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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit September 16, 2014

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With technology taking over in schools, worries rise
The New York Times
At a New York state elementary school, teachers can use a behavior-monitoring app to compile information on which children have positive attitudes and which act out. In Georgia, some high school cafeterias are using a biometric identification system to let students pay for lunch by scanning the palms of their hands at the checkout line. And across the country, school sports teams are using social media sites for athletes to exchange contact information and game locations.
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Giving every kid equal standing in the school lunch line
NPR
Until recently, some students in the Spring Branch Independent School District in the Houston area dreaded lunchtime. The cafeteria meant humiliation, because their parents couldn't afford a hot lunch. The alternative for these kids was a cold cheese sandwich; anyone seen leaving the lunch line with one was marked as being poor. Until school volunteer Kenny Thompson saw it happen.
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New reports grade schools on reading, writing and recess
Education Week
When parents in Colorado check state-mandated reports to see how their child's school is faring academically, they can also quickly learn if that school has a nurse, if it offers 30 minutes of daily physical activity for students, and if it has a school-based health center. Though school-level report cards typically feature information about standardized-test scores and student demographics, the Rocky Mountain State also requires schools to report a variety of other factors that affect students' health and wellness.
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Project-based learning moves into classrooms
eSchool News
When it comes to classrooms today, students want more than the lectures and quiet classrooms of the past. They want technology to use as learning tools, they want to collaborate, and they want to work on projects that are relevant to their learning and the real world. Through project-based learning, students achieve a deeper understanding of lessons as they investigate and attempt to solve real-world problems. Part of this approach's appeal is its ability to impact students of all ages — kindergarten students can collaborate on and explore problems just the same as high school students.
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Why physical education is important for academic skills
Psychology Today
Wait, you might not want to cut physical education from the school curriculum just yet. A new study by researchers at the University of Illinois found that twenty minutes of brisk walking or jogging on treadmills helped children with ADHD become better students. The researchers recruited 40 8-to-10-year-old boys and girls, half of whom had ADHD. All the kids took a series of computerized academic and attentional tests. Later, on one occasion they sat and read quietly for 20 minutes.
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Study: Principals aren't tapping teacher-effectiveness data
Education Week
Despite a trove of data on teacher effectiveness that has accumulated from the rollout of teacher-evaluation systems in recent years, many principals are not using that information to guide decisions about hiring, assignments and professional development, according to the findings in a report by Vanderbilt University researchers. When principals do avail themselves of that information, they are more likely to rely on classroom-observation data, rather than on value-added measures of students' test scores or parent, student and teacher surveys.
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The business of: School library automation
District Administration Magazine
Taking away clerical work such as manual card cataloging and checking out books means librarians can spend more time working with students on research skills and digital literacy. With today's automation software, librarians can give book recommendations and users need only a single portal to search for digital and print resources. Advanced reporting tells librarians the most commonly read genres and the age of books in the library.
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For dyslexic students, are smartphones easier to read than books?
PBS Newshour
Matthew Schneps holds a Ph.D. in physics but his success came with a certain measure of challenge. In addition to being an astrophysicist, Schneps is also dyslexic, which means he joins approximately 15 percent of Americans in a struggle to read. "When I read, I find it's very hard for me to kind of mentally lock on to the words," Schneps said. One thing has helped, however — Schneps's smartphone, which helped him bridge the distance between his mind and the written word. But was the device just helpful to him? Or it could it be helpful to others?
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Why learning space matters (Edutopia)
What online tutoring programs can do for kids (CBS News)
8 uplifting quotes for discouraged students (Edudemic)
How can teachers engage all learners? Let students play (eSchool News)
Common Core 2.0: Common Core by another name (The Washington Post)

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


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Measuring students' self-control: A 'marshmallow test' for the digital age
MindShift
The "marshmallow test" invented by Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel and colleagues in the 1960s is famously known as a measure of willpower. The experiment gave preschoolers the option of either eating one mini-marshmallow right away or waiting 15 minutes to get two mini-marshmallows. Decades later, those who were better at delaying gratification, and resisted immediately snarfing the treat, ended up with stronger SAT scores, higher educational achievement and greater self-esteem and capacity to cope with stress in adulthood.
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Why BYOT should begin in elementary school
eSchool News (commentary)
In an effort to make technology more available to students, some school districts are adopting "bring your own technology" programs, in which students and staff are allowed to bring devices from home to use on the schools' networks for educational use. Usually, districts adopting BYOT programs initiate them at the high school level and allow them to trickle down to the junior high or middle school level. It is the rare school district that will include its elementary populations in this endeavor.
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School bus terrorism: Are we now less prepared?
School Transportation News (commentary)
As multi-hazard approaches to anti-terrorism are crucial for effective approaches, a number of experts are becoming increasingly concerned that the intensive focus on active shooter events is leaving schools, school buses and school-related special events inadequately prepared for terrorism attacks. Firm data demonstrates that at least one insurance carrier recently paid claims relating to emergency room treatment of school employees who have been injured in the past 20 months during active-shooter response training. It is quite evident that millions of dollars are being spent on emergency room bills for this as yet unproven type of training.
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4 early-year keys for effective classroom discipline
Edutopia
Nothing can undermine a classroom climate that's conducive to learning more quickly than a host of minor disruptive behaviors. These behaviors alone may be no big deal, but collectively they steal instructional time and the positive energy that our students need to attain success. Although effectively managing student behavior is a multifaceted practice, there are four central things that you can — and should — do very early in the school year to set the proper tone.
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Do students learn more when their teachers work well together?
The Washington Post (commentary)
Debates about how to improve educational outcomes for students often involve two camps — those who focus on the impact of in-school factors on student achievement and those who focus on out-of-school factors. There are many in-school factors discussed but improving the quality of individual teachers (or teachers' human capital) is almost always touted as the main strategy for school improvement. Social capital is malleable; policies can and do shape teachers' professional networks and how they function. For example, Gamoran, Gunter and Williams (2005) showed that sustained and coherent professional development can be used to create strong collegial ties (or social capital) among teachers.
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When schools can't get online
The Atlantic
The community built a new barn, right next to their elementary school. They hung a sign over its red doorway, naming it Sunshine Farms. Inside, the children began conducting science lessons by collecting data on animals. The barn contained 11 hens, two lambs, and one laptop protected with plastic wrap. Until last year, the school in Maryland's western Allegheny Mountains had Internet access through a molasses-slow dial-up connection; it crashed if too many students used it, and the slow speed made it frustrating for teachers. Now, for the first time, the school has reliable, high-speed Internet service.
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Study: Cyberbullying increases as students age
University of California — Riverside via Science Daily
As students' age they are verbally and physically bullied less but cyberbullied more, non-native English speakers are not bullied more often than native English speakers and bullying increases as students' transition from elementary to middle school. Those are among the findings of a wide-ranging paper just released.
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Education looms large in pivotal US Senate races
Education Week
Education policy issues are at the heart of a handful of highly competitive U.S. Senate races that could help determine which party controls the chamber next year. In North Carolina, candidates are locking horns over education spending and teacher pay; in Georgia, the Common Core State Standards are taking center stage; and in Iowa, higher education and student loans are the subject of the latest skirmish between Senate hopefuls.
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Chamber of Commerce grades states' schools. How did yours do?
The Christian Science Monitor
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation released a report offering a business lens on educational progress in each state. The "Leaders & Laggards" report gives each state a letter grade on 11 factors ranging from international competitiveness to the return on investment for education spending. While noting some progress — with students in every state improving in math and reading in recent years — the report presses states to boost students' ability to meet rising benchmarks for preparing for college and careers.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
4 early-year keys for effective classroom discipline
Edutopia
Nothing can undermine a classroom climate that's conducive to learning more quickly than a host of minor disruptive behaviors.

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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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California study: Truancy data shows racial divide
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
African-American elementary students in California were chronically truant at nearly four times the rate of all students during the last school year, according to a state report, that said poverty and suspensions were contributing factors. The report by the California attorney general's office is the first time the data has been broken down according to race and income levels. Officials say such data is needed to address the problem.
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Texas textbook battle heats up with claims of conservative bias
The Huffington Post
Another battle could be brewing over Texas textbooks, this time because scholars say the proposed lessons distort history. New social studies books, on which the Texas State Board of Education is set to vote in November, promote pro-Christian religious and conservative political biases, according to a report from the nonprofit Texas Freedom Network Education Fund. History scholars argue in the report that a number of the books under consideration contain misleading information on topics like America's founding and world religions.
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Bullying prevention: Checklist for principals
NAESP
Educators know bullying programs are important — but how do we know if all the necessary concepts are in place? According to the literature on bullying, there are 16 key steps principals should take to strengthen bullying prevention programs.
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Peaceful learning in outdoor spaces
NAESP
At Anna S. Kuhl Elementary, staff and community members teamed up to create a unique outdoor learning space, where students learn about virtually every subject. Keep these tips in mind when designing your own outdoor classroom.
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Looking to share your expertise?
MultiBriefs
In an effort to enhance the overall content of Before the Bell, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of NAESP, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.
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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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