The holiday season is upon us and it’s a great time to show your colleagues some love. If you’re struggling to come up with gift ideas (as we all do around this time of year), you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of 10 books the MC team and MC Featured Teachers are calling their favorite books on education and leadership.

And in the spirit of giving, MasteryConnect will also be doing a book giveaway for these 10 recommended reads! It’s super easy to enter by following the steps below.

On December 10th we will begin selecting one random winner every day for ten days on. Winners can select the book of their choice from our recommend reading list below.

Our Winter Reading List

  1. Front of the Class by Brad Cohen

    Recommended by: MC Featured Teacher James Mazzarano

    Summary:
    As a child with Tourette syndrome, Brad Cohen was ridiculed, beaten, mocked, and shunned. Brad never stopped striving, and after twenty-four interviews, he landed his dream job: teaching grade school.

  2. The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher’s Month-by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley

    Recommended by: MC Featured Teacher Jessica Jones

    Summary:
    Created by teachers for teachers, this is the ultimate guide for unleashing students’ potential through creative lessons, empowering messages and innovative teaching.

  3. The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan

    Recommended by: MC Featured Teacher Nicole Menssen

    Summary:
    A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere: this is the goal of the Khan Academy, a passion project that grew from an ex-engineer and hedge funder’s online tutoring sessions with his niece, who was struggling with algebra, into a worldwide phenomenon.

  4. Multipliers: How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Greg McKeown

    Recommended by: MC Featured Teacher Katherine Karl Anderson

    Summary:
    A thought-provoking, accessible, and essential exploration of why some leaders (“Diminishers”) drain capability and intelligence from their teams, while others (“Multipliers”) amplify it to produce better results.

  5. Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division by Anthony Muhammad

    Recommended by: MasteryConnect Regional Education Team

    Summary:
    Transforming School Culture provides a school improvement plan for leaders to overcome staff division, improve relationships, and transform toxic school cultures into healthy ones.

  6. On Common Ground: The Power of Professional Learning Communities by Roland Barth, Rebecca DuFour, Richard DuFour, Robert Eaker, Barbara Eason-Watkins, Michael Fullan, Lawrence Lezotte, Douglas Reeves, Jonathon Saphier, Mike Schmoker, Dennis Sparks and Rick Stiggins

    Recommended by: MasteryConnect Required Reading

    Summary:
    On Common Ground provides a valuable tool for educators who are doing the hard work of improving their schools. This resource offers teachers and administrators a coherent conceptual framework and specific, practical strategies for moving forward with their improvement efforts.

  7. Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work by Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker, Thomas W. Many and Mike Mattos

    Recommended by: Noel Gomez, MasteryConnect Regional Sales Leader & Former School & District Administrator

    Summary:
    Discover how to close the knowing-doing gap and transform your school or district into a high-performing professional learning community (PLC).

  8. Grading for Impact: Raising Student Achievement Through a Target-Based Assessment and Learning System by Tom Hierck and Garth L. Larson

    Recommended by: Andrea Mendoza, Regional Sales and Former Teacher

    Summary:
    As grading, assessment, and reporting continue to be a relevant topic of discussion, this book creates a functional plan to move standards-based grading practices forward in schools. Teachers and teacher leaders will learn how to assess, grade, and report against specific learning targets rather than standards as a whole.

  9. Grading Smarter, Not Harder: Assessment Strategies That Motivate Kids and Help Them Learn by Myron Dueck

    Recommended by: Tiffany Hardinger, Regional Education Consultant and Former Teacher

    Summary:
    In this lively and eye-opening book, educator Myron Dueck reveals how many of the assessment policies that teachers adopt can actually prove detrimental to student motivation and achievement and shows how we can tailor policies to address what really matters: student understanding of content.

  10. How To Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Your Classroom by Susan M. Brookhart

    Recommended by: MasteryConnect Team

    Summary:
    Educators know it’s important to get students to engage in “higher-order thinking.” But What does higher-order thinking actually look like? And how can K 12 classroom teachers assess it across the disciplines? Author, consultant, and former classroom teacher Susan M. Brookhart answers these questions and more in this straightforward, practical guide to assessment that can help teachers determine if students are actually displaying the kind of complex thinking that current content standards emphasize.

We are always on the hunt for a new read! Have a book that inspires your teaching and leading methods? Enter in our Holiday Book Giveaway by following the instructions above!

Help Center

 

Start 2019 off right with a PD plan for your teachers and leaders. We are offering exclusive pricing on our Mastery Leadership Institute, Teacher Boot Camp and On-site PD if you purchase before December 21st!

 

#1 Save 20% on The Mastery Leadership Institute

Experience our premier PD that’s guaranteed to transform the data culture in your school or district. When you buy a seat to our January session or our special summer event, you’ll save $700 on the all-inclusive MLI retreat!

Choose from two sessions:

  • San Diego, CA | January 16 – 18, 2019
  • Park City, UT | July 9 – 11, 2019

Learn more about MLI!

 

#2 Early Bird Deals on Summer Boot Camps

Designed for teachers, administrators, and coaches looking to take their instruction to the next level, this intensive two-day workshop focuses on improving every step of the instructional cycle—from breaking down standards to planning meaningful interventions.

Choose the Early Bird Deal that’s right for your team:

  • Early Bird Registration – $800
  • Early Bird Registration with Two Nights Lodging – $1,000

Learn more and reserve your seat!

 

#3 Buy 2 Get 1 Free On-Site PD

Customize a plan of three on-site professional development sessions for the price of two! Whether you want to introduce MasteryConnect to new teachers or promote deeper usage among your team, we can build a plan to meet your specific goals.

Ready to learn more about how you can get this limited-time deal? Call us at (801) 736-0258 to learn more.


 

Teachers will soon have yet another great tool to build better assessments faster with Teacher Item Authoring in MasteryConnect. Learn more about this exciting new functionality and how you can be one of the first to get it!

 

 

Why You’ll Love Teacher Item Authoring

With the MasteryConnect Teacher Item Authoring tool, teachers will soon be able to author their own items to meet specific standards, DOK, and skills. Quickly create formative assessments using published items by accessing your own item bank.

The ability to share these items with colleagues makes the process of collaborating around and building common formative assessments (CFAs) using MasteryConnect even easier. District administrators can also choose to publish a District Teacher Bank, so teachers can quickly search and add standards-aligned items built by others.

When building TEIs with the Teacher Item Authoring tool, authors can choose from over 50 item types that best fit grade-level and subject. Item types include drag and drop, math formula, image highlight, graph plotting, ordering, and more—all representative of the TEIs students may see on district benchmark or end-of-level assessments.

The perfect complement to integrated third-party and district-created item banks, Teacher Item Authoring helps save both time and energy when building high-quality formative assessments.

 

 

Get Teacher Item Authoring Now

Are you interested in getting Teacher Item Authoring now for your teachers? We are releasing it to select MasteryConnect partners who want to be early adopters of the technology.

School and district MasteryConnect administrators may contact their Regional Education Consultant to learn more about how they can have this functionality activated for educators in their school or district.

Teachers, if you are interested in authoring your own items, contact your school or district’s in-house MasteryConnect administrator and let them know!

 

 

 

It’s Benchmark Season!

September 26th, 2018

Here at MasteryConnect, we want to make sure you have a great benchmark season. To help you be successful, we have rounded up our best resources to ensure benchmarks are smooth sailing.

Step-by-Step Articles in the MC Help Center
Take a peek at our best benchmarking articles from our Help Center. Each one gives you step-by-step instructions during every part of the process.

Online PD Benchmarking Course
For a more thorough overview, visit Online PD for our course on all things Benchmarking. There are 5 short videos—three minute or less—that will walk you through building, scheduling, and administering Benchmarks at the school and district level. Log into your MC account and launch online PD from app launcher next to your name.

Need More Help?
Want your own Benchmarking PD Session from a MasteryConnect specialist? Request more information from your Regional Education Consultant or fill out this form.

Have a different benchmarking question for us? You can always log in to submit a ticket to our talented support specialists here.

Join us for a special event to learn about the game-changing model that utilizes breakthroughs in machine learning technology, psychometrics, and data analytics to change the landscape of assessment.

A panel of experts will explore the differences between IRT and the new multi-dimensional Diagnostic Cognitive Modeling (DCM), and you will see how DCM revolutionizes mastery and personalized approaches.
States are seeking new innovative assessment models to replace the outdated No Child Left Behind Era, high-stakes assessments based on Classical Test Theory (CTT) and Item Response Theory (IRT).

This is the future of assessment. Come hear from the world-renowned psychometrician and the industry leaders who have been pioneering this new approach.

Learn More and Register

Choose from two world-class PD events to Kansas City this September. Seats fill up for every event—get yours now!

 


 

Mastery Leadership Institute

Are you a principal, district administrator or instructional coach who is ready to move past just collecting data to actually using data to drive student growth? Join us at the Mastery Leadership Institute for an intensive leadership retreat focused on building skills and strategies for leading a school or district-wide data transformation.

Marriott Country Club Plaza
September 19-21
All-Inclusive Pricing Available

READ MORE →

 


 

MC Teacher Boot Camp

Take your instruction to the next level with strategies for prioritizing standards, using data to drive instruction, and creating the right assessment. Led by a nationally recognized veteran principal, this two-day immersive workshop is sure to get you thinking about and using data in new dynamic ways.

And, when you register before August 17th, you save $100 with special Early Bird Pricing!

Marriott Country Club Plaza
September 17 & 18
Special Group Pricing Available

GET MORE INFO →


 

As Anthony Rivera approached the building of his new school, students were chucking textbooks from the second story to the sidewalk of Wallace Avenue below. As founding principal of Pelham Academy in the Bronx, he had no doubt that he was walking into a daunting challenge. But Rivera had a special connection to the community; he grew up in the neighborhood, and he was committed to providing the students there with the best education possible.

Teachers and administrators at Pelham agreed that they wanted to collect as much data as possible in order to identify student mastery levels, but they were initially overwhelmed with the process. In order to get on the fast track to data-driven instruction, Pelham Academy partnered with Teaching Matters, a NYC-based organization dedicated to developing and retaining great teachers, and measurably increasing their ability to give students in urban public schools an excellent education.

Through their work with Teaching Matters, the Pelham team began using MasteryConnect to efficiently collect and analyze student data in real time, using iPads to view data in real time as they moved around the classroom. Then, meeting together as formal collaborative teams with Teaching Matters Consultant Jelbin DeLaCruz, they sat down regularly together to look at data in order to identify gaps and develop strategies to target deficiencies. Their hard work is already showing great results in moving Pelham students forward.

“Earlier this year we began looking at and tracking cohort data,” explains Principal Rivera. “We compared how they performed three years ago to how they performed just this past spring, and what we saw was a 159% increase in student proficiency over that time.”

This impressive growth keeps the educators there inspired to continue the work, and Principal Rivera believes that Teaching Matters and MasteryConnect are making a difference for both students and teachers.

“It was humbling and it was also validating because it provided us with the evidence that we needed to help us see that the decisions that we were making, and the tools that we were using, and the structures that we had in place were all impactful,” he says. “We saw that in the student results.”

Although Pelham Academy is a great success story on its own, it serves as an example of the positive gains made when educators work together to share best practices and instructional strategies with peers in their school and beyond.

“The expertise to solve some of the most vexing problems in schools lies in the schools, and it’s obviously in that school’s interest to share that across the school,” says Teaching Matters Lead Consultant Nick Siewert. “We feel that it is also essential to share with other schools.”

Watch the profile below to see how the educators at Pelham Academy are using real-time data to improve learning for every student in their building and, by doing so, how they are investing in their city.


 

As another school year is coming to a close, I hope that you and your staff are planning for some fun and relaxation over the summer break among all the planning, inservice, and curriculum development that I know you’ll be engaged in!

You likely have a list a mile long of things to do to close out the school year. When it comes to MasteryConnect, there are a few things you’ll want to do, too. You may have many questions, such as:

  • What happens to our data at the end of the school year?
  • Can we use our same materials for next year?
  • How do administrators add or delete teachers?
  • And many more…

Soon you will be receiving additional details from us regarding school year rollover, but in the meantime you can get ready for the transition by reviewing our End of Year Best Practices article:

help.masteryconnect.com/hc/en-us/articles/219191007-End-of-School-Year-Best-Practices

This article will give you some tips as well as important dates to consider when planning your rollover with regards to MasteryConnect. We look forward to helping you smoothly transition to another school year with MasteryConnect!


 

We’re always looking for ways to improve your MC experience. To celebrate the spring season, we’ve launched four new product features.

Our product manager Kyle will show you what’s new in the video below.

 

And for you readers out there, we’ll breakdown the updates below.

 

Android Users, the Wait is Over!

MC Teacher App is now available on Android devices. For those of you who have an Android device, you can now instantly score your assessment by entering your test ID and holding your phone over the bubble sheet. Additionally, you can quickly access student responses and make changes in the moment by utilizing the “edit answers” button in the application. Ready to join Apple users in some serious mastery tracking? Download the MC Teacher app in the Google Play store now.

Get the App

 

Better Accessibility with Text-to-Speech Beta

The Text-to-Speech feature in MC allows students who need accommodations to have assessments read aloud. This is also an effective option for young learners and second language learners who could benefit from hearing a question as they read along.

Text-to-Speech is now available in beta, and it can be enabled at the district level with approval from your district or school’s MasteryConnect administrator. If interested, please contact your Regional Education Consultant for more information or talk to your MC admin.

 

Say More on Progress Reports

We heard you! Now you can say more on your progress reports with two lines of customizable text at the bottom of each report. This is a great place to put a description of mastery levels or even your school motto—you decide! Once the report is generated, your custom text will appear at the footer of each page.

 

Clearer Overview Reports

Gain more clarity about your data on a larger scale with this update to Overview Reports. Because we know how important reporting is for district admins and principals, we’ve improved the look of these charts and graphs. You can now better visualize data between district, class, and tracker charts—ensuring your data is as clear and actionable as possible.

 


Let Us Know What You Think!

As always, we love hearing your feedback! If you have any questions about these new features, please reach out to your Regional Education Consultant or the MasteryConnect Support team.


Not a MasteryConnect user? Learn more at masteryconnect.com/demo.

 

 

Leveraging data for continuous improvement, as you know, can be easier said than done. By working with dozens of school systems around the country, our partners at Schoolzilla have learned best practices to keep any conversation about data positive and productive.

As part of our webinar series focused on using data effectively to drive student growth, the Schoolzilla data gurus will join on Tuesday, December 5th to share their best strategies on how to transform your next data conversation. Whether you’re prepping for a PLC meeting, coaching conversation, or PD session, we’ll help you come away feeling ready to take action for our students!

Sign Up Now!

 
P.S. If you’d like to tune in but aren’t available, please register and we’ll share a recording you can watch at your convenience after.