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Should STEM become STEAM?
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics education has been a major component to 21st century learning in K-12, but some say the acronym needs to be more inclusive. Several groups created by educators have emerged to support the push for the addition of an "A" to STEM, for STEAM, to represent the disciplines of art. More


STEM education impacting the achievement gap and economy
IVN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
STEM education has been a growing movement in education. It's part of the public debate regarding school curriculum and reform. The related fields are also a growing economic force, as STEM job opportunities continue to increase and result in higher salaries. STEM education may be the key to closing achievement gaps for low-income students. A state-by-state analysis of future STEM demands done by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce revealed many things. More

Common Core Technological Standards: They are the tail, not the dog
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While it would be an overstatement to say that the two main groups charged with developing tests implementing the Common Core curriculum are, from a technological perspective, in the Dark Ages, it is not an overstatement to say that, again, from a technological perspective, those two consortia have not entered the Age of Enlightenment, today called the Age of Mobilism. More

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Teaching social media in schools: What should the curriculum focus on?
Voxxi    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the use of social media becomes more of an everyday activity and less of a novelty, teachers and parents are not only harnessing the potential learning benefits of the medium, but are wondering just what students should be taught when it comes to mass, online social interactions. For many adults, social networking is a key to career success, but for children and young adults, social media is more about connecting with friends. The more technology advances, the younger the age of the average social media user becomes. More

Digital reading on the rise for children
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Digital reading is rising fast among children ages 6 to 17, but this is not necessarily translating into a greater desire to read, according to a report released by Scholastic Inc. Every other year since 2006, Scholastic, a publisher and distributor of children's books, has surveyed American families about their attitudes toward reading and literacy. More

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Word variety helps early learners
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Exposure to word variation for early readers may boost their abilities, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Iowa to be published in January. To test out the hypothesis, the researchers used Access Code, an online application from Foundations in Learning. After a few days of phonics instruction through Access Code, including spelling and matching letters, all of the students were tested to see if they could read words they'd never seen before, read made-up words, and apply their new skills to work they hadn't done before. More

Can Google help students master the art of online search?
EdTech Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's been ample discussion in K–12 classrooms recently about the quality, or lack thereof, of students' online research skills. Such concerns came to a head late last year when a national survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project indicated that 60 percent of teachers believe digital technologies make it hard for students to distinguish between credible and noncredible sources online. More


School breakfasts now served as widely as lunches
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Maybe the message about the most important meal of the day has finally sunk in: In many school districts, more than 90 percent of schools that serve lunch through the National School Lunch Program now serve breakfast at school, too, new data from the Food Research and Action Center show. More

Report: International tests severely misrank US students
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Prominent international tests skew comparisons of test scores, and U.S. student performance actually ranks much higher than believed, according to a new report released by the Economic Policy Institute. The truth, says the report, is that — when comparing apples to apples in weighing U.S. student performance against that of other industrialized countries — U.S. students don't rank 25th in math, but 10th; and in reading, the country is not 14th, but 4th. More

Teaching kids to give themselves a timeout
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Cara Bernal read a story to her kindergarten class on a recent winter day, she ignored a crying girl, another one wandering around the room and a boy laying his head down on his desk. Instead, she called attention to the one student who was on task, as she has been trained to do by psychologists. "Randy is looking at the story," said Bernal, a longtime teacher at the League School in Brooklyn. More

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Gallup: Student engagement drops with each grade
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With every year that passes between fifth and 12th grade, the number of students who are engaged in school declines steadily, according to the recently released Gallup Student Poll. A majority of elementary school students — almost 8 in 10 — qualify as engaged, the poll found. By middle school, however, that number drops to 6 in 10 students. And when students enter high school, it drops to 4 in 10. More

Teaching students the ABCs of resilience
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From natural disasters to economic meltdowns, from wars abroad to tragic shootings close to home, this year brought to light the increasing complexity of the world in which we raise kids. Our natural instinct as teachers, parents and caretakers is to protect children from hardship, yet we know walking between the raindrops of adversity is not possible. Instead of sidestepping challenge, we can teach kids to cope positively, to learn and grow from adversity. We can arm our youth with skills of resilience, and these lessons can begin in the classroom. More


Study: For girls, teachers' gender matters
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Female elementary school teachers' comfort with mathematics has an outsize effect on the girls they teach, according to new research. Girls taught by a female teacher got a learning boost if that teacher had a strong math background, but had consistently lower math performance by the end of the school year if she didn't, according to a study presented at the American Economic Association's annual conference. More

Some children lose autism diagnosis: Small group with confirmed autism now on par with mainstream peers
National Institute of Mental Health via Science Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some children who are accurately diagnosed in early childhood with autism lose the symptoms and the diagnosis as they grow older, a study supported by the National Institutes of Health has confirmed. The research team made the finding by carefully documenting a prior diagnosis of autism in a small group of school-age children and young adults with no current symptoms of the disorder. More

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Growing up bilingual: Dual language upbringing reflected in young children's vocabulary
Concordia University via Medical Xpress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Language mixing — using elements from two languages in the same sentence — is frequent among bilingual parents and could pose a challenge for vocabulary acquisition by 1- and 2-year-old children, according to a new study by Concordia University psychology professor Krista Byers-Heinlein. Those results are likely temporary, however, and are often counterbalanced by cognitive advantages afforded to children raised in a bilingual environment. More

Obama's plan to make our schools safer Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama introduced a new plan to keeps guns out of the wrong hands, make schools safer and increase access to mental health services. "While reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge," Obama said during the announcement. "Protecting our children from harm shouldn’t be a divisive one," he said. More


Schools find many kindergartners aren't prepared
The Associated Press via Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At least a third of Indiana's kindergartners weren't prepared for lessons in reading, writing and counting on their first day of school this year, and at some local schools that number was more than half of each class. Indiana's kindergarten standards have changed during the past two years, and students are expected to be able to start reading by the end of their first semester. For that to be possible, students need to be able to recite the alphabet, know the difference between lower- and uppercase letters and count to 20 or 30, local principals said. More

Patrick: Massachusetts must expand education access
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick recently unveiled a school investment plan he says will expand access to education for students from birth through high school. Patrick says the plan, which totals $550 million in its first year and increases to nearly $1 billion annually over the next four years, will help ensure "a high-knowledge, well-skilled workforce." More

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US Federal Safe Routes to School program reduces child injuries by more than 40 percent in New York City
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health via Science Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The national Safe Routes to School program was funded by Congress in 2005 in an effort to create safe environments for American children to walk or bike to school. Has the program been effective? In New York City, most definitely, according to a new study conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health that evaluated the program here. Researchers found that the annual rate of injury to school-age pedestrians ages 5-19 fell 44 percent during the peak times for walking to school, in neighborhoods where the program was implemented. Significantly, the injury rate did not drop in parts of the city where the SRTS safety program was not in place. More

DC principals, Georgetown launch leadership program
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A group of 25 principals of D.C. public schools began a master's-degree program at Georgetown University, part of an effort to improve the quality of leadership in the city's schools. D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson — who earned an undergraduate degree at Georgetown and later a leadership degree there in 2007 — helped launch the program after she determined that principal training programs were lacking what she believed are the essentials needed to elevate the school system. More

NAESP and NASSP applaud multifaceted approach to curtail gun violence
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NASSP and NAESP applaud President Barack Obama for his proposals to reduce gun violence, and pledge support to ongoing efforts to make those proposals a reality. The president's proposals reflect many of the recommendations that the organizations submitted last week to Vice President Joe Biden. The recognition of the importance of open lines of communication among schools, community health agencies and law-enforcement officials is commendable. More

Sign up for webinar on brain-based classroom strategies
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Learn why incorporating brain-based strategies into elementary classrooms is so urgently important. In "Brain-Based Strategies for Today's Schools," on Jan. 24, two experts will share how schools can incorporate brain-based principles, and the difference it can make to teaching and learning. This webinar will provide concrete, practical strategies for principals and teachers to use in their classrooms. More

Call for contributors
MultiBriefs    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an effort to enhance the overall content of Before the Bell, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As an educator, your knowledge lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Colby Horton to discuss logistics and payment. More


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