Once written off, several states, including Arkansas and Louisiana, are returning to teaching cursive handwriting and have adopted laws mandating its instruction. Supporters say learning to write in cursive helps students to improve both their spelling and their understanding of how to put words together.
It is important that teachers stay inspired throughout the school year, asserts author Barbara Blackburn. In this blog post, Blackburn shares six tips for educators to use to stay motivated, such as keeping a success journal.
Elementary-school teachers in Montgomery County, Md., receive an average of seven hours each week for planning -- the most of any teachers in 147 large US school districts, according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality. Kate Walsh, president of the NCTQ, praised districts for allocating time for planning and collaborating among teachers.
Students need to engage in thoughtful analysis of the news, writes author and consultant Frank Baker. In this blog post, he discusses his work with the National Council for the Social Studies and the Position Statement on Media Literacy, and offers ideas for how to help students evaluate what they see in the media.
Teachers at a New Jersey school are using the NASA EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) program to help their students with special needs learn about science, work on motor skills and other tasks. The program allows students to view and operate a camera on the International Space Station using a classroom computer.
Some states, including Colorado and Tennessee, are using a data-rich website to help students see how their major will affect their future career and lifestyle. The "Launch My Career" site provides information such as the demand for jobs in a particular field and first-year wages of graduates.
Orange County, Calif., business leaders and schools are creating pathways to in-demand jobs through company training programs and career and technical education programs. At the region's community colleges, CTE grants and gifts from local businesses have allowed students to work with the latest technology.
School leaders can use the "non-conference" strategy of Open Space Technology to improve the outcomes of meetings and teacher engagement, writes Arch Grieve, community outreach director at The Dayton Regional STEM School. In this blog post, he outlines OST and how he's used it for strategic planning to spark new ideas.
Alaska's board of education is considering repealing a requirement that teachers be "highly qualified," saying it is placing an undue burden on school districts. The move comes after the federal Every Student Succeeds Act no longer requires states to have such policies.
Educators in two California school districts are learning strategies that focus on language development to improve math instruction for English-language learners. Such strategies include using number talks to develop students' mathematical thinking and teaching the vocabulary used in math problems to ensure they understand what is written.
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