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Moving
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Moving to
Success is a comprehensive, developmental elementary physical education curriculum guide.
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Sorting kids at school: the return of ability grouping
Desert News
A new report shows that ability grouping in schools is on the rise, and prior research shows that teaching students in groups of like ability improves success for low and high achievers. There are important caveats, though.
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Is the Common Core initiative in trouble?
The Washington Post
Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently met with Chamber of Commerce leaders and urged them to be more vocal and forceful in defending the Common Core State Standards. Why? Duncan made the appeal, which was reported by Education Week, because the initiative — a set of common standards adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia designed to raise student achievement — has come under such withering attack in recent months that what once seemed like a major policy success for the Obama administration now looks troubled.
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Common Core testing will require digital literacy skills
eSchool News
The shift toward online exams aligned with the Common Core standards will require much more preparation than simply making sure networks can handle the extra bandwidth constraints and that schools have enough devices for every student. It also will require students to demonstrate certain digital literacy skills that go beyond the core curriculum, observers say. These include technology operational skills such as keyboarding and spreadsheets, as well as higher-order skills such as finding and evaluating information online.
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6 tips for guiding the learning of students with autism
eSchool News
Classrooms come with their own unique characters, props, and soundtracks. To the average student, these things meld into the background, setting the scene for learning. However, for children affected by autism, simple disruptions — from the opening of a book to the ringing of a bell — can cause major setbacks in the learning experience. How can teachers and parents ensure that the needs of students with autism are being addressed?
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All is Common Core aligned at math education exhibit hall, or is it?
Education Week
Math educators walking through the enormous exhibit hall at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics meeting in Denver couldn't help but notice a "common" theme. With so much talk in conference sessions about the Common Core standards, they may have been wondering where to find instructional materials that reflect the new standards. A stroll through the exhibit would suggest that pretty much everything already is aligned. Or, at least that's true if you take the claims at face value of many educational companies promoting their wares.
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Celebrating sustainability on Earth Day
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan kicked off Earth Day by announcing the 64, 2013 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and 14 District Sustainability Awardees during a visit to Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Joined by Chair of White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley, Acting Administrator of the EPA Bob Persiacepe, and eager early learners, Duncan praised the selected schools and districts and reminded the classroom that: "Healthy, safe, educationally adequate facilities; wellness practices like outdoors physical activity and good nutrition; and environmental education are part of a vital cradle to career pipeline."
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How high-poverty schools are getting it done
ASCD
Principals in high-achieving schools with a high percentage of students in poverty share four characteristics. To anyone who cares about ensuring that all children are educated to a high standard, it is depressing to look at one of those graphs that show schools by percentage of low-income students on the x axis and academic achievement on the y axis. The steep slope down and to the right seems to demonstrate an iron law of probability: High-income schools have high achievement; low-income schools have low achievement.
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Teacher observations aren't the only way to improve a school
Education Week (commentary)
Improving teaching and learning usually leads us to think of teacher observations. After all, school leaders are not just what some call the lead learners, they are also the lead evaluators. These days, teacher observations are on our everyday schedule, and have been at the cornerstone of state mandates. Most school leaders have to observe all of their staff at least twice a year. To the outside perspective, observing each teacher twice a year doesn't sound like a lot. Keep in mind that schools have anywhere from 25 teachers to hundreds of them. Of course, those schools that have hundreds of teachers most likely have multiple administrators.
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Meeting effectiveness: Location and the home-field advantage
By C. Fredrick Crum
Have you ever wondered why when two teams meet to work on a project together, the team hosting the coffee and bagels in its conference room is most likely to take charge? We often hear sportscasters or coaches talk about home-field advantage in relation to sporting events. How often have you considered it for meetings? Home-field advantage may not be considered as often as it is for sporting events, but there is a tremendous home-field advantage in meetings.
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Industry Pulse: Do leaders often choose the wrong location for meetings?
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    As standardized testing grows, parents opt out (The Washington Post)
To improve school climate, examine recess (Edutopia)
Forget prepping for the test — we should be teaching tenacity, self-control (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
Kids learn to listen while they chomp (NPR)
How districts are transitioning to digital content (eSchool News)

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


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Why should new teachers be the ones to get pink slips?
TakePart (commentary)
Last In, First Out has been in place for quite a long time. On the surface, the policy is fair. If implemented consistently, it is a cut and dry policy in which the most recently hired teacher is the first one to lose her/his job in times of downsizing. It does not consider who is affected. However, is the best way to determine which teacher is cut from a district to base it on who was last hired? The ease of application of Last In, First Out has allowed a difficult conversation to be avoided — the discussion of how to evaluate teachers. Rather than simply looking at hire date, why not have a conversation about the quality of teachers, not the longevity of teachers' time in a classroom?
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Schools pilot use of palm scanners to speed lunch lines
San Jose Mercury News
In the James Bond movies of the 1970s, heroes and villains used palm scanners to gain access to secret rooms. This futuristic piece of technology has come to the Hawthorne School District, but for a far less glamorous purpose: to boost the number of students who can get through the lunch line on time, thereby reducing the number of students who go through the day hungry.
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With RESPECT, educators lead the transformation of the teaching profession
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
America's teachers earn our respect every day, doing some of this country's toughest and most important work. Over the years, the demands on teachers have grown as standards rose and student needs multiplied. However, the teaching profession has not evolved to meet those growing demands. Two years ago, active classroom teachers working temporarily at the U.S. Department of Education launched a national dialogue with their classroom colleagues to talk openly and honestly about the challenges and aspirations of America's teachers.
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How private money is driving public education policy
The Washington Post (commentary)
In this era of school reform, private foundations and wealthy philanthropists have used their money to play a big role in helping to shape public education state and federal policy. Here's an interesting piece that describes the history of such giving and considers whether it is a good idea. It was written by Stanley N. Katz, who teaches public and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and is president emeritus of the American Council of Learned Societies.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Leadership in challenging times
ASCD
Now more than ever, school leaders must focus their priorities to make strategic use of the resources they have. The basic resources that school leaders have to work with are people, time and money.

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What learning cursive does for your brain
Psychology Today
Dr. William Klemm, a Professor of Neuroscience at Texas A&M University, writes: "Ever try to read your physician's prescriptions? Children increasingly print their writing because they don't know cursive or theirs is unreadable."

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To improve school climate, examine recess
Edutopia (commentary)
As we look at ways to create environments that allow teaching and learning to thrive, it's time to take a long, hard look at the critical role of recess in our schools.

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Augmented reality is going mobile — And coming to a classroom near you
THE Journal
Among the many technologies poised to reshape the way we communicate and interact with the world around us, few evoke the same sense of excitement and curiosity as augmented reality. Best known as the technology behind the visual overlays on televised sports games and Google's much-hyped Project Glass, AR seems intriguing and futuristic, if a bit lacking in practical uses for the average consumer. The same holds true in education, where, until recently, its impact on the curriculum of even the most tech-savvy districts has been limited to somewhat primitive efforts like QR codes.
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Immigration bill would help DREAMERs, boost STEM
Education Week
K-12 education overhaul may be on the back burner in Congress these days, but immigration reform sure isn't. And there are obviously big implications in a new, widely anticipated bipartisan Senate bill for students who come to the United States as children without documentation and graduate from American high schools.
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Argument over NRA T-shirt gets 8th-grader jailed. Dress code run amok?
The Christian Science Monitor
In West Viriginia, the National Rifle Association and its supporters are facing another gun control effort — albeit on a smaller scale. The same day that the gun lobby and its supporters in Congress roundly defeated a package of gun control bills pushed by President Barack Obama, eighth-grader Jared Marcum was suspended by Logan Middle School and briefly jailed for wearing a pro-NRA T-shirt. The T-shirt had picture of a gun, and school officials deemed it a violation of their dress code, which bans profanity, discrimination or violence on clothing.
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California sued for lack of services to students learning English
Los Angeles Times
The California education department has ignored its obligation to make sure that thousands of students learning English receive adequate and legally required assistance, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. State officials said they had not studied the lawsuit, but insisted they are meeting their legal obligations. The suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others, focuses on an estimated 20,000 students who are receiving no help or inadequate services as they work to learn English and keep up academically at the same time.
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Atlanta schools work to help kids left behind
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
After school is out for the day, about half the students at Burgess-Peterson Academy in Atlanta spend a number of extra hours in a class looking to improve their math and reading skills. They use items such as a deck of cards for subtraction problems and staplers and crayons to practice taking measurements.
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Deadline approaching for NAESP's Dissertation Competition
NASEP
Here's your chance to share your dissertation research and win up to $1000. NAESP is offering the first Elementary School Dissertation Competition, open to doctoral students who have completed and successfully defended their dissertation between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. But hurry — the deadline for competition applications is April 30.
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7 timely tactics for school turnaround
NAESP
Serving as a principal in any school is a balancing act. Leading a low-performing school through a turnaround intensifies an administrator's responsibilities. But, write James Davis and Rebecca Smith in the latest issue of Communicator, there are tried-and-true tactics that school leaders can use to move their schools forward. Check out these effective ideas to transform your school.
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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.
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