The Learning Accelerator Blog/Back to School Playlists Can Help Educators Prepare for the Upcoming School Year

professional development social-emotional learning

Back to School Playlists Can Help Educators Prepare for the Upcoming School Year

by Jennifer Wolfe on August 9 2018

As we enter August, the start of the school year is just around the corner for educators. Over the summer at The Learning Accelerator, we have been hard at work creating playlists full of resources and strategies to help educators prepare to welcome students back into their classrooms. We know educators are thinking about how to best setup their spaces and how to establish effective classroom management, routines, policies, and procedures. Some of these preparations may be different from your traditional ones if you are planning to provide blended and personalized instruction to your students.

As you explore these playlists, ponder these considerations, and dig into your planning, make sure to think about how you can engage your students in the development of these classroom norms -- the payback is often tremendous as students feel a sense of ownership over how their classrooms are run. This process can be a strong starting point in creating learning experiences that develop students’ capacity to lead, and these leadership skills are useful beyond their K-12 experiences and into their post-secondary education and careers.

For this year, our team has put together a “Back to School” playlist series of curated resources to help guide and inspire educators this fall. Our playlists can be found on the Learning Commons, a shared space we launched earlier this year where educators can search across curated professional learning resources to solve challenges and transform teaching and learning in their classrooms. In each of the following playlists, we’ve collected some of our favorite resources to help you head back to school:


Back to School Playlist One: Setting up a culture for station rotations: How can students take ownership of their learning?
Centers have been used in schools for decades to differentiate, scaffold, and personalize instruction for student needs in a low-tech way. With current programs and tech options, centers can evolve to even more strategic station rotations where students can take agency of their own learning and access content where they are in a personalized manner.

Back to School Playlist Two: Personalized Instruction: Getting Started. A collection of content to help educators better understand and guide the implementation of personalized learning practices. This playlist focuses on practices that do not require a lot of time or resources to implement.

Back to School Playlist Three: Personalized Coaching and Development Rubric from Dallas Independent School District. This playlist provides an introduction to the Dallas Independent School District’s Personalized Learning coaching and development rubric and "how to" resources for using it as a teacher, school, or district leader.


Back to School Playlist Four: Choosing Hardware, Software, and Space for Blended Learning from Blended Learning Universe
. This playlist helps you explore the choices you have to make around your software, hardware, and facilities and how to make sure they support your educational model.

Back to School Playlist Five: Build Your Own Blended Program or Classroom. The road to effective blended learning can seem winding. Here's a nine-step roadmap to navigate the process and effectively design a blended learning classroom or school.

Back to School Playlist Six: Designing for Equity. Looking to put equity at the forefront of this upcoming school year? These resources will help put you on the path toward a culturally-responsive classroom.

Love what you see here? We’d love to hear about other topics you are thinking about as you get ready for school so that we can create useful resources to benefit educators around the country. Keep your eyes on the Learning Commons as the year progresses and stay tuned for additional playlists we, and other Learning Commons partners, will launch over the next several months.

Let us know how you prepare for the new school year! Please drop us a line at or visit us on Twitter @LearningAccel.

About the Author

Jennifer Wolfe is a Partner at The Learning Accelerator. Email comments to and follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferAWolfe.