Report: Many students lack access to math | Professor: Fantasy games can enhance academics | Principal: Turn misbehavior into positive lessons
October 22, 2018
ASCD SmartBrief
News for the Education Profession
Teaching and Learning
Report: Many students lack access to math
Report: Many students lack access to math
About 1.4 million public high-school students across the US do not have access to crucial classes such as algebra I or higher-level math classes, according to a report from the Foundation for Excellence in Education. The report warns that this lack of access means that many students are unprepared for college-level classes.
Florida Phoenix (Tallahassee) (10/19) 
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Professor: Fantasy games can enhance academics
Professor: Fantasy games can enhance academics
Fantasy role-playing games such as "Dungeons & Dragons" can help improve students' academic performances as well as social and emotional skills, according to research by professor David Simkins of the Rochester Institute of Technology. The research shows that role-playing games can increase learning and intellectual curiosity in subjects from math and science to critical reading and history, Simkins said.
KQED-TV/FM (San Francisco) (10/18) 
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Principal: Turn misbehavior into positive lessons
Misbehavior in the classroom is a great opportunity to teach students the value of respect, cooperation and self-control, writes school principal Rita Platt. In this blog post, she outlines 10 ways teachers can turn classroom disruptions into positive learning experiences, including by modeling good behavior and helping students correct their own behavior.
MiddleWeb (10/21) 
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Do calculators enhance or hamper math classes?
Do calculators enhance or hamper math classes?
Using graphing calculators in calculus classes deprives students of the ability to think through formulas and problems, says Johns Hopkins University math professor Stephen Wilson. In this commentary, education columnist Jay Mathews presents counterarguments from other experts about calculators and about other web-based tools.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/21) 
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Other News
NEW! Responsive Reader’s Workshop Resources
Make your Reader's Workshops more effective and easier to implement! Innovative English or Spanish resources for Grades K-5 help you observe reading behaviors, provide differentiated instruction, and guide students' progress. Responsive Teacher Toolkit supports the creation of a collaborative community of learners. FREE Sampler.
Transformational Leadership
How faculty, staff can affect school culture
As he transitions from teacher to administrator, Sean Cassel writes that the most valuable lesson he has learned has been to help empower staff and faculty to create a positive environment for students. In this commentary, he writes that "the dedication of the support staff is what makes teaching and learning possible."
Edutopia online (10/19) 
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9 ways to set clear expectations for student learning
When teachers are clear in their expectations and instruction, students learn more. The Teacher Clarity Playbook provides 9 modules with templates and tools for teachers to design effective goals for the school year. Download Module 1 to identify what concepts and skills students need to succeed.
Technology in the Classroom
Virtual field trips hold many lessons
Virtual field trips hold many lessons
(David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)
Students in one California elementary-school class have gone on 32 virtual field trips this year, visiting landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. The interactive assignments are cross-curricular and include lessons such as calculating the heights of giant sequoia trees and Big Ben.
The Sun (San Bernardino, Calif.) (10/17) 
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Other News
Predictive Data That's Teacher Friendly
Schools can be confident students are on the right track with Istation's computer-adaptive intervention and instruction. Easy-to-use reports cover research-based skills proven to predict student success in reading, math, and Spanish literacy. READ MORE
Most Read by Administrators
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Policy Watch
Feds scrutinize Texas special education
The US Department of Education has partially approved a proposal by Texas education officials to overhaul its special-education system, but said the state must do much more to improve conditions for students. Federal officials say they will review changes and schedule in-person visits early next year to ensure compliance.
The Texas Tribune (10/19) 
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Learn how to inspire your preschool and elementary students to experience the joys and rewards of Choral Counting and Counting Collections. Choral Counting & Counting Collections paints a vision for how deeply and creatively children can engage with ideas of number and operations and mathematical sense-making through counting. Preview the book and order now!
Faculty Lounge
Elementary school celebrates National Farm to School Month
In celebration of National Farm to School Month, Happy Hollow Elementary School students in Fayetteville, Ark., enjoyed a seasonal lunch made almost entirely from local and regional foods. Ally Mrachek, director of Child Nutrition for Fayetteville Public Schools, said exposing children to locally grown food helps them to learn the value of healthy, colorful food that is good for their bodies.
KNWA-TV/KFTA-TV (Fayetteville, Ark.) (10/19) 
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New from ASCD
How Prodigy Helped More Texas Students Succeed
Like educators in schools across the United States, math teachers in the Texas school system are under pressure to help students achieve positive scores on statewide assessments. While every school wants to accelerate student math proficiency, administrators at five Texas school districts faced unique obstacles.
5 steps to individualize writing instruction
Although it may seem like good practice to teach all students the same writing skills simultaneously, young writers are at different levels of mastery. How can teachers reach out to students who continue to struggle with writing? Instruction tailored to individual needs teaches students the voice, story plot and grammar skills they haven't yet mastered.
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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself -- and you are the easiest person to fool.
Richard Feynman,
theoretical physicist
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