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Administrators: How to get out of the office and into classrooms
Edutopia (commentary)
Ben Johnson, an administrator, author and educator, writes: "As an administrator, I think about the most enjoyable times I have had at school. Frankly, none of them include sitting in my office doing paperwork, disciplining, or attending meetings. The most enjoyable and productive times I have experienced are when I have been in the classroom observing teachers and interacting with students and teachers."
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Reducing school bus pollution improves children's health
Medical Xpress
Use of clean fuels and updated pollution control measures in the school buses 25 million children ride every day could result in 14 million fewer absences from school a year, based on a study by the University of Michigan and the University of Washington. In research believed to be the first to measure the individual impact on children of the federal mandate to reduce diesel emissions, researchers found improved health and less absenteeism, especially among asthmatic children.
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Writing strategies for students with ADHD
Edutopia
Too often, students with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) get labeled as "problem students." They often get shuffled into special education programs even if they show no signs of developmental disability. Though these students' brains do work differently, studies prove that it doesn't preclude them from being highly intelligent. That means teachers should pay special attention to help students with ADHD discover their potential and deal with the challenges they face in their learning process.
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What are learning styles?
Psychology Today
You have probably heard of them — you fill in a questionnaire to be told that you're a 'visual learner' or an "auditory learner," a "reflector" or a "pragmatist," a "diverger" or a "converger?" But exactly what are Learning Styles? They are, unfortunately, one of the great myths in learning theory. Three principles underly the concept of a Learning Style.
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What if they made learning — gasp! — fun?
The Hechinger Report
In his new book, "The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter," Greg Toppo, the national education and demographics writer at USA Today, pulls back the curtain on the history and promise of educational games. Toppo takes readers inside classrooms, labs and startup companies to meet the people who are the driving forces behind the movement to bring digital games into our schools. The book comes at a time when school leaders are spending more money on high-tech tools, and more teachers say they believe that games are effective tools for teaching and learning.
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My child struggles with writing: How can we discover the cause?
By: Howard Margolis
Parents of struggling writers worry about their children's struggle. They see their children's tears. They hear their protests. They feel their pain. And generally, they ask three questions: Why does she struggle? What will help her? Why didn't her writing evaluations help? In this first of two articles, I'll talk about Sheila, a composite of many struggling writers with whom I've worked. If, like Sheila, your child or student struggles with writing, this article may help both parents and teachers to develop a writing program focused on her needs.
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Common Core: What's right for special education students?
CBS News
Nothing lights up 10 year-old Billy Flood's face brighter than when you talk to him about music. The pint-size Beatles fan loves writing his own songs, and playing the keyboard and bass. However, when getting on the topic of Common Core and end-of-the-year testing that light dims a little. "It was kind of a nerve-wracking experience," said Billy, a fifth-grader at a public school in Brooklyn, New York. "I think I was pretty nervous taking the test."
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10 rainy and snow day activities for indoor recess
Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer
I remember well the dreaded “rainy days” at school. My staff often got as frustrated as the students with indoor activities or a general lack of activities when days of rain held students and staff captive indoors for extended periods of time. In California, gyms or indoor areas for movement are few and far between and indoor hallways a rarity adding to the pent-up feeling of a world closing in.
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Promoted by Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer


Are the Common Core tests turning out to be a big success or a resounding failure?
The Hechinger Report
This spring, students across the country are sitting down to new tests tied to the Common Core, or at least that was the plan. Recently, technical issues brought testing to a halt in three states, while in yet more states, thousands of parents refused to let their students sit for exams that are expected to be much harder than the old state tests they are replacing. This all comes at a time when the standards, the tests and how test scores are used are being fiercely debated by school boards, state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.
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A scientific look at the art of teacher talk
Science Daily via Boston College
It has long been said teaching is both an art and a science. In a new study that uses a scientific lens to look at the conversational art of instruction, a team of researchers identify specific ways teachers talk to students that measurably impact literacy skills. Teachers who built literacy lessons around standardized test questions, and those who failed to cultivate class-wide discussions saw a negative effect on literacy skill building, said Boston College Lynch School of Education Associate Professor Patrick Proctor, a co-author of the new study. Teachers who offered measured, positive feedback saw their students' performance improve.
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Schools and parents disagree over serving breakfast in classrooms
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
The number of breakfasts served in the nation's schools has doubled in the last two decades, a surge driven largely by a change in how districts deliver the food. Instead of providing low-income students free or reduced-price meals in the cafeteria, they're increasingly serving all children in the classroom. Food policy advocates say the change increases equity, however, it's fueled a backlash from parents and teachers. They contend that it takes up class time that should be devoted to learning and wastes food by serving it to kids who don't want or need it.
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8 things teachers want you to know about them
The Washington Post
Lee-Ann Meredith, who taught second grade in a Chicago public elementary school for 15 years, writes: "Everyone knows about teachers. We've all been on the receiving end of education. We think we know what it is all about. In fact, most people are not aware of half of what make a teacher. Teachers wish you knew more. Here are some of the things you might be surprised to realize."
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Survey: Most districts use cloud services
District Administration Magazine
A large majority of district technology leaders report moving some crucial IT services to the cloud this year, according to a report from the Consortium of School Networking. More than 65 percent of IT leaders say their district now uses productivity tools such as Google Apps for Education that run through the cloud — a rapid increase over last year, when only 10 percent reported using these services, the 2015 "K-12 IT Leadership Survey Report" found.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords TECHNOLOGY.


This is what the ideal learning environment looks like, according to science
Quartz
Sarika Bansal, a contributor for Quartz, writes: "My public high school didn't have air conditioning. Come June, when temperatures in New York soared past 90 degrees, it was a chore to pay attention in calculus. Who could focus on integrals when sweat was dripping down my back? So many kids started taking refuge in the cool guidance counselor's office that, on some hot days, she refused to see students altogether. From the first day of kindergarten to high school graduation, children spend almost 12,000 hours inside a school building. As such, it may not be surprising to learn that the physical classroom environment can have profound effects on a student's academic performance, sense of belonging and self-esteem."
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Security essentials for K-12 schools
K-12 TechDecisions
School safety is of the utmost importance to K-12 faculty, parents and administrators. Every school wants parents to know the children entrusted in its care are safe. Prevention is incredibly important, however, if an incident were to occur, schools also need to know they have the knowledge and the resources to react in a quick and effective manner. K-12 TechDecisions' sister publication, Campus Safety is holding a free webinar on this topic on April 30 called "Security Essentials for K-12 Schools." It will be hosted by Campus Safety Magazine's editor-in-chief Robin Hattersley and will feature Nils Wahlander, senior product marketing manager, HID Global.
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How schools can keep students safe, and on Facebook
eSchool News
Today, educators are implementing exciting technological advances in teaching and learning. e-Learning and a broadening acceptance of social media, online collaboration, and other forms of technological engagement are shaping how we view education, and what it will look like going forward. However, this paradigm shift also opens a Pandora's Box of threats that require administrators to rethink IT strategies and solutions.
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Reducing testing could surface in Senate ESEA debate
Education Week
Think the debate about annual testing ended when House and Senate leaders introduced bills to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that kept annual testing in place? Think again. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced legislation that would roll back the ESEA's testing schedule, which right now calls for assessments in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. Under Tester's bill, students would take such tests just once in elementary school, once in middle school and once in high school. He could offer the legislation as an amendment when and if the Senate takes up a rewrite of the law — possibly even before Memorial Day.
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Applause for No Child Left Behind rewrite, but concerns remain
The Christian Science Monitor
A bipartisan Senate bill to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind, took a big leap forward. The legislation passed out of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions unanimously, after members considered 57 amendments over the course of several days. Now dubbed the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, the legislation would continue to require the current level of testing in reading, math and science. It also would require the reporting of data for subgroups of students according to categories such as race, gender, income and disability. But it would allow states to set up their own accountability systems.
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GOP Senators in White House race could complicate K-12 debate
Education Week
Passing major education legislation is no easy task no matter what the political landscape looks like. But Congress' work in rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this year could get tangled in the Republicans' 2016 presidential horse race, which so far features a crop of conservative senators whose views aren't necessarily in lockstep with those of congressional education leaders. The three declared presidential candidates in the U.S. Senate — Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Marco Rubio of Florida — have sought to scale back the federal role in K-12 education, even going far beyond the House and Senate bills for overhauling the current edition of the ESEA, the No Child Left Behind Act. Both those bills seek to return considerable control over schools to the state and local levels.
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5 strategies for SPED success with Common Core
Scholastic Administrators Magazine
As the Common Core State Standards have been implemented this school year, with many states in the midst of using the new standardized tests, the transition has been mired in challenges. The Common Core is a critical step toward ensuring students have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life beyond graduation, but teachers and students alike have been apprehensive and overwhelmed. They need greater support, more empathy, and better communication from school and district leaders to help them overcome their anxiety.
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Traction limited in rolling back Common Core
Education Week
For many foes of the Common Core State Standards, this was supposed to be the year their advocacy and passion would translate into victories. Emboldened by last year's experience, when three states — Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina — decided to at least nominally reject the common core, opponents of the standards aimed to keep the ball rolling in the 2015 state legislative season. But with the clock ticking on many of those sessions, the opponents have little to cheer about so far.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Religious-freedom laws add to schools' complex duties (Education Week)
3 ways technology can support positive behavior in schools (eSchool News)
Report: Schools should focus more on soft skills (THE Journal)
Standing desks simplify collaboration and get kids excited to learn (K-12 TechDecisions)
Should every school class be a computer coding class? (The Hechinger Report)

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




'Principals Matter, Too'
NAESP
With the latest push in congress to pass meaningful education reform with a reauthorization of ESEA, it's essential that the principal's voice be heard. Research has shown that leadership is second only to classroom instruction when it comes to student achievement. In a recent New York Times op-ed, "Want Reform? Principals Matter, Too", Wallace Foundation President Will Miller argues that no attempt at education reform is complete if it doesn't consider the impact that principals have on schools.
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Considering a career move? Check the Career Center for opportunities
NAESP
The 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 and powerful career coaching tools, the Career Center is your go-to resource for finding and landing your perfect position.
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