September 13, 2021
SmartBrief on Special Education
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Curriculum & Instruction
What remote learning can teach us about classrooms
(Ian Waldie/Getty Images)
Young students reflecting on the positive aspects of remote learning noted that they felt less pressure about their academic performance and enjoyed being able to move around, writes learning sciences doctoral student Mari Altshuler. This feedback can help teachers improve the classroom environment as well by making changes that support learning by serving student needs, Altshuler says.
Full Story: The Conversation (9/7) 
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Survey: Students benefit from pandemic flexibility
(Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Amid the negative effects and loss associated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are a couple of unexpected upsides for students -- school flexibility and reinforced familial relationships -- write Laura Clary and Tamar Mendelson, faculty in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health. Almost half of the 150 ninth- to 12th-graders surveyed said the pandemic had either positively affected their lives or their lives remained the same.
Full Story: Education Week (9/10) 
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Set Data-Driven Goals to Move Learning Forward
Goal setting is a critical part of an effective IEP. Walk through steps for applying assessment data to set rigorous yet realistic goals that guide personalized instruction and supports and help students reach their full potential this school year. Read the eBook.
Educational Leadership
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs is said to have slashed priorities for the company from 10 to just the top three, a strategy that school leaders might consider, writes Jenn David-Lang, founder of The Main Idea and School Leader Masterminds. In this article, David-Lang shares five questions to help school leaders narrow their focus in the coming year.
Full Story: Edutopia (9/10) 
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Hot Topics
Technology Trends
Teacher makes room in class for digital storytelling
(Allison Shelley/Deeper Learning)
A trial run in 2020-21 at digital storytelling has made it a staple in the class of Kimberly Hellerich, a high-school English teacher. In this article, Hellerich writes about the experience of her 11th-graders, shares a guide to digital storytelling and demonstrates how it can help students examine "different interpretations of an art form" and tell their own stories.
Full Story: Edutopia (9/8) 
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Policy News
Some parents and teachers in Washington, D.C., are advocating for students to eat lunch outdoors to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. Some of the schools have announced plans for students to eat in the classroom and others want to provide outdoor space in tents, some of which are on back order.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (9/12) 
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Eye on Exceptionalities
Optometrist Robin Rinearson was inspired to open Jake's, a Falls Church, Va., ice cream shop that is staffed by adults with disabilities, after her nephew was laid off during the pandemic. The store's employees make the ice cream in addition to serving it, and everyone participates, says Rinearson.
Full Story: WRC-TV (Washington, D.C.) (9/7) 
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