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New training paths for school tech staff
District Administration Magazine
Given the need for qualified school technologists, there are a few training programs that specifically address the unique combination of technical and pedagogical skills needed for leaders and their staff. The staff must not only understand the technical side but also know the education environment, says Superintendent Tom Trigg of the Blue Valley School District in suburban Kansas City, Kansas. But some tech leaders haven't even had adequate professional development.
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4 reminders for a new school year
Connected Principals (commentary)
William Parker, a contributor for Connected Principals blog, writes: "We just welcomed our teachers and students back to school. It was hard work to prepare for all the moving parts that make up master schedules, professional development, and schedule pick-ups. But there is also great satisfaction in having everyone back and knowing we’ve had a successful launch. Each year I try to remember that the first days with our school team are as important as their first days with students."
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Transforming classroom management for ELLs: Strategies for success
By: Erick Herrmann
Classroom management is a phrase and concept all teachers are familiar with and know intimately. There are numerous classroom management strategies that benefit all students, but that may be especially beneficial for culturally and linguistically diverse students. This population in particular requires additional considerations as we work to develop a classroom culture of learning and mutual respect. Consider the following concepts and strategies as you reflect on your own classroom management style and classroom culture.
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Homework in elementary school divides educators
Education Week
"PDF"—play, downtime, and family time — has replaced homework for kindergartners, first-graders and second-graders at one Chicago elementary school, according to the Sun Times. Calling it a "grand experiment," Hamilton Elementary School principal James Gray hopes that eliminating homework will help children develop a genuine love of learning, instead of requiring them to do more work at home after a long day at school.
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Physical activity may boost school performance, especially for boys
HealthDay News
Children might do better in school if they're more physically active, a new study suggests. Researchers assessed the activity levels and reading and math skills of 186 Finnish children in grades 1 to 3. The study authors, from the University of Eastern Finland, report a link between higher levels of physical activity at recess and better reading skills, and a connection between participation in organized sports and higher math test scores. In particular, boys with higher levels of physical activity — especially walking and bicycling to and from school — had better reading skills than less active boys, according to the research team.
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When students get creative with tech tools, teachers focus on skills
MindShift
One of the most intimidating aspects of infusing technology into curriculum is that educators often believe that they will have to master and then teach their students to use new technology tools before assigning a project. These concerns are understandable as our time for professional development is finite and school curricula are already packed. However, consider the impact if, rather than focusing on new tools, we explored the skills students need to learn and then incorporated the most effective digital resources to accomplish those objectives.
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Latest games are finally unlocking the key to making learning more fun
The Hechinger Report
A new generation of educational games is harnessing students' love of video games and turning them into voracious learners — without them even realizing it. That's the promise, anyway. Unlike previous educational games that functioned like glorified worksheets or tech-enhanced tests, the latest game developers say they are closer to figuring out how to unlock kids' passion for gaming. While some programs still use video games as the primary mode of instruction, other developers think kids' passion for gaming is so strong that they will want to build their own games.
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Why girls get better grades than boys do
The Atlantic
As the new school year ramps up, teachers and parents need to be reminded of a well-kept secret: Across all grade levels and academic subjects, girls earn higher grades than boys. Not just in the United States, but across the globe, in countries as far afield as Norway and Hong Kong. This finding is reflected in a recent study by psychology professors Daniel and Susan Voyer at the University of New Brunswick. The Voyers based their results on a meta-analysis of 369 studies involving the academic grades of over one million boys and girls from 30 different nations. The findings are unquestionably robust: Girls earn higher grades in every subject, including the science-related fields where boys are thought to surpass them.
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Americans want teachers to take a bar exam
The Atlantic
In a new poll, Americans say they want teacher preparation programs to raise the bar for entrance, provide longer training periods for practice teaching, and require new teachers to pass a rigorous certification exam akin to the ones required of lawyers and doctors. Before we jump into the results, my usual caveat: Polls are a snapshot and not a litmus test. People who take part in polls are often asked to render judgment on complex topics with little or no background information. At the same time, longstanding polls like the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup, now in its 46th year, can be useful as quick glances at the public perspectives on key issues.
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Inclusion corner: Encouraging our students to have a growth mindset
By: Savanna Flakes
Have you ever found yourself wishing that you could create a community of students who are self-motivated and persist with challenging tasks? Do you have a student that gives up after making one mistake? Why do some students give up so quickly? How do we encourage our adolescents who have undergone so many failures with math or reading? Carol Dweck, a leading researcher in the field of motivation, has posed there are two groups of people in the world: people with a "growth mindset" and those persons with a "fixed mindset."
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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.


Schools move toward 'Bring Your Own Device' policies to boost student tech use
The Washington Post
His iPhone is on his desk, out in the open, and Joshua Perez's teacher does not take it away. Instead, she asks the eighth-grader and his classmates in honors geometry at Argyle Magnet Middle School to Google the words "vertex form parabola." In seconds, Joshua finds what he needs for the day's lesson and homework. "It's way better and faster than looking it up in a textbook," he says. The 13-year-old's enthusiasm is matched in other Montgomery County classrooms as educators take their first steps into a practice known as “BYOD”: bring your own device.
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Rethinking a fall classic: The parent-teacher conference
NPR
So now that students have settled in to the routine of the school year, yet another fall education ritual looms: the parent-teacher conference. And while there's universal agreement that parent involvement is a good thing, these all-too-short meetings are often frustrating on both sides. Teachers, and parents, often find them too short and too shallow, too likely to focus on problems, with little time to really get beyond test scores and a few bullet points about the curriculum or homework. And, as children get older, fewer parents tend to show up.
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Getting classroom observations right
Education Next
It is widely understood that there are vast differences in the quality of teachers: we've all had really good, really bad, and decidedly mediocre ones. Until recently, teachers were deemed qualified, and were compensated, solely according to academic credentials and years of experience. Classroom performance was not considered. In the last decade, researchers have used student achievement data to quantify teacher performance and thereby measure differences in teacher quality.
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Blended learning in the mix: The engaged administrator
Edutopia
Innovate. Differentiate. Teach with rigor. Implement with fidelity. These actions required of today's teachers can seem almost impossible and potentially counterproductive to reaching our missions of getting students ready for "their" future. From the perspective of an administrator, it is challenging to determine where to begin and how to bring your team along with you.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords BLENDING LEARNING.


Schools, dollars and the public trust
Psychology Today (commentary)
Ulrich Boser, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, writes: "Publically funded institutions don't always spend their dollars in effective ways. Just consider the fact that more than a hundred districts in Texas spend more than $500 per student on sports. One district spent more than a $1,000 per student on athletics — or about the cost of a MacBook Air — even while their students performed below average on reading and math tests."
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Verbal and physical bullying decrease as children age but cyberbullying increases
Medical News Today
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, "Examination of the Change in Latent Statuses in Bullying Behaviors Across Time," recently published in the journal School Psychology Quarterly.
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E-rate changes aim to cut costs, boost efficiency
eSchool News
Starting next year, E-rate applicants will be able to see how much other schools are paying for similar kinds of services, under one of many changes designed to keep costs down and simplify the nation's school wiring program. This greater transparency into E-rate contracts could lead to better pricing on telecommunications services, internet access and internal connectivity for U.S. schools and libraries.
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Senate education panel clears education research bill
Education Week
The Senate education committee cleared an education research bill with bipartisan support, altering the House-passed version only slightly before readying it for a full Senate vote. The bill is the product of a bipartisan, bicameral deal, said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — the second of its kind this week. On Monday, the House passed the Child Care and Development Block Grant under suspension of the rules amid much fist bumping from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
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Why girls get better grades than boys do
The Atlantic
As the new school year ramps up, teachers and parents need to be reminded of a well-kept secret: Across all grade levels and academic subjects, girls earn higher grades than boys.

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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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Top 15 states for education
Deseret News
According to the Institute of Education Services, there are about 100,000 public schools in the United States as of the 2010-2011 school year, which is a jump from the 85,000 seen in 1980. The Institute also found that there are 3.7 million full-time Wikimedia Commons teachers in the United States, as of fall 2012. This is up from the reported 3.4 million American teachers as reported in 2002, the Institute explained.
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States far from uniform in commitment to kindergarten
Education Week
While high-quality preschool tops the agenda for many federal, state and local officials, kindergarten — widely considered the first year of formal schooling — has received far less attention. Despite kindergarten's pivotal role in preparing children for reading and other academics, state laws on what districts must provide still vary widely, resulting in a patchwork of mandatory and voluntary half-day and full-day offerings. Those disparities can leave children less than prepared for the demands of first grade, some educators say.
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Millions wasted in federal school lunch program
WEWS-TV
An exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation reveals millions of dollars worth of fresh fruits and vegetables are being thrown in the trash in school lunch rooms in Ohio and across the country. The National School Nutrition Association blames new federal nutrition standards requiring students to take more fresh fruits and vegetables as well as increasing the amount of whole grains. The National School Lunch Program feeds 31 million students across the country, including one million in Ohio.
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Principal professional development provider opportunity
NAESP
With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Mathematica Policy Research has issued a request for proposals inviting principal professional development providers to participate in a large-scale impact study. The goal of the evaluation is to determine whether a specific principal professional development program is effective when implemented with fidelity in a large number of districts and elementary schools. The RFP is now open and is due Oct. 14.
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Adapt to change: Leadership strategies from Principal magazine
NAESP
The only constant is change. The articles in the September/October issue of Principal magazine explore a principal's priorities in managing change. Explore strategies for school transformation, shifting to online assessments, early learning and more. Plus, discover how to boost creativity at your school with the Champion Creatively Alive Children arts-themed supplement from NAESP and Crayola.
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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.

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