Most Clicked ASCD SmartBrief Stories

1. N.Y. principal reflects on opt-out movement

ASCD SmartBrief | May 04, 2015

Some estimates indicate 200,000 students have opted out of state standardized tests in New York this year, New York principal Carol Burris writes in this blog post. Burris -- who has been vocal about her stance against over-testing -- reflects on the opt-out movement and its potential nationwide spread. Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The (05/03)

2. How should schools serve "accelerated" students?

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 30, 2015

There may be benefits to allowing advanced students to enter kindergarten early, to skip a grade or take a course above their grade level, according to two recent reports. However, 20 states have policies that prohibit early enrollment in kindergarten, one study found. National Public Radio (04/30)

3. Experts weigh Common Core for kindergartners

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

The Common Core State Standards may place too much emphasis on early-literacy skills in kindergarten, according to a recent report. However, advocates of the Common Core say the debate centers on implementation, not the standards themselves. (04/27)

4. Study: Students at standing desks stay on task

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

Students who used a standing desk were more engaged in learning than those who were seated at conventional desks, according to a recent study. Researchers gauged students' focus by measuring on-task behaviors such as how many times students contributed to class discussions. T.H.E. Journal (04/27)

5. Survey shines light on digital-learning trends

ASCD SmartBrief | May 01, 2015

A majority -- 58% -- of students participating in a national survey about digital learning said they use mobile devices for learning during the school day. Students, parents, teachers and administrators participated in the survey, which highlights four digital-learning trends. eSchool News (free registration) (04/30)

6. Report reveals achievement gaps in history, civics, geography

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Eighth-graders' overall average scores in geography, civics and U.S. history on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have not changed since 2010, according to a recent report. Data also show gender and racial achievement gaps in these subjects. U.S. News & World Report (04/29)

7. How labels shape perceptions of students who leave school

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Terminology used to describe young adults who leave school before graduation has evolved over time, according to this analysis. Terms have included "dropouts," "juvenile delinquents" and "at-risk youth." The most recent term, "opportunity youth," seeks to tap into their "untapped potential." National Public Radio (04/28)

8. How challenge-based PD can encourage teacher confidence

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

A challenged-based model for professional development can help create an active learning environment that empowers teachers, writes Tom Daccord, director of professional learning organization EdTechTeacher. Challenges allow teachers to overcome failure and develop the confidence to tackle future difficulties, Daccord suggests in this commentary. eSchool News (free registration) (04/28)

9. How opt-out effort in Minn. is affecting average test scores

ASCD SmartBrief | May 04, 2015

Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (05/02)

10. Tips to use virtual field trips in the classroom

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

Virtual field trips tied to the curriculum through guided lessons can engage students in their learning while exploring the world, author Barbara Blackburn writes. In this article, she describes a social studies lesson based on a virtual tour of the Louvre Museum's Egyptian Antiquities exhibit, and offers links to other virtual tours as well as tips for math and language arts classes. MiddleWeb (04/26)

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