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March 4, 2013
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
 
  • Debate continues as teachers protest standardized tests
    Backlash against standardized testing has drawn boycotts from teachers in Seattle and elsewhere, as well as support from education historian Diane Ravitch and others. At issue is whether certain high-stakes standardized tests are effective in evaluating students' achievement and should be used to assess teachers' effectiveness. "We are just seeing the very beginning of this testing revolt," Jesse Hagopian, one of the teachers who has protested exams in Seattle, adding, "[m]aybe you can call it the 'Teachers' Spring.'" Reuters (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Students need vocabulary instruction every day to build lasting word knowledge. Word Nerds shows you how to fit it into an already-packed literacy schedule with a classroom-tested 5-part plan that improves achievement while building confidence and enthusiasm. Includes reproducible planners, organizers, and rubrics. Preview the entire book!
  Focus on Practice 
  • NBCT: What motivates students -- and why
    Autonomy, mastery and purpose drive motivation, writes National Board Certified Teacher David B. Cohen. In his response to a blog post by Larry Ferlazzo, Cohen writes that understanding motivation can help English teachers improve their craft. "Purpose may be the most essential of the three components of motivation," he writes. "The more we understand and believe in the purpose of a task or challenge, the more we are willing to persevere, and even relinquish some autonomy." Education Week Teacher/Classroom Q&A blog (3/3)
  • A TV-inspired outline for improving school curriculum
    The Food Network show "Restaurant Impossible" offers insights that could help educators upgrade their curriculum, suggests Mike Fisher, an educational consultant and instructional coach. He writes in this blog post that, like on the show that focuses on turning around struggling restaurants, teachers should focus on what's working and what's not, prioritize improvements, gather a team, budget resources and make a plan to sustain the improvements. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
  Schools Today 
  • New standards to bring lower scores on exams, N.Y. officials say
    New York officials are preparing for the expected decline in test scores as it becomes one of the few states to align this year's tests with the Common Core State Standards. Officials in Florida, Georgia and Kentucky have reported lower scores since the implementation of the common core. The New York State United Teachers questions the decision to test students on the new standards so soon after their introduction in classrooms. The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Developing Leaders 
  • Colo. educators receive PD for teaching literacy
    The Boulder Valley School District in Colorado is giving professional-development opportunities -- such as coaching, collaboration or learning laboratories -- to learn best practices for literacy instruction. The district, which has been teaching students to read through writing and the emergent publishing method, created a "primary teacher lab," in which kindergarten teachers received training on emerging readers and writers, and then tried out new strategies with rising kindergartners attending half-day courses for three weeks before the start of school. Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy News 
  • Mass. district seeks balance in technology funding request
    A Massachusetts school district has scaled back a request for additional school-technology funds to what it believes is a "minimal" level of support. Officials said the infusion of money was necessary for students to compete in an increasingly tech-savvy world and because of what they describe as unfunded government mandates regarding education technology. Officials say they now are seeking about $500,000 -- down from their original request of $700,955 -- for education technology above normal operating expenses. The Sun (Lowell, Mass.) (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The Buzz(CORPORATE ANNOUNCEMENTS)

The 3 Habits of Highly Successful Reading Teachers starts with the premise that every student—even those who struggle the most—can learn to read. It guides teachers in providing daily practice with high-frequency words, letter sounds, and word-solving strategies, and includes formative assessment tools. Click for details!

In her new DVD, Moving into Math Stations, K-2, Debbie Diller builds on her best-selling book Math Work Stations, bringing your staff into two real classrooms to see how to use manipulatives, manage time & space, incorporate whole-group instruction, encourage meaningful math talk, and more. View a 7-minute segment online!

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  Most Read by Educators 

Top five news stories selected by Accomplished Teacher® by SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
 
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  SmartQuote 
The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret."
--Henri Frédéric Amiel,
Swiss philosopher, poet and critic


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