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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit June 23, 2015

Curriculum    School Leadership   Federal Advocacy & Policy   In the States   Association News   Buy Books   Contact NAESP


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Report: Addressing poverty gap calls for more flexible approaches
THE Journal
Figuring out how to close the "poverty" gap that keeps many low-income students from fully succeeding in school has generated numerous theories over decades. A new research paper suggests that delivering services beyond academic help in an "interdependent, deliberate way" may be the best way to achieve "breakthrough results." Researchers from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation examine two common approaches that have dominated policy making.
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A look at summer MOOCs for K-12 students
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
There was once a time when K-12 students had a huge list of summer homework handed over to them on the last day of school. Today, parents get an exhaustive list of websites for their children to visit over summer to continue learning from. The concepts of flipped classrooms and digitized lessons have brought Massive Online Open Courses into the mainstream. MOOCs are increasingly replacing summer school and bridge programs through platforms that students can easily manage and parents can monitor simultaneously.
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Study: Students learn better when lectures come with visual aids
Education Week
A new study suggests that giving students pertinent visual information, such as a diagram or outline, at the start of a lesson will lead to better understanding of that lesson. The study, by Mark A. McDaniel, a professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, and graduate student Dung C. Bui, found that college students who had visual aids given to them before a science lecture were better able to understand and remember the lecture, but illustrative diagrams helped more than outlines.
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Teaching STEM? Tips for summer planning
MiddleWeb (commentary)
Anne Jolly, a contributor for MiddleWeb, writes: "If you've browsed through some STEM By Design posts this summer, you've read about STEM education and what it's intended to accomplish. So what do you do to get ready to teach STEM? What if you don't have a 'STEM curriculum' to follow — or what if your curriculum doesn't meet the basics for the integrated STEM program you want to teach? Invest some time into planning now and you'll be in great shape for the year ahead."
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Stop the summer slide
U.S. News and World Report
Recently, at an event in New Hampshire, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stated, "There is no reason that K-12 education should be an eight-month enterprise in this country. ... We need to adjust the model." While Christie blamed teachers' unions for our antiquated academic calendar, it's more accurate to say the entire education system is largely set in its ways. Few school boards or administrators want to innovate with an extended school year.
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4 stages of curiosity
Te@chThought
Where curiosity comes from isn't entirely clear. That's probably because there is no single source for it any more than there is a single source for entertainment, anxiety or confidence. There are strategies to promote curiosity in the classroom — even those that consider how the brain works. Ideally, teaching and learning wouldn't benefit from having curiosity "added in," but rather would fail completely without it. There is also no single "look" for curiosity. The things teachers look for as indicators of "engagement" — waving hands in the air, locked eye contact, or good grades on tests — may not be the result of curiosity at all.
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Blended learning: The great new thing or the great new hype?
The Washington Post
If you haven't heard the claim that blended learning is the present and future of education, you haven't been listening. It is one of the central features of modern school reform, with proponents proclaiming that it helps personalize education, cuts costs and allows students to be more productive. Sounds great, doesn't it? But is it? Here's a look at the hype, the harm and the hope of blended learning, by Phil McRae, an executive staff officer with the Alberta Teachers' Association and adjunct professor within the faculty of education at the University of Alberta, where he earned his PhD.
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One teacher's quest to build language skills ... And self-confidence
NPR
It's election season at Canaan Elementary's second grade, in Patchogue, N.Y., and tensions are running high. Today is speech day, and right now it's Chris Palaez's turn. The 8-year-old is the joker of the class. With a thick mohawk and a mischievous glimmer in his dark eyes, he seems like the kind of kid who would be unfazed by public speaking. But he's nervous. "I'm here to tell you today why you should ... should ..." Chris trips on the "-ld," a pronunciation landmine for many non-native English speakers. His teacher, Thomas Whaley, is next to him, whispering support. "... Vote for ... me ..."
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A simple exercise to strengthen emotional intelligence in teams
MindShift
"She needs every detail before we start, and it slows us down." "He acts before we agree on a plan, so we make a lot of mistakes." Sound familiar? These are just some of the frustrations participants share when asked to give feedback on a team experience. And they're the reasons people often prefer to work alone. Yet it's been shown that working as a member of an effective team can boost morale and performance. Team members get more feedback and they get it earlier. They also report learning more and feeling more motivated to work through project challenges. With virtual teamwork on the rise, the potential for ongoing learning and feedback is greater than ever before.
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Study: Standing desks strengthen student concentration
District Administration Magazine
Students show stronger concentration when working at standing desks, according to new research. A recent study in the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education found that students using standing desks improved their ability to stay on task in class by 12 percent — the equivalent of gaining seven minutes per hour of instruction time. Researchers from Texas A&M and the University of Louisville studied 282 students in grades 2 through 4 for an academic year. Twenty-four classrooms were randomly chosen to receive standing desks or keep traditional seated desks.
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When schools welcome community partners
Edutopia
According to some of the nation's top teachers, the greatest barriers to school success have little to do with what happens in the classroom. A recent survey of the 2015 state Teachers of the Year shows that they consider family stress, poverty and psychological problems to be some of the greatest challenges that students must navigate if they are to succeed academically. Yet when it comes to education policy and reform, these issues are frequently ignored.
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How to maximize your district's E-rate spending
EdTech Magazine
When the Federal Communications Commission modernized the E-rate program in 2014, to help increase access to Internet services at K–12 schools and libraries, it also made several rule changes to drive down the cost of services and equipment for the program. These changes ensure that schools are spending E-rate funds as efficiently as possible.
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Who's got our stuff?
Tech&Learning
Some variation of this question is asked on a daily basis in most districts. The amount of time and energy wasted in tracking down the district's "stuff" is significant enough that they would save many hours by not having to do it manually. The benefits of efficient management of scarce resources can be easily quantified. By knowing exactly where it is and exactly who is in charge of individual equipment, administrators are able to get the exact resource to the exact student or teacher at exactly the right time to impact teaching and learning.
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ESEA reauthorization efforts running up against Senate calendar
Education Week
It's sort of a big deal that the U.S. Senate is set to debate the Trade Promotion Authority — not least for those who have been waiting with bated breath for lawmakers to begin debate on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization. That's because the decision by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to prioritize the trade measure has effectively punted the long-awaited federal K-12 debate to July. And that's a problem for a few different reasons.
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Poor students often lack a home Internet connection. Is this FCC program a solution?
The Hechinger Report
The hunt for after-school Internet connections needed to do homework might soon be over for some of the nation's poorest students. The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to include broadband connections in a $1.8 billion federal program that subsidizes telephone services for low-income people. This program isn't reserved for families with school-aged children, but supporters say the change will inevitably help the neediest students get online at home.
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More states begin embracing play as foundation of kindergarten
iSchoolGuide
Some states across the country are starting to re-embrace play as a foundation of kindergarten. American classrooms have been focusing on improving test scores in reading and math due to the new Common Core standards, and the No Child Left Behind law, affecting the youngest students with more lectures and less play time.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Reading, writing, required silence: How meditation is changing schools and students (The Huffington Post)
Why students should read (TeachThought)
Researchers: 5 ignored factors affect outcomes for poor children (The Washington Post)
Teaching handwriting in early childhood (District Administration Magazine)
Building lifelong readers: Do reward systems help? (Education Week)

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


Why skipping school is no longer a criminal offense in Texas
The Christian Science Monitor
A long-standing Texas law that has sent about 100,000 students a year to criminal court — and some to jail — for missing school is off the books, though a Justice Department investigation into one county's truancy courts continues. Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law a measure to decriminalize unexcused absences and require school districts to implement preventive measures. It will take effect Sept. 1. Reform advocates say the threat of a heavy fine — up to $500 plus court costs — and a criminal record wasn't keeping children in school and was sending those who couldn't pay into a criminal justice system spiral. Under the old law, students as young as 12 could be ordered to court for three unexcused absences in four weeks.
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Make room for innovation
NAESP
"Professional development is not just happening at the office anymore." "These tools need to be viewed as a timesaver, not as an extra. We need to work quicker and smarter." These are just two of the powerful statements made by Joe Mazza and Don Jacobs in their recent NAESP webinar on how school leaders can effectively use social media tools. With a two-minute timer set for each mini-presentation, Mazza and Jacobs sailed through a collection of practical tools — sharing not only the names, but also practical advice for how to put them to work for you every day.
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Apply by June 28 to Principal magazine advisory board
NAESP
To keep NAESP's publications at the forefront of education issues and trends, the Association has established a group of editorial advisors. This group assists NAESP by suggesting themes and articles for Principal and other publications; writing articles and one book review per year; contributing to conference news; and providing honest feedback on publications and other NAESP services. Interested NAESP members are encouraged to submit on NAESP's website using the form provided.
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