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Can special education students keep up with the Common Core?
The Hechinger Report
On a morning in late May, the pace was slow and deliberate as seven students formed a semicircle around their teacher to work on a lesson about finding the main idea in a story. "I have a surprise for you on my phone," said Nicole Papa, before starting an audio recording of "Smart-Speak," a nonfiction article about bullying and peer pressure. Pencils in hand, the third- and fourth-grade students followed along with the recorded voice. "Now, let's read it again, just a little bit closer, and think about the main idea, or gist, of each section," said Papa, reading the first section aloud. "What's it mostly about?"
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What motivates teachers?
MindShift
A recent Gallup poll of 170,000 Americans — 10,000 of whom were teachers — found that teaching is the second most satisfying profession (after medicine). Ironically, the same Gallup poll found that in contrast to their overall happiness with their jobs, teachers often rate last or close to the bottom for workplace engagement and happiness. "Of all the professions we studied in the U.S., teachers are the least likely to say that their opinions count and the least likely to say that their supervisor creates an open and sharing environment," said Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education, at the Next New World Conference.
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Do soundtracks improve reading comprehension?
District Administration Magazine
A platform that pairs e-books with movie-style soundtracks is gaining attention in the K-12 realm for boosting reading engagement and comprehension. But some researchers remain skeptical of its claim of increasing achievement without additional instruction. Booktrack Classroom is a free online program that allows students to create synchronized soundtracks for any kind of digital text. For example, a student can read a Sherlock Holmes e-book that opens with a background, classical piano score that transitions into birds chirping, a fire crackling and other sounds as the characters move through the action of the story.
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Why is it so hard to change how we teach math?
MindShift
Educators have been talking about changing the traditional way of teaching math for a long time, but nothing seems to change. Elizabeth Green's New York Times Magazine article digs into why it has been so hard for U.S schools to effectively implement changes to math pedagogy, and just how far American students have fallen behind as a result.
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What Common Core looks like in a second grade classroom
NPR
The Common Core State Standards in reading and math have generated lots of attention and controversy, but what do they look and sound like in a classroom? Michigan Radio's Sarah Alvarez offers a peek at the standards at work in a second grade math class.
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Cursive writing standards in the works for Tennessee schools
The Tennessean
Cursive handwriting is making a comeback in Tennessee, with performance benchmarks in the works to guide the teaching of the fading art to students. Proposed cursive standards that would begin in second grade, accelerate through third grade and finish in fourth grade received preliminary approval from the Tennessee State Board of Education. The model will now be shared with Tennessee teachers, principals and other educators before the board takes up the policy for a final time in October.
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Principals test entrepreneurial ideas in K-12
Education Week
Negotiating lucrative partnerships with companies and organizations. Creating a brand and aggressively marketing it. Breaking with traditional operating methods. Taking risks. These are some of the strategies used by entrepreneurs operating in the business world — and, increasingly, they're the kinds of approaches being used by K-12 principals to manage and run their schools. Faced with a rapidly changing set of challenges, including tight budgets, new technologies and competition for students, some school leaders are incorporating entrepreneurial practices into their operations.
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If you thought I was perfect, you weren't paying attention
Connected Principals (commentary)
Did you know what's happening in the classroom differs between a good principal and a great principal? A good principal spends time at the back of the room focusing on teaching. A great principal spends valuable time in the center of the learning focusing on students. Take a look at the following chart. Review each principal's notes taken during the same classroom observation.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    5 tips for expediting the teacher hiring process (District Administration Magazine)
Classroom security: What you should (not) do (eSchool News)
The problem isn't teacher recruiting; it's retention (THE Journal)
Unpacking the science: How playing music changes the learning brain (MindShift)
How acting out in school boosts learning (Scientific America)

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


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30 classroom procedures to head off behavior problems
Scholastic
The secret to warding off at least some behavior problems is establishing positive classroom procedures for daily tasks and activities. Your students will appreciate your consistency, and once they have internalized classroom procedures, the day will run that much more smoothly. Of course, choosing the right rules and procedures for your classroom is an individual decision. But be sure to define what you expect of students from the very beginning. Remember to take time to teach procedures during the first days and weeks of school.
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Millennial parents: Schools could do better teaching tech
THE Journal
Millennial parents aren't necessarily happy with the track schools are following in teaching technology to their kids — and among students, girls are less satisfied than boys. That's what the Center for the Digital Future found out when it drilled down into on-going survey work. The center is part of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. The latest work was a collaborative effort between the center and research firm Bovitz.
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What's in children's backpacks: Foods brought from home
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Forty-one percent of elementary school children bring lunch to school on any given day. Forty-five percent bring snacks. Surprisingly, little is known about the foods and beverages they bring. This cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the GREEN (Growing Right: Eco-friendly Eating and Nutrition) Project Lunch Box Study sought to characterize foods and beverages brought from home to school by elementary schoolchildren and compare the quality of packed lunches with National School Lunch Program standards and packed snacks with Child and Adult Care Food Program requirements.
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More schools open their doors to the whole community
The Wall Street Journal
On a recent weekday here, a steady stream of people dropped by one central location for food stamps, family counseling and job ideas — their local school. While instruction has ended for the summer, these classrooms remain open as part of a wider trend around the country of "community schools," where public and private groups bring services closer to students and residents year round and, in some cases, help boost student performance. With backing at local, state and federal levels, the decades-old idea for improving schools and neighborhoods is gaining ground despite some funding uncertainties and doubts about community schools' success.
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The top ways digital tools transform learning
eSchool News
Digital tools are often touted for their ability to have a transformative effect on teaching and learning, and an annual survey reveals just how deeply these tools continue to impact education. Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans shared some of the latest Speak Up Survey data during an exclusive edWeb webinar. The annual survey focuses on digital tools, emerging technologies, professional development, digital citizenship, STEM and administrators' challenges.
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Making students feel safe: Schools prioritize bullying education
Sun Sentinel
While educators teach math, reading and social studies during the school year, anti-bullying policies and lessons have also catapulted to the top of curricula in every school in Florida. In 2008, Florida passed the "Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act" to prohibit the bullying or harassment of a student or employee of a public K-12 education institution in the state. Broward County was the first to implement the policy. Several years later, schools are putting a major emphasis on bullying prevention to make sure students and teachers feel safe and protected.
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Accessing multimedia using QR codes
Edutopia
Students of all ages are required to read text for a variety of purposes. With a large emphasis placed on teaching skills that help children tackle nonfiction, it's important to think about the different ways that students are gathering facts and details as they take in information. Teachers need to think beyond traditional text and make sure that their students have the necessary skills for processing, evaluating and comprehending multimedia.
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What happens on K-12 policy if Republicans take over the US Senate?
Education Week
What if some political prognosticators are right and the U.S. Senate flips to GOP control in November? What happens to key pieces of education legislation, including the reauthorization of the outdated No Child Left Behind Act, which has been stymied by partisan paralysis for years? The person best positioned to make an educated guess on those questions is Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the top Republican on the Senate education committee.
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30 classroom procedures to head off behavior problems
Scholastic
The secret to warding off at least some behavior problems is establishing positive classroom procedures for daily tasks and activities. Your students will appreciate your consistency, and once they have internalized classroom procedures, the day will run that much more smoothly.

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Maximizing PLC time to flip your class
District Administration Magazine
Recently, we have been talking with a number of people about how to best implement flipped learning, and one hurdle mentioned over and over by teachers is that they do not have enough time.

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5 apps for today's administrators
eSchool News
Leading a school or a school district is, understandably, an important and critical job. Today's school administrators must keep up to date with learning trends, instructional strategies, technology initiatives, and everything in between.

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Common Core may persist, even in opposition states
Education Week
Opponents of the Common Core State Standards got a boost in recent weeks, as Missouri and North Carolina moved to reassess their involvement, while the governors of Utah and Wisconsin distanced themselves from the standards. Less clear is what exactly those opponents have won. The early pattern suggests that the common standards could undergo some relatively minor changes but still persist in states where opposition has led to high-profile bills and big headlines.
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California schools face lawsuit over physical education classes
Los Angeles Times
Thousands of elementary school teachers have been asked this summer to hold on to their lesson plans as 37 school districts throughout the state seek to show that they are providing students with required exercise. A lawsuit was filed in October in San Francisco County Superior Court on behalf of plaintiffs Marc Babin, a parent, and Cal200, an organization he heads that advocates for elementary school physical education. Babin's children, now adults, went to school in the Alameda Unified School District, one of the defending districts, according to his Albany, Calif., attorney, Donald Driscoll.
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Tweet like a pirate: Takeaways from NAESP's #TLAP chat
NAESP
At the 2014 Annual Conference, NAESP hosted a second discussion on Dave Burgess's best-selling book, "Teach Like a PIRATE." Burgess himself even dropped in (virtually) to swap strategies with principals. Read this Storify wrap-up of the chat's best takeaways and ideas.
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Watch Principals' Perspective TV
NAESP
At the 2014 Annual Conference, NAESP announced a new partnership with ITN Productions to create an in-depth news program exploring the impact of education reforms. Anchored from ABC Television's headquarters in New York City, "The Principals' Perspective" will tell stories from the heart of America's classrooms.
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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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