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December 4, 2012
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
  • Teachers have a responsibility to inspire
    Teachers can likely trace their inspiration back to a particularly memorable educator, writes Tony Baldasaro, chief human resource officer of the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School in New Hampshire. While he was inspired to become an educator by Mr. Miller, his 10th-grade biology teacher, Baldasaro writes in this blog post that he now finds inspiration in others, including students, parents and fellow educators, and never forgets his own role as an inspirational figure. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Math Tools in Action is an exciting new DVD series that shows teachers in grades 1-5 how to use anchor charts, journals, and manipulatives to deepen and improve math instruction. Each DVD chronicles a complete lesson in a real classroom, with expert commentary and teaching tips before and during the lesson. Click here to view clips and download the viewing guides!
  Focus on Practice 
  • Digital citizenship goes beyond technical knowledge
    The stereotype that the current generation is made up of digital natives is dangerous, writes technology teacher Mary Beth Hertz. Instead, she suggests referring to them as "digital citizens" because of the prevalence of digital technology in their lives. However, Hertz writes, just because students know how to use a tablet computer does not mean they understand aspects of that citizenship, such as intellectual property rights and digital etiquette. Beth Hertz's blog (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Educator eases her math students into problem-based learning
    Math teacher Marsha Ratzel experimented with a lesson on square roots to bring her math class closer to problem-based learning. Ratzel writes in this blog post that before teaching her students about square roots, she presented problems and had them research online and in class everything they could find about the function and discussed their findings. "And they really loved it. ... [T]hey argued and wrestled with all the info they collected and then built their conjectures," Ratzel writes. Reflections of a Techie blog (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
How to Bullyproof Your Classroom
Create a safe climate where learning flourishes and mean behaviors wither. A veteran teacher gives start-right-now, practical suggestions to help elementary teachers stop bullying before it starts. Learn more and order.
  Schools Today 
  • Will testing improve under Common Core State Standards?
    While recent surveys reveal that teachers have lost faith in assessments and doubt that standardized tests in some cases accurately reflect students' achievement, experts now say the transition to the Common Core State Standards could bring better high-school assessments that more accurately depict achievement. Under the common core, states are expected to adopt "longer, more thoughtful exams," said David Coleman, president of the College Board. However, officials say they are still working to determine what length is feasible. U.S. News & World Report/High School Notes blog (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Officials: Fiction remains part of the common core: The writers of the Common Core State Standards say the standards do not require the elimination of fiction from literature classes. David Coleman, who led the effort to write the standards, said there has been an overreaction to the directive to add more nonfiction material, which he said applies across all school courses -- not just English -- so historical works, studies and other documents can be added to social studies and even math in an effort to prepare students for college and careers. The Washington Post (12/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • More D.C. teachers receive bonuses under new program
    States across the country are considering measures that would link teacher evaluations, based largely on test scores, to teacher salaries, bonuses and even retention. In Washington, D.C., such a system is already in place, and while there is concern about the high-stakes evaluation program, officials report about 300 more teachers are eligible for the highest bonus this year. CBS News (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Are your students bored? Beat Boredom gives you proven, out-of-the-box strategies and activities for engaging high school students in any class. You'll see how to generate active engagement and move way beyond traditional passive memorization of information. Informed by a survey of 800+ high school graduates. Preview the entire book!
  Developing Leaders 
  • STEM standards call for more teacher training
    The release of two new sets of science guidelines and standards will require an overhaul of professional development for teachers, write educators Jean Moon, Sarah Michaels and Brian J. Reiser. In this opinion article, they write that professional-learning models should be based on research and suggest five research-based principles that should guide the transition. They also note that training teachers in the standards should "start with what is new." Education Week (premium article access compliments of (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy News 
  • Wis. school district requires more math, science to graduate
    Students graduating from high school in the Wausau School District in Wisconsin, starting with the class of 2017, will have to take three years of math and three years of science. Currently, the school district requires two years each of math and science, but Thom Hahn, the district's director of secondary education, doesn't foresee a problem with the change. "Most colleges require three years of math and science, so students are taking them anyway," Hahn said. The Wausau Daily Herald (Wis.) (tiered subscription model) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

I See What You Mean is a practical guide to incorporating visual literacy—maps, diagrams, tables, graphs, and charts—throughout your curriculum. Author and visual literacy expert Steve Moline guides teachers with activities and scores of examples that naturally progress from simple to complex and concrete to abstract. Preview the entire book online!

100 Minutes shows teachers how to fit balanced literacy into a daily 100-minute literacy block using a framework of whole-class & guided small-group instruction, writing sessions, and independent work. You'll get strategies for using exemplars, providing effective feedback, integrating technology, and thinking critically about all kinds of texts. Preview the entire book!

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  NBPTS Update 
  • Vanderbilt and MNPS lead local efforts as National Board Partners
    As a partner of National Board on the i3 grant, Vanderbilt and MNPS are hoping to recruit the best new teachers and provide needed support and professional development to ensure the highest quality instruction for students, particularly in the much-needed STEM subjects. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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It is astonishing what force, purity and wisdom it requires for a human being to keep clear of falsehoods."
--Margaret Fuller,
American journalist and women's rights activist

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