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Teachers Struggle with Shifts in Writing Instruction
Teachers Struggle with Shifts in Writing Instruction
In the 2007 movie "Freedom Writers," Hilary Swank stands in front of a classroom of troubled high schoolers. They need to write down their stories, she tells them. Otherwise, when they die, "no one is going to remember you. Because all you left behind ...
Why Emotions Are Integral to Learning
Why Emotions Are Integral to Learning
Teachers intuitively know that neither their nor their students' learning is steady and constant, the same day in and day out and moment to moment, consistent from topic to topic. Rather, we all have good and bad days; moments of excitement, engagement...
Education Department Continues to Prod States to Rethink Testing
Education Department Continues to Prod States to Rethink Testing
The Department of Education is continuing to press states and school districts to rethink their testing regimens, unveiling a set of proposed assessment regulations under the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act. Under the new fede...
5 Ways Parents Can Afford to Raise World-Class Athletes
5 Ways Parents Can Afford to Raise World-Class Athletes
When the Summer Olympics begin in Rio on Aug. 5, you will see 10,000 of the world's best athletes compete, and a much smaller number of them being draped with medals. But who really deserves gold? The families who scrimped and saved to get them there. ...
Giving Education Reform Tools Directly to Parents and Teachers
Giving Education Reform Tools Directly to Parents and Teachers
In a series of recent posts, I've been examining what we reformers (and our friends in philanthropy) might do to spur better outcomes for kids besides obsessing over laws and regulations. I've looked at the promise of building new systems through chart...
Disparities Continue to Plague US Schools, Federal Data Show
Disparities Continue to Plague US Schools, Federal Data Show
New federal data show a continuing deep gulf between the educational experiences of traditionally disadvantaged student groups and their peers on a broad range of indicators, findings that follow years of efforts by government and advocacy groups to le...
Summer Sums: Keep Math Skills Strong Over the Break
Summer Sums: Keep Math Skills Strong Over the Break
Math is everywhere — some might even say it's inescapable. And we're not just talking about those ubiquitous addition and subtraction worksheets. Math is at the grocery store, in your cupcake recipe and powering those baseball stats. Summer is a ...
4 Ways to Make Teacher Evaluations More Meaningful
4 Ways to Make Teacher Evaluations More Meaningful
Teacher evaluation can be a lightning rod issue that elicits strong opinions, fierce debate and high-profile media coverage. But these conversations tend to overshadow the primary purpose of evaluation: to act as a single — albeit important ̵...
How Schools Fuel Female STEM Participation
How Schools Fuel Female STEM Participation
Adding project-based learning and mentoring opportunities to STEM programs may better ensure that female students do not get left behind. In the United States, women hold fewer than 25 percent of jobs in STEM fields, despite accounting for 47 percent o...
9 Things the World Must Understand about Gifted Children
9 Things the World Must Understand about Gifted Children
Gifted children are often misunderstood by society and surprisingly, misunderstood even in our educational systems. Many of the common characteristics, behaviors and traits exhibited by gifted children have been misdiagnosed and treated as mental illne...
Survey: Students Want Engaging Science Instruction
Survey: Students Want Engaging Science Instruction
A large majority of teenage students said they are interested in science, but most instructional approaches fail to bring the subject matter to life in an engaging way, according to a new survey. Surveyed students said they want additional opportunitie...
How Can Schools Prioritize for the Best Ways Kids Learn?
How Can Schools Prioritize for the Best Ways Kids Learn?
The education world is full of incremental change — the slow process of individuals learning about new strategies and approaches, trying them out, improving on their skills and hopefully sharing their learning with colleagues to continue growth. ...
How High-Interest Examples of Math Prime Student Curiosity
How High-Interest Examples of Math Prime Student Curiosity
Getting students excited and authentically curious about a math task takes more than presenting a word problem. Some teachers are finding that a short, high-interest video or other piece of media that raises questions in kids' minds is the best way to ...
14 Surprising Facts About Educators' Social Media Use
14 Surprising Facts About Educators' Social Media Use
Social media has fast become an educator's dream, with almost immediate responses to questions about teaching strategies, resources, and professional development opportunities.
Denver Takes Steps to Get More Students of Color into Magnet Programs for the Highly Gifted
Denver Takes Steps to Get More Students of Color into Magnet Programs for the Highly Gifted
In years past, winning a spot in one of Denver Public Schools' eight elementary magnet programs for highly gifted and talented students — especially the sought-after Polaris at Ebert Elementary — required parents to be savvy and informed. T...
US Graduation Rate Rises, but Critical Gaps Remain
US Graduation Rate Rises, but Critical Gaps Remain
Graduation rates are on the rise again. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education, the on-time graduation rate for the nation's public high schools has reached another all-time high. Eighty-two percent of the class of 2014...
Bringing Brain Science to Early Childhood
Bringing Brain Science to Early Childhood
A group of scholars at Harvard University is spearheading a campaign to make sure the early-childhood programs policymakers put in place to disrupt intergenerational poverty are backed by the latest science. The idea sounds entirely reasonable, but it'...
Why Harvard 'Encourages' Students to Take a Gap Year
Why Harvard 'Encourages' Students to Take a Gap Year
Now that Malia Obama is planning to take a gap year after high school and before starting college at Harvard University in 2017, some questions arise: What exactly do students do while on a gap year? What do colleges think of them? The answers are: The...
3 Hard Truths that Will Save Higher Education
3 Hard Truths that Will Save Higher Education
Computer skills have become essential for nearly 80 percent of middle-skill jobs, but according to a new report, nearly a third of Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 have no work-related computer experience. The report, published by recruitment co...
It's Time to Stop Putting Kids in Separate Gifted Education Programs
It's Time to Stop Putting Kids in Separate Gifted Education Programs
Every winter, thousands of New Yorkers take a standardized test that will determine their future opportunities. Some of them have studied for months, even paid for expensive test prep classes. These aren't high school students taking the SAT — th...
Why Some Gifted 3rd Graders Are Being Held Back from 4th Grade
Why Some Gifted 3rd Graders Are Being Held Back from 4th Grade
Two Palm Beach County families with four third graders among them are poised to join a statewide pushback against the system that threatens to bar their children from fourth grade because they defied Florida’s testing protocols. It's not just tha...
Black Students Nearly 4 Times as Likely to Be Suspended
Black Students Nearly 4 Times as Likely to Be Suspended
African-American students are nearly four times as likely as their white classmates to be suspended from school, new federal data show, a stark reminder that public school is a different place for many minority students than it is for white students. F...
Spotting Giftedness in Her Students Becomes a Lesson in Inclusion for This Teacher
Spotting Giftedness in Her Students Becomes a Lesson in Inclusion for This Teacher
Kimberly Moran writes: When I became a teacher for gifted children in Maine, I had to look up the definition of gifted education. It turns out that, even for insiders, "gifted education" is vaguely understood and interpreted. Many people, including oth...
Are Colleges Preparing Gifted Athletes for Life After Sports?
Are Colleges Preparing Gifted Athletes for Life After Sports?
Ironically, some of the world's best players will never step foot on a professional basketball court or put on an NBA uniform. What then of the many talented players who never make it to the professional level? What future lies ahead of them? Are our c...
Classroom Decorations Should Motivate, Then Educate
Classroom Decorations Should Motivate, Then Educate
Look to your left, then look to your right. If you saw an inspirational sign on each side, you are most likely in a teacher's classroom. Classroom walls that were once filled with equations and historical facts now include more motivational phrases tha...
Laptops in Classrooms Help Students Learn
Laptops in Classrooms Help Students Learn
It turns out more screens might actually be a good thing for kids. A study from Michigan State University found students' learning improved when they were given their own laptop or similar device. The report was a meta-analysis of studies looking at th...
When Having Grit Is a Bad Thing
When Having Grit Is a Bad Thing
Dave Powell writes: Grit is one of those ideas that, as we say, has legs. That's clear enough. But is it good for us? I wrote last time out to share some thoughts from my perspective on the idea that schools ought to teach grit and my point was a prett...
8 Things Twitter Savvy Educators Do To Improve Learning
8 Things Twitter Savvy Educators Do To Improve Learning
These days, it's hard to meet an educator who hasn't heard of Twitter. But how many use it? While some might question if the social media platform can help with professional development, there are others who know just how much potential rests in 140 ch...
3 Ways Innovative Schools Advance Maker Learning for All
3 Ways Innovative Schools Advance Maker Learning for All
Maker learning inspires creativity, confidence and passion for learning in young people. So how do you sustain a maker program and encourage the sorts of innovative action required for this? We identified three major ways how leaders from the League of...
Study: Reducing Teachers' Stress Results in Better Classrooms
Study: Reducing Teachers' Stress Results in Better Classrooms
A new study from the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education program found that teachers who practice stress-reducing techniques are able to adjust to the demands of the career better. Managing a classroom oftentimes relates to emotional exh...
Tablets: Tools for Learning or Distracting Toys?
Tablets: Tools for Learning or Distracting Toys?
Classrooms have come a long way since the days of pencils, paper and textbooks. Now many school districts are trading those tools in for new ones — the latest tablets and laptops, to be exact. So what kind of impact is all this technology having ...
Life Lessons from a Grandfather's Wisdom
Life Lessons from a Grandfather's Wisdom
Thomas P. Hébert writes: During my first year at the University of South Carolina, I often purchased a morning cup of coffee in the university's student union. Early one morning, I spotted a young man dressed in a business suit and bow tie carryin...
What It Takes to Move From 'Passive' to 'Active' Tech Use
What It Takes to Move From 'Passive' to 'Active' Tech Use
Just providing students with access to classroom technology is no longer enough. Increasingly, schools are expected to make sure that teachers and students are using devices, software, apps, and other digital tools in "active" ways. Take, for example, ...
The Importance of Emphasizing Online Safety to Students
The Importance of Emphasizing Online Safety to Students
The Internet and digital technology touch almost every aspect of our daily lives. Our children use technology more and more each day, and at younger ages than ever. According to the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, 70 percent of kids have a mobil...
Can Schools Get the 'Maker' Movement Right?
Can Schools Get the 'Maker' Movement Right?
The maker movement is going mainstream, migrating from museums, garages and informal "faires" into the highly regulated world of K-12 education. For fans of hands-on, student-driven learning, the shift presents an opportunity to breathe fresh life into...
Study: Music Education Aids Cognitive Development
Study: Music Education Aids Cognitive Development
Studying music seems to have helped accelerate the cognitive development, and particularly the auditory- and speech and language-processing abilities, of a group of young children in Los Angeles. That's an early pair of findings from a five-year longit...
Students on the Autism Spectrum Are Often as Smart as their Peers
Students on the Autism Spectrum Are Often as Smart as their Peers
Richard was one of the brightest kids in his high school class. His parents figured college was the next step, but that dream was nearly cut short in his first semester. Miscommunication with a professor resulted in an argument over handing in a paper ...