October 27, 2021
ASCD SmartBrief
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Teaching and Learning
Project-based program brings "learning to life"
(Pixabay)
Linn-Mar High School in Iowa this year started a project-based learning program, Venture Program, which allows students to address real problems in their community and learn about careers. Elyssa McDowell, the high school's strategic partnerships coordinator, says the approach brings "learning to life."
Full Story: The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Marion, Iowa) (10/26) 
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A support dog at a Maine middle school helps students and staff members through tough moments and is a calming force, says Kerry Wolongevicz, a school resource officer who is the dog's handler. Licensed clinical social worker Augusta O'Reilly notes that the dog can break down barriers between students and authorities and provide a positive interaction.
Full Story: Portland Press Herald (Maine) (tiered subscription model) (10/25) 
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Culturally Responsive Book Sets Selected by You
Now you can choose the literary and content-area sets that will engage, inform, and reflect your K-6 students. Authentic Voices book sets in English or Spanish can be customized to meet diversity goals and represent people, experiences, and perspectives that inspire more reading and learning. FREE Sampler
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Transformational Leadership
Principal shares how to design engaging schools
Rocker stools make learning easier for fidgety students. (Wes Cottongim/Cumberland Trace Elementary School)
Wes Cottongim, principal at Cumberland Trace Elementary School in Bowling Green, Ky., worked with the school's assistant principal and librarian to guide a school redesign that supported student engagement and active learning. In this blog post, Cottongim offers seven tips on encouraging active learning spaces in schools, including giving students seating options.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Education (10/26) 
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Ariz. launches Virtual Teacher Institute
(Pixabay)
K-12 schools in Arizona are partnering with the state's public universities to support teaching and learning, writes Kathy Hoffman, Arizona superintendent of public instruction. In this commentary, Hoffman writes that the partnership recently led to the formation of the Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute, a free, online professional development program for teachers statewide.
Full Story: The 74 (10/26) 
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A Back-to-School Recovery Plan that Supports Struggling Readers
As we return to the classroom this fall there will be more than a few uncertainties, especially when it comes to students who struggle to read. One thing you can be sure about is that the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution can help keep them on the same page as the rest of their class, regardless of their ability to decode grade-level reading material.
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Technology in the Classroom
Apps such as Notability and ShowMe can help students strengthen their working memory, while the Read&Write browser extension can aid in flexible thinking, writes instructional coach Eric Rodriguez. In this article, Rodriguez writes that teachers can use these and other tech tools to help students develop executive-functioning skills, such as time management, self-control and flexibility.
Full Story: Edutopia (10/21) 
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100 students will win a $40K scholarship and internship at Amazon
The Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship awards high school students a $40,000 scholarship for college, plus a guaranteed paid internship coding at Amazon. Applications open November 1. Find out more and get started early.
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Managing Budgets
The federal government's Emergency Connectivity Fund is distributing $3.6 million across 11 New York school districts to improve online learning as the pandemic continues. Districts can use the funding on such necessities as broadband service, Wi-Fi hot spots, routers, modems and connected devices.
Full Story: Times Herald-Record (Middletown, N.Y.) (tiered subscription model) (10/25) 
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Taking a Multisensory Approach to K-5 Reading
Elementary school is a crucial time of growth in the educational journey of children, and strong literacy skills are a key facet of that journey. Using a multisensory approach to K-5 reading can lay a foundation for reading proficiency that lasts a lifetime. Learn how!
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New from ASCD
As schools address instructional gaps from this past year, educators should weed out instructional methods that are no longer (or maybe never were) serving their purpose. Read key takeaways from Persida and William Himmele's new book, "Why Are We Still Doing That? Positive Alternatives to Problematic Teaching Practices," on the ASCD Blog.
It's time to stop wrestling with your problem on your own! Ask an ASCD expert and get information to help guide your practice.
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Policy Watch
Parents in poverty used tax credit for back-to-school costs
(Wendy Carlson/Getty Images)
The federal child tax credit helped about one-third of parents who have a household income below $25,000 purchase school supplies in July and August, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The organization suggests that Congress make the child tax credit permanent for families with very low incomes.
Full Story: K-12 Dive (10/25) 
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Benefits of Digital Transformation in Government
The pandemic changed the way constituents and government agencies interact with each other. Learn how partnering with a provider such as Verizon can be key to achieving mission-critical outcomes for government agencies such as maintaining data confidentiality.
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Faculty Lounge
Data: College enrollment approaches historic decline
(David Madison/Getty Images)
National enrollment in undergraduate colleges and universities has declined by 3.2% since this time last year and a total of 6.5% since fall 2019, according to data released Tuesday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. If this trend continues, it would mark the largest two-year decline in at least 50 years, said Doug Shapiro, the center's executive director.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/26),  National Public Radio (10/26) 
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We struggle to climb, or we struggle to fall. The thing is to discover which way we're going.
Daphne du Maurier,
writer
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