Kathy S Dyer

I am a freelance writer and design strategist. My passion is seeing lightbulbs come on as people make new connections through learning and doing.

Advertorial: Learning Together = Greater Gains

This article has been written by Edmentum which offers education technology that teachers can trust. Edmentum boasts over 60 years of experience in K12 digital education solutions and supports educators globally in delivering world-class pedagogy to drive students’ academic growth. Educators need a well-planned professional learning programme that supports them in developing their skills, in order to help their students on their own journey to success. The move from discussing professional dev

Supporting English Language Learners and Preparing for PISA 2025

In 2025 PISA is offering an optional foreign language assessment for the first time. Around the world, countries have similar and differing reasons for foreign language learning. As you think about why your school or government supports foreign language learning, does it appear on this list? What would you add? In 2025 PISA is offering an optional foreign language assessment for the first time. Geared to provide educators and policymakers students’ foreign language competence and insights into

75 digital tools and apps teachers can use to support formative assessment in the classroom

There is no shortage of formative assessment strategies, techniques, and tools available to teachers who use formative instructional practice in their classrooms. Here is an extensive list of 75 digital tools, apps, and platforms that can help you and your students use formative assessment to elicit evidence of learning. We didn’t just add any old tool to this list. Here are the criteria we used for those that made the cut: • Supports formative instructional strategies and ways to activate learn

Assessing as a Support for Learning

“…the primary purpose of assessment is not to measure but to further learning.” Sarah M. Bonner, SAGE Handbook of Research on Classroom Assessment, 2013, p. 97 The idea of “furthering” learning rather than measuring it via assessing may be a paradigm shift for some. For others, it makes lots of sense. Lorna Earl (2003) introduced us to the idea of assessment as learning. What if we changed our language? What if we stopped talking about assessment and started talking about assessing? What if we

Re-Engaging for Learning in the New School Year

Schools are community hubs. The school building is often used for community functions. Community members physically and fiscally support the school and educational system. Learning happens in many places throughout the community. This educational ecosystem is large. Re-engaging learners (and the community) after the last 18 months will take a multi-faceted approach. The title of Hugh Vasquez’s article, “What if We… Don’t Return to School as Usual,” challenges us to consider doing things differe

Rubric Do’s & Don’ts (Opinion)

The new question-of-the-week is: Do you use rubrics? Why or why not? If you do, how do you use them most effectively? If you don’t, what do you use instead? I know that I am in the minority, but I’m generally not a big fan of rubrics. In my experience, I feel like they tend to take too much time for me to create; having students co-create them is obviously much better, but doing that takes even more time. Often students don’t really pay much attention to them, anyway, and they can often resul

'Students Will Ask Great Questions If We Give Them the Chance' (Opinion)

The new question-of-the-week is: How can we encourage students to develop their own questions? And, once they create them, what’s next? In Part One , Mary Beth Nicklaus, Kevin Parr, Silvina Jover, and Andrea Clark offer their suggestions. Mary Beth and Kevin were also guests on my 10-minute BAM! Radio Show . You can also find a list of, and links to, previous shows here. In Part Two , Warren Berger, Elise Foster, Jackie Acree Walsh, Ph.D., Joy Hamm, and Carey Borkoski, Ph.D., Ed.D., shared th

Ways to Promote Student Engagement (Opinion)

The new question-of-the-week is: What does “student engagement” mean, and what can we do to promote it in our classrooms? We talk about the importance of having students engaged, but what does that really look like? What are they doing, and what kind of content do they actually need to be engaged with? Today, Kathy Dyer, Sarah Said, Samantha Cortez, Cathy Beck, Danny Weeks, Dr. Beth Gotcher, Madeline Whitaker Good, and Elizabeth Stringer Keefe, Ph.D., help to answer those questions. You can

Response: Effective Ways Students Can Teach Their Classmates (Opinion)

What are effective strategies for having students teach their classmates and other peers? We educators have big jobs when we’re teaching 35 students at one time. One way to make it a bit easier, and more effective, can be to create situations where students can also teach their own classmates. This three-part series will explore what this can look like practically in the classroom. Today’s contributors are Bobson Wong, Adeyemi Stembridge, Jennifer Davis Bowman, Starr Sackstein, Kathy Dyer and

What Can Student Learning Teach Us About Professional Development for Teachers?

For true learning to take place in a professional development setting, teachers—like students—need to take ownership of their learning. How does that happen? Research shows that when learners are engaged in moving their own learning forward, they can achieve at higher levels. But engaging learners—at any age—always presents a challenge. In a professional development (PD) setting, we need to ask ourselves, “What transforms a teacher into a learner? And how can we apply what we know about student

Three Reasons Savvy Leaders Prioritize Formative Instructional Practices | NCEATalk

What do we mean by formative practices? Daily, minute-to-minute instructional practices that educators can use to drive growth in between formal assessment checkpoints. Some call these classroom practices formative assessment; some prefer the more specific formative instructional practices; and others just refer to this as good teaching. These practices encompass a wide range of strategies and techniques—including the myriad ways teachers informally check for understanding and give feedback to

How to deliver PL that really works

I recently chatted with Kathy Dyer, NWEA’s manager of innovation and learning, professional learning design, about how to connect professional learning (PL) to student outcomes and how to best support teachers. According to Dyer, quality PL that sticks with learners is when people learn with, from, and for each other. “The good teaching strategies we use with kids are good strategies for teachers to use to learn as well,” she says. Dyer encourages administrators to give teachers the opportunit
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