Building Success with Team Tasks


Have you ever been part of a team or committee where one person does all the work?  Or conversely, one person doesn’t contribute.  The same holds true for our students.  

Have you ever tried moving desks into team formation… and then reverting back to rows because it was so painful?  Yep.  We know the feeling.  

Once students are in teams we start by teaching the social skills needed for collaboration to take place. What does collaboration look like?  Sound like? (See T-Graph for Social Skills in Acceleration 101: Setting the Stage). 

Once you have teams and the T-Graph for Social Skills in place, it’s time to assign team projects or “tasks.”  

Setting up those team task for success is our insider tip for today! 



Spencer Kagan is a researcher we refer to for ideas to support...

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Bell to Bell Instruction


Bell to bell instruction is the idea that everything that happens from the start bell until the dismissal bell is an academic task that engages students toward the learning goals. It is one of the characteristics of a high performing school. 


There are many ways that teachers can accomplish this, but we’ll focus on one idea. Reducing transition time! 


Let’s reflect on how many transitions there are in the average school day and how much time they take away from instructional minutes available. In the average elementary classroom, there are between 5-10 transitions a day. Come sit on the carpet, go back to your seat, go to your reading group, wash your hands, line up for a specialist or lunch, walk to and from specials or lunch, etc. If each one of these transitions, conservatively, takes 3 minutes that’s 15-30 minutes of lost instruction time a day. If we’re counting based on the reality of a 5-8 minute transition, that is...

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Tone down the talking (teacher talk, that is)

Tone down the talking (teacher talk, that is!)

Project GLAD® has become synonymous with making content accessible and retainable for all students.  It’s known for creating positive, collaborative classroom cultures.  We tout its ability to increase relevancy and cultural proficiency in the learning process.  

Beyond all those benefits...

Project GLAD® is about learning language! 

All our students are language learners.  Whether we’re teaching in a dual language classroom or introducing content specific vocabulary in math, science, art, and literature.  

Guided Oral Practice is one of the main components in Project GLAD.  The idea is for students to learn language, they need to practice speaking that language.

The question is... 

How can we increase and guide student talk? 

How much space is there in the day or class period for students to talk?  Imagine if we took all the time we try to get students to...

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A GLAD® Goal That Brings You Joy

I admit, I’m one of those people who wait until the beginning of a new year, a new month or a new week to launch a new habit or goal. I just love that feeling of a fresh start. 

And yes, I have dozens of half finished journals around the house. Each one heralding a fresh start with a habit I’m still working on actually becoming a habit.

If you’ve been in our coaching courses or training, we will tell you, 

“Any day and every day can be a fresh start.” 

It’s true.  But there’s nothing quite so encouraging as a NEW YEAR to push the reset button. 

As educators, we get to experience the impact of a January new beginning in the middle of our school year. 

Wherever you are in your GLAD® journey, we invite you to make January a fresh start month!  The secret is to make that fresh start something that will last longer than my unfinished journals. 

This week at Costco, I ran...

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Using the Extended Name Tag to Explore Student Identities

underlying principles Oct 03, 2022

Welcome to a new school year! By now your students are getting to know each other pretty well, and you have laid the foundation for your classroom culture. Part of creating an inclusive and supportive classroom community is to understand and value students’ identities.

Every person has layers that make up their personal identity. Norton describes identity as “how a person understands his or her relationship to the world, how that relationship is constructed across time and space, and how the person understands possibilities for the future.” Identity is made up of a person’s experiences, memories, values and beliefs, culture(s), and language(s).

When educators embrace all the facets of all the students’ identities it creates the equitable and supportive environment where learning thrives. When multi-cultural multi-lingual students come to school and feel like they have to leave parts of themselves at the classroom door to fit in, it creates a dissonance...

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Revising vs. Editing

underlying principles Apr 15, 2022

Our school year is steadily moving along. Spring break is over and testing season is upon us. At this time of year students in all grade levels have higher expectations for the quality of writing they turn in. 

"By the end of grade x, students will be able to..." 

If they haven't met the writing standards yet, there are only a few months left before final report cards.  

Writing can be one of the more challenging skills to master, and teachers also find it one of the more challenging to teach. In many ways, writing is subjective, yet there are rules and conventions to follow. Writing style is personal, yet correct usage is important.  

A helpful distinction we can make for our students is the difference between revising and editing.  


Have you ever had a student who thought revising meant recopying their paper?

In Project GLAD® we separate the revising and editing processes into distinct lessons with the...

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Be An Airhead

underlying principles Nov 01, 2021


This month we’re diving deeper into the mysterious, marvelous brain! Our goal is to teach students the research behind neuroplasticity and generate their belief that “My brain can learn!”

Our tip for this month is to share with your students the Why behind your teaching practice. Oftentimes, this is all a reluctant learner needs to get hooked into all this “color-coded-singing-moving-around-the-room-stuff”. This is particularly true for older students. Here are 3 brain tips and how they relate to teaching with Project GLAD® strategies.

Pictures make a difference

Concepts are more likely to be remembered and recalled if taught through pictures in addition to their corresponding words. This is known as the Pictorial Superiority Effect. Pictures are superior to words when it comes to the response time for recognizing information. If the image moves, the information is retained even longer.

In Project GLAD®, all our teaching that...

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Say My Name: Personal Interactions foster awareness and respect

underlying principles Sep 08, 2021

The start of the school year is upon us and you will have, undoubtedly, seen your class list by now or you may already have met your new class. Unfortunately, a ritual that plays out in classrooms across the world on the first day of school is that teachers unintentionally mispronounce students’ names. The familiar scenario is the teacher mangles the name or doesn’t even attempt it and will try to cover by saying something like, “I’m not sure how to say this”, or laughing at themselves for the mistake. The student will then either try to correct the teacher, will say nothing, or will offer a nickname or Anglicized name as a replacement. The teacher internally breathes a sigh of relief that Eun Kyung can be called Sally, and everyone moves on. But has Eun Kyung moved on? What’s happening inside her head right now?

A simple act like not being able to pronounce a name may seem innocuous to us but can have devastating consequences for students. In...

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Deep Breaths and Lower Stress: Supporting students during spring transitions

underlying principles May 17, 2021

Ever feel chatty when you’re happy?  Or so angry you just want to yell?  Ever talk late into the night with the love of your life? Or have sadness so deep words are lost in the swell? 

Emotions are the language of the heart. They release, captivate and invite us to speak.  In so many ways it is the overflow of the heart from which we speak… or are silenced.

Safety and stress produce and repress language. This is particularly true for those attempting to communicate in bi and multilingual settings. When we’re stressed, we all tend to revert back to what we know. Imagine trying to learn a new language, personally, in the midst of a pandemic. And then trying to communicate only in that language. It’s like trying to diet in the midst of a pandemic. Just too much!

And yet, that’s exactly what our emerging bi and multilingual students have been expected to do all year long. Our language learners deserve a standing ovation and our deepest...

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Flipping Out With Hybrid Learning

underlying principles Feb 04, 2021


Does the idea of hybrid teaching make you hyperventilate? How can I meet the needs of students online and in the classroom, while staying safe and sane myself? 

You’re not alone!

 Teachers across the country are currently tackling the challenges and opportunities of hybrid teaching models. A flipped classroom may be the key you’re looking for – without flipping out yourself.

 Since you spent the last year learning how to implement distanced learning, the easiest way to pivot to a blended model is to keep doing what you’re already doing. Retain your digital LMS. Post all assignments digitally. Then get ready to FLIP!

 What is a flipped classroom?

 The flipped classroom is a “pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as...

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