SUBJECT: Professional Development

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  • Beyond ‘Fake or Real’: 5 Quick Lessons in Media Literacy

    Posted January 23, 2017 in Featured Stories

    Differentiating between real and fake news is a good first step in arming students to question the media they encounter. The next step in our world of democratized but not always fact-checked digital media is to ensure they have the critical-thinking skills to evaluate what they’re seeing online. Helping students become media literate Media Smarts,…

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  • Spot the Fake: Teaching Students to be News Detectives

    Posted January 16, 2017 in Featured Stories

    Recent studies show that students and adults alike have little trouble finding news, but they have a much harder time discerning whether it is true. Teaching students how to research used to be limited to introducing them to library sources, but Google and other search engines have changed the game. The democratization of knowledge is…

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  • Kids Need to Be Comfortable Talking About Web Hazards, Parenting Coach Says

    Posted January 9, 2017 in Featured Stories

    Tablets, smartphones and personal computers give elementary school children access to information in ways that were unimaginable to their parents and teachers. Deadly and dangerous challenges can’t be ignored. Bullying. Sexting. Adults posing as kids to abduct children. Brandi Davis, a certified child and family coach, drives this point home repeatedly in conversations with moms, dads…

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  • Nature’s Way: School Looks to Evolution as a Model for Early Learning

    Posted December 27, 2016 in Featured Stories

    A think tank called Evolution Institute is developing a tuition-free school for 3- to 8-year-olds in Florida to save them from academic failure and help them overcome poverty. True to its name, the institute believes principles of evolution offer a blueprint for educating young people. Its new early learning center in East Tampa starts from…

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  • Give the Kids a Break: Why Reducing Recess Time Doesn’t Work

    Posted December 19, 2016 in Featured Stories

    A fidgety classroom makes for tough teaching. Historically, students ran off their excess energy during recess, but over the past 20 years, increasing academic demands have squeezed schools’ ability to provide significant recess time. It’s tempting to think we have to either cut recess to increase academic time or keep recess and risk students not…

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  • New Year, New Habits: 5 Tips for Great Teaching in 2017

    Posted December 13, 2016 in Featured Stories

    Exhausted teachers and punchy students: a perfect recipe for winter break. While everyone’s looking forward to a few weeks’ respite from teaching, grading and classroom crowd control, now is a good time to set goals for 2017. Here are five tips for teachers to remember in the new year: Plan a January reboot While the…

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  • Savvy Tips for Helping Children Prepare for Crises and Respond to Disasters

    Posted December 12, 2016 in Featured Stories

    Each workday in the U.S., 69 million children become separated from their families to attend school or receive child care. If disaster strikes, schools, families and anybody else responsible for children’s welfare need proper plans to keep young people safe. One organization devoted to making that happen is Save the Children, which has been protecting…

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  • Looking Back, Looking Forward: Promoting Student Growth via Reflection

    Posted December 5, 2016 in Teaching Strategies

    A lot of teachers like to encourage reflection among their students. After all, taking the time to reflect on experiences is integral to the learning process. Ideally, reflection lets students consider current ideas and explore how their knowledge is evolving. The key to effective reflection is to make sure you’re considering why your students are…

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  • ‘When Am I Going to Use This?’: Building Cross-Curricular Lesson Plans

    Posted November 28, 2016 in Teaching Strategies

    On our way to school today, my daughter joined a time-honored tradition of student pushback, uttering, “But when am I going to use this?” I understand her frustration. As an educator, I’m in a unique position to see evidence of the skills I’m teaching students in a variety of content areas. For some students, though,…

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  • Teacher’s Blog Helps Parents Get Their Children Ready for Kindergarten

    Posted November 8, 2016 in Tips for Educators

    Beth Rosenbleeth started a blog called Days With Grey to incorporate many of the skills she learned in her days as an early childhood educator. Launched in April 2016, the blog merges motherhood — Grey is her preschool-age son — with education, offering small ideas to prepare children for kindergarten. “Days with Grey focuses on…

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  • Presentation Software: Options Beyond PowerPoint

    Posted October 31, 2016 in Educational Technology

    While PowerPoint remains an industry standard for creating effective and engaging presentations, several new and innovative options enable students and teachers alike to create presentations for in-person and virtual audiences. Presentation options used to be much more limited. Either we needed certain software or a specific computer type, or the cost was prohibitive. That’s all…

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  • This Teacher Wanted Better PreK Options, So She Created Her Own School

    Posted October 25, 2016 in Featured Stories

    Danielle Lindner was a full-time working mom with two children who needed care during the day. She had little trouble finding safe, nurturing places, but she wasn’t finding programs that shared her educational priorities for her children. An author of several children’s books and a veteran preschool/elementary school teacher, Lindner wanted a preK program that…

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  • How Mindfulness in K-12 Classrooms Eases Stress, Produces Better Decisions

    Posted October 24, 2016 in Featured Stories

    Ten or 20 years ago, mindfulness seemed like the forte of yogis, hippies and the like. But bit by bit, the practice of mindfulness (and meditation and yoga) has found its way into the mainstream. Today, Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, the U.S. military and educational institutions are integrating mindfulness practice into their company ethos and…

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  • Skip the Scantron: Why Evidence-Centered Design is a Better Testing Option

    Posted October 17, 2016 in Featured Stories

    In an era of increased standardized testing and a focus on standards and competencies, teachers must use the best methods for measuring student learning. The rote memorization and multiple-choice tests of years past are increasingly incapable of assessing the complex tasks modern students perform. These old testing strategies are too narrow for the high-level benchmarks…

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  • Homework Helps High School Students Most — But it Must Be Purposeful

    Posted October 6, 2016 in Featured Stories

    Researchers make a strong case for the value of homework for high school students. While debates still rage over the effectiveness of homework in lower grades, there’s little question that well-designed homework boosts the achievement of high school students. During the high school years, many students participate in extracurricular activities or take on part-time jobs…

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  • Homework in Middle School: Building a Foundation for Study Skills

    Posted October 5, 2016 in Featured Stories

    In the middle school years, students begin to experience the benefits of homework, though it is difficult to determine how much good it does, particularly at a given age. And there is some debate on how much homework students need to receive that benefit. Duke University’s Harris Cooper, one of the leading researchers on homework,…

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  • Elementary Students and Homework: How Much Is Too Much?

    Posted October 4, 2016 in Featured Stories

    The debate over homework flared anew in the fall 2016 school year as a handful of elementary school teachers implemented drastically reduced homework policies that went viral as parents rose to applaud or condemned them. The policies that captured so much attention state that teachers would give students either no homework in the evenings, or…

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  • STEM for All: Working Together to Improve Access for Women and Minorities

    Posted October 3, 2016 in Featured Stories

    President Barack Obama’s Educate to Innovate program prioritizes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). With a sharp focus on 21st-century skill sets, the program aims to expand STEM access to all students. Though many business leaders agree that workplace diversity is crucial to innovation, recent data shows that  STEM industries have a long way to…

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  • ‘Peace Building’: California Non-profit Teaches Teens to Avoid Violence

    Posted September 27, 2016 in Featured Stories

    AHA! helps teens learn “peace-building” techniques to help end violence in schools. Founded in 1999 shortly after the Columbine school tragedy, AHA! (short for Attitude, Harmony and Achievement) is a volunteer-driven non-profit that provides compassion training to teenagers in Santa Barbara, California. “Research is conclusive that compassion training and social emotional learning programs assist children…

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  • Don’t Panic: 5 Tips for First-Year Teachers

    Posted September 26, 2016 in Featured Stories

    For students, the excitement and anxiety of a new school year soon fades away. But for new teachers, these emotions can last deep into the year. When you’re just starting out, teaching includes a significant amount of on-the-job training. These tips will help ensure you get the best out of your first year while avoiding…

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