Most Clicked Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief Stories


1. Why one educator encourages struggle, failure

Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Educators should create assignments without clear, easy steps to teach students about failure and struggle that are a natural part of life, Texas biology teacher Helen Snodgrass writes in this blog post. She outlines how she creates lessons that challenge students to think creatively and improve the problem-solving skills that will help them in the real world. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (05/20)


2. NBCT: How to use critical thinking in math lessons

Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

Students need to think like mathematicians and discover math formulas for themselves, writes National Board Certified Teacher Alicia Farmer, who teaches fifth-grade math in Washington state. In this blog post, she outlines an exercise she created in which students use their critical-thinking skills to critique a formula and shares how it fostered rich class discussions. Teaching Channel (05/22)


3. "Shark Tank" exercise offers business experience to Ill. 4th-graders

Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

Fourth-grade students at an Illinois school recently designed innovative products, plus business and marketing plans, and presented them to entrepreneurs in a "Shark Tank"-like exercise. The project is part of an economics enrichment course that supports what they're learning in other classes. "I think it is surprising to people we start so young with economic concepts, but students rise to the challenge," teacher Lauren Musielewicz said. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (05/21)


4. Growing number of N.Y. students opt out of exams

Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

The opt-out movement is growing in New York, where an analysis by the New York Times shows 1 in every 6 eligible students opted out of tests this year -- as much as triple the number who did so last year. This article reveals how the movement has grown more organized and powerful in vocal opposition to standardized testing. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (05/20)


5. Teacher shares his summer reading list

Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

Summer is a great time for teachers to catch up on their reading for professional development, suggests fourth-grade teacher Ross Cooper. In this blog post, he recommends five "teacher books." Edutopia.org (05/21)


6. "Co-teaching chameleon" offers advice to co-teachers

Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

Special educator and co-teacher Michele Simonetty has co-taught in various situations with 10 general-education teachers spanning 10 years. Because of her experiences, Simonetty refers to herself as a "co-teaching chameleon" and offers six pieces of advice for current and future co-teachers. MiddleWeb (05/24)


7. What is expeditionary learning?

Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Expeditionary learning is similar to project-based learning, but it also incorporates real-world issues, off-campus fieldwork and community engagement. A high school in Maine has embraced this method, with students performing community service for New York residents affected by severe weather. They also engaged with artists and historians to research their school's history for a mural project. eSchool News (free registration) (05/21)


8. Examining the pros, cons of Common Core's open-ended questions

Accomplished Teacher® by 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)


9. School poverty may lower educators' job satisfaction, survey finds

Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

Job satisfaction among educators teaching in some low-income schools in Florida is lower than job satisfaction among educators who teach in schools in more affluent areas, according to a recent survey. Data show high-poverty schools more often are staffed with newer teachers who can face a higher rate of challenges, such as student behavioral problems and low parent engagement. Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.) (05/24)


10. How to help students see their future through "making"

Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

"Making" offers a pathway to prepare students for college and career, writes Aaron Vanderwerff, a K-12 makerspace and science coordinator at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, Calif. In this blog post, he highlights how the practice can help students envision themselves working in various career fields. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (05/21)




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