to learn through play and discovery.

Top 5 Models of Excellence Projects from our Library of Exemplary Student Work

Birds of Palouse
First and second-grade students in Moscow, ID created stunning watercolor collages of birds after a hands-on exploration of the way different birds adapt to survive in their unique environments in Birds of The Palouse.

Whale Of A Project
Elementary students (1st-6th) in a Significant Support Needs (SSN) special education class in Highlands Ranch, CO created a life size replica of an orca to display in their school as part of their deep study of whales in Whale Of A Project.

Bugs Tell a Story: Healthy Habitats Along the Genesee River
Elementary students (1st- 5th) in Rochester, NY developed a school-wide expedition focusing on the health of the Genesee River, examining what lives in and around the river as well as the water and soil quality in Bugs Tell a Story: Healthy Habitats Along the Genesee River. 

Middle and high school students in Cambridge, MA created fashion for social justice by designing wearable art for dancers with disabilities in Juxtapose2.

The Governmental Times: An Op-Ed Blog
Twelfth-graders in Forest Hills, NY investigated fake news in order to assess credibility and reliability of sources as they crafted their own opinion editorial pieces on current political events in The Governmental Times: An Op-Ed Blog.

Top 5 News Stories

The 74: 25 Years, 1 Million Kids. How Expeditionary Deeper Learning Engages Students Through Inquiry, Discovery & Creativity
The EL Education model, focusing on character, scholarship and craftsmanship, is exemplified through the work at Two Rivers Public Charter School.

News & Observer: Say goodbye to school textbooks. Wake County moving to free online materials
The Wake County Public School System selects EL Education’s Language Arts curriculum, transforming  teaching and learning in the 15th largest district in the country.

Education Dive: Study: Blending Curriculum, PD Can Help Novice Teachers Improve
Mathematica Policy Research releases initial findings that EL Education’s Language Arts Curriculum combined with acclaimed professional development has a positive impact on teacher practice.

American School Board Journal: Elementary Expeditions
The EL Education approach is profiled through the work of Winnona Park Elementary School in Decatur, GA.

T.H.E. Journal: Open Up Resources, EL Education to Launch Free K-5 ELA Curriculum
A groundbreaking partnership is formed to increase the reach of EL Education’s nationally-recognized Language Arts curriculum.

Top 5 Open Access Resources from our Library

Dimensions of Student Achievement 
In partnership with students, teachers, and leaders across the country, we’re redefining what student achievement means in education. This seminal document promotes the idea that achievement can include high quality work and positive character, in addition to academic knowledge and skills.

Core Practices Beta 2017
This revision of the EL Education Core Practices amplifies and clarifies the best practices in EL Education schools around the country, which are enabling more than 4,000 teachers and 50,000 students to achieve more than they thought possible.

What is EL Education?
More schools, educators, and leaders joined the movement in 2017 to transform public schools into places of joy and rigor in learning, starting with our key resource for new partners.

Professional Development Catalog
Our professional development catalog is as robust as it has ever been with hundreds of new offerings proven to help novice and expert teachers alike improve their practice. Stay tuned for the School Year 2019 Catalog!

Grades 3 - 5 Language Arts Curriculum Overview
We launched a new edition of our K-5 Language Arts Curriculum in 2017, building on the success of the award-winning first edition. These guiding resources support hundreds of partners and millions of educators in implementing the curriculum with integrity, influencing major growth in teacher practice and student achievement.