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October 2017 Monthly Round-Up for Educators

By The Room 241 Team October 31, 2017

It’s hard to keep up with the latest headlines, insights, and ideas when you already have a lot going on—especially in the height of fall, when teachers are in the thick of the school year. So we compiled a list of a few recent stories that we think educators should read. Whether it’s your free period, during your morning coffee, or right before bed, take a quick look at these interesting articles.

Which classroom setting suits you? (The New York Times)

The New York Times did a 360-degree video on three different classroom settings in third grade math classes. It explored and explained different teaching methods at each school—combining different grades in one classroom, eliminating electronics, and using art—to show the different classroom dynamics. What classroom uses the best methods? Take a look to see the different models.

DeVos offers buyouts to shrink Education Department workforce (Washington Post)

The U.S. Department of Education, led by Secretary Betsy DeVos, is offering buyouts to staff in the Office of Federal Student Aid—the largest division in the Department with about 1,400 employees. The buyouts are being offered to shrink the division, and follows President Donald Trump’s executive order from March to reorganize agencies in the federal government.

Why this educator teaches kids to grow food for their schools (HuffPost Education)

Rachel Jones is known as Farmer Jones in her Livingston, Montana school district. She’s the director of the Livingston Farm to School program, which gives students hands-on experience growing food for school meals—an effort to help the district’s low-income students. More than half of the students living in the district qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. “Kids growing food for kids, kids gaining skills and habits that will help make them healthy adults, and local foods for local kids,” Jones told HuffPost Education.

Trump declares opioid abuse a public health emergency. It’s a crisis for schools, too (Education Week)

Last week, President Trump declared opioid abuse a public health emergency—more than 2 million Americans had an opioid addiction in 2016. And it’s creating challenges for schools. That includes supporting children of addicted parents who’ve been placed in foster care, stocking overdose medications in school nurses offices, and redesigning drug prevention programs to address prescription and synthetic drugs. Learn more about the challenges schools face and what they’re doing.

Study: Teacher leadership can help raise student achievement (Education Dive)

A new report supported by the Carnegie Foundation finds student achievement is at least 10 percent higher in math and English language arts in schools where teachers are included in decision making. Instructional leadership related to higher student achievement includes a shared vision for the school, an effective school improvement team, and holding teachers to high teaching standards.

Why your school should be implementing trauma-informed practices (Education World)

From bullying and emotional abuse to the death of a parent, trauma diminishes student performance and behavior. Experts say professional development is a good start to combat it, as schools with trauma-informed policies find they’re getting positive results. Along with understanding trauma better, teachers should be able to identify and establish a “safe environment” for students. Read more about what different schools are implementing to address students exposed to traumatic events.

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