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1 in 16 youth play the 'choking game'
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a 2009 survey of eighth-graders in Oregon, 1 in 16 said they had participated in the "choking game," according to research published Monday. The game — a misnomer because of its risks, researchers say — involves putting pressure on the neck with a towel or belt to cut off someone's oxygen supply, then releasing the pressure to give a "high" sensation. The 1-in-16 figure is in line with research from elsewhere in the United States and in other countries where youth are known to play the choking game, according to Dr. Thomas Andrew, New Hampshire's chief medical examiner. More


'Banning is not the answer' to mobile and social tools in schools
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Before choosing to restrict the use of social and mobile tools in schools, policymakers and education leaders have to consider the negative impact such restrictions will have on learning. That's the premise of a new policy report released jointly this week by more than a dozen prominent education associations and advocacy groups. More

Do students really have different learning styles?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Learning styles — the notion that each student has a particular mode by which he or she learns best, whether it's visual, auditory or some other sense — is enormously popular. It's also been thoroughly debunked. The scientific research on learning styles is "so weak and unconvincing," concluded a group of distinguished psychologists in a 2008 review, that it is not possible "to justify incorporating learning-styles assessments into general educational practice." More

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Conditions are perfect for bilingual education — So why is it in decline?
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Developments in social science, global trends and demographics all reinforce the significant benefits of bilingual education. Despite that, American schools show a steady decline in language programs. How can this be? First, let's look at the conditions for bilingualism. There have always been benefits to being able to speak more than one language; recent studies show the depth of those benefits: "Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age." More

Typing in the age of iPads
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Do a Google search on the question, "Does anybody teach keyboarding anymore?" and you'll find out that — at least in the blogosphere — it's as dead a subject as Latin, and only slightly more relevant than cursive writing. Today, it's not uncommon for teachers to be expected to fit keyboarding instruction into an already crowded curriculum. But in the age of touchscreens and smartphones, typing drills on a traditional QWERTY keyboard may not be the best use of anybody's time. More

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Making education brain science
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, two kindergarten classes at the Blue School were hard at work doing what many kindergartners do: drawing. One group pursued a variation on the self-portrait. "That's me thinking about my brain," one 5-year-old-girl said of her picture. Down the hall, children with oil pastels in hand were illustrating their emotions, mapping where they started and where they ended. For one girl, sadness ended at home with a yummy drink and her teddy bear. Grappling so directly with thoughts and emotions may seem odd for such young brains, but it is part of the DNA of the Blue School, a downtown Manhattan private school that began six years ago as a play group. More

Learning to read goes high-tech
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A computer voice guides 12-year-old Amir Accoo to spell the words he hears through his headphones: emergency, bulldozer, minutes. Accoo spells "minutes" wrong and is asked to try that one again, several times. Later, he clicks on a proofreading button. "You check what you have wrong out of the spelling words I just did," Accoo explained as he looked at different spellings of the word until he spotted the correct one and moved the cursor to it, "and you just click on it, like this." More

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Elementary students learn math through hip-hop
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sometimes, when she gets stuck on a math problem, first-grader Simone Chandler dances at her desk until she figures out the right answer. That's OK with her teacher. In fact, after a duo of hip-hop artists stopped by the school, it might even be encouraged. "It helps me by just moving my fingers, and it helps me count up and down," said Simone, 7. More


Students need a “bridge”between concrete activities, where most students understand, to abstract symbolic practice, where many students struggle. Take a look at three packaging options and videos for teachers and students. MORE

Do you know how effective your instructional materials are?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You've created — or purchased — curriculum materials for your district, school or classroom. How much do you know about their effectiveness? Researchers from the Brookings Institution argue in a new white paper that instructional materials affect student achievement as much as any key factor, including effective teaching, and yet the research base is weak or nonexistent for most of the materials used in classrooms. That, they argue, must be remedied by changes in policy. More

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Does vitamin D enhance academic performance? Probably not
Medical New Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new study shows that high levels of vitamin D do not appear to boost the academic performance of teenagers. Earlier research demonstrated that higher vitamin D levels were associated with improved brainpower or cognitive function in adults. Researchers decided to explore whether the same also applied to children, and what effect different vitamins, sourced mainly from sunlight (vitamin D3) or from plants (vitamin D2), could have. More

Studies give nuanced look at teacher effectiveness
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The massive Measures of Effective Teaching Project is finding that teacher effectiveness assessments similar to those used in some district value-added systems aren't good at showing which differences are important between the most and least effective educators, and often totally misunderstand the "messy middle" that most teachers occupy. Yet the project's latest findings suggest more nuanced teacher tests, multiple classroom observations and even student feedback can all create a better picture of what effective teaching looks like. More

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Advocates: School librarians bearing brunt of cuts to education
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Nova Scotia school board's proposal to cut all of its 41 librarians to balance its books highlights a larger trend at some Canadian schools as libraries become victims of continued budget cuts, a development that some argue is having an impact on the quality of children's education. And with the amount of information students have at their disposal because of the Internet, librarians are needed now more than ever to help sort through the wealth of information, the executive director of a parent-led group in Ontario says. More


Education issues factor into governors' races
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a year when a dozen states have gubernatorial elections, K-12 education is playing a variety of roles in the individual campaigns, in ways that sometimes seem to defy easy political categories. Incumbent and aspiring governors could gain momentum from the national appetite for more focus on education in general. More

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Improve student test scores, and teachers might get a $1,600 bonus
Detroit Free Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By the end of this school year, teachers at Michigan's Romulus Middle School could see a big payoff for their work in the last two years: bonuses of up to $1,600 each for raising student test scores, volunteering to tutor kids or developing training sessions for staff. The incentives are part of a broad approach to improve teaching — a key focus of the federal School Improvement Grant program that has invested more than $4.6 billion into the nation's lowest-performing schools since 2009, including $83 million for 28 Michigan schools in 2010. More


Report: Chicago Public Schools teachers regularly work nearly 11-hour days, 58-hour weeks
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the debate over how long the Chicago Public Schools school day should be wages on, a new analysis released lends credence to the argument that CPS teachers already put in exceptionally long hours beyond what's required of them. According to the study, teachers work an average of 58 hours each week, including an average of 10 hours and 48 minutes during a standard school day, including two hours of time working at home during the evening. More

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Suspensions more common for minority, disabled students
California Watch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Racial minorities and students with disabilities are suspended at substantially higher rates than their white and non-disabled peers, according to an analysis of discipline data from nearly 500 California school districts. Researchers said the disparities are a civil rights issue and cause for alarm. While 7.1 percent of all California students were suspended from school at least once during the 2009-2010 school year, the rate was as high as 18 percent among blacks, 11 percent among American Indians and 13.4 percent for students with disabilities. More


Tutoring surges with fight for middle school spots
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As their parents sat anxiously in a waiting room, five children were sharpening their test-taking skills in a tutoring center in TriBeCa, N.Y., underlining words that might hold clues to the answers and crossing off the illogical multiple-choice options intended to trip them up. For homework, there were more practice problems. The tutoring business has come a long way from Stanley Kaplan's basement in Brooklyn, and test-preparation courses for college or private school admission are practically a rite of American education. More

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Budget cuts prompt collaboration among Loveland, Colo., school district educators
Loveland Reporter-Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Low morale is one among dozens of products of significant district budget cuts over the past couple years in Colorado. But born from this is increased collaboration among employees in the schools, a group of Thompson School District elementary school principals believe. As district money has waned and individual school budgets shrunk, staff members have banded together to maximize limited resources. More

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Schools find time for art amid test prep, education reform
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Arts leaders who fear that testing is squeezing out creative learning may find some hope in an after-school program in the Hill — and the reaction of one fourth-grader who refused to leave the classroom. Elena Brennan was 1 of 11 students who stayed after-hours at the Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy to take part in an arts program run by a local not-for-profit called Arte, Inc. When her mom showed up 40 minutes early to pick her up, Elena refused to go — she was having too much fun penciling in the eyes on a self-portrait in the style of Chuck Close. More

Free webinar this week on Common Core
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Get ready to implement the Common Core standards at your school with a free one-hour webinar from NAESP. "PARCC 101," held Thursday, April 19 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., will provide an update on the current status of PARCC, along with tools and resources for school leaders. Sign up now, and keep an eye out for future webinars from NAESP. More


Address bullying at your school
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Prepare to talk with your school community about the controversial new documentary, "Bully," with resources from NAESP. Visit the Bullying Prevention Resource Page for tools to combat bullying, including articles, books, videos, a downloadable bookmark and handouts. More
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