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December 3, 2012
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
  • NBPTS tapped to develop professional exam for teachers
    The American Federation of Teachers would like the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to develop a professional exam for teachers, expected to be proposed today. Supporters say a new "bar exam" for educators -- which could be ready within five years -- would help raise the standards of the teaching profession. "State standards are all across the map," said Ron Thorpe, president and chief executive of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. "It really is a crazy quilt." The Washington Post (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Poetry Mentor Texts shows you how to leverage students' natural love of poetry to strengthen reading as well as writing. Each chapter features 5 mentor poems that focus on student-friendly forms such as the list poem, acrostic poem, and poem for two voices. Student samples and mini-lessons help translate the ideas into your classroom. Click here now to preview the entire book!
  Focus on Practice 
  • Innovative classroom lessons just one scanned code away
    Bringing QR codes into the classroom can be engaging for students, says Tim Dwyer, of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. Dwyer, in a presentation at the recent ACTE CareerTech VISION 2012 conference, described how students in his automotive course produce videos describing how certain car parts operate. The videos are assigned QR codes, and students in other classes use smartphones to scan the codes and watch the videos, writes SmartBrief senior education editor Melissa Greenwood in this blog post. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Schools Today 
  • Schools in 5 states to pilot more instructional time
    Five states were expected to announce plans today to increase instructional time beginning in 2013. The states -- Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee -- will each add at least 300 hours of instructional time to the school year at some schools as part of a three-year pilot program intended to improve education. The additional learning time could come in the form of longer days or lengthened school years, or both, for the nearly 20,000 students in 40 schools. ABC News/The Associated Press (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Schools, teachers union in L.A. agree to evaluation deal
    Los Angeles Unified School District officials have reached an agreement with the local teachers union on a plan to use students' test scores as part of teachers' evaluations. Under the deal, individual and schoolwide test scores, as well as other data, would be factored into teachers' evaluations. However, it is still unclear how much students' test scores will be a factor in assessing teachers. The Wall Street Journal (11/30), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Struggles with algebra raise questions about math requirements
    California students who fail algebra and take it again usually do not find success the second time, according to a recent report by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd. Researchers looked at student data from 24 school districts in the state and concluded that "when students take Algebra I is less important than whether students are ready to take it." The findings call on teachers to re-examine how they teach the subject and when students must take algebra. San Francisco Chronicle (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Developing Leaders 
  • Teachers who are "coachable" own their struggles
    Teachers must be coachable in order to reach their full potential, writes instructional coach David Ginsburg. In this blog post, he writes that a primary indicator of coachability is how teachers react when they are struggling. Coachable teachers, as he demonstrates by using two videos, will take ownership of their weaknesses rather than blaming issues on outside factors. Education Week Teacher/Coach G's Teaching Tips (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy News 
  • Should students be allowed to use calculators on math tests?
    Concerned that students are relying too much on calculators, rather than learning basic but important math skills, a Virginia lawmaker has proposed legislation that would prohibit some students from using the devices on their end-of-year math exams. The proposal comes in light of a teacher saying his ninth-grade students struggled to complete basic operations on a pretest, noted Del. Dave Albo, R-Springfield. The Examiner (Washington, D.C.) (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.C. law protects teachers from students' online speech
    In North Carolina, a new law that took effect Dec. 1 makes it a misdemeanor for students to harass teachers online or commit certain other online offenses against school employees. The ACLU of North Carolina, however, is speaking out against the law and pledging to help represent any students charged under the new law, believed to be the first such law in the U.S. enacted against students. The Charlotte Observer (N.C.) (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

Math Exchanges shows K-3 teachers how to foster rich discussions in small groups and help students construct new meaning and understanding. Includes hands-on activities, an extensive appendix with reproducibles, and a chapter focused on kindergarten. Click here now to read Chapter 1: Creating Space for Math Workshop.

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  Most Read by Educators 

Top five news stories selected by Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  NBPTS Update 
  • Niagara University partners with National Board for i3
    Niagara University and the Niagara Falls City School District are partnering with National Board on the i3 grant. The federally funded program is designed to advance student achievement in high-need schools in grades 3 to 6 mathematics and science through improved teacher preparation and early-career teaching support using the National Board’s unique repository of case studies of accomplished teaching. Read more about National Board and i3. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fellowship and recognition opportunities for NBCTs
    Check out the new Accomplished Teacher Job Board on the National Board website. Stay up to date with opportunities to get involved in your local area. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."
--Gladys Bronwyn Stern,
British writer

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