Helping students learn to plan projects with the end goal in mind | Ill. school trades band for more math instruction | Ind. teachers chosen for ride of a lifetime in NASA's reduced-gravity plane
Web Version
July 12, 2013
ASCD SmartBrief
News for the Education Profession

Learning and Teaching
More teachers use blended learning to engage students
Schools nationwide are increasingly adopting blended learning, with a recent report estimating that about two-thirds of districts had some form of blended learning in place in 2012. Supporters say blended learning -- in which students learn through a combination of online and traditional methods -- is a potential solution for engaging students, allowing them to work at their own pace and meeting students' individual learning needs. The way in which the teaching method is implemented varies, with the primary types being "rotational, flex, self-blend and enriched virtual." (7/8)
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Helping students learn to plan projects with the end goal in mind
California educator Dave Orphal writes in this blog post about how he taught his students to work backward with the end goal of their project in mind when he had them develop proposals to be presented to the School Site Council on ways to reform the school. He writes that he then launched into the lectures and assignments to guide them in producing this work and offers links to view their proposals online. Center for Teaching Quality/After the Bell blog (7/11)
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Other News
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School Leadership
Ind. teachers chosen for ride of a lifetime in NASA's reduced-gravity plane
A group of teachers in Indiana is one of seven teams nationwide chosen to conduct experiments on a reduced-gravity training airplane, known as the Vomit Comet, through NASA's Teaching From Space program. The program allows students to develop experiments to be tested in the reduced-gravity environment and then has teachers perform the experiments on the plane. One group of students, who already tested their experiment in a normal gravity environment, will see the effects of weightlessness on a tornado vortex formation they created in school. Evansville Courier & Press (Ind.) (free registration) (7/11)
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Other News
Technology in the Classroom
How to use iPads to innovate in the classroom
IPads have the ability to support great teaching, just as crutches can support walking, according to Beth Holland, of EdTechTeacher. In this blog post, she writes that teachers must ditch the crutches and form new ideas with the help of the iPads. Holland shares several innovative ideas from educators, including using iPads to create a student-driven math class and to facilitate cross-grade collaboration. Holland's blog (7/11)
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Managing Budgets
State aid to help Chicago spare schools from budget cuts
Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is releasing $36 million in state aid to schools ahead of its October schedule to help spare schools from significant cuts to programs and services. She has told principals that they can expect to receive the money -- to be distributed based on school poverty levels -- by July 15. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (7/10)
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Policy Watch
Some N.C. educators see gap in end-of-the-year testing, instruction
North Carolina is reconsidering a plan to use new end-of-grade school tests, in subjects such as geometry, science and history, to help evaluate teachers in the wake of complaints from educators that the exam questions are not aligned with classroom instruction. At issue, officials say, could be confusion about the Common Core State Standards. Changing the exams, however, will be difficult because the tests -- and their use in evaluating teachers -- are tied to the state's waiver from No Child Left Behind and its $400 million in Race to the Top funding. The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) (7/10)
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Ohio begins transition to letter-grading system for schools
As Ohio prepares to release report cards for schools this summer that assign letter grades -- A through F -- based on schools' performance, some are asking whether the assessments will rely too heavily on standardized test scores. Supporters say the A-to-F report cards will be easier for parents and the public to understand. The new letter-grading system will be phased in over three years, with as many as nine grades appearing on report cards issued starting in August. The Cincinnati Enquirer (tiered subscription model) (7/11)
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Faculty Lounge
Texas teacher gains fame after 40 years of school portraits in same shirt, vest
The story of Dale Irby recently went viral when the retired Richardson, Texas, educator became known as the teacher who wore the same shirt and sweater vest in 40 years of school portraits. Irby said in this video that the streak was unplanned but that students enjoyed picture day each year because they got to see the latest photo. The Dallas Morning News (free content) (7/5), The Dallas Morning News (free content)/Photography blog (7/2)
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The Buzz
In her DVD Talk to Me English teacher Cris Tovani invites your staff into her classroom to observe 14 individual and 5 group conferences where she differentiates instruction by listening to, learning about, and connecting with her students. Click here now to view two conferences from the DVD!
6 questions for chief technology officer Gregory Smith
"My background in technology and my passion for education is allowing me to close the gap between them and then eliminate the lag time," said ASCD's newly appointed chief technology officer Gregory Smith. As ASCD's first-ever CTO, he will lead and direct the association's technology planning and development. In a recent Inservice post, ASCD blogger Tina Byland sat down with Gregory to discuss how his new role fits with ASCD's commitment to delivering high-quality professional development to educators. Read on.
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Classroom Management: Building Effective Relationships, 2nd Edition
Effective classroom managers are made, not born, and the right kind of support can get you there. In this second edition ASCD PD Online course, you'll learn how to bring out the best in your students and manage your classroom with ease. This self-paced course will enable you to lay the foundation for your own classroom management plan and uncover strategies that will support your specific approach. Browse all PD Online courses on classroom management.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Product Development Manager - ScienceETA hand2mindVernon Hills, IL
K-12 School Teachers Needed for International SchoolsThe International EducatorMultiple Locations, International
Lower Elementary Dean at Legacy Charter AcademyNational Heritage AcademiesDetroit, MI
Welcoming Schools: School Climate Consultants in Houston and the Twin CitiesHuman RIghts Campaign FoundationMultiple Locations, United States
Common Core State Standards AdministratorDepartment of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)Alexandria, VA
Interim Middle School PrincipalBronx Preparatory Charter SchoolBronx, NY
Middle School and High School TeachersBronx Preparatory Charter SchoolBronx, NY
Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales ManagerASCDMultiple Locations, United States
West Regional Sales ManagerASCDSouthern California or Greater Los Angeles, CA
Associate Director of Academic Technology Phillips Academy Andover, MA
District Liaison, Illinois Center for School Improvement (7456)American Institutes for Research Chicago, IL
Senior Director of Curriculum and InstructionNational Heritage AcademiesGrand Rapids, MI
Field Technical Solutions EngineerNWEAPortland, OR
Occupational Therapist Magen David YeshivahBrooklyn, NY
Full time AssistantsMagen David YeshivahBrooklyn, NY
General Studies Teacher for Grade 3Magen David YeshivahBrooklyn, NY
Associate Teachers for Grades 1-5Magen David YeshivahBrooklyn, NY
Math TeacherMagen David YeshivahBrooklyn, NY
School LibrarianMagen David YeshivahBrooklyn, NY
US History TeacherMagen David YeshivahBrooklyn, NY
Supervisory Curriculum AdministratorDepartment of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)Alexandria, VA
Principal - MemphisGreen Dot Public SchoolsMemphis, TN
Click here to view more job listings.
If you fell down yesterday, stand up today."
-- H.G. Wells,
British author
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