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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!
December 26, 2012
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
  • NBCT: How legislators can help educators
    Legislators should "do no harm," focus teacher evaluations on professional development and suspend the debate over the use of "value-added" data in teachers' evaluations until they are a reliable measure of effectiveness, writes National Board Certified Teacher David B. Cohen. In this blog post, he also suggests that lawmakers seek ways to foster collaboration toward the common goal of improving the teaching profession. EdSource (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Demystify test taking for your students with What Every Middle School Teacher Needs to Know About Reading Tests. Get activities for mastering test items across all of the commonly assessed reading standards, and see how to save time by integrating strategies with everyday instruction. Read Chapter 1: Helping Students Build a Test Vocabulary.
  Focus on Practice 
  • Teacher shares some secrets to success
    In this blog post, teacher Diana Laufenberg offers some examples of successful schools that she has observed. Among them are Alpine Leadership Academy, a middle-school program in Arizona in which students are encouraged to explore, and San Marcos Unified School District in California, where "a shift in the teaching and learning was served by the technology, not the other way around." SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are students logging too much screen time?
    Teachers should work together to ensure their lessons do not rely too heavily on digital media, suggests Maurice Elias, a professor at Rutgers University. In this blog post, Elias writes about research showing that students are spending too much time in front of screens -- a trend that can affect their social and emotional learning, as well as their health and sleeping habits. Elias' blog (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Schools Today 
  • Common core finds acceptance in Fla.
    Florida's adoption of the Common Core State Standards has largely been met with the support of teachers, lawmakers and others. While officials in the state have been at odds with teachers over other reforms, including teachers' evaluations and private school vouchers, officials say the common core transition has been relatively smooth. Primary concerns relate to timing, structure and implementation of the new standards. The Tampa Tribune (Fla.)/The Associated Press (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Developing Leaders 
  • Educators need to identify their safe harbor
    Educator should seek refuge in their "harbor" -- an area of familiarity -- when undertaking a new teaching skill or curriculum, writes Mike Fisher, an educational consultant and instructional coach. In this blog post, he uses the metaphor of a ship, saying that ships are not intended to be anchored forever and that it is important to know where you are going before you begin the journey. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy News 
  • Student teachers face new standards, evaluations in Mo.
    Missouri officials are working to set a new standard for the state's teaching colleges, while simultaneous work is under way to raise the bar for teachers. A Missouri Board of Education plan approved last month will raise the grade-point average requirement for student teachers, require more standardized evaluations for student teachers and other steps. There are 39 teacher-preparation programs statewide -- each with their own method for evaluating student teachers. St. Louis Post-Dispatch (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The language you use in the classroom can change students' lives. In Opening Minds Peter Johnston (author of the groundbreaking Choice Words) shows how words can shape students' learning, their sense of self, and their social, emotional, and moral development. Preview the entire book online!

Guiding Readers uses a structured 18-minute small-group lesson format to support all of your students as they access more sophisticated texts, with tips for setting learning goals, practical lesson routines, and how to select appropriate texts for readers at each stage. Includes chapters on nonfiction & functional reading. Preview the entire book!

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  NBPTS Update 
  • National Board new focus in celebrating 25 years
    The National Board enters its second quarter century with two strategic and interconnected goals: promoting educator effectiveness across the career span and helping accomplished teachers lead the way in building a vibrant and respected profession. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. Department of Education's applications
    Washington and Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellowship applications are now available online. Positions are paid for one-year on a full- and part-time basis. Teaching Ambassadors are outstanding teachers with a record of leadership, strong communication skills, and policy insight who contribute their classroom expertise to the national dialogue and in turn facilitate discussions with educators across the country. Additionally, Fellows have strong support from their professional communities and have participated in training or development activities that sharpen their capacity to quickly learn about and contribute to discussions on education policy. We hope that you will consider applying. Learn more information about the program and application, which has a deadline of Jan. 29. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Never get so fascinated by the extraordinary that you forget the ordinary."
--Magdalen Nabb,
British author

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