Most Clicked ASCD SmartBrief Stories

1. Schools reconsider recess polices

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 17, 2015

Research shows physical activity and unstructured play are essential to cognitive growth. These findings have sparked changes in school policies in some states regarding withholding recess as a means of discipline. For example, Minnesota lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban the practice. Education Week (tiered subscription model) (04/15)

2. Fla. law eliminates final exams, limits testing

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 15, 2015

Florida schools will eliminate final exams in all courses under legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott. The law also eliminates an 11th-grade English exam and limits testing to 45 hours each school year. Reuters (04/14)

3. Elementary school finds successful recipe for turnaround

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 15, 2015

Students at a Washington, D.C., elementary school posted 27% gains in math after the school instituted a suite of interventions. A recent report highlights the interventions that helped make the turnaround possible, including more technology and Saturday school. Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The (04/15)

4. Study: Sharing iPads may enhance learning

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 14, 2015

IPads can have a positive effect on academic performance and it may increase when students share a device, a recent study found. Data show students who shared an iPad scored 28% higher on end-of-year literacy tests, compared with a 24% improvement among students who used the devices on their own. (04/13)

5. How do young students learn best?

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 13, 2015

An emphasis on academics may not be the best path to learning in early-childhood education, according to a recent report. Report author Lilian Katz, professor emerita of early-childhood education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, suggests instead an emphasis on social, emotional and intellectual goals. Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The (04/12)

6. U.S. lawmakers make way through proposed NCLB rewrite

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 16, 2015

Senate education committee members this week are debating components of a proposed bill to rewrite No Child Left Behind. Six amendments have been defeated by the committee, but 24 have passed, including some focused on low-income students and students with disabilities. A vote is expected today. Associated Press, The (04/15)

7. Common Core rubrics aim to inform textbook decisions

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 16, 2015

Schools and educators now have access to rubrics designed to help them determine if a textbook is aligned with Common Core State Standards. The resources were published by the Council of the Great City Schools, one of several groups working to provide Common Core decision-making resources to schools. Education Week (tiered subscription model) (04/14)

8. How teachers can tackle unconscious beliefs

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 16, 2015

Teachers need to acknowledge their mental models -- assumptions about people that unconsciously affect behavior -- to make education equitable for all students, transformational leadership coach Elena Aguilar writes in this blog post. She outlines a six-step process to shift this mindset. (04/15)

9. Superintendent outlines steps for districtwide PBL

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 15, 2015

Project-based learning can help students discover their voice and take part in authentic learning, asserts Lisa Gonzales, superintendent of the Portola Valley School District in California. In this commentary, she describes her district's transition to a PBL environment. District Administration magazine (04/2015)

10. 5 ways to combat burnout

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 17, 2015

Some teachers face a point when they feel burned out and consider leaving the profession, educator Johanna Rauhala writes in this blog post. She offers five tips -- from venting to a veteran teacher to planning community-building lessons -- to gain perspective and remember the joy of teaching. (04/16)

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