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10 things we've learned about learning
Smithsonian Magazine
It's the time of year when learning seems remarkably possible. Students are excited, teachers are motivated — let the learnfest begin. But by next month, it will become clear once again that the teaching/learning routine is a tricky dance, that all kinds of things, both in our heads and in our lives, can knock it off balance. Fortunately, scientists have kept busy analyzing how and why people learn. Here are 10 examples of recent research into what works and what doesn't.
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Armed security at schools increases after Newtown, Conn.
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
In the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Pembroke Pines, students returning to school this year are being greeted not only by their teachers and principal. They're also meeting the armed school resource officer who will be stationed permanently on campus. Crime in this middle-class community has been on a steady decline, but city officials decided to place a school police officer at every elementary, middle and high school after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., last year.
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7 powerful STEM resources for girls
Edudemic
U.S. students are still trailing behind other nations in science and math. The U.S. ranks 47th in math and science education quality, and 78 percent of high school graduates don't meet the standard levels for at least one entry level STEM class. To top it off, there's a pretty strong gender divide in the STEM subjects: Many fewer girls are interested in even studying these subjects, and they don't feel at all confident about their skills.
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Creativity is the secret sauce in STEM
Edutopia (commentary)
Ainissa Ramirez, a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "Humans have a few basic needs: air, food, water, clothing, shelter, belonging, intimacy and Wi-Fi. (OK, the last one is not really on the list.) Regardless of my attempt to be funny, what is no laughing matter is that we have primary needs. What might surprise you is that another primary need is the need to be creative. We are creative creatures and have been since we first existed, as evidenced by the first cave paintings formed over 40,000 years ago. But somehow in this modern day, we've forgotten that being creative is part of the human experience."
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Making mistakes: Why they're crucial for learning
MindShift
We try so hard to be perfect, to never make mistakes and to avoid failure at all costs. But mistakes happen — and when they do — how do we deal with being wrong? In this episode, TED speakers look at those difficult moments in our lives, and consider why sometimes we need to make mistakes and face them head-on. What can teachers and the education system as a whole correlate from these talks to how kids learn?
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Children's nutrition is a school-parent collaboration
District Administration Magazine (commentary)
Rico Griffone, a contributor for District Administration Magazine, writes: "School lunches are at the front lines of the country's childhood obesity and nutrition crisis. First lady Michelle Obama, star chef Jamie Oliver and the 'Renegade Lunch Lady' activist Ann Cooper have helped draw the public interest to the problems in school cafeterias. Since 2009, I have worked with The Culinary Institute of America's Menu for Healthy Kids initiative. We have provided school districts in New York's Hudson Valley with tools to improve the food served to students."
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Diagnosing ADHD inattentive type in tweens
Psychology Today
Research indicates that it is becoming more common to identify kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), inattentive type during the middle school years. While ADHD is more predominant in boys, the inattentive type is more common in the subset of girls diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD inattentive type is also trickier to detect which is why it often goes undiagnosed until middle school. Tweens diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type have difficulty remaining focused, they are often not detected in elementary school where the tendency is to focus on each classroom task for short periods time.
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Related item: ADHD in tweens: Tools to tackle inattentive type (Psychology Today)


School posts sign warning that teachers are armed, gunmen will be 'met with deadly force'
ThinkProgress
A school in Arkansas wants any potential shooters to know: Its teachers are armed, and ready for a showdown. Since the Arkansas Christian Academy is a private school, it is not subject to the rules for public schools in the state that prevent teachers from carrying firearms. To that end, the school has between one and seven staff members carrying a weapon on any given day, according to Pastor Perry Black, who this week posted signs that say "Staff is armed and trained. Any attempt to harm children will be met with deadly force."
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4 essential principles of blended learning
MindShift
As schools become more savvy about blended-learning tactics– the practice of mixing online and in-person instruction — guidelines and best practices are emerging from lessons learned. Here are four crucial factors to keep in mind as schools plunge in.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    A lesson in time management: Using an iPad for teacher observations (Education Week)
10 ideas to get those back-to-school juices flowing (MindShift)
School standards' debut is rocky, and critics pounce (The New York Times)
Report: Public fuzzy on Common Core State Standards (eSchool News)
Back to class: 3 ways school meals and snacks will look different (Time)

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


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Culturally responsive teaching
MiddleWeb
Julia G. Thompson, a practicing teacher for more than 35 years, writes: "In the early years of the 21st century, we are constantly and unconsciously bombarded with messages from the various societies that surround us. From restaurant choices, music, sports, fashion, and all forms of popular media to proceedings as significant as wars and threats of terrorism, we adults function in a culturally diverse world. Our students share that world with us, and they need our help in learning to negotiate the complexities of a multicultural society."
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Separation anxiety: More than just the back-to-school blues
Medical New Today
Most children experience some degree of apprehension and excitement as the first day of school approaches, but what does it mean when a child is overcome with fear at the thought of separating from parents and caregivers to go to class? This overwhelming fear may be a sign of separation anxiety disorder, a condition characterized by a school-aged child's extreme fear and nervousness of separating from loved ones.
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She called him 'sweetheart'
Education Week (commentary)
Antoinette Tuff's actions at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Georgia were inarguably courageous. They were also inspired by her faith and her own experience with loss and despair. Without either one, she might not have reached that disturbed young man. Most agree, given his AK 47 and 500 rounds of ammunition, that she prevented what could have been another Sandy Hook tragedy. For everyone at the Academy, she was certainly the right person at the right moment.
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5 education trends for the new school year
eClassroom News
Trends in education are always appearing, such as iPads and online testing (and remember virtual reality classrooms?), but with recent developments in national standards and a new federal emphasis on equity, the 2013-2014 school year will have a set of trends all its own. From issues surrounding Common Core State Standards implementation to the number of tools available to create customized, affordable ebooks, educators and administrators this year will certainly have their hands full with adapting to these national education trends.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword EDUCATION TRENDS.






US Department of Education proposes ending testing under modified standards
Education Week
This school year would be the last one where states could test students under modified academic achievement standards and have those tests count toward No Child Left Behind accountability rules, according to proposed rules published today in the Federal Register. The department is soliciting comments on the proposed change through Oct. 7. The alternate assessments are sometimes shorthanded as "2 percent tests," instead of their official name, "alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards." Regulations currently allow 2 percent of all students, or about 20 percent of students with disabilities, to take such assessments and be counted as proficient under the No Child Left Behind Act.
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10 things we've learned about learning
Smithsonian Magazine
It’s the time of year when learning seems remarkably possible. Students are excited, teachers are motivated — let the learnfest begin. But by next month, it will become clear once again that the teaching/learning routine is a tricky dance, that all kinds of things, both in our heads and in our lives, can knock it off balance.

Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
read more
8 ways kindergarten holds the key to 21st century instruction
eSchool News
Sam Gliksman, a contributor for eSchool News, writes: "I was recently giving a workshop at a local elementary school. While walking around and speaking to teachers and children, it suddenly dawned on me that several of the 'revolutionary' educational changes we've been calling for have actually been around for quite a while — just talk a stroll down to the kindergarten classes.

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Newer teachers most likely to be engaged at work
Gallup
U.S. teachers for grades K-12 with less than one year of experience are the most engaged at work, at 35.1 percent. Engagement drops to 30.9 percent for teachers who have been on the job for one to three years and falls further to 27.9 percent for educators with three to five years of experience.

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Federal oversight takes aim at waiver compliance
Education Week
In the wake of the U.S. Department of Education's decision to place three states on "high-risk status" for problems with their No Child Left Behind Act waivers, it's clear that the federal push to grant states sweeping flexibility in school accountability will be fraught with stumbles. Implementing teacher evaluations tied to student growth is a significant sticking point for many waiver states, including Kansas, Oregon and Washington — which were formally warned by federal officials Aug. 15 that they might lose their waivers if they don't get new evaluations back on track.
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America's kids need a better education law
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan writes: "The nation's most sweeping education law — the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, better known as No Child Left Behind — is outmoded and broken. Congress has gone home for its summer recess without passing a responsible replacement. That's too bad. America deserves a better law. At the heart of No Child Left Behind is a promise: to set a high bar for all students and to protect the most vulnerable. Success in that effort will be measured in the opportunities for our nation's children, in a time when a solid education is the surest path to a middle-class life. Tight global economic competition means that jobs will go where the skills are. Raising student performance could not be more urgent."
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New York City makes test scores available on the Web
The New York Times
Soon parents of New York City public school students will be able to see online how well, or poorly, their children performed on a new set of state reading and math exams this spring. Parents have been able to call or visit their child's school to learn individual scores since early August, but now they can learn the scores by logging onto the student information database known as Aris Parent Link. The database system, which cost $83 million, drew sharp criticism after it was introduced in 2008. Last year, an audit by the city comptroller’s office found that roughly 42 percent of teachers, assistant principals and principals did not even log on in each of the two prior academic years. Usage by parents, however, was not measured.
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Flexbooks help Georgia district keep up with math mandates
District Administration Magazine
A new flexbooks program will be implemented this fall in math classrooms across a suburban Atlanta school district to keep up with changing state requirements and reduce textbook costs. Henry County Schools is using Edgenuity software on newly purchased iPads in its math classrooms, nicknaming the program "flexbooks" because teachers and administrators will have the flexibility to create customizable math content for each classroom and student, says Assistant Superintendent Aaryn Schmuhl. Parents will also have access to the content online so they can help students with homework.
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CPS central office staff will pitch in to prepare schools for first day of classes
Chicago Tribune
As Chicago Public Schools gears up for the first day of school, central office staff are being asked to pitch in to help prepare the schools that will be taking in students displaced by school closings. Central office employees were asked to report to the receiving schools in ready-to-work clothes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to help move furniture and textbooks, and organize the schools for opening day next week. Classes begin Monday. Most of the schools receiving students underwent construction over the summer, and received furniture and equipment from schools that closed in June.
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High tech, high touch approach earns school high marks
Michigan Chronicle
Every child is a born learner, but not all of them are high achievers. Experts say that our nation's "onesize- fits-all" education model, which does not always accommodate the kids that learn differently than their peers, may be the culprit in student failure rates. At A.L. Holmes Elementary-Middle School on Detroit's east side, success is not an option for the majority of its students, who receive personalized support with understanding math concepts, reading compression and study habits.
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NAESP white paper: Is Becoming a Green School Right For Your School?
NAESP
Green schools can help address many of the challenges facing school principals today. They provide healthy learning environments for students and teachers, along with new opportunities for environmental literacy education. Plus, they're highly cost-effective. Nearly 2,000 K-8 schools have certified themselves as "green." This NAESP white paper outlines easy steps that principals can take to start greening their schools.
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Write for NAESP
NAESP
No one knows a principal's job better than you do. You know the challenges, the rewards, and the successes. Writing for NAESP's publications is a great way to help other principals while discovering fresh insights into your own professional development. This month, Principal's editors are specifically seeking articles on assessments and evaluations (due Aug. 30). Click "Read More" for submission guidelines and the full editorial calendar.
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