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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit October 14, 2014

Curriculum    School Leadership   Federal Advocacy & Policy   In the States   Association News   Buy Books   Contact NAESP


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Building positive school culture: 20 ideas from principals
Connected Principals
School or work environments are like home environments — it doesn't take long to figure out if you are in a happy, productive place or not. So here are 20 ideas for building positive environments from 20 principals to inspire you to try something new in your school or organization.
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The bare walls theory: Do too many classroom decorations harm learning?
NBC News
This fall, as teachers nationwide prepared their classrooms for the new school year, many reported being bombarded with a decorations blitz, from educational supply store promotions to classroom design blogs to Pinterest posts on themed classrooms with polka dots, owls and bumblebees. But a recent study has found that for young children, adopting a more subdued approach is better. The study, published May 2014 in Psychological Science, was one of the first to examine how decorations impact learning. It found that when kindergartners were taught in a highly decorated classroom, they were more distracted and scored lower on tests than when they were taught in a room with bare walls.
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How stress affects the brain during learning
Edudemic
A fight or flight reaction may be useful in some situations, but it is highly detrimental in the classroom. Whether anxiety stems from test taking or from an unstable home environment, the brains of students experiencing high levels of stress look different than those who are not — and those brains behave differently, too.
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Coding with the kindergarten crowd
eSchool News
Introducing coding to kindergarten students helps them reflect on their own learning as they develop 21st-century skills such as problem solving and creativity, experts say. Coding has emerged as one of the most popular learning trends in recent years, and when it comes to programming, young students are proving just as capable as older students. Studies suggest that engaging students in STEM and computer-based learning at an early age will help students retain their interest as those subjects become more challenging in high school and college, and it is this line of thinking that has prompted such early introductions to coding concepts.
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5 ways to design effective rewards for game-based learning
Edutopia
Learning by playing games can be a powerful way to teach. Just as drama coaches set the stage for a play, smart teachers set the stage for game-based learning. Here are five easy elements to incorporate in classroom to get students ready to learn as they play.
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The 5-sided flashcard
Psychology Today
The first flashcards were probably etched on small stone tablets by anxious cave-students. Innovations since then have included printed cards, new fonts, color and the ability to design flashcards online. So why do we need a flashcard with more sides? Because the goals of education are changing. In the old days, learning consisted largely of memorizing facts. Two-sided flashcards are great for that. Term — Definition — Done. But educators are realizing that students need more than a list of facts to make their way in the world (and to justify the huge tuition they pay).
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Survey: Teachers don't think parents understand the Common Core
The Journal
More than 95 percent of teachers believe the parents of their students do not understand what the Common Core State Standards are, according to a recent poll of veteran high school teachers in the northeastern U.S. No teachers told the surveyors they believed their students' parents knew what the standards were and 4.4 percent said they weren't sure.
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Report: Preparing effective teachers
EdSource
The crucial challenges of recruiting, preparing and retaining teachers has gotten short shrift in the reform debates over the last few years, despite the fact that effective teachers will be crucial to the success of a range of reforms currently being implemented in California schools, such as the Common Core standards. A new report from EdSource, titled Preparing World Class Teachers: Essential Reforms of Teacher Preparation and Credentialing in California, identifies seven key challenges that the state must address to ensure an effective teaching force — and the most promising strategies to address them at a local and statewide level.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords COMMON CORE.


Researchers and schools diverge in definitions of bullying
Education Week
One of the biggest challenges for those who seek to end bullying among students has been defining exactly what "bullying" is. Even as efforts to address the behavior have moved to the front burner of child well-being initiatives in recent years, researchers and educators say that major studies have relied on inconsistent definitions and methods of measuring its prevalence. And if researchers can't agree on exactly what the problem is, they can't help identify effective solutions for K-12 educators, who are increasingly facing new accountability measures that incorporate issues related to school climate and student behavior.
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School-based mental health services making a difference
Education News
Schools play an important part in identifying the 1 child in 10 who has a mental health problem. A large part of a child's life is spent in school, which means teachers play an important role in all areas of children's development. In a pair of articles in The Lancet Psychiatry, the case has been made that schools are essential in identifying and helping children with mental health problems.
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3 states take lead on Common Core, but are they moving too fast?
The Christian Science Monitor
States trying to give teeth to the Common Core by tying new tests to graduation requirements are bumping up against resistance. Forty-three states are currently signed on to the Common Core State Standards, a voluntary system designed to ensure that high school graduates are prepared for college. New Jersey, Maryland and Washington are among a smaller number starting to link graduation requirements to the new and more challenging Common Core testing systems.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How to cultivate a bully-free community (Edutopia)
How do teachers kill the joy of reading for students? (Slate (commentary))
Teaching math to people who think they hate it (The Atlantic (commentary))
Who is responsible for IEP goals? (By: Pamela Hill)
Children with dyslexia can succeed in school (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

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


New research suggests repeating elementary school grades — even kindergarten — is harmful
The Hechinger Report
The already muddy research on whether it's better to hold back struggling students or promote them to the next grade just got muddier. A new study, "The Scarring Effects of Primary-Grade Retention? A Study of Cumulative Advantage in the Educational Career," by Notre Dame sociologist Megan Andrew, published Sept. 26, in the journal Social Forces is an empirically solid analysis that adds more weight to those who say retention — what education wonks call repeating a grade — is ultimately harmful.
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Trying to fool a kindergartner? Not so fast
Concordia University via Science Daily
From the words for colors to how to tie a shoelace, kids have lots to learn — and for the most part, they depend on others to teach it to them. But whether deliberately or inadvertently, people sometimes misinform. So at what age can kids tell trustworthy teachers from confidence tricksters? A new study published in PLOS One by psychology researchers from Concordia and the University of British Columbia shows that by the age of five, children become wary of information provided by people who make overly-confident claims.
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What E-rate changes mean for your district
District Administration Magazine
High-speed broadband is in and phones are out, according to the recent FCC order to update the federal E-rate program. Administrators will have new funds to expand district Wi-Fi capacity, but will need to make up for lost phone and email subsidies when E-rate updates go into effect in 2015-2016. "The update from the E-rate is very exciting because it shifts to putting an important focus on internal school connections," says Richard Culatta, director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education. "It's a really great first step in making sure that the connectivity actually reaches places where students are learning," and not just computer labs or the front office, he adds.
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Recess coaches help students learn math and spelling through physical activity
Loveland Reporter-Herald
Anthony Urrutia is not your typical coach. As he tossed the football back and forth with Abel Jaramillo at Larurene Edmondson Elementary School in Colorado, he quizzed the 10-year-old on his spelling words. As he urged Donovan Peoples to speed across the gym on a scooter, 8-year-old Donovan was solving math facts along the way. As Kamryn Sanford pumped out jumping jacks, Urrutia tossed math problems her way, or while she hopped on one foot, he gave her spelling words. Urrutia is one of the Thompson School District's new recess coaches, a program paid for by a $100,000 wellness grant from Kaiser Permanente.
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How stress affects the brain during learning
Edudemic
A fight or flight reaction may be useful in some situations, but it is highly detrimental in the classroom. Whether anxiety stems from test taking or from an unstable home environment, the brains of students experiencing high levels of stress look different than those who are not — and those brains behave differently, too.

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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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NAESP releases competencies for effective pre-K-3 principal leadership
NAESP
NAESP's updated, practical guide, Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities: Competencies for Effective Principal Practice, represents a new vision for school leadership. By applying the latest research and knowledge on child development and early childhood education, these standards set expectations for effective principal practice. The standards will be launched on Thursday, Oct. 16, at Washington, D.C.'s National Press Club.
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Welcome to D.C., 2014 National Distinguished Principals
NAESP
This week, NAESP welcomes the 2014 Class of National Distinguished Principals to Washington, D.C. for a two-day awards program that will celebrate their outstanding contributions to their school communities. Established in 1984, the program honors principals from both public and private schools and schools from the U.S. Departments of Defense Office of Educational Activity and the United States Department of State Office of Overseas Schools for their exemplary achievements. Meet the 2014 class of NDPs, and congratulate the honoree from your state.
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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.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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