A Michigan school provides Taekwondo lessons to all fourth- and fifth-graders to help them learn emotional control and discipline. Last year, instructor Al Smith was hired to work with students having disciplinary issues, and the program expanded to include all students this year.
Karen McDonald, a middle-school English-language arts teacher, says anonymous peer-editing in the classroom has helped engage students in the writing and editing process. In this article, McDonald shares how the approach works and how she has worked with students to help them craft constructive feedback of the work of peers without knowing who wrote the papers.
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Testing may lead to "stress bias," in which students who have spikes of the stress hormone cortisol get lower test scores, according to a study of 93 elementary- and middle-school students from three New Orleans charter schools. Researchers found that students living in areas with more crime and poverty are more affected by stress, and may be less able "to reveal the things they likely know," says Pamela Cantor, a psychiatrist and founder of an organization that works with children affected by trauma.
Youth football athletes ages 5 to 14 who had depression were five times more likely to have football-related concussions, compared with those who didn't have depression, researchers reported in The Journal of Pediatrics. The higher risk of concussions among those with depression may be because of their increased odds of recognizing concussion symptoms and displaying risky behaviors, lead researcher Dr. Sara Chrisman said.
Teacher Brian Pett started an after-school tabletop board game club at an Illinois junior high school to help teach students strategy and communication and to reduce their leisure screen time. The club plays newer-style games, often designed in Europe, that have a greater focus on strategy and negotiation among players.
Johns Hopkins University researchers have found little improvement on student achievement following a $147 million one-to-one laptop program rolled out four years ago in Baltimore County Public Schools. The program was intended to provide technology equity to students, but academic gains are not yet noticeable, researchers said.
A survey shows a disconnect among educators' perceptions of participation in decision-making, with 96% of principals saying teachers are involved, but only 58% of teachers reporting that they feel that way. Researchers say principals need to ensure opportunities for broader teacher involvement.
A librarian introduces Mary Tarashuk's fourth-graders to "The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate." Tarashuk builds on the true story, helping students absorb its cross-cultural message through social studies and ELA lessons. Ultimately, she applies this story of re-dedication to her own teaching. Read more.
Review: A guide to assessing your mastery of teaching
Teacher Kathleen Palmieri strongly recommends the second edition of Robyn Jackson's "Never Work Harder Than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching," noting the book's updated information, new tools and fresh topics drawn from Jackson's own decade of learning. A master-teacher self-assessment helps readers focus on their own professional growth. Read on.
Review: Reaching smart kids who do poorly on purpose
In "Doing Poorly on Purpose: Strategies to Reverse Underachievement and Respect Student Dignity," gifted education specialist Dr. James Delisle explores how to help smart students who do poorly in school. Many of the ideas can be used with any student, writes educator Elizabeth OBrien. Strategies include reaching underachievers and kids described as "selective customers" using compacted curriculum and assignments outside of school. Read on.