Developing Successful K-8 Schools
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Developing Successful K-8 Schools
A Principal's Guide



© 2009 | 152 pages | Corwin

"The return to K–8 schools is an opportunity to step back, be purposeful and thoughtful, and plan for what we want for young persons in our schools. This book provides the vision and the tools we need to plan and build something better in Grades K–8."
—Heather MacTaggart, Executive Director
Classroom Connections, Ontario, Canada

A how-to guide for developing or transitioning to a K–8 school!

The K–8 model for school design has gained popularity with educators and parents for demonstrating higher student achievement, fewer behavioral problems, and increased cost effectiveness. This comprehensive guide provides school leaders with the tools to develop and implement a sound plan for creating an exemplary K-8 school or transitioning successfully to the K–8 approach.

Developing Successful K–8 Schools offers strategies for designing curriculum aligned to state standards, promoting 21st-century skills, planning instruction, and evaluating an effective K–8 program. Readers will also find:

  • Ten proven instructional methods for meeting the learning needs of K–8 students, plus examples that illustrate how to apply the strategies and deal with problems that might arise
  • Student assessment techniques and record-keeping procedures
  • Implementation tools such as checklists, activity charts, and much more!

This resource is ideal for school leaders who want to articulate a clear vision for a K–8 school and stay on the cutting edge of educational excellence and student achievement.

 
List of Figures
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Here Comes the K-8 School
Origins of the New K-8 School  
Rationale for Changing the School Design  
Bedrock Beliefs About Educating Children  
An Initial Look at the New K-8 Program We Need  
Some Issues Associated With K-8 Education  
Questions for Study Groups  
Summary  
Notes  
 
2. Using Standards to Define K-8 Programs
Origin of Standards  
National Standards for K-8 Education  
Subject Matter Standards in K-8 Schools  
Extending Standards in K-8 Schools  
Learning Targets for Standards-Based School  
Managing Standards-Based Programs  
Nurturing Intellectual Competence  
Transfer of Knowledge  
Questions for Study Groups  
Summary  
Notes  
 
3. Using Skills to Create the Seamless Curriculum
Two Conceptions of Ends  
The Curriculum Design Tasks  
What Kind of Skills Should be Taught?  
Sample Tasks for Each Learner  
Collaborative Emphasis  
A Final Word About the Subjects  
Questions for Study Groups  
Summary  
Notes  
 
4. New Instructional Patterns for the K-8 School
General Design  
Organization Patterns  
Modifying Standards-Based Curriculum  
New Uses of School Buildings  
New Deployment of Teachers  
New Ways of Assessing Students  
New Patterns for Involving Parents  
Questions for Study Groups  
Summary  
Notes  
 
5. A Return on Investment
Parents  
Students  
Teachers  
Administrators  
Questions for Study Groups  
Summary  
Notes  
 
6. Implementing the K-8 Program
The Unfolding Process  
Prerequisite Conditions  
Acquiring Resources  
Assessment  
Putting It All Together  
Questions for Study Groups  
Summary  
Notes  
 
7. Validating Progress
Concept Development  
Mission Statements  
Curriculum Design  
Instructional Features  
Teachers  
Parents  
Facilities and Transportation  
Technology  
 
Resource A. Summary of K-8 Research Findings
 
Resource B. Standards Organizations
 
Resource C. Instructional Resource Sites on the Internet
 
Resource D. Teaching Through the Internet
 
Resource E. Glossary
 
References
 
Index

“This book provides a clear and concise road map for turning the current trend towards K-8 schools to the advantage of children. The return to K-8 schools is an opportunity to step back, be purposeful and thoughtful, and plan for what we want for young persons in our schools. This book provides the vision and the tools we need to plan and build something better in Grades K-8.”

Heather MacTaggart, Executive Director
Classroom Connections, Ontario, Canada

“As a middle school principal, I find many of these arguments compelling. This book makes a major contribution to the field of education. School leaders developing K-8 schools will find this book helpful.”

Ed Sansom, Principal
Seven Oak Middle School, Lebanon, OR

"A valuable resource for all educators. It not only provides a timeline of past mistakes and successes we’ve made educating students of these ages, but goes further to provide a prescription for future schools that emphasizes developmental levels, content, skill-building, and involvement of students, parents, teachers, and administrators.”

Marie Blum, Superintendent
Canaseraga Central School District, NY
Key features
  • Provides multiple strategies for making the case for a K–8 school, re-training teachers, connecting the elementary and middle school content curriculum, new record-keeping procedures, and dealing with an ever-increasing range of student performance
  • Offers concrete guidance in developing a seamless K–8 curriculum, using a four-tier developmental model aligned to the stages of human development, and aligning the curriculum to standards
  • Presents examples that illustrate how to apply the strategies, and how to deal with problems that arise
  • Provides designing tools such as checklists, implementation schedules, summary charts, and resources for K–8 funding to assist the reader in planning for change
  • Offers end-of-chapter discussion questions designed for use by book study groups
  • Includes additional resources such as a glossary and information about teaching via the Internet

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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