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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit March 31, 2015

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Turns out, snow days don't impact students' test scores — But absences do
The Huffington Post
Students, parents and administrators often make a fuss about snow days, but it's really individual absences that affect learning, according to a new study. School closings for snow "have no effect at all on student achievement for the sample as a whole, in either math or [English language arts]," Joshua Goodman, a professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, observed in the report. He used data from Massachusetts school districts between 2003 and 2010 as well as snowfall data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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Are cables in the classroom a thing of the past? Maybe
eSchool News
Wires in classrooms are an inconvenience, yet they have been an inescapable fact of life for over a decade. With the advent of mobile technologies, things haven't changed quite as much as one might expect. Many traditional classrooms and learning spaces have a data projector or TV screen that is used by the teacher or students to present information. They usually connect to a computer via HDMI cable or similar that is placed in a "convenient" location. However, a convenient location for one person may not be the best location for another person. Cables force the teacher to stay at that location while navigating the materials on the computer.
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Learned helplessness: A daily tug of war
By: Pamela Hill
Teachers and parents do not set out to teach a child to have learned helplessness. However, the components of learned helplessness are often better understood by teachers and parents than the child. The child may be experiencing many emotions that she cannot sort out on her own. She may really want to attempt what is being asked of her, but she does not know where to begin. She may have had negative experiences in the past that are flashing into her memory. But many of the behaviors demonstrated by the child can be recognized and changed with guidance.
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Working together: A recipe for PARCC success
Scholastic Administrator Magazine
This spring, districts throughout the nation will embark on the first major wave of revised high-stakes assessments. Our industry is seeing a drastic shift from traditional testing to significantly enhanced, interactive assessments that leverage technology. As schools prepare to implement these new digital assessments and testing platforms, there are many questions about the roles and responsibilities of staff members. With traditional testing, a small group of building leaders and assessment coordinators oversaw the exams; however, today's testing system requires a much larger group of individuals to collaborate to ensure a successful experience.
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The science (and practice) of creativity
Edutopia
"Creativity isn't about music and art; it is an attitude to life, one that everybody needs," wrote the University of Winchester's Professor Guy Claxton in the lead-up to the 2014 World Innovation Summit for Education dedicated to creativity and education. "It is a composite of habits of mind which include curiosity, skepticism, imagination, determination, craftsmanship, collaboration and self-evaluation." Sounds like the perfect skill set for equipping young people to navigate an increasingly complex and unpredictable world.
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Simple exercises to improve ELL reading skills — Part 2
By: Douglas Magrath
In the first part of this article, we discussed how reading is an essential means of communication and the importance of developing strategies for English language learners to approach reading in their non-native language. After a series of prereading exercises and a list of the skills needed to be taught, we went over several sample exercises. Below are a few more helpful hints to the teacher and classroom activities for the reading class designed to develop reading skills in English.
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Free school breakfasts appear to boost kids' grades
HealthDay News
Free school breakfasts may help low-income students do better in the classroom, a new study suggests. Students at elementary schools that offered free breakfast had 25 percent better math grades, and similarly higher reading and science grades, than students at schools without free breakfast. However, although the researchers found a link between schools that provide free morning meals and higher school performance, the study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
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    1. WHICH ONE IS YOU?
       A. I have to push students through the basic language art skills.
       B. I have to teach what comes along even if students cannot understand it.
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What should come first? Training or professional development?
EdTech Magazine
Eric Patnoudes, a former teacher and instructional technologist, writes: "Considering the value of corporate educator certifications such as Microsoft Innovative Educator, Google Certified Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator reminds me of an age-old question: 'Which came first: the chicken or the egg?' Allow me to explain. When I moved from being a classroom teacher to an instructional technologist, training and professional development was my bread and butter. Soon after, I became a Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer and Expert Educator. Corporate certifications are a natural progression for many educators looking to beef up their résumés and improve their credibility."
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Stretching one great teacher across many classrooms
NPR
A stack of research suggests that all the classroom technology in the world can't compare to the power of a great teacher. And, since we haven't yet figured out how to clone our best teachers, a few schools around the country are trying something like it: Stretching them across multiple classrooms. "We'll probably never fill up every single classroom with one of those teachers," says Bryan Hassel, founder of Charlotte-based education consulting firm Public Impact. But, he says, it's important to ask: "How can we change the way schools work so that the great teachers we do have can reach more of the students, maybe even all of them?"
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Why kids are getting more aggressive on the playground
The Washington Post
Tag ... a simple game of tag. Seems innocent enough. But is it? Not according to many teachers. Kids are starting to hit with such force that they often end up whacking their opponent across the back in a monstrous slap. I've seen this myself many times. "Ouch!" one kid cries, now on their hands and knees and fighting off tears. "Don't hit so hard!" they yell up at the child standing over them. Often, you hear the other child whine, "I didn't mean to..." Many times the act seems unintentional, although painful for the victim nonetheless. Tag is now becoming such an issue that schools are starting to ban this once beloved game.
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'Violence-free' zones improve behavior, performance in middle, high school students
Baylor University via Science Daily
A youth violence-reduction mentoring program for trouble-plagued schools in urban centers has contributed to improved student behavior and performance at high-risk middle and high schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Richmond, Virginia, according to findings of a new case study.
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Our top priority
Center for Teaching Quality (commentary)
Tricia Ebner, a contributor for Center for Teaching Quality, writes: "For the past four weeks, my school district has been involved in a series of tests. Students from third grade up have been involved in everything from my state's AIR assessments in science and social studies to the PARCC assessments in ELA and math to our state's graduation test. I've heard much about test anxiety, technology challenges, and frequently, 'What we need to do next year?' Already, teachers are thinking about what to do in preparation for next year's tests."
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What role does your building have in securing students?
By: Charlie Howell
The four guiding principles of security are deter, detect, delay and respond. Law enforcement, military and security teams have created other versions of these principles, but these are the core of providing security for any type of organization, entity or people. Therefore, when securing students in schools, we have to examine our efforts toward these basic core principles. A mix of technology, staffing, organizational structure and equipment comprises the actual security plan, but for now let's take a look at the role that school buildings play in securing schools.
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Rethinking the role of educator as facilitator amidst tech transformation
MindShift
Thanks to the rapid developments in education technology, there is an abundance of teaching tools available to educators: videos students can watch at home, lesson plans that can be easily downloaded (and for free), courses that can be completed at one's own pace.
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No more school landlines with E-rate update
District Administration Magazine
Landlines are out and Internet-based phones are in for many schools this year, as the modernized E-rate program begins scaling back funds for traditional phone service. Discount rates for long-distance calling, cell phones and other services will drop by 20 percent every year starting this year, as determined in the July 2014 E-rate Modernization Order adopted by the FCC. E-rate funds for email, Web hosting, paging and phone directory assistance were completely eliminated this year.
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Report: More states adopting restrictions on restraint and seclusion
Education Week
Back in 2010, the House of Representatives passed a bill regulating the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, but it never passed the Senate. However, states are using the language from what was titled the "Keeping All Students Safe Act" to craft their own restrictions on the discipline methods, according to a report compiled by a disability-rights advocate. Jessica Butler, the congressional affairs coordinator for the Autism National Committee, has been tracking the issue since 2009. In 2012, she started publishing her findings in a report, "How Safe is the Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies."
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Study says some New Orleans principals cherry-picked students
Education Week
Citing pressure to increase student enrollment numbers and boost test scores, a new study found that some New Orleans public school principals selectively chose students for admission. An Education Research Alliance for New Orleans study found that a third of the 30 public school principals interviewed for the research admitted that they selected or excluded students by counseling less desirable students to transfer to other schools, using targeted marketing, and not reporting open seats. The principals used these selective strategies even though enrollment was supposed to be open to all applicants.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Schools nationwide struggle with substitute teacher shortage (The Associated Press via ABC News)
How much academic homework is too much? (Psychology Today)
For preschoolers, math means more than counting to 10 (Phys.org)
Report: How well are American students learning? (Brookings)
Education funding gaps: Which states are hitting, missing the mark? (The Christian Science Monitor)

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




Action on ESEA reauthorization and 2016 education spending
NAESP
After nearly two months of work, final action on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act continues to elude education leaders on Capitol Hill. Senate and House education committee leaders met their commitment to make ESEA reauthorization their first priority for the 114th Congress, but long-standing battles over the law's assessment and accountability provisions and disagreements about the appropriate federal role in K-12 education continue to pose significant hurdles for policymakers.
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Register for next mentor training in Providence, RI
NAESP
The NAESP National Mentor Training and Certification Program is designed to engage retired and experienced principals to give back to their profession by supporting new, newly assigned or even experienced principals through mentoring. Register now for an upcoming session in Providence, Rhode Island, April 30-May 2.
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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.

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