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Study: Help needed on strategies for teaching Common Core
Education Week
The Common Core State Standards require considerable writing across many subjects, but the standards themselves won't be enough to guide teachers to best practices in writing instruction, according to a new analysis. In a study in the current issue of School Psychology Review, researchers Gary A. Troia of Michigan State University and Natalie G. Olinghouse of the University of Connecticut used a set of 36 writing-instruction and testing practices that have been shown in prior studies to improve students' writing skills across different areas, including the writing process, context, purposes and motivation.
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School bans most balls during recess: Smart move or going too far?
CNN
Is it an extreme case of helicopter parenting or a smart move to keep kids safe? That's what parents are asking after hearing about a Long Island middle school's decision to ban most balls during recess and also require supervision of tag, even cartwheels, due to safety concerns. The school district, in a press release, said that due to construction going on at the school, there is "limited space" for the children to play during their 20-minute recess period.
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Handwriting vs. typing: Which skill do students need most?
EdTech Magazine
What if 20 years from now, writing by hand on paper is as outdated as taking a chisel and hammer to a slab of stone? It might sound unthinkable, but given the current trajectory of K-12 education, handwriting could take a backseat to typing as technology dominates the way we communicate. As digital natives have begun to make their way through the educational system — effortlessly wielding mobile devices and navigating the web for independent research — more people have begun to wonder about the future of handwriting.
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How field trips build critical thinking skills
MindShift
School field trips are on the decline in American education for many reasons. Schools are making tough choices about how to spend scarce resources, are spending more time in class preparing for high-stakes tests and have begun using field trips as rewards for doing well on those tests. Whereas school field trips used to mean a trip to an art or history museum, now they are more likely to be an amusement park, movie or athletic event. Researchers at the University of Arkansas have conducted a large randomized-control trial on what students learn from art museums.
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Now teachers encourage computer games in class
The Wall Street Journal
At a private school in Houston, eighth-graders slingshot angry red birds across a video screen for a lesson on Newton's law of motion. High-school students in Los Angeles create the "Zombie Apocalypse" computer game to master character development. And elementary students in Hampstead, N.C., build a virtual city to understand spatial reasoning. These seemingly playful adventures represent a new frontier in education: videogames as teaching tools.
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Smart strategies that help students learn how to learn
MindShift
What's the key to effective learning? One intriguing body of research suggests a rather riddle-like answer: It's not just what you know. It's what you know about what you know. To put it in more straightforward terms, anytime a student learns, he or she has to bring in two kinds of prior knowledge: knowledge about the subject at hand (say, mathematics or history) and knowledge about how learning works. Parents and educators are pretty good at imparting the first kind of knowledge. We're comfortable talking about concrete information: names, dates, numbers, facts. But the guidance we offer on the act of learning itself—the "metacognitive" aspects of learning — is more hit-or-miss, and it shows.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    What high-scoring countries do right in math, reading and science (Education Week)
Navigating special education disputes in schools (District Administration Magazine)
Why aren't more Ph.D.s teaching in public schools? (The Atlantic)
Administrators share favorite apps, tools for the job (eSchool News)
Teacher status around the world: how the US stacks up (The Christian Science Monitor)

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


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Science resource pairs students with real data analysis
eSchool News
School administrators and curriculum directors constantly search for ways to help teachers give students meaningful learning experiences linked to real-world implications and outcomes, especially in science and math. One such way to do that is to work in partnership with professionals who use science data each day. Now, a new resource from the nonprofit Education Development Center aims to help prepare U.S. students to analyze and extract meaningful and useful information from science data. The Oceans of Data Institute taps into the academic, research, and professional communities to bring big data applications to K-16 science teaching and learning.
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Parents: To inform or to consult?
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
Johnny Bevacqua, a contributor for the Connected Principals Blog, writes: "I recently attended a seminar dealing with how schools should interact with parents. The seminar, hosted by lawyers, highlighted some recent examples of case law where interactions between schools and parents broke down in relation to children with special needs. The salient point of the seminar was that schools and parents should enter into 'meaningful consultation' with each other and how that consultation should look like. It was noted that 'consultation' is not the same as 'informing.' Giving options, both parties willing to listen to each other, 'give and take,' getting to a 'win-win' and 'having an open mind' were some the terms used to describe 'meaningful consultation.'"
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Facebook launches program to expedite reports of cyberbullying
U.S. News & World Report
Facebook announced it will launch a new campaign to combat cyberbullying, in a partnership with the state of Maryland, where the company will begin a pilot program. The new program will give school teachers and staff a streamlined channel to report potential cyberbullying incidents on Facebook, according to an announcement from Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler. Each school system will have one point person who deals directly with Facebook to resolve any questionable activity that is not resolved through Facebook's standard reporting system within 24 hours, through the site's "Educator Escalation Channel."
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword CYBERBULLYING.


Tackling the digital divide: Low-income students weigh in
MindShift
The article For Low Income Kids, Access to Devices Could Be the Equalizer raised the possibility that mobile technology in classrooms could help narrow the digital divide between the nation's low-income and more affluent students. The article, which included suggestions for educators about how to access devices and what do with them, struck a chord with readers. Many were outraged that some students are missing out on valuable learning resources because of their families' socio-economic status, while others worried that bringing mobile devices into the classroom — any classroom — invites chaos.
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Accessibility requires personnel training
District Administration Magazine
Districts need to train teachers and paraprofessionals on assisting students with disabilities without injuring themselves or the student. Part of that training must include being aware of every students' specific needs, says Kathy Espinoza, assistant vice president, ergonomics and safety for Keenan, an insurance brokerage firm. Espinoza trains teachers and school staff to properly lift students with mobility impairments. "Students may have brittle bones or attempt to go limp when being lifted," she says. "These are things to be aware of and prepare for."
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Internet barriers won't hinder flipped learning
eSchool News
In a new YouTube video series, one technology expert is flipping education technology professional development for educators by showing them how to flip their own classrooms even when students do not have home internet access. Flipped learning, a popular teaching technique used in many schools, occurs when direct instruction is moved from the group teaching space to the individual learning environment. Class time is used for higher-order, active problem solving by students in one-to-one or small group interactions with the teacher.
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Handwriting vs. typing: Which skill do students need most?
EdTech Magazine
What if 20 years from now, writing by hand on paper is as outdated as taking a chisel and hammer to a slab of stone? It might sound unthinkable, but given the current trajectory of K-12 education, handwriting could take a backseat to typing as technology dominates the way we communicate.

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Early absenteeism in school can point to later problems in life
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
It's just kindergarten. Maybe you had that thought when your 5-year-old woke up with a tummy ache or when you wanted to take your youngster on a trip for a few days or when your child missed the school bus.

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Duncan to principals: Shouldn't have to sacrifice your lives for job
Education Week
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan yesterday told hundreds of elementary and middle school principals who are gathered here for a conference that they shouldn't have to fear for their lives on the job.

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How strong state leaders leverage education technology resources
eSchool News
In an effort to support administrators during Connected Educator Month, two state education leaders shared their tips for creating and sustaining online collaboration tools for classroom teachers. Sponsored by the State Educational Technology Directors Association, the webinar aimed to demonstrate how strong state leaders can lead to the emergence of robust teaching and learning resources, along with professional learning opportunities.
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Companies, education groups divided on E-rate transparency
Education Week
Public and private sector leaders agree on many of the broad goals being floated for reshaping the federal E-rate program, but there is little consensus on one, potentially critical issue: Whether telecommunications companies should be required to make more information public about the prices they charge schools for technology. That question has created a division between education organizations, many of which favor bringing more transparency to pricing, and industry groups who counter that putting prices in circulation would compel them to reveal proprietary information and would lead to skewed cost comparisons in districts with very different characteristics.
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Race to the Top for districts: 219 applicants vie for $120 million
Education Week
Despite some delivery problems that came alongside a federal government shutdown, 219 applicants made last week's deadline for the U.S. Department of Education's second Race to the Top district contest. A few more from Colorado may trickle in, however, as districts affected by flooding in that state have until Thursday to apply. This year's applications, made by districts and groups of districts, represent 678 total school systems in 44 states. The only states without any Race to the Top district applicants were Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming — plus Hawaii and Washington, D.C., which have just one district each.
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Why the 'GREAT Teachers and Principals Act' is not great
The Washington Post (commentary)
Legislation in Congress called the GREAT Teachers and Principals Act sounds good but is anything but great in its proposal for new educator preparation programs, according to this post by Kenneth Zeichner, the Boeing Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Washington, a former vice president and current fellow of the American Educational Research Association, and a member of the National Academy of Education. He is also a former elementary teacher and Professor and former associate dean of teacher education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has done extensive research on teaching and teacher education.
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Wyoming wonders what happens to No Child Left Behind in 2014
Casper Star Tribune
The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 set in motion ambitious yearly goals for U.S. schools, culminating in full compliance by 2014. According to the law, every student in the country must score at or better than proficient on their state's standardized test by the end of this academic year. Otherwise, his or her school could face restrictions on how federal funding can be used. However, a steady stream of waivers approved by the U.S. Department of Education granting states exemption from achieving perception and increasing gridlock over the act's already overdue reauthorization, the future of No Child Left Behind is unclear.
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Teacher accused of urging students to fail test resigns
Fox News
An Ohio teacher accused of instructing her gifted students to fail an exam has reportedly resigned. Heather Campbell, 39, was in her second year teaching fifth- and sixth-grade students at Waggoner Road Junior High School, the Columbus Dispatch reports. District investigators said Campbell encouraged student to fail a science pretest by drawing pictures of a cat or rock or to answer the question using texting shorthand such as LOL.
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Common Core shaping the classroom
The News-Times
Teacher Elizabeth Smith directed her 24 students to take out their books — newly made stapled pages — and work on a story. The 5- and 6-year-olds drew pictures, some with colored pencils, crayons or markers, even identifying the people with simple labels they had learned, like "me," "dad." In the corner kindergarten classroom at Hayestown Avenue School, Smith visited her students as they worked, encouraging them to illustrate what they saw, what they did.
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Chicago school closings a blow to parental involvement?
The Huffington Post
Any adult who was successful in school will likely remember that their parents played a defining role in that success. What happens during the roughly six-hour school day is only part of the learning equation. Who else but a parent or guardian will make sure children attend school and complete their homework? Even parents who are not highly educated can help their children succeed by providing the right support and encouragement.
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School make learning truly meaningful
The Tennessean
At Lockeland Elementary Design Center, fourth-grade students dress in colonial wigs and livery coats to perform historical skits in social studies class. In the nearby science wing, they dissect a cell's composition and compare its structure to that of a Star Wars battleship. In math class, students add the cost of cake to confetti as they plan in-class birthday parties while learning the basics of budgeting.
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Submit a principal story for National Principals Month
NAESP
This month, NAESP invites educators, students, and parents to celebrate the contributions of principals during National Principals Month. Submit stories, photos, videos, or poems about principals to our Hats Off to Principals Facebook contest. Principals, you're welcome to honor a colleague or an assistant principal, too! Visit our Facebook page to upload your tribute, and you could win excellent prizes.
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Explore early learning and creativity with Principal magazine
NAESP
The September/November issue of NAESP's flagship magazine focuses on developing a continuum of learning for pre-K-3 students. Explore the importance of play in early education, tips for building foundations for literacy, and strategies to maximize staff collaboration. Plus, don't miss this issue's special supplement on creativity.
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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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