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April 18, 2012
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News for the Education Profession

A look back at
ASCD's 2012 Annual Conference
The 2012 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show: A Collective Call to Action, held last month in Philadelphia, brought together more than 8,000 educators from around the world. Attendees took part in more than 400 sessions and explored nearly 300 exhibits offered over the three conference days. Educators who took part in this year's event shared innovative solutions for improving student achievement and networked with colleagues and education experts, and returned home with powerful strategies, interventions and ideas.

At the conference, ASCD announced Debra A. Hill, associate professor at Argosy University, as the association's new president. Hill took office March 26 at the conclusion of the conference in Philadelphia.

The event saw the debut of ASCD's digital Annual Report, in which educators explain how each facet of ASCD's work in 2011 strengthened and supported their practice, creating opportunities for learners everywhere.

Also at the conference, ASCD and Pearson unveiled Principal Compass™, an online, comprehensive leadership program that helps increase leadership effectiveness for K-12 principals and their teams.

Don't forget to start planning for the 2013 ASCD Annual Conference, March 16 to 18, in Chicago.

If you don't receive ASCD SmartBrief daily, we urge you to sign up for our free, timely e-newsletter. ASCD SmartBrief delivers the stories making news in your profession directly to your inbox -- for free.

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  News from the Conference 
  • Young Educator Award winners focus on the whole child
    This year's winners of ASCD's Outstanding Young Educator Award are Matt McClure, superintendent of Cross County Schools in Cherry Valley, Ark., and Liliana Aguas, a second-grade dual-language immersion teacher at Leconte Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif. McClure raised achievement across his district while also improving students' access to food and daily physical education. Aguas also focuses on the whole child, in part by promoting self-discovery and exposing students to new things. Daily (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Canadian school recognized for serving the whole child
    Byrne Creek Secondary School in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, has received the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award for its efforts to involve parents and the community in schools. Byrne Creek provides food programs, tutoring, homework assistance and other initiatives through 20 partnerships the school has developed with community groups and associations to help students, many of whom live in poverty. Daily (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ASCD president seeks to bolster Whole Child Initiative
    Debra Hill was inducted as president of ASCD during last month's conference. Hill, who joined ASCD in the 1980s, said she intends to work to strengthen the While Child Initiative during her tenure as president. "We are really in the era of 'It's going to take a village,' and that village has to extend beyond just educators -- the professionals," she said. "My goal as ASCD's president is to elicit more partnerships, help make more connections, and encourage schools to network with agencies and organizations that have programs that would connect nicely with the whole child tenets." Daily (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Tips and Tools from the Sessions 
  • Tips for improving questioning during lessons
    Sandra Page, during her ASCD conference presentation, suggested three strategies to improve questioning. Page said students should write their names on the front of index cards and on the back share information about their learning styles and interests -- allowing teachers to tailor questions to students' individual needs. She also recommends allowing students to create their own questions, and asking students to offer responses that "diversify, verify and amplify" the discussion. Inservice, ASCD Blog (4/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Does student participation improve learning?
    During his presentation at the ASCD conference, author Rick Smith told educators about the importance of keeping students' brains active through classroom discussion and participation in learning. Smith suggests alleviating students' fear of participation by giving the correct answer to a question only after eight students have offered answers. He also recommends pausing before introducing new information to give students time to summarize, compare or personalize their notes. Daily (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Repetition key to classroom management for new teachers
    Mike Anderson, a responsive classroom consultant for Northeast Foundation for Children Inc., shared tips for new teachers in classroom management during his session at the recent ASCD conference. He suggests a system in which teachers demonstrate and explain the routine or behavior they wish students to follow, discuss it with students and recruit a student to demonstrate the behavior before asking all students to participate. Daily (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Added stress among students can impair learning
    Disadvantaged students live with added stress, which can affect their short-term memory and cause learning difficulties, said Eric Jensen, who is a staff developer, educator and author, during his presentation at the ASCD conference. He suggests teaching students to manage their stress and improving their short-term memory with word games. Daily (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Coaching is the key to improving teacher effectiveness
    Surgeon and Harvard medical professor Atul Gawande spoke during his ASCD presentation about the importance of collaboration and observation in improving the skills of teachers and doctors. Good teachers -- like good doctors -- learn through coaching, he said. Gawande cited studies that found 85% of teachers retain what they learn through coaching -- compared with fewer than 20% of teachers who still use what they learned through workshops six months later. Daily (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Going beyond written feedback to help students improve
    In her session at ASCD's annual conference, Melissa Poole spoke about using classroom feedback to help students improve. Poole uses GoogleDocs to provide live feedback for students about their unfinished work, and to allow students to share screen shots of their work with a group. She also said students can better revise their work after hearing it aloud. Inservice, ASCD Blog (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • A different take on the role of learning styles
    Scientists and others have questioned the benefit of focusing on students' learning styles, says Carol Tomlinson. During a session at the ASCD annual conference, she suggested teachers avoid using learning styles to define students, but she said they can play a role in teaching and learning. "We may yet learn that attention to learning style awareness works in a different way," she said. "It may be that it's a motivator, and not necessarily about what part of the brain you do your learning in." Inservice, ASCD Blog (3/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers should model positive online behavior
    Steve Johnson, a technology-skills teacher, parent and author, said at the ASCD annual conference that schools should encourage students to post information online. To help ensure such postings are positive, teachers should help students post information online from the classroom and should model positive behavior in their own blogs, online portfolios and other online content. Daily (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Advice for safely using social media in the classroom
    Steven Anderson, instructional technologist in a North Carolina district, and Sam Walker, technology facilitator at an elementary school, spoke at the ASCD conference about allowing access to social media in schools. The pair, which recently worked to give teachers in their own district access to YouTube, offered advice for crafting effective social media policies, including respecting copyright laws, protecting privacy and admitting mistakes. Daily (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Common Core-aligned Success for All can turn your school around, increase student achievement in reading, and more. SFA has an incredible discount for only 50 schools. Take advantage of this opportunity by contacting us today at (800) 548-4998, ext. 2372.
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