Look Who’s Talking!: Building a ‘Brave Space’ in Class

   “To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin.” -bell hooks My teenage years included trips to the movie theater where I was mesmerized by 3D movies. I loved watching … Continued

Yes! You can teach sight words efficiently. Here’s how.

Cajsa is a 1st grader at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. In September 2021, after a year and a half of remote learning over Zoom, she started the year as a STEP 1 (Fountas and Pinnell (F&P) Level A), with a reading accuracy of only 83% (90% is a passing score). In just 6 … Continued

Introducing Uncommon’s Open Source AP Curriculum Hub

At Uncommon Schools, we are deeply committed to supporting our students to get to and through college, which includes providing a college-ready academic course trajectory with preparation that allows all students to access Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Research indicates that students who take at least one AP course perform better in college than those who … Continued

Our Plans to Reverse COVID-related Learning Loss

The 2021-2022 school year launches in two months and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome our students to a new school year full of fresh opportunities. The reality of COVID learning loss requires us to set a bold and necessary goal: to reverse 100% of COVID-related learning loss by June 2022. To achieve this … Continued

‘I am Black and I am Proud To Be’: Fostering Self-Love and Celebrating Identity in the Elementary Classroom

School Wellness Lessons On the cue of “go” a class of 4th graders races to find their favorite book. Bursting with excitement, they eagerly return to their seats with popular titles such as Goosebumps and Harry Potter. At the start of this community building block, students have space to indulge in 5 minutes of leisure … Continued

What Viola Davis Can Teach Us About Preparing for Discourse

Viola Davis, a true icon of stage, screen, and most likely future EGOT winner, had this to say about her research and process before a scene: Source: BAFTA Ms. Davis prepares to listen. To respond. To use whatever her partner gives her to create the most authentic and transformative theatrical experience. Engaging in effective discourse … Continued

To Maximize Summer School, Double Down on Reading

This year kids and teachers across the country have faced unprecedented challenges, both in and out of school. Despite schools’, teachers’, and parents’ heroic efforts, we know many students have lost instructional time and have fallen behind where they traditionally should be academically. Education leaders across the country are determined to find ways to make … Continued

Using Desmos to Drive Mathematical Discourse

Before the pandemic shut down school buildings, one of Lauren Masco’s best teacher moves was strategically walking around the classroom to observe students’ math work. Based on trending student thinking, Lauren would be able to quickly determine which students she should call on in order to orchestrate discourse based on students’ mathematical understandings and misconceptions. … Continued

Are Students Learning, Growing, and Thriving? Building a Community of Learners

Welcome to the first entry of the Uncommon Schools instructional blog, Uncommon Sense! We are excited to connect you with some of the incredible members of our Uncommon team along with ready-to-use resources and the cutting-edge research we utilize to drive student engagement and achievement. Our hope is that this blog may spark a new … Continued