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February 23, 2011
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News for the Education Profession

  Learning and Teaching 
  • Understanding the formative-assessment process
    The formative-assessment process can greatly improve student learning if teachers clearly understand it, writes the author of an upcoming ASCD book on the subject. W. James Popham explains in this article that testing is only one part of the process, which also should include decisions on how and what to test and whether adjustments to the curriculum should be made based on the findings. By misconstruing formative assessments as a particular type of test, teachers may diminish the potential impact of the process, he writes. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (2/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teaching students about the ongoing unrest in the Middle East
    The writers of this blog post offer suggestions and starting points for teaching students about the upheaval in the Middle East. Students can start by exploring how Twitter is being used to disseminate information about protests in numerous Middle Eastern countries, and then can compare Twitter feeds with what is being reported in the press. In a follow-up activity, students can be split into groups to discuss the protests and answer the questions: who, what, where, when, why and how. Learning Network blog (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
900 California Schools Improve Scores with Lexia Reading "My K-2 teachers swear by Lexia. Without it, we wouldn't be seeing this kind of improvement. It's the best reading software, bar none." Dr. Michael Bachicha, Cabrillo Unified Schools. Research-proven Lexia Reading can dramatically improve your students' reading skills, too. Learn more.
  Professional Leadership 
  • Professional-development day aims to empower teachers
    Secondary teachers in a South Carolina school district attended a daylong professional-development event aimed at enriching their teaching methods. A workshop on kinesthetic learning taught teachers exercises to take back to the classroom. The exercises were designed to help get students moving while learning new material. Other sessions offered tips on incorporating GPS and YouTube into classroom lessons and using food and nutrition lessons to help teach culture and geography. The State (Columbia, S.C.) (2/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Distance-learning program levels playing field for Ala. students
    A distance-learning program in all Alabama high schools is helping to level the playing field for the state's students, educators say. The program uses webcams, videoconferencing and other technology to connect students with the courses they need -- from subjects not offered at their schools to remedial classes. "It really has brought 24/7 learning to Alabama," the state schools chief said. (Alabama)/The Birmingham News (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ravitch: Why I support Wisconsin's teachers
    Education expert Diane Ravitch writes that the protests in Wisconsin over a proposal to curtail collective bargaining is about more than benefits -- it's about the survival of unions. She argues that teachers' unions protect and assist teachers who are being treated unfairly and work to ensure the quality of public education. "If there is no organized force to advocate for public education in the state capitols of this nation, our children and our schools will suffer," Ravitch writes. "That's the bottom line. And that's why I stand with the teachers of Wisconsin." Education Week/Bridging Differences blog (2/22)
  Read more from the top education blogs here

  Policy Watch 
  • California district rejects parent-trigger attempt
    A California district has rejected an attempt by parents to turn a poor-performing elementary school over to charter operators, a test of the state's parent-trigger law. The Compton school board said parents did not include required information on their petition and some information they did provide was wrong. Los Angeles Times (2/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  In the Field 
  • Schools explore lunch solutions for students who cannot pay
    Schools are searching for solutions for children who do not have money to pay for lunch, as new federal rules will require districts to serve healthier foods that cost more. In Lee County, Fla., the school district urged parents to apply for subsidized lunch and said that if children cannot pay, they will get one day of free hot lunch followed by an alternative meal, which consists of a cheese sandwich and juice box. MSNBC (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

"An absolute must-have" (Midwest Book Review). What Every Elementary Teacher Needs to Know About Reading Tests dispels common misconceptions and provides 31 strategy briefs and worksheet-free skill-building activities for the most commonly assessed reading standards. Click here for details!

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  ASCD News 
  • Research a Topic: Character education
    Schools can play an active role in helping children understand human values and the effect of their actions on others. Connect with Educational Leadership articles, books and other resources that share expert views on helping students develop socially and emotionally on the site. Start your research. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are you making these four differentiated instruction mistakes?
    In a recent ASCD EDge blog post, education consultant and author Robyn Jackson outlines classroom practices that work against the effective delivery of differentiated instruction. In her post, Jackson points to the distinction between learning style versus learning needs, and emphasizes the importance of differentiating up. Read on. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The thing that I have done throughout my life is to do the best job that I can to be me."
--Mae C. Jemison,
American physician and astronaut

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