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July 16, 2012
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Utah teacher uses science fiction to teach literature
    High-school English teacher Patrick Murphy uses science fiction to engage students' interest in literature and inspire them to read. His students read such books as "The War of the Worlds" and write research papers on comic book heroes and "The Twilight Zone" episodes. "I show up and try to make English and Literature interesting to kids," said Murphy, speaking during a Comic-Con panel on how teachers can use science fiction to teach literature. San Diego Union-Tribune (7/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 7 useful technologies from the pages of science fiction: Science-fiction writers dreamed up and depicted several technological advancements that inventors later created to help people with disabilities. Examples range from speech- and voice-recognition software to neurotransmitters that allow people with quadriplegia to move a mechanical arm with their thoughts. (7/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lessons in outdoor classroom cross the curriculum, community
    At the Outdoor Classroom at Central School in South Berwick, Maine, students can explore a miniature rain garden, walk a balance boulder, investigate native plants and grow fruits and vegetables in the area's Fresh Food Express hoop house. This year, educators at the school are planning to use Outdoor Classroom resources for additional wellness programs, including yoga. They also hope to incorporate programs that will involve and benefit the entire community. SeacoastOnline (Portsmouth, N.H.) (tiered subscription model) (7/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News

"Offers teachers practical advice to take their teaching of conventions to the next level."Jennifer Serravallo. In Patterns of Power, Jeff Anderson gives you 70+ lessons for meaningful grammar instruction in grades 1-5 that build students' understanding of how language works for readers and writers. Free study guide. Get details now!
  School Leadership 
  • L.A. teacher-evaluation plan focuses on growth
    The Los Angeles Unified School District is getting ready to test a new teacher-evaluation system designed to raise student performance by increasing teacher quality. The district's Teacher Growth & Development Cycle will use a combination of classroom observations, parent meetings, lesson plans and student test scores to evaluate teachers' strengths and weaknesses and help them improve. "We're taking the evaluation from an event, which is often seen as punitive and unhelpful, to a process that is about growth and development," said Drew Furedi, chief of L.A.'s talent management division. Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) (7/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Do students learn, retain more in year-round schools?
    More than 25,000 North Carolina students returned to school last week, representing a dwindling number of students nationwide who attend year-round schools. Supporters say year-round schools prevent summer learning loss and allow schools to educate more students in fewer facilities. Opponents say year-round schools are more expensive to run, disrupt family time and have no proven record of success. The Christian Science Monitor/The Associated Press (7/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Social media enhances classroom interaction, communication
    Jonathan Golding, a University of Kentucky psychology professor, in this blog post shares his experiences using Facebook to create a sense of community in large classes. Facebook changed the rules of communication in his class, Golding writes, by creating interaction among students and by providing him with a way to communicate with students outside of class. "Also, for the first time with my large class, I had a similar sense of community as I have enjoyed when teaching a small class," Golding writes. (7/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Online testing requirement could pose a problem for schools
    As schools prepare to implement the Common Core State Standards in the 2014-15 academic year, a recent review finds that most schools in Louisiana are unprepared to meet a requirement for more online testing. According to the report, many schools lack sufficient computers and necessary bandwidth. There also are issues with the type of Internet connections and the operating speed of the machines. The Town Talk (Alexandria, La.) (7/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • App matches books to students' reading levels
    Book Retriever, a mobile application recently released by Classroom Library Co., continues to be an iTunes top seller even during summer break. The app allows parents and teachers to match a child's reading level to items found in a database of more than 130,000 books. The app also includes a cataloging tool and a list of 10 "hot" books that changes monthly. Publishers Weekly (7/12) 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 
  • Did a longer school day increase Chicago's test scores?
    Chicago Public School officials have reported that state test results for the city's elementary schools hit an all-time high this year. Although the official analysis credits new education initiatives -- in particular, an extended school day in some schools -- for some of the increase, critics counter that test results are mixed and that higher scores at some schools are more indicative of how schools used the longer school day than with the time itself. Chicago Sun-Times (7/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Faculty Lounge 
  • Wyo. project to teach parents to participate in education
    Education researchers at the University of Wyoming this fall will be studying how students in nine Caspar, Wyo., Title I schools respond to a program that teaches their parents how to help their children succeed. The program will provide parents and other family members with monthly training sessions on how to achieve Judy Zerafa's "Seven Keys to Success," which include a positive attitude and choices, persistence and goal setting. Star-Tribune (Casper, Wyo.) (7/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller helps K-2 teachers organize materials & spaces, foster independent learning, differentiate instruction, and more. Packed with full-color photos from real classrooms and practical activities linked to NCTM & state standards. Click here now to preview Chapter 1!

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  ASCD News 
  • Free summer resource roundup for educators at all levels
    If you're seeking no cost professional learning opportunities this summer -- practical reads, online activities, opportunities to connect with education experts -- don't miss our summer resource roundup. You'll find links to ASCD content including archived Whole Child Virtual Conference sessions, informative webinars, and the online-only summer issue of Educational Leadership. You'll also learn about opportunities to connect with us and fellow educators on social media and social networking platforms like Facebook and ASCD EDge. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Keeping an open mind in school-based PD
    A new Inservice blog post presents the differentiated school through the lens of teachers and administrators. A featured video on the topic of DI explores what differentiation is and isn't and positions DI as a way of thinking, a mindset. Teachers share lessons learned and administrators talk about their philosophies and experiences. Watch the clip. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Principal-Southside Academy Charter SchoolNational Heritage AcademiesSyracuse, NY
AdministratorsGreen Dot Public SchoolsLos Angeles, CA
Cluster Director/Area SuperintendentGreen Dot Public SchoolsLos Angeles, CA
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Senior Turnaround ConsultantAmerican Institutes for ResearchMultiple Locations, United States
Chief Human Resources OfficerBaltimore County Public SchoolsTimonium, MD
Click here to view more job listings.

Those who do not move do not notice their chains."
--Rosa Luxemburg,
Russian-German political theorist, economist and revolutionary

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