≡ Areas of Focus


Distance Learning Collection

The Just ASK Team has written new articles and updated some older ones as 2.0 versions to support our many colleagues who are tasked  during the 2020-2021 school year with creating positive and productive learning experiences from a distance and/or in hybrid environments that are ever evolving. We will continue to add to this collection and hope that you find it useful in your challenging work. Please feel free to share with colleagues near and far, and do be sure to check back often to access newly posted articles.

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Just ASK’s January 2021 Mentoring Calendar

Each issue of The Mentoring Memo features one or more mentoring calendars for the current time of the year. The January Mentoring Calendar is now available. These calendars, excerpted and updated from The 21st Century Mentor’s Handbook, offer suggestions for mentoring actions to support novice teachers and teachers new to the district. When you take a look at them, you will quickly see how useful they are.  Post them, or a link to them, on your district/school website and feel free to forward the calendars to colleagues who you think might find them useful. You are also encouraged to post them on social media.

Download Just ASK’s 2021 January Calendar


Planning and Teaching Mini-lessons

Heather writes, “Whether instruction is delivered in person, in a hybrid model, or remotely, it is important for our students is experience predictable structure with clear expectations and routines. When there are established structures, routines, and procedures in place, teachers can focus on teaching, assessing, and coaching students and students can spend their time in productive ways with sustained attention on reading writing, and thinking at higher levels. One way to do this is through carefully constructed and thoughtfully executed mini-lessons. ” Read this issue now!

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Levity with Brevity

In this issue Bruce writes, “Whenever I come across a witty quote or something that makes me smile and even laugh out loud, I jot it down. For example, Teacher Memes are always a big hit with me. When I have gathered an assortment of witticisms and quotes that I feel might cause a moment of relaxation (and distraction) from the difficult tasks educators are facing, I delight in sharing my discoveries with you. I hope that you enjoy the 40 witty quips and inspirational quotes that I include in this month’s issue of Just for the ASKing! titled “Levity with Brevity.” Since “laughter is the best medicine” you owe it to yourself to pause and read them. Please consider this collection of quips and quotes as my holiday gift to you. ” Read the latest issue

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The Power of Laughter

The Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Lifestyle website recently posted a segment titled “Stress Relief from Laughter? It’s No Joke.” The article begins, “When it comes to relieving stress, more giggle and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered.” To that end, you will find in this month’s Mentoring Memo a few of Paula’s favorites from the December 2020 issue of  Just for the ASKing! titled “Levity with Brevity” in which Bruce Oliver shares 40 witticisms and inspirational quotes. After you have read those, you will want to access “Levity with Brevity to read Bruce’s entire collection to identify your own favorites. In further support of the Mayo Clinic findings on the power of laughter, Paula adds a few humorous and witty statements she discovered while scrolling though catalogs as she did her online holiday shopping. Treat yourselves to a chuckle or two. Enjoy now!


Building Relationships in a Digital World

The January 15th issue of EmpowerED 3.2.1 titled “Building Relationships in a Digital World”  is now available. Marcia writes “A really smart friend reminded me that when children (or adults) are “attention seeking,” they are really “connection seeking.” What a shift in how I work with my students and parent with my teenager. Connecting with others is a significant human need. This has become abundantly clear over these last ten months. Connection with others keeps us centered, grounded, and grateful—the common human thread. It also keeps us seeking ways to be together to celebrate, grieve, and love. This pandemic has taken lives, memories, and time from us all, especially our children. With a vaccine in sight and optimism rising for some sort of return to normal life, continuing to build and maintain trusting relationships continues to be priority. The focus of this issue is on helping us connect (or connect better) in a digital world.” Read now!

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Just ASK uses a common language and concept system to provide a systemic approach to teaching, learning, and leading in the 21st century. Thousands of educators across the country are using our publications and products, attending our institutes, and participating in our onsite workshops. Their application of their learning has led to more students learning more, more of the time!