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January 2, 2013
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
  • Educators offer support as Sandy Hook classes resume
    Students and staff from Sandy Hook Elementary School are scheduled to resume classes Thursday at a school in nearby Monroe, Conn. Officials say teachers will be focused on returning to students' normal routines after the shootings last month. "We want to get back to teaching and learning," said Superintendent Janet Robinson. "We will obviously take time out from the academics for any conversations that need to take place, and there will be a lot of support there. All in all, we want the kids to reconnect with their friends and classroom teachers, and I think that's going to be the healthiest thing." The Washington Times/The Associated Press (1/1) 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!
  Focus on Practice 
  • How to foster effective student collaboration
    There are several steps that teachers can take to foster the type of student collaboration that leads to deeper learning, writes Rebecca Alber, consulting online editor at Edutopia. In this blog post, she suggests establishing group agreements, teaching students to listen and ask good questions, and showing teachers how to negotiate with each other. Teachers also should model skills, such as listening and negotiation, she writes. Alber's blog (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers, students gain from a needs-fulfilling classroom
    In a needs-fulfilling classroom, both the needs of the students and the teacher are met, writes teacher Chad Sansing. In this blog post, he writes that teachers in such classrooms give students more freedom and understand what the students consider fun, how they use power, how they relate to others and what they are scared of in order to better facilitate instruction. Needs-fulfilling classrooms also allow teachers and students to better work toward a common goal, Sansing writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Schools Today 
  • Lawmakers make deal, but "fiscal cliff" still looms
    Widespread cuts to federal funding, including education, have been spared -- at least temporarily -- by a last-minute deal reached by federal lawmakers that, if signed by President Barack Obama, delays sequestration until March. However, the deal includes $6 billion in cuts to domestic programs, which could affect education. If signed into law, the delay means there will be fresh debate over potential spending cuts, as well as continued uncertainty for school districts. Education Week/Politics K-12 blog (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Developing Leaders 
  • NBCT helped lead resurgence of teachers unions
    Karen Lewis, the head of the Chicago Teachers Union and a retired National Board Certified Teacher, has been named the 2012 Education Person of the Year by education analyst Michael J. Petrilli. Lewis made headlines last year by leading a strike in Chicago that helped unify teachers unions and was a "public relations success," Petrilli writes. Lewis' efforts were a key part of what he calls the "year of the resurgent teachers union." Thomas B. Fordham Institute/Flypaper blog (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bringing leadership qualities to schools
    High-school principal Dwight Carter in this blog post shares his top leadership principles and how each is present at his school. Among the principles are vision, clear expectations and the development of positive relationships -- a goal at his high school, where the staff schedules social events and there is a focus on nurturing new students. Carter's other principles include communication, teamwork, accountability and learning. Connected Principals blog (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy News 
  • Should schedules be flexible for top-performing schools in Ind.?
    School administrators at top-performing Indiana schools would be allowed to opt out of the state's 180-day class schedules, and instead establish schedules to include three-day weeks and 10-hour school days, under a proposed state bill. The legislation, now under consideration, would allow such schools to adopt alternative schedules if administrators believe they would benefit students. The number of hours students spend in the classroom would have to remain the same as it would under the state's 180-day school year requirement. The Indianapolis Star (tiered subscription model) (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

Wise teachers assign reading responses that are interesting, relevant, and encourage further reading. Ban the Book Report presents 20 classroom-tested assignments for personal response to independent reading, each with a reproducible rubric, response form, and two exemplars. Preview the entire book online!

Define your core teaching beliefs and put them into practice with Teaching with Intention. Best-selling literacy author Debbie Miller guides you in making purposeful decisions about classroom organization, lesson design, teacher language, assessment, conferring, and more. Click here for details!

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Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them."
--Rose Kennedy,
American philanthropist

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