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January 8, 2013
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News about teaching and education excellence

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  • Education resolutions teachers are making for 2013
    Teachers and administrators from across the country share their New Year's resolutions for 2013 in this article, saying they are focused on professional development and improving student achievement. Mark Westlake, a physics teacher in Minnesota, said that to help his students succeed, he plans to give them more room to fail and wait longer before answering questions. "My main resolution is to continue to show my students a positive learning environment while fostering the nurturing relationships I have with them," said Jenny Michael, a language arts and ACT prep teacher from Missouri. U.S. News & World Report/High School Notes (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How can teachers help students set goals in the new year?: Educators in the United Kingdom suggest in this blog post ways teachers can help students make positive resolutions for 2013. The blog post offers various resources to help students reflect on their achievements in the previous year and turn their attention to what they hope to accomplish this year. Top resolutions could involve eating healthy, working on social issues and enhancing cooperation. Resources are offered for the crafting of whole-class resolutions, such as no shouting. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network Blog (1/7) 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 
  • How teachers can work "Angry Birds" into lessons
    Teachers in many parts of the country are using video games such as "World of Warcraft" and "Angry Birds" to help teach students about math, language arts and other subjects. For example, Tim Chartier, an associate professor of math at Davidson College in North Carolina, once taught a teacher seminar explaining that "Angry Birds" uses a parabola for one of the birds' trajectory. This inspired Kristianna Luce, a math teacher at North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, N.C., to incorporate "Angry Birds" in her algebra classes and create a blog and webinar on the topic. The Charlotte Observer (N.C.) (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
How you talk impacts how children learn. "The Power of Our Words should be a required resource for all K-6 teachers regardless of the number of years they have taught." (Principal, CT) K-6. Read sample chapters.
  Schools Today 
  • Other News
  Developing Leaders 
  • Ariz. increases number of NBCTs
    Arizona recently added 107 National Board Certified Teachers to its ranks of 957 NBCTs, which is more than double the number who were board certified a decade ago, according to this article. Teachers say the process helped to improve their teaching. "How does their teaching impact student learning and how can they showcase that? They have to constantly look for evidence in their practice over time," said Kathy Wiebke, executive director of the Arizona K12 Center and the state's first NBCT. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers, parents fuel scientific curiosity
    Children who show an interest in the world around them, particularly when it comes to things such as nature and technology, should be encouraged to develop that curiosity at home and at school. "Parents play a critical role in encouraging their children's interest in science," said Carol Pearson, who is the professional-development director for The Einstein Project in Green Bay, Wis. "Teachers play a role too -- it is really the partnership between the school and parents that really works the best to provide the environments for a student to learn about science." Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (1/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers collaborate to develop classroom practices through CoLab
    Helping teachers share best practices and work out classroom problems during summer workshops is one way CoLab helps teachers take risks and learn to fail in the process of becoming learning facilitators, Ralph Cordova, a CoLab teacher-leader, said in this interview with Bill Donius. An offshoot of the National Writing Project, CoLab offers a summer institute, local school-site support and school-level professional development. "Teachers learn how to study each other's local challenges and then develop design-centric approaches that lead to prototyping solutions to those problems, which they then test at small scales of resolution," Cordova said. The Huffington Post/The Blog (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy News 
  • Va. could adopt letter-grading system for schools
    Part of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's legislative platform this year will be to push for a letter-grading system to measure school achievement. The system is similar to those adopted in Florida and Louisiana, and seeks to simplify the current method for evaluating the quality of the state's schools, according to this article. Some, however, have criticized such systems, saying they are limited and do not take socioeconomic factors into account when grading schools. The Washington Times (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

Independent Reading Inside the Box shows how K-6 students can use a single piece of paper—the "Reading 8-Box"—to strengthen and monitor their comprehension, language, and thinking skills. Filled with student samples, reproducibles, and rubrics. Click here to read Chapter 1 online!

Everything you need for a balanced literacy curriculum. Apprenticeship in Literacy provides a solid foundation for guided reading, writing, letters, sounds, word study, and moving to independence. The revised edition includes dozens of new classroom examples and language prompts. Click here now to preview the entire book!

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It is wise to keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final."
--Roger Babson,
American entrepreneur and business theorist

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