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January 31, 2013
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News about teaching and education excellence

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  • Minn. teachers institute silent communication approach
    Teachers at a Minnesota school are using a system of nonverbal management, called Envoy, to communicate with students. The method relies on providing high expectations for students' behavior and also adhering to the same gestures or pictures. A teacher might place her fingers over her lips, for example, to tell students it is time to be quiet. Teachers say the Envoy method has helped ease transitions between classes and caused students to be more attentive in the classroom. St. Cloud Times (Minn.) (1/29) 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 
 
  • More schools write off cursive
    The Common Core State Standards focuses on keyboarding proficiency, leaving cursive instruction as optional. Some educators say their schools are choosing to eliminate handwriting instruction to allow time for other lessons. Teachers at one North Carolina school, where cursive is optional, formed a cursive club for students following complaints that they could not read teachers' handwriting. The Wall Street Journal (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Fun Math Activities That Support the Common Core
Boost math learning with these 150 quick and lively math activities to use in Morning Meeting or at any time during the day: guessing games, songs, chants, experiments, more! Downloadable guide shows how each activity aligns with K-5 Common Core standards and practices for math. Learn more and order.
  Schools Today 
  • Fla. education official stresses shift to critical thinking
    The Common Core State Standards demand that teachers get students asking deeper questions and thinking critically in all subjects, Pam Stewart, chancellor of public schools for the Florida Department of Education, said during a recent community forum. "It will create life-long learners because we are no longer making passive learners by the teacher disseminating the information," she said. "We're helping students discover it on their own and be able to answer questions that they never could before." TBNWeekly.com (Tampa Bay, Fla.) (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Explore graduation, dropout rates with interactive maps
    This article includes two interactive maps detailing the high-school graduation and dropout rates nationwide, categorized by race and ethnicity. The maps feature data from the 2009-10 school year, recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics, that shows while the national graduation rate is at its highest level since 1974 -- at 78% -- gaps remain among minority students and their white peers. National Journal (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Education Cartoon 
  Developing Leaders 
  • Advice for rookie educators from classroom veterans
    Experienced teachers think back on their careers and offer advice for others in this blog post compiled by Judy Willis, a neurologist and teacher. Included in their advice about goals and resources, as well as words of warning, is a suggestion from Georgia middle-school teacher Amy Fanusi to feel comfortable sharing ideas with colleagues and trying something new. Educators also urge new teachers to consult their colleagues on best practices but also keep in mind the importance of confidentiality in some cases. Edutopia.org/Judy Willis' blog (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Policy News 
  • Proposal calls for more teacher-collaboration time in Ore. district
    Officials in an Oregon school district are considering starting school an hour late on Wednesdays to give teachers more time to collaborate and prepare for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Middle schools in the district have had the later start day in place for at least 10 years. The proposal calls for elementary- and high-school teachers having time for "school improvement Wednesdays." The Oregonian (Portland) (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The Buzz(CORPORATE ANNOUNCEMENTS)

100 Minutes shows teachers how to fit balanced literacy into a daily 100-minute literacy block using a framework of whole-class & guided small-group instruction, writing sessions, and independent work. You'll get strategies for using exemplars, providing effective feedback, integrating technology, and thinking critically about all kinds of texts. Preview the entire book!

See how to convey core K-5 mathematical concepts through visual arts with Object Lessons. 50 classroom-tested activities use everyday objects—flags, shoes, paper, rocks, faces, and more—to encourage problem solving and develop spatial abilities. Click here now to read Chapter 1: The Face.

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