• February 28

One Year of Uncommon Sense

  • Erin Michels, Juliana Worrell

One year ago, we introduced Uncommon Sense, a blog whose intention is to introduce you to some of the incredible members of our Uncommon team along with ready-to-use resources and the cutting-edge research that we utilize to drive student engagement and achievement.  Our hope was and continues to be that when asked, “Are your students learning, growing, and thriving?” that the Uncommon Sense blog may contribute to your ability to say, “Yes!”  In true Uncommon fashion, the data tells us we are making a contribution!

With 12 posts, 19,935 pageviews from 42 countries, and more than 1,000 subscribers, our content is being seen, read, and more importantly used.  We had more than 200 people download our DEI Lens Framework and our Schedule Framework.  Additionally, our Guided Reading sample lesson plan, Middle School Math Action and Relationship student resource, Literacy Feedback one-pager, Writing Conference one-pager, and Universal Discourse one-pager were downloaded by more than 100 unique users each.  We also had more than 30 attendees from 5 countries at the webinar we led in the Fall.  We hope if you missed any of these resources, that you’ll take a moment to look back and see if any of them may prove useful for your current needs.

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If we have learned anything over this past year, it is to remain flexible and responsive to the ever changing needs of education and the broader world around us.  As we look ahead to the next year of the Uncommon Sense blog, we will continue to remain grounded by this approach.  We are eager to share a few of our upcoming posts with you including how to teach history well through unbiased evidence and student drawn conclusions, best practices for phonics instruction, our new approach to middle school science instruction, key takeaways from our social emotional learning working group, and additional guidance in developing inspirational leaders.

We also want to make sure that we extend our reach further by responding to the topics and needs that are most relevant to you.  For that reason, we ask that you complete this brief survey to share the topics, resources, and events that will best support you in ensuring that your students are learning, growing, and thriving. 

With sincere gratitude, thank you for taking the time to engage with Uncommon Sense!  We look forward to the journey we will continue to take together over the course of our second year of this blog and beyond.

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Erin Michels
Senior Director, Curriculum and Assessment K-8

Erin Michels

Erin is the Senior Director of Curriculum and Assessment K-8 at Uncommon Schools. She oversees a team of content experts and lesson planners who create curriculum and assessments, and monitors student data for Uncommon’s 45 elementary and middle schools in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. She is an expert in data-driven instruction and has led curriculum creation for the organization since 2015. Prior to her current role, she was a founding teacher and Dean of Curriculum and Instruction at Uncommon’s North Star Academy Vailsburg Elementary School.

Juliana Worrell
Chief Schools Officer, K-8

Juliana Worrell

Juliana Worrell is the Chief Schools Officer, K-8 for Uncommon Schools. She oversees the instructional program for 45 elementary and middle schools across New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Juliana is the co-author of the book Great Habits, Great Readers, and leads trainings at the heart of education reform that develop teachers and school leaders in areas such as literacy, data analysis, curriculum planning, and classroom instruction. Juliana is spearheading a remote learning program that provides Uncommon ‘s 21,000 students with an education focused on college-readiness through the COVID-19 pandemic, and is developing an approach to classroom management and student discipline that is rooted in culturally responsive teaching and anti-racism.