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February 25, 2013
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Math-teaching techniques are changing at Kan. schools
    The Common Core State Standards are causing math teachers to get more innovative in how they convey the material. Teachers in Osawatomie Unified School District 367 in Kansas are working to develop a curriculum that is more interactive and more difficult in advance of common core-aligned testing in 2015. "What I like about Common Core is it's focused just as much on how we teach as what we teach. It's really asking teachers to think 'How am I teaching? Am I using the best kind of instruction I can and thinking outside the box?' " said Susan Gorman, the district's director of improvement. The Miami County Republic (Paola, Kan.) (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Calif. middle schools identify, support at-risk students
    Top-performing middle schools in Orange County, Calif., credit positive school culture and their work to find and assist struggling students for their success. That includes supporting students academically, socially and behaviorally, said Jenny Salberg, principal at Thurston Middle School in Laguna Beach, Calif. At one charter middle school, educators say they analyze the elementary-school records before students enroll to determine who might need additional support. The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) (2/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
NEW! Common Core Standards converted into 1,800 Learning Objectives
DataWORKS has converted the Common Core Standards into explicit, teachable Learning Objectives. Now teachers can rapidly comprehend, internalize, and implement new Common Core Standards. Exclusive bonus: Includes grade-level Common Core vocabulary lists that define key words students need to know to be successful. Download free sample.
  School Leadership 
  • How would you change things as education secretary?
    Most educators have considered how they would act if they were chosen U.S. education secretary, writes elementary-school principal Peter DeWitt. In this blog post, DeWitt writes that if he were in that role, he immediately would place a moratorium on testing and then consider new ways to assess schools' performance. He then would direct money currently spent on testing to professional development for teachers and invest in prekindergarten programs and higher teachers' salaries, among other things. Education Week/Finding Common Ground blog (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
You’ve assessed students. Now what?
Most formative assessments provide student performance data and little else. STAR Enterprise™ takes assessment a giant step further by providing valid and reliable data, plus access to resources for helping close achievement gaps and meet standards. View video to learn more.
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • What schools can do to secure students' data
    As schools adopt new technology, they also must work to protect student data and privacy, writes Cameron Evans, national and chief technology officer of U.S. Education at Microsoft. In this blog post, Evans suggests, among other things, that schools help beef up security by understanding the law on student data, choosing trustworthy vendors and understanding how they will use students' data. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Wis. teachers flipping for instructional method
    A growing number of schools in Wisconsin are adopting the flipped instructional method -- drawn to the teaching technique for its flexibility and popularity among students. Veteran teacher Ann Moffat recently switched from the Socratic lecture-style teaching method to flipped instruction and said it allows her to offer students more individualized instruction and fewer students are seeking help before class. "They're learning how to work off each other and solve problems independently, which is the whole goal," Moffat said. Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) (2/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

"A must-have book for teachers who want to see more growth in their students' writing."Cris Tovani. A Closer Look offers quick, easy-to-use formative assessment strategies and tools to enrich your K-6 writing instruction. Includes online videos, teacher-to-teacher spotlights, and student work samples throughout. Preview the entire book!
  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 
  • N.C. lawmakers, others consider bringing back cursive
    States including North Carolina, California and Massachusetts are considering reintroducing cursive handwriting as part of schools' curriculum, despite resistance from those who say technology has made it an unnecessary skill. The Common Core State Standards, adopted by 45 states, does not include expectations regarding cursive writing. Lawmakers in North Carolina are considering legislation that would require elementary-school students to learn cursive, as well as memorize multiplication tables -- a move described as a return to the "basics." The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Hands-on science in a digital world
Science education is no longer confined to the pages of a textbook. Students are interacting with science concepts through physical objects and digital platforms, and using this knowledge to solve real-world issues. Get insights for making this work in your classroom in this SmartFocus on Hands-on Science.
  Faculty Lounge 

All teachers of algebra should have The Xs and Whys of Algebra at their fingertips during planning and instruction. This handy 84-page flipchart cuts through the confusion to help you prevent common misconceptions. 30 modules focus on key standards with instructional strategies, activities, and reproducibles. Click here for details!

Interested in learning more about advertising with SmartBrief? Click here for detailed industry information and media kits.  

  ASCD News 
  • Webinar -- Exceeding the common core speaking standards
    The Common Core State Standards place emphasis on speaking, the often ignored language art. If you're interested in strategies that can help you more purposefully teach students to improve oral communication, tune in for Erik Palmer's free ASCD webinar next Wednesday, March 6 at 3:30 p.m. EST. He'll explain what the standards call for in this area and introduce a practical, multitrait framework for understanding and teaching the skills involved in effective oral communication. Register.
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  • How is creativity killed?
    "One of the most sought-after assets in the 21st century is also one of the casualties of test-oriented education in China: creativity," writes Yong Zhao in his ASCD book, "Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization." You'll find an excerpt about the creativity gap between Americans and the Chinese in the latest issue of ASCD Express. Here Zhao explains the key differences between the Chinese and the U.S. school experience. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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It is wonderful how much news there is when people write every other day; if they wait for a month, there is nothing that seems worth telling."
--Anna Masterton Buchan,
Scottish writer

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