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Getting kids to read: The 5 key habits of lifelong readers
The Washington Post
How do people become lifelong readers? That's a subject tackled in a new book, "Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits," by Donalyn Miller, a sixth-grade language arts teacher in Texas who is known as the Book Whisperer. After her first book, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child, was published in 2009, she began to notice that students whom she had taught to be independent readers in her class moved on to the next grade and suddenly stopped reading.
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Financial literacy education has real-life impact
USA Today
While the Great Recession put many Americans through a financial wringer, it has left at least one positive legacy, hopefully with long-term consequences: a renewed focus on financial literacy education that has united teachers, school districts and businesses in a commitment to curriculum, training and resources. "The American public felt they were a little bit in the dark and really didn't understand the decisions they were making or not making," says Nan Morrison, president of the Council for Economic Education, whose biennial Survey of the states measures financial literacy education implementation across the country. "The recession really put a fine point on that."
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Beyond the basics of the flipped classroom
The Journal
By now you know the basics of the flipped classroom. What used to be the "read at home/lecture in class/worksheet at home" model has "flipped" to become the "video lecture at home/worksheet in class" variation. But teachers who have been practicing the flip have figured out new ways to tweak it to work for their students. During the recent Fall CUE conference, Paul Werner, a chemistry instructor from Rocklin High School in California, offered seven variations developed through trial and error in partnership with Rocklin Physics Teacher Geoffrey Clarion.
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Music and performance: Methods for language learning and retention
By Beth Crumpler
Music instruction greatly improves student working memory by minimizing the variables that impair it. It has been documented and proven that music students do better on IQ tests. This is not due to their superior intelligence, but rather a result of their music training. Many variables affect the working memory of ESL students, and music is a gateway that ESL teachers can use to decrease these imparities for English learning.
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What is developmentally appropriate in learning?
Daniel Willingham: Science And Education Blog via The Washington Post
Daniel Willingham writes, "The New York State Education Department has a website that is meant to help teachers prepare for the Common Core State Standards.Author Chris Cerrone posted a bit of a 1st grade curriculum module on early civilizations. Cerrone asked primary grade educators to weigh in: "What do you think of the vocabulary contained in this unit of study?" The responses in the 78 comments were nearly uniformly negative. As you might expect from that volume of commentary, the criticisms were wide-ranging, much of it directed more generally at standardized testing and the idea of the CCSS themselves. There is an important idea at the heart of this criticism: developmental stages.
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Common Core in action: Reviving the civic mission of schools
Edutopia
Anne O'Brien writes, "We (meaning all of us — educators, parents, businesspeople, politicians and others) often default to an economic argument in discussions of public education, no matter the particular initiative at hand. The economic argument resonates with the public, which understands the importance of education in getting a good job and providing for one's family. Often ignored is the importance of the civic mission of schools — schools' role in preparing students to be active and engaged citizens in their communities and the world. While the standards focus on English Language Arts and mathematics, a recent briefing sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers highlighted how the Common Core could reinvigorate the civic mission of schools."
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword COMMON CORE.




Habits of heart: Helping students reflect and act on gratitude
Edutopia
Researchers, led by The National Association of School Psychologists has Robert Emmons and Jeffrey Froh, have shown that there are benefits to expressing gratitude, even to "counting one's blessings." But doing so takes a bit of practice. What follows are some practical ways you can have students reflect on and express gratitude.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Leveraging Pinterest for administrators (eSchool News)
More US states leaning on teachers (MoneyWatch)
Imagery: A key to understanding math (MindShift)
Bullying interventions increase bullying (or do they?) (Psychology Today)
PARCC releases sample Common Core test items (THE Journal)

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Education department to scale back key waiver-renewal mandates
Education Week
Michele McNeil writes, "Two and a half months after announcing that states would have to jump through more hoops to continue their No Child Left Behind Act flexibility, the U.S. Department of Education is planning to back away from the waiver requirement that states do a better job making sure poor and minority students have equal access to effective teachers, Politics K-12 has learned. In guidelines released in August that govern the process for renewing a waiver, the department planned to require states, by October 2015, to use teacher-evaluation data to ensure that poor and minority students are not taught by ineffective teachers at a higher rate than their peers."
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House and Senate preschool bills: A guide to the latest proposal
Education Week
President Barack Obama's vision—outlined in his State of the Union address—to help states expand prekindergarten to a broad swath of low- and moderate-income 4-year-olds would be realized under bipartisan legislation slated to be released on Capitol Hill.
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Michelle Obama kicks off new education initiative at Washington, D.C. high school
New York Daily News
The first lady told students at Bell Multicultural High School that she wanted the U.S. to have the highest percentage of college graduates by 2020. Mrs. Obama also drew from her own experience as she encouraged students at the high school with a large immigrant population to attend college. She said neither of her parents went to college, but they had an "unwavering belief in the power of education." The first lady said she attended one of the best high schools in Chicago across town that required her to wake up at 6 a.m. and travel at least an hour on the bus. Mrs. Obama, who grew up in a working class family, went on to Princeton University and Harvard Law School. But not before facing discouragement as she applied to Princeton, an Ivy League university.
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Administrators must rise above Common Core controversy
District Administration Magazine
As widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards moves ever closer, the initiative is coming under attack from both the left and right. But school district leaders must ignore the politics and focus on the practical realities of implementation: costs, technology and training, K12 leaders say.

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New Common Core resources for educators
eClassroom News
New resources released this month link Common Core-aligned curriculum with any school system’s assessment data, and what's more, these resources for educators are also 100 percent free. The resources, housed on Activate Instruction, are part of an open platform where educators can browse, search, rate, add, share and organize their favorite Common Core-aligned resources, and put them together in personalized playlists for students.

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The state of the Common Core
Edutopia
Millions of teachers and thousands of districts in 45 states are currently undergoing a sea change in the way that they teach and assess students. The new Common Core Standards for learning have been phased into states and districts since 2010, and the digitized Common Core Assessments are scheduled to deploy in states that have adopted them as early as the 2014-2015 school year.

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Minding the gap
The Economist
Only 40 percent of black college students graduate within six years; 62 percent of whites do. No one knows why. One academic has suggested teaching "grit" and "determination" in the face of obstacles. But what minority students often need is good advice. Higher education is a maze of different courses and programmes, which students who are the first in their family to attend college struggle to navigate. Some choose their courses simply because they begin late in the morning, or because their friends are doing them. As a result, they often fail. Some institutions, such as Georgia State University, have improved results by getting faculty, advisers and older students to work more closely with minority students. But this takes time and money. Technology can help.
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US reading and math scores show slight gains
The New York Times
American fourth and eighth graders showed incremental gains in reading and math this year, but achievement gaps between whites and blacks, whites and Hispanics and low-income and more affluent students stubbornly persist, data released by the Education Department showed. The results of the tests — administered every two years as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, sometimes called the nation's report card — continued an upward trend in both areas over the past two decades. But still, far less than half of the nation's students are performing at a level deemed proficient in either math or reading.
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After-school activities make educational inequality even worse
The Atlantic
Hilary Levi Friedman writes, "It's not just what happens inside the classroom that determines a child’s status as an adult. Accomplishments outside the classroom can be just as influential. Yes, a basic public education is in principle free to all (though of course quality correlates with property values). But activities outside of school are not free, so they largely benefit already advantaged kids. While we talk a lot about inequalities between the rich and the poor, and the role school quality plays in perpetuating class divisions, one often overlooked factor is the opportunities middle- and upper-middle-class kids get to strengthen their life skills through organized competitive activities outside of the school system."
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Google challenges Apple's dominance in schools with Google Play for education, now shipping
TechCrunch
Google is no longer the best-kept secret in education — that is, if Google's presence in any market is ever "a secret." Over the last year or so, the search giant has been quietly expanding its footprint in education and is moving quickly to capture a greater share of the K-12 market.
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Debate continues on student-teacher ratio in South Carolina classrooms
WIS-TV
South Carolina's State Superintendent is under fire after he proposed controversial changes to the mandated student-teacher ratio in public schools. It's a proposal that has many teachers and educators furious and speaking out. Parents, teachers and education lobbyists were out in force to oppose an amendment they say will increase class sized and decrease the quality of education in South Carolina schools. It's part of a law that allows school districts to have greater flexibility in how many teachers they are required to have. 
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Bloomberg issues final letter grades for New York Schools
The New York Times
Nothing came to epitomize the era of education reform under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg like the A-through-F letter grades he gave New York's schools. Educators obsessed over them, hoping their schools would avoid being marked for closing. Principals pored over them, knowing that fluctuations in test scores could determine end-of-the-year bonuses. Parents in some neighborhoods proudly ignored them, arguing that a single letter could not sum up the quality of a school. On Nov. 13, the Bloomberg administration released its last batch of grades for more than 1,600 public schools. Across the city, 63 percent of schools received A's and B's, and there were signs that schools were better preparing students for college.
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Principals embrace Breakfast in the Classroom
NAESP
A new report by the Food Research and Action Center and the NAESP Foundation finds that principals are embracing Breakfast in the Classroom as the best way to increase the number of students starting the day with school breakfast. According to the report, Start the School Day Ready to Learn with Breakfast in the Classroom: Principals Share What Works, more than three in four principals would encourage their peers to consider this program.
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Support for legislation to expand early childhood education
NAESP
NAESP joined advocates from the early childhood community, the White House, and Congress on Capitol Hill today in support of bipartisan legislation that will significantly expand the nation’s investment in prekindergarten programs. The legislation authorizes federal expansion of early childhood education programs, including funds for Head Start and Early Head Start, over a ten-year period and provides matching funds to states to improve access to high quality prekindergarten for all 4 year old children, especially those living in poverty.
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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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