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Lessening school assessment stress
District Administration Magazine
When Danville Independent Schools in Kentucky overhauled its curriculum in 2009 to focus on 21st century skills, district leaders quickly realized they faced an assessment challenge: How would teachers objectively and systematically measure the development of skills such as teamwork, initiative and perseverance? Because such complex thinking skills can't be measured by traditional standardized tests, educators nationwide are turning to new ideas like "stealth assessments" hidden in video games and student roundtables that work like college dissertation defenses.
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Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of THE LD SOURCE, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of LDA and/or reader of THE LD SOURCE, your knowledge of learning disabilities and related issues lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.

Is the resource room a waste of time?
By: Pamela Hill
Recently, I read a Facebook entry written by a parent of a student with learning disabilities. The parent said, "The resource room is a waste of time for my child." I was taken aback by the parent's comment. I began to wonder if my work with students was a waste of time. I thought about my resource room and the students I have served there. I questioned the curriculum and teaching methods I have chosen and used. I thought about the years that some students spent in the resource room, as well as the students who have been successful and left special education and my resource room. I decided that I agreed with the parent.
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Why recess is non-negotiable for ADHD kids
As if we needed more proof that taking away recess is a counterproductive punishment, a new study indicates that exercising every day can actually help ADHD children focus better in class. The study, recently published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, selected 202 children between the ages of 4 and 9 — about half of whom were "at risk" for ADHD. The students were randomly assigned to either 31 minutes of vigorous physical activity before school or 31 minutes of a sedentary classroom activity, like completing an art project. The study lasted for 12 weeks.
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  Phonics Approach & Tools Build Accuracy

With Go Phonics confidence soars as struggling/dyslexic beginning readers get the prep to build reading fluency and accuracy: 50 phonics games, worksheets, and over 90 decodable stories. Orton-Gillingham based explicit, systematic, multisensory phonics lessons steer the course, applying skills in reading, spelling, comprehension, language arts... Sample Lessons/Overview download:

 In the News

New federal legislation introduced to reduce mandated tests
Education Week
Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., is the latest member of Congress to introduce a bill that would significantly shrink the federal footprint on standardized testing. The Tackling Excessive Standardized Testing Act, introduced with the backing of the American Federation of Teachers, would allow states to choose an alternative testing regimen for students in grades 3 through 8.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword READING.

Top 15 states for education
Deseret News
According to the Institute of Education Services, there are about 100,000 public schools in the United States as of the 2010-2011 school year, which is a jump from the 85,000 seen in 1980. The Institute also found that there are 3.7 million full-time Wikimedia Commons teachers in the United States, as of fall 2012. This is up from the reported 3.4 million American teachers as reported in 2002, the Institute explained.
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  Student-Paced, Mastery-Based Math

Since 2004, Math-U-See has worked with intervention and special education teachers to reach struggling special needs math students. Math-U-See corresponds to math ability rather than traditional grade levels, so it can be used with students of any age. We provide tools and training for an explicit, structured, systematic, cumulative program using multi-sensory teaching techniques. MORE

Why girls get better grades than boys do
The Atlantic
As the new school year ramps up, teachers and parents need to be reminded of a well-kept secret: Across all grade levels and academic subjects, girls earn higher grades than boys. Not just in the United States, but across the globe, in countries as far afield as Norway and Hong Kong. This finding is reflected in a recent study by psychology professors Daniel and Susan Voyer at the University of New Brunswick. The Voyers based their results on a meta-analysis of 369 studies involving the academic grades of over one million boys and girls from 30 different nations. The findings are unquestionably robust: Girls earn higher grades in every subject, including the science-related fields where boys are thought to surpass them.
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Fear of failure from a young age affects attitude to learning
Medical News Today
An early established fear of failure at school can influence students' motivation to learn and negatively affect their attitude to learning. This is the finding of a study by Dr. Michou, (Bilkent University, Turkey), Dr. Vansteenkiste (Ghent University, Belgium), Dr. Mouratidis (Hacettepe University, Turkey) and Dr. Lens (University of Leuven, Belgium) that will be published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology.
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Special education charters renew inclusion debate
Education Week
Parents go to great lengths to meet the special and often demanding needs of children with disabilities. In Diana Diaz-Harrison's case, that meant opening a charter school in Phoenix for her son, who has autism — and for other students like him — when she felt his needs weren't being met in regular district-run schools. "For my typical daughter, we chose a charter school that specializes in the arts ... that meets her needs," said Diaz-Harrison.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    For dyslexic students, are smartphones easier to read than books? (PBS Newshour)
Senator looks to ease burden for parents in IDEA disputes (Disability Scoop)
What's going on inside a dyslexic student's brain? (MindShift)
Inclusion Corner: Encouraging our students to have a growth mindset (By: Savanna Flakes)
New reports grade schools on reading, writing and recess (Education Week)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Should schools be responsible for kids' health?
The Atlantic
There's a section in the new Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll out this week that hasn't gotten much attention: what parents think about schools and student health. Interestingly, the percentage of parents who said they "strongly agreed" their child's school "does things to help him or her be healthier" has declined since 2012, to 20 percent from 33 percent, according to the new poll. While keeping in mind that correlation is not causation, the steepness of that dip took me by surprise. The role of schools in keeping kids healthy has been in an intense spotlight for the past four years, both with the push to improve federal school nutrition requirements and the intensity of first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign.
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Computer tutors that can read students' emotions
The Hechinger Report
Human tutors — teachers who work closely with students, one on one — are unrivaled in their ability to promote deep and lasting learning. Education researchers have known this for more than 30 years, but until recently they haven't paid much attention to one important reason why tutoring is so effective: the management of emotion. Studies show that tutors spend about half their time dealing with pupils' feelings about what and how they're learning.
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Rx for bullying: Positive behavior programs that build trust and support
School Transportation News
Though headlines have blared about violence on the yellow bus just weeks into the new school year, school officials affirm that anti-bullying programs are making a difference for students across the nation. School districts in Minnesota reported seeing positive results from PRIDE and Olweus bullying prevention programs that were implemented within the prior school year, and last spring the state passed a new anti-bullying law that calls on public schools to follow suit.
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LDA does not recommend or endorse any one specific diagnostic or therapeutic regime, whether it is educational, psychological or medical. The viewpoints expressed in THE LD SOURCE are those of the authors and advertisers.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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