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Simple changes to homework improved student learning

Simple changes to homework improved student learning | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A new educational study offers evidence that simple and inexpensive changes to existing courses can help students learn more effectively. The study found that making a few changes to homework assignments significantly boosted student learning in an undergraduate engineering course.
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Leading Schools
Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
Curated by Mel Riddile
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Leading Success: Dynamic Solutions for Every School, Each Student

Leading Success: Dynamic Solutions for Every School, Each Student | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Our toolkit for educators includes videos, case studies and more that lead you to a forum for equity, personalization, smart data, collaboration and continuous improvement...
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Nancy J. Herr's curator insight, July 3, 6:53 AM

NASSP sponsored tools for success. Take a look at the many resources for new and experienced leaders alike.

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Sleep Before Class, Not in It

Sleep Before Class, Not in It | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The school day starts too soon and ends too soon, while summer vacation runs too long.  
Mel Riddile's insight:

"Students need 40 winks a night and more than 40 weeks of school. It shouldn’t be so hard to make sure they get both."

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100 Search Engines For Academic Research

100 Search Engines For Academic Research | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
100 Search Engines For Academic Research




Via Jim Lerman
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Howard Cohen's curator insight, Today, 10:00 AM

searchin' ain't eeeeezzyyy

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Teacher Evaluation: Are "principals reluctant to issue low ratings?"

Teacher Evaluation: Are "principals reluctant to issue low ratings?" | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Education Week reports on the continuing trend in teacher ratings across the country. Both Hawaii and Delaware data show an overwhelming majority of teachers meeting standards. "As in many other states, among them Michigan, Florida, and Indiana, only a small fraction of teachers are getting low ratings."


Questions posed by the author"

  1. To what extent is the evaluation process shaped by the norms at work in each school?
  2. In other words, are principals reluctant to issue low ratings because of the likelihood that it could affect morale and working relationships"
  3. Does the shortage of teachers in fields like special education impact the ratings?
Mel Riddile's insight:

New, higher college and career-ready standards have significantly raised expectations regarding what all students should know and be able to do. Heightened expectations for student achievement raises the bar for teachers. Principals in the know understand that we must build the capacity of teachers to deliver these new standards. For example, few secondary teachers have been trained to effectively integrate literacy--purposeful reading, writing, and discussion--into their content areas. Yet, under the new standards, literacy is a "shared responsibility" across all content areas.


It is unethical to rate teachers on skills that we know they don't have...yet. Until the new standards and expectations are firmly entrenched in the culture of schools, principals must be builders of capacity, not inspectors of processes.

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New Safety Measures Greet Students

New Safety Measures Greet Students | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Public schools nationwide are greeting students with a host of new security measures, as efforts to safeguard districts show no sign of waning in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre.
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Best Classroom Management: "I don't need a system to handle misbehavior because it so rarely occurs."

Best Classroom Management: "I don't need a system to handle misbehavior because it so rarely occurs." | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
New teachers have an opportunity to create a classroom where students feel secure, valued & successful. Veteran Cheryl Mizerny shares ideas that work for her.


"As teachers begin this school year, their thoughts undoubtedly turn to the classroom climate they want to establish and maintain. One question that I am often asked (especially by newer teachers) is what kind of classroom management program I use. My answer is that I don’t.


What I prefer instead is to develop a classroom that does not require a system to handle misbehavior because it so rarely occurs. No checkmarks on the board, no list of consequences, no rewards. Just engaged, productive, friendly students."

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Do we need teacher cams?Just because we can, should we?

Do we need teacher cams?Just because we can, should we? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
If you've ever had the distinct displeasure of calling a customer service hotline, you've probably heard a soothing voice tell you that "this call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes."


"While I will happily concede that video recording is particularly important for the police, in light of their ability to use deadly force, there are many public servants who have considerable power over others and who are shielded from scrutiny in the absence of video recording.

Public school teachers and administrators are the most obvious example. In March, the Justice Department issued an alarming report on racial disparities in school discipline policies. For example, while black children represent only 18 percent of all children attending preschool, 42 percent of all preschool students suspended once are black, as are 48 percent of children suspended more than once.

Video recordings could determine whether teachers are systematically biased against black students, if they are disciplining students in an entirely race-neutral way, or if the truth is somewhere in between. Investigators could identify patterns that could help inform how teachers are trained to manage their classrooms.

What's more, video recording could allow teachers to evaluate their progress, and to share their experiences with other teachers who can help them think through how to improve their performances."

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Quiz Yourself: How Good Are You at Teaching the Art of Learning?

Quiz Yourself: How Good Are You at Teaching the Art of Learning? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Test how well you know some of these counterintuitive study tips.
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Schools opt to shelve history books, go digital

Schools opt to shelve history books, go digital | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
In a growing number of school districts across the USA, education officials are declining to purchase new textbooks and instead are encouraging teachers to find alternatives.
Mel Riddile's insight:

School are beginning to use "alternatives to textbooks for social studies, which means districts “are declining to purchase new versions and instead are encouraging teachers to find alternatives – from websites and interactive videos to primary sources.” Some experts and educators say the often-digital trend is in line with students’ habits as they more often own electronic devices such as tablets. Also, digital sources “are more up to date” than many textbooks, educators say. A possible shortcoming is if teachers don’t remember or have training on how to work with primary sources, or if there’s no real plan or money for alternatives. An upside, USA Today says, is the potential to reduce “textbook wars” over specific portrayal of events."

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Parents: How to identify a good school - #1 is 'good principal'

Parents: How to identify a good school - #1 is 'good principal' | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I wrote this list 14 years ago and have some changes, particularly on test scores.


1. A Good Principal. Spend at least 30 minutes with the principal. Five or more years experience at the school is a good sign. If the school has had more than two principals in the past five years, that’s a bad sign. Be particularly cautious if the principal doesn’t have 30 minutes to see you. I stand by this, and never had principals complain they couldn’t handle it.


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Gary Colley's curator insight, August 25, 11:27 AM

12 good points with a brief emphasis on a couple:

1. A Good Principal. Spend at least 30 minutes with the principal. Five or more years experience at the school is a good sign. If the school has had more than two principals in the past five years, that’s a bad sign.  (TROUBLING POINT FOR DCSD)

3. Active Parents. Never put your child in a school without speaking to at least two parents already there, including at least one PTA officer. If you can’t find such a person, or if there’s no active PTA or equivalent organization, beware (AGAIN, BEWARE!)

5. Long-Term Superintendent If the principal impresses you, don’t worry about the superintendent.

(special concern for cac4dcsd) Too many high quality Principals have recently left DCSD.  If a principal merely serves the will of the Superintendent, kids and parents will suffer.

12. Listen to Your Heart. How is your child going to be comfortable with the school if you’re not?


 

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The later high school classes start in the morning, the more academic performance improves.

The later high school classes start in the morning, the more academic performance improves. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The later high school classes start in the morning, the more academic performance improves


"58 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds regularly sleep fewer than seven hours each night."

Mel Riddile's insight:

“insufficient sleep in adolescents [is] an important public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety, as well as the academic success, of our nation’s middle and high school students.”

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Is tech making your mind lopsided?

Is tech making your mind lopsided? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Precisely because young people spend so much time with digital media outside of school, schools must offer them a very different kind of education in order to even the cognitive scales. In Greenfield’s view, this means reading copious amounts of old-fashioned literature—just what young people are not doing (according to research) on their own time. I would add that schools could also strive to provide more of the face-to-face contact, the in-person social interaction, that has been largely displaced by young people’s use of Facebook, Twitter, and texting in their off-hours."

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Bill Gates on Teaching: “It’s Like You’re Conducting an Orchestra”

Bill Gates on Teaching: “It’s Like You’re Conducting an Orchestra” | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Bill Gates shares what he learned from Katie Brown, Washington state’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.

Via EDTC@UTB
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Gary Harwell's curator insight, August 24, 3:43 AM

It's a good read.

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The Debate Over Anti-Plagiarism Software

The Debate Over Anti-Plagiarism Software | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
One company and its algorithms are changing the way America's schools handle classroom ethics.


"Hammer Or A Scalpel

For Schroeder, the software is a scalpel. She asks her students to use Turnitin on rough drafts, so they can learn from their mistakes. No penalty. No trip to the dean's office.

But Emma Zaballos, a senior at American University, says she had a professor who used Turnitin like a hammer against suspected plagiarists. He made a point of telling her class stories of past offenders he had reported to the academic board and worked to have expelled."

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Who should decide what is taught in schools? - Poll

Who should decide what is taught in schools? - Poll | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A pair of wide-ranging polls by PDK/Gallup and Education Next gauge sentiment on the common standards, testing, school funding, and other hot-button issues.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Overwhelming support for local control.

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"It’s the third week of school and we haven’t learned anything."

"It’s the third week of school and we haven’t learned anything." | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Hundreds of students walked out of class at Jefferson High School on Monday morning, holding a sit-in to protest a host of issues at the South Los Angeles campus -- among them a scheduling snafu that has extended into the third week of school.
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How to Get Kids to Class

How to Get Kids to Class | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Poor students don’t just need teachers. They need social workers.


"policy makers usually treat dropout rates and chronic absenteeism as “school” problems, while issues like housing and mental health are “social” problems with a different set of solutions."


The key is to put dedicated social-service specialists in every low-performing, high-poverty school, whether they are employed by the school district or another organization. This specialist must be trained in the delivery of community services, with continued funding contingent on improvement in indicators like attendance and dropout rates.

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Doctors’ orders: Start school days later

Doctors’ orders: Start school days later | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

DESPITE THE harmful effects of sleep loss on adolescents, many school districts maintain cock-crow start times for high school students. Reasons for the status quo run the gamut from “it’s always been this way” to “it’s too hard to change.” But a national organization of doctors who treat children is weighing in on what it calls a public health issue.

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Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus

Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Learning to focus on one task while tuning out the many distractions vying for attention is a crucial life skill that some students are missing.
Mel Riddile's insight:

Note to school leaders: Teachers in most schools are exerting far too much effort focusing students instead of creating the conditions that build self-control and help students learn to focus.


This is a school wide issue that cannot be corrected by individual teachers, but through the focused leadership of a strong instructional leader.

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How Does the Brain Learn Best? Smart Studying Strategies

How Does the Brain Learn Best? Smart Studying Strategies | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A practical and engaging guide to smart studying tips.
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Students Aren't Getting Enough Sleep—School Starts Too Early

Students Aren't Getting Enough Sleep—School Starts Too Early | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics says delaying the day may help teens get more rest.


“insufficient sleep in adolescents [is] an important public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety, as well as the academic success, of our nation’s middle and high school students.”

Mel Riddile's insight:

"58 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds regularly sleep fewer than seven hours each night."

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Walkthroughs don't improve instruction unless...

Walkthroughs don't improve instruction unless... | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

"Although we find a negative association between time spent on walkthroughs and outcomes, these results do not imply that walkthroughs cannot be useful...However, if [principals] do not use these walkthroughs to support professional development or other human resource practices, the information they gather may be less beneficial...Schools may be better served if principals spend more time using the information [from walkthroughs] for school improvement than collecting it."

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Help! My Principal Says He's An Instructional Leader!

Help! My Principal Says He's An Instructional Leader! | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
When a school leader announces they are an instructional leader, what does that mean...and should teachers hide as quickly as possible?
Mel Riddile's insight:

"It's easy to get caught up in the numbers. Principals, new or old, read the effect size literature and note that instructional leadership can have an impact on student growth, so they begin walking into classrooms all the time. Without the proper mindset, knowledge of instruction, and prep work done with staff; leaders are in jeopardy of using the right term (instructional leadership) while doing it the wrong way.

And teachers and students are the ones on the receiving end of the out of control swinging pendulum."

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8 Practical Strategies to Ge to Know Your Students

8 Practical Strategies to Ge to Know Your Students | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
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Leadership: Do they "share your enthusiasm for pursuing...a shared mission?"

Leadership: Do they "share your enthusiasm for pursuing...a shared mission?" | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The best leaders are supportive.


Leadership "is motivating them to share your enthusiasm for pursuing a shared ideal, objective, cause, or mission. In essence, it is to always conduct yourself in ways that communicates to others that you believe people are always more important than things."

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Growing Closer To Your Most Challenging Students

Growing Closer To Your Most Challenging Students | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Growing Closer To Your Most Challenging Students


By Dr. Allen Mendler

While stress caused by common core concerns has dominated the recent education landscape, dealing with difficult students remains the number one source of constant tension for most teachers. Continual exposure to students who won’t behave or produce can quickly erode both confidence and well-being.

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