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November 2, 2012
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
 
  • How to teach students to support causes they care about
    Teachers can use digital tools to help students make a difference in the world, National Board Certified Teacher Bill Ferriter writes in this blog post. He offers six ways students can use such technology to help support causes, including one at his own school in which students used the microlending service Kiva to assist entrepreneurs in developing countries. Ferriter also writes about students who have used blogging to spread the word about projects they are passionate about. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 

Teach short texts without sacrificing required novels and plays. Less Is More gives you a wealth of reading, writing, and response strategies for short stories, essays, memoir, poetry, picture books, and graphic novels. Click here now to read Chapter 1!
  Focus on Practice 
 
  • Twice as much instruction time may boost student success in algebra
    Pushing students to take algebra in eighth grade, rather than in high school, may not be the answer to greater math achievement, researchers say. Instead, increased math success may be the result of "double-dose" algebra, a curriculum adjustment that offers struggling students an extra period of algebra every day, according to a group of university researchers who investigated the results of extra algebra in districts, including Chicago Public Schools. Education Next (1/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Can math problems trigger physical sense of threat?: A recent study found similar neural activity occurs in individuals with high math anxiety and those facing physical harm. Researchers using brain-imaging technology studied subjects' neural patterns when faced with a fear-inducing math problem. "I'm really interested in understanding the source of the anxiety so that we can help all students perform up to their best in this important area," said Sian Beilock, a University of Chicago researcher and an author of the study. CNN/The Chart blog/The Chart (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Do teenagers have the necessary skills to decipher graphs, charts?
    Information presented in a colorful chart with slick graphics may be eye-catching, but it's likely many teens cannot grasp the important data the chart contains, suggests former teacher John Tierney. To help students learn how to navigate around a complicated chart or graph, Tierney suggests sharing charts found with students and asking them to explain the main point of the chart, as well as as pointing out charts that do a poor or even deceptive job at presenting data. The Atlantic online (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Strategies for Writers Free Resources Website
Strategies for Writers offers clear, concise lessons that simplify instruction and enhance students' writing. Our Free Resources Website provides mini-lesson presentations, ready-made activities, grade-level- and genre-specific text exemplars, and much more! Learn more and download over 50 free resources that you can start using today.
  Schools Today 
  • Innovation brings model status to Ohio school district
    Educators worldwide are visiting a school district in Ohio to learn more about its innovative approach to personalized instruction, college- and career-readiness as well as science, technology, engineering and math education. Among other things, Reynoldsburg City Schools partners with outside organizations, includes technology in classroom lessons and helps prepare students for life after high school through career academies. The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Developing Leaders 
  • Why teacher evaluations shouldn't fully go high-tech
    The most effective teacher-evaluation methods include a combination of high-tech and low-tech techniques, says Kim Marshall, who works as a consultant to educators and coach for principals. Marshall recommends administrators use online documents from teachers to learn about the curriculum ahead of time and use technology to document findings. However, steps such as giving feedback and visiting the classroom are best done face-to-face without high-tech tools, Marshall writes. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Understanding the appeal of the "unconference"
    The popularity of Edcamps, a type of professional development for educators, originated from social media connections, writes Tom Whitby, an adjunct professor of education at St. Joseph's College in New York. The Edcamps, he writes in this blog post, are described as "unconferences" and do not follow a set format or schedule. Participants also can move on to a different session if they are not benefiting from the one they are in. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Policy News 
  • Students ask for leniency in school dress code
    Students in a Pennsylvania school district are seeking to relax a dress code, which requires students to wear dress shoes and boys to wear black, blue or brown pants with collared shirts in set patterns or colors. Girls have the same shirt requirements, but they are allowed to wear knee-length skirts, shorts or capri pants. Students say they are taking their requests one step at a time and currently are asking to have cargo pants added to the clothes they can wear. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The Buzz(CORPORATE ANNOUNCEMENTS)

Kelly Gallagher's Write Like This guides teachers as they model writing for a variety of real-world purposes: inform & explain, evaluate & judge, analyze & interpret, take a stand, and more. Includes mentor texts throughout and a chapter on revision & editing. Preview Chapter 1: Moving Writing to the Front Burner.

Write It Right! is a practical 32-page flipchart that guides teachers and students through the stages of the writing process with a focus on revising and editing. Includes all of the essentials, with tips, aids, and checklists for easy reference. Only $13. Click here for details!

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  SmartQuote 
Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things."
--Ray Bradbury,
American writer


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