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November 12, 2012
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Will the common core improve STEM education?
    Educators say they expect the Common Core State Standards, through a focus on science, technology, engineering and math, to play a role in bringing U.S. students on par with other countries in STEM education. "Furthering STEM education is one of the most important priorities we should have as a nation," said high-school physics teacher Gary Reynolds, a former environmental researcher. The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) (11/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Counting, not just reciting numbers, signals math success in school
    Preschoolers who can count to 20 may be ahead of the curve when they enter first grade, according to a University of Missouri study that found such students had the highest math scores. The study looked at data for 3,000 children. "Counting gives children stronger foundations when they start school," said researcher Louis Manfras, an assistant professor in the university's department of human development and family studies. "The skills children have when they start kindergarten affect their trajectories through early elementary school; therefore, it's important that children start with as many skills as possible." Education Week/Early Years blog (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
"We tripled our API gains and spent less time testing."
"Finally, we had a highly effective program that we could rely on to drive student achievement scores up while driving expenses down. How can districts not afford to use Lexia Reading?" Chiae Byun-Kitayama, LAUSD. Read about how her school was able to forego some of the district testing requirements by using Lexia's embedded assessment technology.
  School Leadership 
  • Why education conferences should go high-tech
    While educators increasingly are using technology in the classroom, education conferences may not be keeping up with the times, according to Tom Whitby, an adjunct professor of education. He writes in this blog post about a recent middle-grades conference, which he says largely relied on lengthy PowerPoint presentations to convey information -- the same approach used years ago. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Down-to-Earth Curriculum, Out-of this-World Engagement!
Just because space is inaccessible doesn't mean that cosmic concepts have to be. The new FOSS Planetary Science middle school course takes students through active investigations into both the history of space exploration and modern questions surrounding the cosmos.
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Use traditional, digital literacy to improve students' research skills
    Teachers should emphasize digital and traditional literacy to help students acquire enough knowledge on a subject to know whether an online source is reliable, journalist Annie Murphy Paul writes in this blog post. Paul cites a recent Pew Research Center survey of middle- and high-school teachers who say students expect to find information quickly because of search engines like Google and don't dig deeply enough. Paul offers three tips to improve students' research skills, such as requiring students to read nonfiction books. blog (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Schools face challenges in adopting blended learning
    In this blog post, Michael Horn, co-founder of the nonprofit think tank Innosight Institute, writes about the challenges of adopting blended learning, including the failure of online-learning technology to keep pace with districts' changing needs. Schools that have adopted blended-learning programs generally do so in one of two ways, using one software provider to keep things simple or using several providers, which allows for more customization, he writes. Forbes (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by ASCD SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Policy Watch 
  • How are state legislatures changing what schools teach?
    In recent years, states have made sometimes-controversial decisions that have altered what is being taught in schools. This slide show reveals some of the more high-profile decisions, such as California's requirement to teach the historical achievements of gays and lesbians. The Huffington Post (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers await Obama's plans for education in second term
    President Barack Obama emphasized the "softer" side of his education policies during the campaign, garnering the support of many members of teachers' unions, but he has yet to indicate what he will do about more controversial policies, such as using test scores in evaluations. In this article, leaders of teacher associations and policy experts talk about what they expect over the next four years. The Huffington Post (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Faculty Lounge 
  • More teens are reading, but is it time well spent?
    Teachers, librarians and others say that teen-friendly books, such as the "Harry Potter," "Twilight" and "Hunger Games" series, have helped make reading popular again. The most popular genre among teens continues to be supernatural/paranormal fiction. However, some parents suggest that today's young-adult books contain questionable content and are too superficial. Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The language you use in the classroom can change students' lives. In Opening Minds Peter Johnston (author of the groundbreaking Choice Words) shows how words can shape students' learning, their sense of self, and their social, emotional, and moral development. Preview the entire book online!

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  ASCD News 
  • Teaching flash fiction: A novel in six words
    Can a story only six words long be complete -- and compelling? In a recent blog post, ASCD EDge community member Ryan Thomas shares an example that suggests it most certainly can be. More importantly, he writes, there's a lesson in all this that you can take and apply toward a classroom activity, an activity that will teach students the "rhetorical power of a strong, economical sentence/story/paragraph." Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to inspire the best in your students
    Whether you're interested in helping kids build intrapersonal and interpersonal skills or looking for in-class activities that support social-emotional learning, Inservice contributor Julia Liapidova recommends Jonathan C. Erwin's "Inspiring the Best in Students." Visit the ASCD blog for an activity, excerpted from the book, that can help your students explore perceptions and understand how they can differ. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Head of SchoolBixby SchoolBoulder, CO
Senior Technical Assistance ConsultantAmerican Institutes for ResearchNaperville or Chicago, IL
Teacher Education - Associate Professor or Professor University of VirginiaCharlottesville, VA
Elementary Education Assistant Professor University of VirginiaCharlottesville, VA
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I observe the physician with the same diligence as the disease."
--John Donne,
British poet, satirist, lawyer and cleric

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