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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit August 04, 2015

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


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Schools boost broadband to meet demand
District Administration Magazine
There's good news for district leaders in the ongoing battle to meet the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth. One-gigabit networks are coming to more areas, the cost of service per megabit is decreasing, and funding through E-rate and other sources is increasing. Many district networks are straining under the deluge of digital learning resources. Web-based learning content can include bandwidth-heavy videos, graphics and audio files. Online testing required to meet any new learning standards' requirements has added to the overload.
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What the new education buzzwords actually mean
The Atlantic
Education writing is famous for its alphabet soup of acronyms and obscure terms, but it could just as well be faulted for trafficking buzzwords in search of clear definitions. Ideas like grit, motivation, fitting in and learning from one's mistakes — often summarized as noncognitive factors — are just some of the concepts that are coming up more frequently these days. A new paper from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching provides definitions for many of these new terms, which arose in part because of the recent push by psychologists, economists and education experts to delve more deeply into what compels students to understand complex new material.
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Introducing grammar exercises for English language learners
By: Douglas Magrath
By the process of using language to solve problems, English language learners obtain comprehensible input from the teacher as well as from each other and the materials they are using. A topical, hands-on approach involving realistic communication is more efficient than just practicing drills. Grammar should be introduced in a communication-based mode that replicates situations where students use the forms to meet real needs.
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Inside the tools that teach coding to little kids
K-12 TechDecisions
The tools educators need to introduce coding to their students are widely available, free and fun. Coding in schools is a hot topic in education tech right now, but teaching students how to code is one aspect of a computer science course. Not all schools are able to offer computer science classes, and not all educators feel confident in being able to teach this important skill. Even if educators have no experience with coding, they can integrate this digital language into their curriculums. Many public schools have subscriptions to the professional development services offered through Atomic Learning.
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Empower students to ask questions
MiddleWeb (commentary)
Carol Koechlin and Sandi Zwaan, both contributors for MiddleWeb, write: "Koechlin and Zwaan argue that the key to learning and understanding is the question, that we are not able to think critically or creatively without the question, and that it is through questioning that we are able to self-analyze and set goals. Thus they have provided us, in this book, a curriculum to teach questioning to students. Each chapter of the book has a short introduction followed by several 'Q tasks' (lessons) complete with a plethora of graphic organizers/handouts. Each of the Q tasks is laid out in two columns. The column on the left has the Q task at the top (essentially the objective of the lesson) and a Q tip at the bottom (resources for extensions)."
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Make Every Teacher a Reading Expert
The IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) helps teachers 
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The ultimate guide to gamifying your classroom
Edudemic
No one wants to been seen as the stuffy teacher stuck in the past who lectures from the front of the classroom and doesn't seem to care about student engagement. Students today are tech savvy and have wandering minds. They are able to process information coming at them from several channels at a time — walking, talking and texting. Changing up how you deliver classroom content can keep kids' attention, draw on their strengths, engage them as lifelong learners and be amazingly fun. What is this magical method? It's gamification, a word that, according to Merriam Webster's online dictionary, wasn't even in use until 2010.
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Redefining special education with dancing robots and Google hangouts
EdSurge
"Inclusion" is defined as the practice of educating all children in the same classroom, including children with physical, mental and developmental disabilities. IDEA (or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) mandates that special education students receive a free and appropriate education from the ages of 3 to 21, depending upon the state interpretation of the policy. In 1975, IDEA mandated that special education students be placed in their least restrictive environment. But that's difficult to do with limited resources and budgets. That is, until digital technology swept into schools.
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Research trends: Why homework should be balanced
Edutopia
Homework: effective learning tool or waste of time? Since the average high school student spends almost seven hours each week doing homework, it's surprising that there's no clear answer. Homework is generally recognized as an effective way to reinforce what students learn in class, but claims that it may cause more harm than good, especially for younger students, are common.
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Out-of-pocket cost of supplies part to blame for teacher shortages?
Education World
Recently, a national survey revealed that teachers spend about $500 of their own money annually in order to pay for school supplies not provided by the school. Could this be part of the reason why this year will see some of the highest teacher shortages to date? According to Fox28, in Indiana, "[t]he number of applications for first-time teaching licenses in Indiana is down 20 percent compared to just five years ago." Part of the reason to blame, it says, is school funding cuts forcing teachers to pay for their own supplies.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Stop Bullying/Help Prevent Suicide

Learn more about these new online training programs to help improve the climate and culture in your schools. Based on the movie, Contest, Stand Up Say No to Bullying teaches students how to handle conflict and bullying. Signs Matter helps teachers and administrators identify students who may be contemplating suicide. You can help save lives.
 


A kindergarten designed to let kids be kids
MindShift
Architect Takaharu Tezuka observes that "children love running in circles." That's why he designed this Tokyo kindergarten in the round, with a roof that is basically one big running track, but low enough so kids can easily be seen from the ground. In this TED talk, Tezuka describes how he and his colleagues tried to get inside the minds of children to create a space that would spark learning, not happen in spite of it.
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With technology, schools try to level the economic playing field
eSchool News
In the middle of one of Miami's poorest and toughest neighborhoods, there is a computer lab with free wireless internet for Liberty City residents who would otherwise go without the technology. But when Cecilia Gutierrez looks at how residents are using the Web connection her nonprofit provides, she's disheartened. "They're going to social media sites. They're not using it to get ahead, unless they're being guided by us," said Gutierrez, CEO of the Miami Children's Initiative.
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Study: Poverty harms brain development in children
By: Dorothy L. Tengler
Between 2009 and 2010, 1 million more children in America joined the ranks of those living in poverty, bringing the total to an estimated 15.7 million poor children. Poverty can impede a child's ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional and behavioral problems, as well as poor health and mental health. In fact, new research shows poverty appears to affect the brain development of children, hampering the growth of gray matter and impairing their academic performance.
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Report: Experienced teachers soar in tech-enabled classrooms
EdTech Magazine
Teachers are getting more comfortable and more ambitious with devices in the classroom, according to an annual report on technological integration in schools. This year's Software & Information Industry Association Vision K-20 Survey continues that trend, with added emphasis on the growth of student data usage. The majority of respondents say student data collection has grown in the past two years, with data used primarily to track student performance and improve instruction.
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Study: School lunches now healthier at racially diverse schools
The Hill
First lady Michelle Obama's prized healthy school lunch standards have given students at smaller and racially diverse schools access to healthier lunches, a new study from a heath and health care advocacy group found. The study, commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that during the 2010-2011 school year, the odds of having both fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, available everyday was 2.4 and 2.3 times higher, respectively, for students in predominantly white middle schools than for students in more diverse schools.
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Red flags on the road to ESEA rewrite
Education Week
"The pundits told us it would never happen — that Republicans and Democrats will never agree on a way to replace No Child Left Behind." So said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., just hours before the U.S. Senate did just that — passing its own version of an Elementary and Secondary Education Act rewrite with overwhelming bipartisan support July 16. But sending a final bill to President Barack Obama's desk — at least one that he's willing to sign — will be an entirely different challenge.
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Lack of spending Michigan's K-12 problem? Probably not
The Detroit News
Michigan's public schools are lackluster. Students here continue to fall behind on national standardized tests. So more money must be the answer, right? That's the solution most often given by teachers unions, school administrators and Democrats. But plenty of studies, including one done in conjunction with Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance, have shown that there is no strong correlation between spending more on schools and the results those schools get.
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Texas to require cameras in some special education classes, but who foots bill?
The Dallas Morning News
Texas special education advocates say a new law requiring video cameras in some classrooms will protect those students most at risk of being abused. The law says school districts must install cameras in special education classrooms if parents, teachers or school staffers request them. The law also requires that parents be allowed to view the videos. School officials worry that the law passed this spring — believed to be the first in the nation — will require districts to spend millions without the state providing additional dollars.
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Kansas underfunded education and cut tenure. Now it can't find enough teachers to fill classrooms.
The Huffington Post
Kansas school superintendent Alan Cunningham has been involved with hiring teachers for the past 35 years. In that time, he has never had a harder time filling positions than this year. Qualified applicants for job openings in elementary schools or physical education "used to be a dime a dozen," Cunningham said. Now Cunningham's school district, Dodge City School District, is starting the school year with teachers in those positions who are not fully certified. "We've had to go to substitute teachers," said Cunningham.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    The future of school libraries (Scholastic Administration Magazine)
AYP gets the boot in Every Child Achieves Act (The Journal)
The importance of the teacher supply to education reform (Brookings)
Social-emotional skills on the rise (Education Week)
This game could improve behavior — and achievement (eSchool News)

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




Inspire health and wellness
NAESP
Childhood obesity is rampant and excessive sitting is hurting students. Shannon Miller, who is the most decorated gymnast in American history, is seeking to change this epidemic through her inspiring life as a famous athlete, entrepreneur, and parent. Speaking recently at NAESP's Best Practices for Better Schools Conference in Long Beach, California, Miller shared the following message of how principals can be leaders of physical activity and wellness.
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Principal leadership: Aligning vision with actions
NAESP
While the phrase, "all students can learn at high levels" has become commonplace, achieving the ideal is rare. Demographic shifts such as an increase in the diversity of students, including English language learners, students with disabilities and students from low-income homes poses significant challenges for schools. It is more important than ever for schools and educators to understand diverse groups of students and the communities from which they come. These students need a broad level of support in addition to skill development in reading and math. With a strong vision and belief system, however, principals can make the difference.
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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 Ned Colbert at EColbert@naesp.org.
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