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November 21, 2012
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
  • Taking Thanksgiving lessons beyond the first dinner
    Some classroom teachers in Lawrence, Kan., have avoided having students dress up like Native Americans and Pilgrims as part of Thanksgiving Day lessons. Instead, teachers are going beyond the cursory story of the day and explaining more in-depth history and clearing up myths -- rather than promoting the stereotype. "We do talk about the history of it," said first-grade teacher Rebecca Hout. "We talk about that first Thanksgiving story and how it's a cute little story, but maybe it didn't really happen that way." Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas) (11/21) 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 
  • Teachers should model curiosity to students
    Asking good questions is the key to fostering curiosity in students -- and perhaps inspiring them to explore and achieve their goals, writes veteran educator John Barell. In this blog post, he suggests teachers and others share their own curiosities with students, focus on problem-based instruction and teach students to observe the world around them and develop questions based on their observations. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Classroom-tested ideas to refresh your Morning Meetings
Plan engaging, purposeful Morning Meetings with the easy-to-do, adaptable ideas you'll find in 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades K-2 & 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades 3-6. Each book includes tips, reminders, and planning sheets. Handy size and spiral binding for easy classroom reference. Learn more and order.
  Schools Today 
  • NYC expands online education following storm damage
    New York City officials have expanded online learning options to students affected by Superstorm Sandy to help them catch up after missing school or prevent them from falling behind. Under the program, more students will be eligible to enroll in online courses offered through the city's schools. With some students still without Internet access, officials suggest students log onto the system from local libraries. (New York) (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Developing Leaders 
  • How Personal Learning Networks can help teachers develop
    Teacher Michele L. Haiken in this guest blog post suggests three steps that new teachers can take to make connections outside of the classroom to support teaching and learning. Among the steps are to develop a Personal Learning Network by making online connections and joining professional organizations. Haiken's other tips include exploring digital citizenship with students and developing projects that utilize teachers' networks. M. Dabbs' blog (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy News 
  • NBCT: Education reforms that benefit Latino students
    The recent presidential election demonstrated the power of the Latino voting bloc, and now National Board Certified Teacher Ray Salazar suggests in this blog post that Latinos use their influence to press for education reform. With the dropout rate among Latinos higher than black or white students, he suggests Latinos advocate for reform efforts that put students first, instill high expectations for all students and give all students greater school choice. CNN/Schools of Thought blog (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

In Math Work Stations Debbie Diller presents over 70 stations for grades K-2 on beginning number concepts, addition & subtraction, place value, geometry, and measurement. You'll see how to introduce stations through whole-group & mini-lessons. Includes 300+ full-color photos from real classrooms. Click here now to preview Chapter 1!

12 Sides to Your Story is a 32-page flipchart that summarizes 12 key strategies for improving narrative writing. You'll find concise explanations, tips, exemplars, and specific steps students can use to identify strategies as they read—and use them in their own stories. Only $13. Click here to order!

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  Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Thursday and Friday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., SmartBrief will not be published Thursday and Friday. Publication will resume Monday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'thank you,' that would suffice."
--Meister Eckhart,
German theologian and philosopher

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