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Getting past labeling kids
The Star Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To most people, Ethan Burgoyne is your everyday 10-year-old: often quiet, fiercely competitive, wild about sports. But Ethan was found to have high-functioning autism at age 2. Ethan doesn't know his exact diagnosis. Neither do most of his friends, sports coaches and church teachers. And that's just fine with his mother. From ASD to OCD, there is an alphabet soup of disorder labels being attached to kids these days. And while an official diagnosis in early childhood often is necessary for children with special needs to get access to resources, parents worry that a label may define — or, worse, limit — their children. More

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Positive outcomes for children when school-based mental health support available
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A study of more than 18,000 children across England found that embedding mental health support in schools as part of the Targeted Mental Health in Schools program led to greater improvements in self-reported behavioral problems among primary pupils. The benefits were even more pronounced where schools also provided pupils with self-help leaflets explaining how children could help themselves if they were feeling stressed or troubled. More



Study: Getting in rhythm helps children grasp fractions
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tapping out a beat may help children learn difficult fraction concepts, according to new findings due to be published in the journal Educational Studies in Mathematics. An innovative curriculum uses rhythm to teach fractions at a California school where students in a music-based program scored significantly higher on math tests than their peers who received regular instruction. More

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Flipped learning: A response to five common criticisms
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over the past two years, the Flipped Learning method has created quite a stir. Some argue that this teaching method will completely transform education, while others say it is simply an opportunity for boring lectures to be viewed in new locations. While the debate goes on, the concept of Flipped Learning is not entirely new. Dr. Eric Mazur of Harvard University has been researching this type of learning since the early 1990s, and other educators have been applying pieces of the Flipped Learning method for even longer. More

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Reading fiction whole
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Literary fiction is an art that seeks to create an immersive experience for the reader, but we often don't approach it that way with our students. We parcel out books in pieces and ask students to analyze them along the way without the ability to understand a work in its entirety. This is sort of like asking students to interpret a corner of a painting. Without the entire context, it lacks meaning and can become frustrating. Imagine walking into a movie theater and finding that the movie is switched off every few minutes. More

1-to-1 technology integration in the upper elementary classroom
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mark Pullen has been an elementary teacher for 13 years, currently teaching third grade in a 1:1 classroom in East Grand Rapids, Mich. "As a third grade teacher who has been fortunate enough to work in a 1:1 classroom for the past three years, I believe that the upper elementary grades are the ideal time to integrate 1:1 technology into the classroom. Because students at that age level often spend extended parts of the school day with one homeroom teacher, integrating technology smoothly across multiple subjects is easier than it would be if students had different teachers for each individual class period." More

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Fun failure: How to make learning irresistible
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Failure is a positive act of creativity," Katie Salen said. Scientists, artists, engineers and even entrepreneurs know this as adults. But in schools, the notion of failure is complicated. Salen, executive director of the Institute of Play and founder of Quest to Learn, the first public school based on the principles of game design in the U.S., explained how failure can be a motivating agent for learning in her presentation at SXSW. More

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No child left alone: Volunteers mentor children of inmates
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kayla Booze was a happy 9-year-old who loved art projects and was an A-student in elementary school — before the police came for her father. Booze's childhood sunshine was eclipsed when her dad was convicted in 2005 of murder for shooting a man in a barbershop fight and sentenced to life in a Mississippi federal prison. Kayla Booze grew guarded and angry, says Brandy Booze, Kayla Booze's mother, who was left to raise three daughters on her own as a part-time retail saleswoman. More

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School sports opportunities generally on the rise
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The percentage of schools that offer students regular physical education classes declined over the past decade, but school sports opportunities appear to be increasing nationwide, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office. With more than one-third of U.S. children between ages 10-17 now considered obese, the federal government is looking at ways to make childhood-obesity prevention even more of a priority. After sparing the federal Carol M. White Physical Education Program in the fiscal 2012 budget, Congress is now considering a slew of proposals aimed at increasing physical activity for children — particularly in schools. More

How do you measure learning?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's not a new question, but it's certainly a divisive one — how to best measure student learning. As the Department of Education works toward finding a way to assess student learning beyond what most agree are sub-par standardized tests, and movement for opting out of assessments grows, educators and those who work in the education system are attempting to define the criteria for themselves. More

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Eliminating 'candy bribery' in schools
Education News Colorado    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Samara Williams' candy epiphany came on the morning she saw the dental van parked in front of Rose Hill Elementary in Colorado, and the volunteers preparing to provide free teeth cleanings for second-graders. Rose Hill, in Commerce City, serves some of the poorest kids in the metro area and dental care is a precious commodity that many of their parents simply can't afford. Suddenly, it all clicked for Williams, the school principal. Why, she wondered, would the school arrange to clean the kids' teeth in the morning and then pass out candy in the afternoon? More

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Access to teacher evaluations divides advocates
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the movement to overhaul teacher evaluation marches onward, an emerging question is splitting the swath of advocates who support the new tools used to gauge teacher performance: Who should get access to the resulting information? As evidenced in recently published opinion pieces, the contours of the debate are rapidly being drawn. Some proponents of using student-achievement data as a component of teacher evaluations, including the philanthropist Bill Gates and Teach For America founder Wendy Kopp, nevertheless believe that such information should not be made widely public. Other figures, like New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, champion the broad dissemination of such data. More

What will be obsolete in 2020?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
MindShift asked a few of those who attended Big Ideas Fest, a recent gathering of teachers, administrators, entrepreneurs and policymakers, to predict what they think will be obsolete in 2020. Walls around the classroom, said Bernadette Adams Yates, senior research analyst, who works at the Office of Education Technology at the Department of Education. "We're moving towards students being able to create their own learning environments. It would be great for them to be able to put together their own learning path," she said. More

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Autism hits 1 in 88 US kids, 1 in 54 boys
WebMD    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One in every 88 U.S. children — and 1 in 54 boys — has autism, the CDC now estimates. The latest analysis, from a 2008 survey, shows autism is up 23 percent since 2006 and 78 percent since 2002. "This is a large number of children and families affected by autism," study leader Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, chief of the CDC's developmental disabilities branch, tells WebMD. More



Duncan: 'We have to get better faster than we ever have'
The Atlantic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Arne Duncan says his fourth year as secretary of education is marked by a "huge sense of urgency." During a town hall meeting, he stressed the role of quality teachers in improving student outcomes, and expressed his belief in incentive measures to better performance. "Great teachers, regardless of socioeconomic challenges — which are very real, we need to address them holistically — great teachers make a huge difference in students' lives," he said. More

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Education secretary defends Obama administration's use of school waivers
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Republicans on Capitol Hill criticized Education Secretary Arne Duncan's use of waivers for schools that haven't met the benchmarks for the No Child Left Behind law. "I don't believe that the language of the law allows the secretary to provide conditional waivers," said Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. When No Child Left Behind originated over 10 years ago, it set standards that students had to meet by certain dates or the schools would face sanctions. As the standards have gotten progressively higher, schools have had difficulty reaching the goals. More



Leftover snow days mean some students can plow into summer
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kids in the nation's "snow belts" didn't have a white Christmas — but they'll have an early summer vacation. At least nine of the snowiest U.S. cities had less than 60 percent of their average snowfall this year, and schools across the nation are deciding what to do with an unusually high number of leftover emergency weather days. More

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Irving, Texas, ISD wooing corporate advertisers for schools
KTVT-TV via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In hopes of bringing in more revenue, Texas' Irving Independent School district has joined a national advertising network specifically for schools. Irving is the first school district in the state to join the Education Funding Partners network. According to the district, EFP "specializes in corporate sponsorships specifically for school districts and has established relationships with a variety of Fortune 500 corporations." There was no cost to the school district to join the network as administrators searched and officials say existing school sponsors won't be affected by the partnership. More

California school board blocks parent takeover bid
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A group of activist parents in this impoverished community were thwarted again in their bid to become the first in the nation to seize control of a public school under a controversial "parent trigger" law designed to shake up chronically failing schools. Capping an emotional four-hour meeting, the board of the Adelanto School District in California's Mojave Desert voted 5-0 to reject a petition invoking a 2010 state law that permits parents to effectively seize control of low-performing schools. But supporters of the petition vowed to challenge the board's action in court. More

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Texas schools begin new exams as districts call for end to high-stakes testing
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As Texas students started taking a new state-mandated test, districts across the state have gradually signed on to a resolution that says high-stakes standardized tests are "strangling our public schools." The emphasis on state testing has become so prominent that high school students could spend up to 45 of the 180 days in an academic year just in standardized testing, Denise Williams, testing director for the Wichita Falls Independent School District, told the Times Record News. Those exams are stacked on top of classroom tests, Advanced Placement exams and college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT. Students in the third through eighth grades now spend 27 days out of the year in testing, up from a previous 19 days. More

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San Francisco schools try to mend problems without suspension
San Francisco Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For two decades, Principal Paul Jacobsen was known as a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase, hard-nosed school administrator who didn't hesitate to dole out strict punishment when students broke the rules. Then the San Francisco principal learned about something called the restorative justice approach. The restorative model, which the school board has encouraged schools to adopt, focuses on getting offenders and victims to talk about their feelings, to address what they were thinking when the incident occurred and to work together on what could make things "as right as possible." More

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Parents raising money to make elementary's playground more wheelchair-friendly
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Instead of having students and staff struggle when maneuvering wheelchairs through the school's playground, parents at Kohl Elementary in Broomfield, Colo., are looking to raise funds to increase the playground's access themselves. "We were just looking for something that will really make a difference for the students, and even though it's just a specific part of the population, we take care of everybody," said Nancy Barjenbruch, a parent at the school and coordinator of a 5K race that will raise the funds. The funds raised at the school's third annual 5K race will help build paved pathways and ramps as well as add rubberized matting under the equipment in the playground. More



Help us grow and win $100 in Crayola products for your school
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
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Ready to make a career move? Check the NAESP Career Center's latest opportunities
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The revitalized NAESP Career Center, supported by Job Target, is the only dedicated national job bank for principals in public and private elementary and middle schools. With more jobs, a wider network and powerful career coaching tools, the Career Center is your go-to resource for finding and landing your perfect position. More
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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 Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
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