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Cheat sheet for the first days of school
Edutopia    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For those of us in the field of educating young minds, we often find that summer does two things rather well. First, it helps us remember a time when our first names weren't Mister or Miss for the majority of the day and when we didn't have to break out into a vibrant soliloquy whenever the tenor of a room didn't feel right. Secondly, it abruptly breaks us out of our own routines for how we go about our days. We don't follow the bells or the crowds swooshing past the hallways to their next stations. More


Lunch boxes and school eating areas are hotspots for bacteria
The Medical News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Moms earn top marks when it comes to good hygiene practices, but a new study by Lysol and the Global Hygiene Council reveals they could do more to safeguard against bacteria hotspots in schools, especially at lunch time. The 2012 Lysol Back to School Study surveyed 14,000 mothers of 5- to 12-year-olds across 14 countries. Eighty-eight percent of Canadian mothers, for instance, said they teach their child good hygiene practices, such as hand washing after using the washroom and coughing into the sleeve. However, only 53 percent said their children are made to wash their hands before eating lunch. More

From STEM to STEAM: Science and art go hand-in-hand
Scientific American (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the wake of the recent recession, we have been consistently apprised of the pressing need to revitalize funding and education in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math. Doing this, we are told, will spur innovation and put our country back on the road to prosperity. Renewing our focus on STEM is an unobjectionably worthwhile endeavor. Science and technology are the primary drivers of our world economy, and the United States is in the lead. But there is a growing group of advocates who believe that STEM is missing a key component — one that is equally deserved of renewed attention, enthusiasm and funding. That component is the Arts. If these advocates have their way, STEM would become STEAM. More

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How classroom games can help build reasoning skills
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While most students enjoy games, even the simplest kind — such as tic tac toe — can help children develop important 21st century skills such as critical thinking and mathematical reasoning, experts say. During a webinar hosted by edWeb, Sarah DeLeeuw and Patrick Vennebush from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics demonstrated how basic games can help students become more engaged in math lessons. Many rudimentary games give students a chance to make their own decisions, reflect on those decisions and talk about strategies with their peers, the panelists said. In addition to promoting communication skills, students can learn from one another and explore different ways to play games. More

Trimming the cost of Common Core implementation
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Common Core State Standards are designed to have a transformative effect on teaching and learning in the United States. But, as we all know, the 46 states and the District of Columbia that have adopted the Common Core are just beginning the journey of implementation. A great deal of thoughtful work is required to implement the standards successfully, and that work will not come without a price tag. More

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13 must-have gadgets and apps for educators
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
THE Journal asked Leslie Fisher and Hall Davidson, presenters at FETC's popular Tech Shootout session, to share some of the tools they're still excited about. From apps to gadgets, here are their must-haves for educators. More

America's poverty-education link
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Poverty and education are inextricably linked where education is a primary means of social mobility, enabling those born into poverty to rise in society. Powerful evidence of the link include the fact that 46 percent of Americans who grew up in low-income families but failed to earn college degrees stayed in the lowest income quintile, compared to 16 percent for those who earned a college degree. The link between poverty and education can be seen at all educational levels. From the earliest stage, pre-primary education, poorer Americans start disadvantaged. Children of parents earning less than $15,000 a year have pre-primary enrollment rates about 20 percent lower than children of parents earning more than $50,000 a year. More


Best practices for deploying iPads in schools
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As schools get ready to deploy iPads this year, each one is scrambling to figure out how to develop an efficient and effective system that works. With no standardized system or uniform roadmap to follow, at the moment, it's up to individual schools to reach out through their networks to find information about best practices and smooth, streamlined service. Without professional development and a set plan in place, educators in individual classes might be stumped by how to set up iPads for different uses. But once a system is in place, educators will intuitively be able to move on with the business of guiding student learning. More

Making parental peace with kids' homework
HealthDay News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The start of a new school year is edging closer and it might be a good idea for parents to start thinking about how they're going to deal with homework issues, one expert suggests. "The battle is different for every family. Some children resist starting their homework, some have a hard time finishing and others do their homework — but don't turn it in," Drew Edwards, an adjunct associate professor of psychology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., said in a university news release. More

10 back-to-school buys that are a waste of money
TheStreet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the average family expected to shell out $688 for back-to-school expenses, according to the National Retail Federation, it's important to decide if the items you plan to buy are actually necessary. A lot has been made of a disappointing back-to-school season for retailers so far with moms and kids pushing back purchases, however, don't let that fool you into thinking lots of money isn't being wasted to outfit and arm today's student. The lull in back-to-school shopping highlights an important consumer wisdom: Sometimes the best way to save money is to simply buy less. More

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Critical thinking will become part of every lesson educators teach with the use of Common Core Standards and Strategies Flip Charts. With quick and easy access to each grade levels’ standards, our Standards and Strategies Flip Charts are the perfect tool to equip students for success. MORE

States fail to meet disaster-preparedness standards
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When a parent drops off a child at a school or child-care facility, there's a reasonable expectation that he or she will be safe and cared for, especially in times of emergency. But a new report by the international child-advocacy group Save the Children raises concerns that many U.S. institutions entrusted to protect children are not fully prepared to do so. In its "National Report Card on Protecting Children During Disasters," the Wesport, Conn.-based organization found that 33 states and the District of Columbia do not meet at least one of four disaster-preparedness standards, which include having several different plans in the event of an emergency: for evacuating children during an emergency; for assisting children with disabilities, for reuniting families after a disaster and multi-hazard plans for K-12 schools. More

22 Baltimore schools to start year without permanent leaders
The Baltimore Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Twenty-two Baltimore schools will open Monday without permanent principals in place, continuing the unprecedented turnover under Andrés Alonso — moves that the administrators union says reflect "vindictive" and "capricious" decisions by the schools chief. The union's president, Jimmy Gittings, said Alonso demoted 15 principals, including four whose schools are being investigated for possible cheating on state tests. He said two of the four were placed back in the classroom as teachers after an investigation turned up no evidence. More


Web class on a snow day? Only for some in Ohio
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Snow days will be free days for most Ohio students this school year, despite a state law that could turn some of them into days of online class. Only a few central Ohio school districts submitted the paperwork that lets them use a 2-year-old law allowing them to hold classes online up to three days a year. Those days would count as full school days. Schools lobbied for the law so that, once they use up their five so-called "calamity days," they can avoid adding days to the end of the year. But this year, only about 120 of Ohio's 614 districts applied to use the online lessons. That's 20 more than last school year. More

In districts where seniors outnumber children, schools adjust
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 1,000-student Allegheny Valley district in Pennsylvania boasts generations of alumni and a community so involved with the schools that high school graduation becomes an open celebration in downtown Springdale Borough. Yet the district hasn't asked for a tax increase in three years, and it is pushing out a message to older residents about energy conservation, equipment reuse and other cost savings. Allegheny Valley is located in one of more than 900 counties where residents 65 and older now edge out school-age children. Out of more than 3,000 counties and county equivalents nationwide, seniors outnumber schoolchildren by more than 2-to-1 in 33 counties, recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau show. More

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Chicago teachers give notice of possible deadline for strike
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As parents here prepare to send their children back to school, the union representing Chicago Public Schools teachers gave a 10-day notice of its intent to strike, the next legal step in a series of maneuvers amid continuing contract bargaining with the city. "C.P.S. seems determined to have a toxic relationship with its employees," Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, said at a news conference announcing the move. More

Many Texas districts plan to exceed class-size limits to control budgets
Dallas Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students return to class in many North Texas school districts and some of those elementary school classrooms could be more packed this year than in the past. The Dallas Morning News reported that hundreds of school districts set aside the 22-student limit in kindergarten through fourth grade after they received exemptions in order to offset unprecedented funding cuts from the state. More


New code aims to ease suspensions of students in New York
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York City public-school students can no longer be suspended for one-time, low-level infractions and the youngest pupils can be suspended only for 5 days for midlevel offenses, down from 10, according to new disciplinary rules posted by the Education Department. With an aim of reducing punishments that keep students out of the classroom, the department's new disciplinary code also guides teachers to intervene quickly with misbehaving students and to try counseling before moving to punishment. More

Students, teachers face new ways to learn, teach in Louisiana
Shreveport Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many Louisiana students will soon experience a new way of learning and teachers a new way of teaching. When schools officially enact Common Core State Standards, often referred to as Common Core Curriculum, "it represents a significant shift of what we are expecting of students and teachers," said Superintendent of Education John White. "It's more rigorous on one hand and representative of basic skills, on the other hand." The new standards will first be implemented for English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The first full assessment of how students perform under the new standards will be in the 2014-2015 school year but White is encouraging teachers to start utilizing the new techniques. More

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School seeing turnaround under new leadership
The Augusta Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When the state named W.S. Hornsby K-8 School one of the worst performing schools in the state, Principal Tonethia Beasley decided to make T-shirts for the occasion. She took their new label as a "priority school" and turned it into something with a positive ring to it. "Hornsby, our PRIORITY is the students," read the shirts, which all staff wore on the first day this year. For the 2012-2013 school year, Hornsby is one of 78 schools in Georgia given a "priority" label, the most severe designation for low achievement under the state's new accountability system. The school has three years to improve in order to shake the status, and Beasley said reform is possible with the right attitude. More


NAESP to hold briefing on principal evaluation
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Principals are the primary catalysts for school improvement. Creating better evaluation systems for principals has emerged as a cornerstone of education reform, and NAESP and the National Association of Secondary School Principals have been working on a framework for effective evaluation. On Sept. 13, leading researchers will present key elements of the framework. More

Motivate your staff with NPRC resources
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Jump-start your school year with the hottest books from the National Principals Resource Center. Pick up handy how-to guides on motivating your staff, inspiring your team, building school culture and more. Don't forget to snag the latest book hot off the presses from renowned global education expert Yong Zhao, "World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students." More


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