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December 3, 2012
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
 
  • Science teacher replaces homework with "quests"
    A high-school teacher in Iowa has adopted a hands-on teaching technique in her biology and human physiology classes in which students complete "quests," rather than homework assignments. Instead of setting deadlines for assignments, students are given quests that they must work on until they get 100%, with papers containing errors returned for corrections. Katie Bunce said the technique allows her to better understand how her students learn while removing much of the tension about grades. The Des Moines Register (Iowa) (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Program helps Calif. elementary-school students prepare for future
    An elementary school in California is working to put students on the path to college through the Advancement Via Individual Determination program. As part of the AVID program, students learn a note-taking strategy and study skills, as well as build the self-esteem necessary to believe they can go to college. AVID programs in middle and high schools focus on other skills, such as how to apply to college. The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.) (free registration) (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
Close the Gap for Students at Risk of Reading Failure
Lexia Reading® is a powerful RTI implementation tool that identifies and groups students for intervention based on risk of reading failure. This research-validated approach has been shown to help two-thirds of high-risk students in grades 1-3 close the gap and advance one or more grade levels within one year. Read more.
Close the Gap for Students at Risk of Reading Failure
Lexia Reading® is a powerful RTI implementation tool that identifies and groups students for intervention based on risk of reading failure. This research-validated approach has been shown to help two-thirds of high-risk students in grades 1-3 close the gap and advance one or more grade levels within one year. Read more.
  School Leadership 
  • How to identify a coachable teacher
    Teachers must be coachable in order to reach their full potential, writes instructional coach David Ginsburg. In this blog post, he writes that a primary indicator of coachability is how teachers react when they are struggling. Coachable teachers, as he demonstrates by using two videos, will take ownership of their weaknesses rather than blaming issues on outside factors. Education Week Teacher/Coach G's Teaching Tips (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Schools take high-tech approach to field trips
    Field trips to museums, historic sites and other traditional landmarks are occurring virtually these days, as schools rely more on online broadcasts and interactive programs because of budgets cuts and tight testing schedules. While in-person trips would be ideal, Nina Corley, a high-school history teacher in Galveston, Texas, says the electronic versions are great opportunities for students to interact with experts on location in such places as Colonial Williamsburg, Va. "They [students] are able to watch what's going on, ask follow-up questions and play games all in one sitting. It really gets them involved," Corley said. USA Today (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Educator offers ideas for using video games in STEM lessons
    Professionals who work in science, technology, engineering and math often work in programming, so educator Shawn Cornally writes in this blog post that he incorporates games in his classroom as a segue into programming. Cornally offers lesson suggestions for two popular games, Mindcraft and Portal 2, as well as ideas for teaching students to write their own computer code. For example, Cornally writes, he has his students figure out if the actions in Portal 2 violate the laws of physics. Edutopia.org/Shawn Cornally's blog (11/30) 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 
  • More instructional time scheduled for students in 5 states
    Five states were expected to announce plans today to increase instructional time beginning in 2013. The states -- Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee -- will each add at least 300 hours of instructional time to the school year at some schools as part of a three-year pilot program intended to improve education. The additional learning time could come in the form of longer days or lengthened school years, or both, for the nearly 20,000 students in 40 schools. ABC News/The Associated Press (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • L.A. schools, union reach accord on teachers' evaluations
    Los Angeles Unified School District officials have reached an agreement with the local teachers union on a plan to use students' test scores as part of teachers' evaluations. Under the deal, individual and schoolwide test scores, as well as other data, would be factored into teachers' evaluations. However, it is still unclear how much students' test scores will be a factor in assessing teachers. The Wall Street Journal (11/30), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Faculty Lounge 
  • Analog clocks offer a lesson in time
    Some schools in Detroit are installing more analog clocks -- rather than digital clocks -- to help teach students to tell time the old-fashioned way. Such concepts, educators say, are important to help students learn to understand time and also develop math skills. "In first grade, we have connected number lines to the numbers around an analog clock," said first-grade teacher Amy Palmer. "Skip counting by 5s around the outside of the clock. They also help students with fractions" by counting half- and quarter-hours. The Detroit News (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The Buzz(CORPORATE ANNOUNCEMENTS)

Math Exchanges shows K-3 teachers how to foster rich discussions in small groups and help students construct new meaning and understanding. Includes hands-on activities, an extensive appendix with reproducibles, and a chapter focused on kindergarten. Click here now to read Chapter 1: Creating Space for Math Workshop.

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  ASCD News 
  • Field notes -- Shifting from textbooks to digital portals
    "Wouldn't it be nice to not have to rely on textbooks that still regard Pluto as a planet because there are still three more years until the astronomy class is eligible for a new textbook?" asks assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Christopher J. Pellettieri. In his district, the solution was to ditch "the dinosaur that is the standard 400- to 600-page, three- to five-pound textbook" and give students access to digital portals. In his ASCD Express article, Pellettieri explains how this type of program works. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Checking in with Common Core implementation in Florida
    In a guest Inservice post, president of Florida ASCD Alina Davis discusses the challenges and successes of Common Core State Standards implementation in her home state. "Replacing workbooks and scripted textbooks with more student-generated, authentic work that keeps students engaged and active is an arduous and time-consuming process that daunts many teachers," but good work is being done across the state, and Davis notes that it's crucial to be "consistent and patient with students and teachers." Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."
--Gladys Bronwyn Stern,
British writer


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