August 30, 2018   |   By Sarah Scott Frank, PhD

The Challenge of the Third Grade Reading Challenge

This is a guest post written by Sarah Scott Frank, PhD, Founder of OpenLiteracy, a BloomBoard partner.


We want all kids to read well by the end of third grade, the year when reading abilities can predict the likeliness of high school graduation. The idea is so important that 18 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory third grade retention policies requiring students to demonstrate proficiency in reading or be “held back”. Additionally, over half of states have remediation and academic support policies in place for students who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

The challenge of supporting all students to read at grade level by third grade is that our policies are often not aligned with meeting this goal. To do so would require ensuring that every child has a teacher who is well versed in the specialized knowledge and skill required early elementary reading.

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August 18, 2016   |   By Alicia Barnes

Preparing Students to Use Digital Tools this School Year

Guest post by Dana Sparkman, PhD faculty at Capella University

At the end of May, I visited with a teacher friend of mine at a local elementary school. After the usual discussion of the frantic end-of-school-year pace, she talked about some of her students. She’d had a very challenging year, a class full of students with a very wide range of learning needs. She worried that her students would “backtrack” a good deal over the summer.

One way for students to continue learning over the summer is through technology, but this time is often unsupervised and lacking specific learning goals. With the start of a new school year just around the bend, it's the perfect opportunity to get students back in the groove of learning and also remind them how to use digital tools responsibly and in a targeted way to support their learning. I suggested to my friend that she look at the collections on BloomBoard, and use them as a model for creating collections for her own students as they head back to the classroom this year.

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August 11, 2015   |   By Sandy Austin, Project Director, University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL)

4 Steps of Inquiry That Help Principals Improve Instruction


When principals are asked what prevents them from focusing on instructional quality in their school, the number one answer is: time. It’s true, time is always a concern for principals, but it is not the only one.

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July 7, 2015   |   By Ian Harris

5 Ways To Boost Professional Learning

Oliver Caviglioli and I are the co-creators of HOW2s by Train Visual. For over 15 years we led live training events in over 2,000 schools and colleges in the UK and overseas. Broadly, our training content was based on teaching techniques that evidence-based studies suggested worked best in classrooms. 

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April 1, 2015   |   By Karen Jorge, Business Innovation Factory

5 Things Educators Should Know About Design Thinking

Attempts to improve educational experiences are too often top-down. The best solutions, however, come from the people most affected — the students — and those on the front lines — the teachers. Over the last ten years, we at the Business Innovation Factory have used human-centered research and design thinking to engage students, teachers, and education leaders in designing, prototyping, and sharing radical new models for learning and teaching.

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