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Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools

Math Problem solving contests for teams of up to 35 students in grades 4 through 8.

 





Attendance Awareness Month: Resources for making attendance a priority
Education World
September represents more than just the month of getting used to being back in school, its also Attendance Awareness Month. Make sure to make attendance a priority for your students, children and even yourself using these tips for the upcoming school year.
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Think you know a lot about Common Core? A new poll finds you're probably wrong
The Hechinger Report
As kids across the country return to school, the results of a new poll suggest it's adults who need a lesson on the Common Core State Standards, a set of end-of-grade expectations in math and English adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia. The poll — a survey of 2,411 registered California voters by PACE, a research center that analyzes California education policy, and the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California — found that the 10 percent of voters who say they know "a lot" about the Common Core were the most likely to get true or false questions about the standards wrong.
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Does the partisan divide include the K-12 curriculum?
Education Week (commentary)
Americans have generally wanted much the same things taught in their public schools. Elementary students should learn three "R's" — reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic. In high school, it's time to prepare for college or a career by studying core subjects, such as English, history, algebra, biology and a foreign language. That basic understanding has not prevented political spats over school spending and school attendance boundaries. But the core operations of schools have usually been left undisturbed.
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1 tutor + 1 student = better math scores, less fear
NPR
Math can be as scary as spiders and snakes, at least in the brain of an 8-year-old child. And that early anxiety about dealing with numbers can put a child at a significant disadvantage, not only in school but in negotiating life and a career. Fortunately, a study of third-graders, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests an intervention that can help. One-on-one tutoring does more than teach kids, the researchers say. It calms the fear circuitry in the brain.
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4 strategies to help ELLs in the mainstream classroom
Edutopia
It is possible to help a beginning English language learner improve so much in a matter of months that he or she can pass the sixth through eighth grade state standardized tests. This student can go from five to 50 percent on a school curriculum test. It's happening in my middle school classroom, and it can happen in your classrooms, too. With the right support and differentiation, ELLs will be successful in your general education or language arts classroom.
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Washington, DC area minority-owned business is the first American company to be awarded foreign publishing code in China
Science Weekly Magazine
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Could OERs spell the end of textbooks?
By: Brian Stack
A letter recently arrived in President Barack Obama's digital inbox calling on him to commit to policies that support the development of open educational resources, known more commonly as OERs. The letter was first developed and signed by multiple organizations from the education, library, technology, public interest and legal communities. Educators across the country are wondering, should educational materials be set free for all to use?
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Resources for teaching 9/11 in the classroom
Education World
With the 14th anniversary of Sept. 11 approaching, Education World has provided K-12 educators with an updated list of resources to teach the history and impact behind the fateful day in the classroom.
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The surprising conservative roots of the Common Core: How conservatives gave rise to 'Obamacore'
Brookings (commentary)
When Jeb Bush announced he was exploring a run for president, TIME warned that Bush was "going to have to win over the Republican conservative base, which hates Common Core with the fire of a thousand suns." In case conservative loathing of the Common Core ran the risk of being understated, the Washington Post weighed in with an analysis stating that "The conservative base hates — hates, hates, hates — the Common Core education standards." That media shorthand vastly oversimplifies not just the debate among conservatives over the Common Core but the rich, conservative roots of the standards themselves.
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Turning classroom tech into more than an expensive paperweight
EdTech Magazine
School leaders today find themselves in one of the most complex environments that our educational systems have ever faced. Swimming in a sea of nearly endless digital possibilities, they know that a quality education for our nation's most precious resource hangs in the balance. Fortunately, we are also living in an era of unprecedented learning and sharing that can allow us all to learn from one another in ways that have not existed previously. Just like our students, we educators are no longer bound by the four walls of the schoolhouse, district, state or even international boundaries — in most cases.
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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.
 


How to improve your school staff's communication: Tips and tricks from the classroom
EdSurge
Professional collaboration is at the very heart of education. In essence, we are a community of professionals all sharing best practices and encouraging the growth of children. In an age where the education system is under pressure of standardization and skills assessments, the educators need to come together to support one another. We need communication and collaboration now more than ever before.
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Preparing for success this school year
Scholastic Administration Magazine
With the school year just beginning, or just around the corner, teachers and administrators are starting to get that familiar feeling of excitement that comes with a new year. As administrators, setting up our staff, teachers and students for success during the school year is a key goal. Here are three projects that will make the back-to-school transition a little easier to handle.
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Technology trumps quality teaching for parents in the Northeast and West
THE Journal
Parents in the Northeast and West believe up-to-date technology is more important than the quality of their teachers. The reverse is true — that high-quality teachers are more important than technology — in the South and Midwest. Those are among several results of a survey of 600 parents conducted by research firm Toluna on behalf of the Follett Corp. Nationally, parents generally feel that both are almost equally as important, with 29 percent believing teaching is most crucial while 28 percent believe technology is, according to the survey.
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The 2 dashboards that will get teachers to use data
eSchool News (commentary)
Michelle Hall, a contributor for eSchool News, writes: "Every day, educators amass a tremendous amount of academic data. Many of that data ultimately gets entered into online systems and run through analysis software and teacher dashboards. But that data is only valuable if it can be easily accessed and analyzed, and acted upon in a timely manner. And only if the teacher finds it worthwhile enough to complete that process. In the past, my district used a scanning system to scan paper test forms and quickly make the data available to teachers for their review. The problem was that seven years after we launched the system, I was still teaching our teachers how to use it. Because it wasn't user friendly, it wasn't used very extensively, which meant that data was going to waste."
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Educators can spot emotional baggage
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
When Grace Enick, now 25, was in a Christian elementary school, no one noticed her behavior after she was raped in second grade. "All I wanted was for someone to ask me what was wrong," she said. No one did. In recent years, educators have become more aware that some students are carrying emotional baggage that can interfere with their ability to learn. They may be dealing with trauma from exposure to street violence, domestic violence, drug addiction, sexual abuse, poverty and homelessness, or grief over a parent's death or illness or unsettled feelings over their parents' divorce.
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Does the focus on student mindsets let schools off the hook?
MindShift
It's hard to be connected to the education field today and not have heard about Carol Dweck's research on growth mindset. The Stanford psychologist has spent her career researching how adult messages impact the way kids think about their abilities. Working to teach a growth mindset has now become popular in schools, with teachers across the country working to praise students' process, not their product and to celebrate productive failure. Still, as with any education theory that catches on like wildfire, there are those who believe changing student mindsets isn't the panacea it has been made out to be.
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  Pilot Program: World Cultures Curriculum

All Around This World,
an experiential global music and world cultures program for kids, seeks elementary schools to pilot its “Explore Everywhere” classroom curriculum in '15-'16. Participating schools recevie full scholarship to Africa and Latin America series (up to 20 weeks each). Teacher training videos/webinars included. FUN! Intrigued? Click here.
 




ESEA high on agenda of education issues as Congress returns
Education Week
Fresh off a five-week summer sabbatical, members of Congress confront a handful of pressing education issues, high among them brokering a path forward for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization, with dueling bills having already passed in both chambers. Perhaps most urgent, however, the federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30, and House and Senate appropriators have yet to pass a spending bill to fund the government past then. When they return, they'll have just 10 legislative working days to negotiate a funding plan for federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education and its programs.
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Lunch ladies want Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act to lighten up
NPR
There's lots of evidence that meals kids are being served in schools have gotten healthier. The landmark Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act, which was passed five years ago, came with a mandate to put fruits and vegetables on every lunch tray. But the School Nutrition Association says for some school districts, there's been an unintended consequence of the reform. Fewer kids are buying school lunches.
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Duncan: US needs to modernize its schools
eSchool News
If you have school-age children like we do, you've probably heard the following question after a particularly challenging homework assignment or classroom project: When am I going to use this in the real world? Every parent understands that what kids learn in the classroom will help them in later life. But sometimes it's hard — even for us as the nation's secretaries of labor and education — to explain how abstract concepts relate to practical applications. Why? For one thing, we have a 21st century economy, but much of our K-12 education system remains stuck in the 20th century. What kids learn at school isn't always aligned with the skills they'll need as adult professionals.
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Obama touts ConnectEd program in remote Alaska
Education Week
President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to visit the Arctic Circle when he landed at the remote 3,000-person village of Kotzebue, Alaska. The president's week-long trip to the Last Frontier has largely focused on climate change — Kotzebue is in danger of being wiped off the map due to the rising sea level — but in a speech Tuesday evening, he focused on something else that's a high priority for isolated communities: access to technology for students. "One of the initiatives I'm proudest of is something we call ConnectEd," he said to a crowd gathered at Kotzebue High School.
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Poor kids in Chicago have more options for where to go to school, but that's not necessarily good
The Huffington Post
Long gone are the days when poor children in Chicago got trapped in failing neighborhood schools. Nowadays, families from low-income neighborhoods are more likely to send their kids to a greater range of types of schools than families from affluent areas, according to research from a Johns Hopkins University professor. But that doesn't necessarily mean these kids always get a richer educational experience. Using 2008-2009 data from Chicago eighth-graders about to enter high school, Johns Hopkins University professor Julia Burdick-Will tracked where students chose to attend school and compared it to the median income in their neighborhood.
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Teachers wanted: Passion a must, patience required, pay negligible
The Atlantic (commentary)
By 9 a.m. on Aug. 19, the first day of work for teachers in Oakland, California, Kilian Betlach had already been busy for hours. Betlach, the principal of a small middle school called Elmhurst Community Prep in a neighborhood residents refer to as Deep East Oakland, had just finished a meeting about an upgrade to his school's athletic fields. There were only three prep days before the school's 374 students would arrive and there was still too much to do. But Betlach felt his team — 18 teachers, two administrators, and a dozen support staff — was up to the challenge.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Report: More than half of students struggle with reading (eSchool News)
Common Core testing takeaways (District Administration Magazine)
Why pushing kids to learn too much too soon is counterproductive (The Washington Post)
This map shows how many more students are living in poverty than 9 years ago (The Huffington Post)
3 tips to boost student health and improve learning (Education Dive)

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




Research report: Diversity in early childhood classrooms
NAESP
In their recent report, "A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education", Jeanne L. Reid and Sharon Lynn Kagan (Columbia University) have analyzed demographic data, research, and the positions of national early childhood organizations to take the pulse of diversity in the nation's early childhood classrooms. Their findings? Diversity is rare.
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Register for next mentor training in Alexandria, VA
NAESP
The NAESP National Mentor Training and Certification Program is designed to engage retired and experienced principals to give back to their profession by supporting new, newly assigned or even experienced principals through mentoring. Register now for an upcoming session in Alexandria, Virgina, Oct. 2-3.
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