With experts serving clients around the globe, McREL’s work influences school improvement initiatives in a vast array of communities. Learn more about our work by catching up on our news releases and media mentions here.

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Keys to Success for the First 5 Days of School

August 2, 2022 – In this Edutopia post, McREL instructional expert Cheryl Abla gives teachers several quick and easy tips for creating a “just right” classroom environment during the first five days of school.

With the school year starting soon across the U.S., teachers in any school can use these strategies and activities to help all of their students feel welcomed in the class and prepared to have a productive, engaged, and rewarding school year.

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On AEA’s 365 Blog, McREL staff give tips on valuing context during evaluations

Several members of McREL’s Research & Evaluation team contributed to a special series about preK–12 program evaluation on the American Evaluation Association’s 365 Blog. The blog provides “a tip a day by and for evaluators.” In posts published May 1-4, they covered improving one’s listening skills, conducting research in ways that promote deep collaboration with Native Hawaiian communities, and finding inputs other than the normal data points to tell the true story of how a program impacts a school community.

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McREL’s Tonia Gibson reveals her best PD experience to EdWeek’s Larry Ferlazzo

March 31, 2022 | Teacher/blogger Larry Ferlazzo asked panelists on his Education Week blog, Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo, about their best PD experience, and McREL Senior Managing Consultant Tonia Gibson shared hers: peer coaching with a colleague from a different grade level. The teachers at her school in Australia (where there are no formal, high-stakes evaluations) found that a little distance made it easier to focus objectively on teaching practices. Visiting one another’s classrooms four times a year, the peer coaches learned to focus on what students were learning as opposed to what they were doing.

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Book club podcast features Building a Curious School

The Sum of It All, an “asynchronous book club” podcast for educators, has dedicated the current season to Bryan Goodwin’s Building a Curious School. Listen along as hosts Audrey Mendivil and Mark Alcorn talk about how overloaded teachers can recognize the hallmarks of curiosity thinking and build techniques aimed at stimulating curiosity and bringing joy into any number of moments in the school day.

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McREL’s Cheryl Abla in Edutopia: Guiding young students to talk about their learning

January 7, 2022 | Neither silence nor unrestrained chitchat is ideal in an elementary classroom, McREL learning services consultant Cheryl Abla writes in Edutopia. Rather, teachers should guide students in discussing their learning with the teacher and with one another—building a foundation for mastering academic language. Teachers may be hesitant to encourage student talk because they fear chaos may ensue, and Cheryl admits the process can be noisy. But there are practices that teachers can easily implement and model to create conversational structures that support learning.

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McREL consultant shares tips on Edutopia for engaging students with better questioning

December 6, 2021 | Traditional questioning of students in the classroom, with its emphasis on teachers eliciting a quick answer and moving on, winds up excluding many students and creating a lackluster learning environment. Better questioning strategies can help students deepen and extend their learning, and McREL instructional expert Cheryl Abla recently shared some ways to ask better questions in the classroom with Edutopia.

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McREL consultant shares ideas for a positive start to school with Edutopia readers

September 15, 2021 | McREL consultant Cheryl Abla always has tips for teachers and school leaders on creating a positive environment for learning. With all the anxiety and uncertainty accompanying back-to-school this fall, she’s doubling down. After meeting with hundreds of educators before the school year even started, she’s shared several tactics with the national blog Edutopia designed to immediately address little issues before they can get out of hand—or better yet, prevent them from happening in the first place.

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McREL contributes to ‘Kansas Can Success Tour’

September 8, 2021 | Kansas education leaders are touring the state to talk with thousands of parents, school board members, business leaders, and community members to gather feedback on the state’s “Kansas Can” vision for K-12 education and “brainstorm ways schools can better prepare students for the workforce,” according to a local news report. McREL will compile feedback gathered during the 50-city tour and prepare a report later this year for the Kansas State Board of Education and Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson.

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McREL helps CYBER.ORG develop K–12 learning standards for cybersecurity

August 4, 2021 | Louisiana-based CYBER.ORG has released the nation’s first-ever voluntary K–12 cybersecurity standards. Developed with McREL’s help, the standards aim to teach students about cybersecurity issues and careers, addressing what it calls “the growing cybersecurity workforce crisis.” CYBER.ORG is supported by the Department of Homeland Security and 18,000 teachers nationwide have signed up for its teaching materials. The organization says that there are more than 464,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., even as the country faces “an onslaught of sophisticated cyberattacks.”

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McREL expands Pacific presence with new advisers and offices

April 20, 2021 | Denver, CO—McREL International is pleased to announce the addition of four new staff as regional advisers in the Pacific region and the opening of two satellite offices, expanding the organization’s capacity and commitment to supporting local educators, students, and communities. The regional advisers will conduct local needs sensing and contextualization of McREL’s services, and will deliver training, coaching, and technical support services to teachers, principals, school system leaders, and other stakeholders.

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