Most Clicked ASCD SmartBrief Stories

1. Survey: Nonacademic factors affect achievement

ASCD SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

Nonacademic factors are some of the top barriers to student learning, according to a recent survey of the 2015 state Teachers of the Year. They identified family stress, poverty, and learning and psychological issues as key obstacles. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (05/19)

2. Groups question disparity between state, national test scores

ASCD SmartBrief | May 15, 2015

Reported proficiency rates on state-level tests often are higher than states' performance rates on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, according to a recent report. The report features what the authors say is an "honesty gap." Education Week (tiered subscription model) (05/14)

3. Educator: 6 ways tech has transformed learning

ASCD SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

Technology is an essential part of teaching and learning in many schools, educator Starr Sackstein writes. In this blog post, she shares six ways technology has transformed instruction. "Teachers and students need to experiment until they find the tech that works for them," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (05/18)

4. Preschoolers should be more physically active, study suggests

ASCD SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

Researchers who followed the activities of preschool children in the Seattle area for 50 days found that 29% of their time was spent napping, about 12% was for active play and the rest was spent eating or in sedentary activities. Being active is important for young children because it helps prevent obesity and develops motor and social skills, said lead author Pooja Tandon. The findings were published in Pediatrics. USA Today (05/18)

5. Tips for using UDL during instructional design

ASCD SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

Universal Design for Learning can help educators add personalized learning to a lesson during the instructional design phase, writes David Gordon with the Center for Applied Special Technology, which created the UDL framework. In this commentary, he defines UDL and offers tips for using it in the classroom. eSchool News (free registration) (05/19)

6. Experts weigh in on Common Core performance tasks

ASCD SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards include open-ended questions often referred to as performance tasks. This article examines the pros and cons of these questions and whether they are more effective than traditional multiple-choice formats. The Hechinger Report (05/20)

7. Study: Fidgeting may help improve some students' performance

ASCD SmartBrief | May 15, 2015

Fidgeting may help improve performance for students with attention disorders, according to a recent study. Researchers found that when some boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder had access to a swivel chair, they were better able to remember a sequence of random letters and numbers. National Public Radio (05/14)

8. Will Common Core improve math instruction?

ASCD SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

The Common Core State Standards' emphasis on understanding a fraction as a number on a number line could have a positive effect on math instruction, writes Tom Loveless, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. In this commentary, he discusses how the approach can give students foundational math skills. Education Next (5/19)

9. ASCD: 4 tips to maximize principal PD

ASCD SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

Principals today fulfill multiple roles, including building manager and instructional leader. This requires more attention to professional development, according to a new policy brief from ASCD. Susan Race, senior director of Professional Learning and Institutes at ASCD, offers four tips to help principals make the most of professional development. District Administration magazine online (05/18)

10. Educator PD: There's an app for that

ASCD SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

Technology advances have created more mobile learning opportunities for educators, says Robbie Melton, associate vice chancellor of mobilization emerging technology at the Tennessee Board of Regents. He offers five tips to help schools adopt a mobile-application-based approach to professional development. District Administration magazine online (05/18)

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