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In age of school shootings, lockdown is the new fire drill
The New York Times
The bomb threat was just a hoax, but officials at Hebron High School near Dallas took no chances: School officials called the police and locked down the school. Separately, a middle school 2,000 miles away in Washington State went on lockdown after a student brought a toy gun to class. But the threat and the gun were real at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, N.M., where a seventh grader with a sawed-off shotgun walked into the gymnasium and opened fire on his classmate, wounding two of them. School officials and teachers, who had long prepared for such a moment, locked down the school as police officers and parents rushed to the scene.
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Using mobile games in the classroom and living room
THE Journal
Teaching methods today are not the same as they were even just a few years ago. Technology as a teaching tool has come a long way. While overhead projectors and bulky desktop computers used to complement classroom instruction, iPads and mobile games are now being used to deliver teaching material in a way that was never before possible. Both students and teachers benefit from using technology in the classroom. From the captivating curriculum on mobile devices that keeps kids engaged to the immediate feedback about their performance, educational games help students better prepare for the always-evolving virtual world they live in. Instead of being intimidated by today's technology tools, some teachers are embracing these resources to enhance teaching and learning.
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How the '4 Cs' fit with the Common Core
eSchool News
The 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking, often referred to as the "four Cs," are an integral part of the Common Core State Standards. Fortunately, there are an abundance of free resources and digital tools that empower teachers to lead by example and integrate these "four Cs" in meaningful and effective ways.
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Study: Engaging with ebooks can aid children's literacy
School Library Journal via The Digital Shift
As younger and younger children recognize and use electronic devices as sources of information and entertainment, what is the impact on their literacy skills? Largely a positive one, according to a study printed in the January 2014 edition of the peer-reviewed journal SAGE Open. The report examines how different digital tools — an iPad, an iPod and a tabletop touchscreen computer — capture and hold children's attention to print media delivered electronically.
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11 apps for coding: From beginners to masters
eSchool News
As students begin to not only use technology, but create its functionality, a recent explosion in coding resources have hit the web, providing coding apps ranging from introductions for beginners and middle schoolers to more technical resources aimed at the tech-savvy. From learning the basics of coding by making a dinosaur dance to more intermediate coding that requires working knowledge of HTML, and from a multiplayer robot combat game to app design, these programming apps provide an array of options for students, teachers and parents to become acquainted with one of the hottest subjects making the education rounds.
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The 7 biggest advantages of eLearning
Edudemic
Technology has brought many changes to our classrooms, including the change that transforms any place with a computer and internet connection into a classroom. While this locational flexibility obviously tops the list of advantages that distance learning offers, many dissenters will tell you that it is the only advantage.
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How to teach students about their digital footprint
eSchool News
Technology is an integral part of teaching and learning in today's classrooms. While educators are aware of privacy concerns surrounding students' use of the internet and mobile devices, students don't always have a good grasp of digital citizenship, and don't necessarily know the consequences of their online actions. The average young person ages 8-18 consumes 7.5 hours of media per day outside of school.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    10 interactive math apps for K-12 students (eSchool News)
The surprising reasons kids cheat in school (TakePart)
5 fresh ways to keep professional development engaging (eSchool News)
Report: Despite some gains, most states don't pass education policy evaluation (U.S. News & World Report)
Motivation: The gas that fuels a child's educational engine (District Administration Magazine)

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




7 mid-school year reminders on finishing strong
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
William Parker, a contributor for Connected Principals Blog, writes: "Recently, I was inspired by the story of Diana Nyad, who made it a personal goal to swim from Cuba to Florida and did so at the age of 64. Her 100-mile feat came with many unsuccessful previous attempts, the pain of jellyfish attacks, hallucinations and unwavering teamwork. Like long-distance swimming, being an educator is a marathon, not a sprint. And the start of a new semester is a great time to remind ourselves of what our goals are for the remainder of the school year."
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Striking a balance: Digital tools and distraction in school
Edutopia (commentary)
Mary Beth Hertz, a K-8 technology teacher in Philadelphia, writes: "This school year I joined the staff of a 1:1 high school here in Philadelphia. Students at the school have access to their own devices, which they take home with them. Although I've taught for many years in classrooms where each student had a school-issued device, the experience of my new students taking their devices home has forced me to reflect on the issue of distraction. How do we teach students to integrate technology into their schoolwork and their learning while also making sure that they're staying focused on the task at hand?"
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Why new teachers need mentors
Edutopia (commentary)
David Cutler, a high school history, government and journalism teacher from Miami, writes: "I'm 23, almost fresh out of graduate school when I move to Miami to teach American history at Palmer Trinity, an independent school in Palmetto Bay. I have no friends or family nearby, and I'm completely unfamiliar with my surroundings. I'm also feverishly trying to get a firmer handle on my curriculum, and on making my lessons more relevant and engaging."
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword MENTORS.


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Adolescents' sleep and daytime functioning improved by later school start times
Medical News Today
Julie Boergers, Ph.D., a psychologist and sleep expert from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center, recently led a study linking later school start times to improved sleep and mood in teens. The article, titled "Later School Start Time is Associated with Improved Sleep and Daytime Functioning in Adolescents," appears in the current issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.
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We need leaders who listen and unite
Education Week (commentary)
Leadership is an elusive phenomenon. We laud those who prove capable of leading us, usually through times of change, or through challenging or dangerous times. We even laud those who make us simply look good. And, we disparage those in leadership who fail, even if we were all following or rather, maybe, especially if we were. Mostly we have studied political leaders. Stories about educational leaders are hard to find. For those educational leaders who were notable, the likelihood of their successes being sustained is slim because of the many intervening dynamics that occur when they step down.
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Cash or credit? How kids pay for school lunch matters for health
NPR
American kids have a problem with obesity, according to the most recent studies. In fact, the closest thing we have to good news about childhood obesity is that kids are not gaining weight as rapidly as they were some years ago. Researchers may have identified one surprising new factor in why kids are overeating. Compared with kids who use cash in school cafeterias, kids who use debit cards seem to make more unhealthful eating choices, finds Brian Wansink, a behavioral economist at Cornell University.
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School lunch still healthy despite rule change, nutritionists say
EdSource
The two-ounce hamburger is no longer the rule for school lunches, after the federal government this month permanently removed limits on the amount of protein and grain allowed in meals under the federally subsidized National School Lunch Program. But does this mean the much-heralded healthier school lunches are returning to super-sized portions? Not at all, said Lynette Rock, president of the Burbank-based California School Nutrition Association.
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Poverty and education: Meaningful discussions or misguided diatribes?
Education Week
Angel L. Cintron Jr., a seventh grade social studies teacher at Charles Hart Middle School in Washington, D.C., writes: "When it comes to discussing the link between poverty and education, education reform debates, often times, diverge into two 'corners.' In the blue corner, one can find the 'poverty is not an excuse' camp. While in the red corner, one will find the 'poverty is an explanation" group. Both corners vehemently defend their positions with 'data,' coupled with a heavy dose of anecdotal evidence. Both sides claim student advocacy. The good news is that both corners are right. The bad news, however, is that both are also wrong."
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Success for All again scores big, and loses, in i3 contest
Education Week
For two years in a row, Baltimore-based school turnaround organization Success for All has earned the top score in the scale-up category of the federal Investing in Innovation contest, only to be passed over, U.S. Department of Education records confirm. There was no question that in 2012 Success for All got the top score, and didn't get an award, because the Education Department put that information online. But in the 2013 contest, the Education Department refused to disclose who got the top scale-up score.
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Striking a balance: Digital tools and distraction in school
Edutopia (commentary)
Mary Beth Hertz , a K-8 technology teacher in Philadelphia, writes: "This school year I joined the staff of a 1:1 high school here in Philadelphia. Students at the school have access to their own devices, which they take home with them."

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5 common myths about school administration
eSchool News
It's not always teachers who face criticism in the U.S. Many school administrators say that misconceptions about their career motivations and the position in general still exist today — and many myths have survived for decades.

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How much teachers get paid — State by state
The Washington Post
How much do teachers across the United States get paid? Here is data, state by state, collected from the National Center for Education Statistics by Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president at DePaul University in Chicago.

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Students return to New Mexico school two days after shooting
CNN
New Mexico's Berrendo Middle School reopened its doors two days after a preteen with a sawed-off shotgun opened fire in a crowded gymnasium. Police are still investigating the shooting that left two students seriously injured and the suspected shooter in custody. As students and teachers trickled back to school, the community turned out to show support. Crowds lined up on the road near the campus, cheering as the school buses appeared.
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New Jersey could mandate social media education for middle schools
EdTech Magazine
The Internet is no place for a kid — digital native or not — to wander without the proper guidance and training. A 2011 Pew Research Center survey found that 88 percent of kids who were asked said they had "seen other people being mean or cruel," with 15 percent saying they had been "the target of negative behavior in the last 12 months," according to an HLN report. In addition to concerns about bullying there are also matters of etiquette and cybersecurity. That's why, on Jan. 9, 2014, the New Jersey Senate decided to mandate social media education for all of the state's middle school students, starting in the 2014–2015 school year, according to a report from The Star-Ledger.
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Teachers, principals adjust to state's continual education changes
Tampa Bay Times
Principal Julie Marks could sense the stress in her school as the year began in August. Chester Taylor Elementary had received its second consecutive D grade from the state. A third could lead to forced faculty changes. The staff vowed to improve, but quickly spotted a problem beyond their control. Although their classes were based on the new Common Core State Standards, their students would be taking the old FCAT, which didn't line up with what they were teaching.
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Big changes to California's school-funding rules are approved
Los Angeles Times
State education officials pushed forward sweeping changes to public school funding, approving rules to give more money to needy students and more power to local educators to decide how to use the dollars. At a daylong state Board of Education meeting, more than 300 speakers underscored tensions over the need to balance newfound flexible spending authority with assurances that the money will be used to improve services for students who are from low-income homes, learning English or in foster care.
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Why Christie's school 'fix' is misguided
The Washington Post (commentary)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently proposed extending the school year and school day in State of the State speech as reforms intended to improve student achievement, though he didn't provide details or make any mention of how he would fund it. Here's a piece questioning the notion that simply adding seat time works. This was written by Vicki Abeles, a filmmaker, attorney and mother of three. She is the co-director and producer of the education documentary "Race to Nowhere."
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Low-income students improve when funding is tied to their needs, principals can allocate it
The Washington Post (commentary)
Jay Mathews, a contributor for The Washington Post, writes: "Weighted student budgeting comes and goes in American school districts. I rarely write about it because it is difficult to describe without putting readers to sleep. It is also hard to make comparisons from one district to the next because everybody does this sort of portable student funding differently. And yet it is important because the technique can significantly improve the educations of low-income students. If done right, weighted student formulas provide more money to teach children who need extra help and allow educators to address each child's needs."
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Principal magazine is now digital
NAESP
IPad devotees, get ready: Principal has gone digital! Reading the magazine in the way that works for you just got that much simpler. The new digital edition is easy to read, searchable and even bookmarkable. NAESP members will continue to receive the print edition, which will still be available on the NAESP website with printable PDFs.
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Registration now open for the 2014 NAESP conference
NAESP
There's no other event like the NAESP National Conference and Expo, held this year from July 10-12 in Nashville, Tenn. Only here can you make the contacts, share the ideas, and discover the solutions that will inform your entire school year. Don't let it happen without you! Register today and make your housing reservations before Jan. 31 for optimal savings.
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Before the Bell is a benefit of your membership in the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). For information about other member benefits, visit www.naesp.org or contact us at naesp@naesp.org.

Before the Bell is a digest of the most important news selected for NAESP from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs, an independent organization that also manages and sells advertising. The presence of such advertising does not endorse, or imply endorsement of, any products or services by NAESP. Neither NAESP nor Multiview is liable for the use of or reliance on any information contained in this briefing.

Feedback about an article? Contact NAESP Liaison Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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