Flexible student groups allow teachers to deliver differentiated instruction that levels the playing field and holds all students to the same high standard, special-education teacher Alex Byland writes in this blog post. He describes five collaborative grouping strategies that teachers can use, such as rotating through stations or preteaching material to students needing help.
Co-teachers for a science, technology, engineering and math course at a Pennsylvania school incorporate lessons from their respective math and science classes into projects. Recently, the educators linked science lessons on outer space and math lessons on ratios and proportions into a STEM project to build a landing system for an egg.
Educators at a Texas elementary school are using Google Hangouts and Skype to connect students to authors, experts and peers to engage in global learning. In a recent lesson, fifth-graders participated in a joint reading lesson and discussion with students at an Illinois school.
Teacher-training programs are in need of improvement, according to educators and teacher trainers who participated in a discussion this week in Washington, D.C. At issue, they said, is that many teachers enter the classroom unprepared and with little or no experience in handling such issues as diversity and childhood trauma.
If empathetic leadership doesn't come naturally, try scheduling it, says Douglas Hutchings of Picasolar. Setting regular reminders to express appreciation of others can help make you a more empathetic boss, he explains. "It's easy to keep your head down and not notice the struggles that those around you are facing and overcoming," he warns.
To improve IT services, Ohio State University has implemented an Information Technology Infrastructure Library. "You use the library and its best practices to define what you're trying to do, which will then help you set up your metrics," the university's service operations director, Bob Gribben, said. "It'll help you design and create an actual repeatable process."
A student-run bank at a Tennessee middle school is being used to teach students about financial literacy. The school has partnered with a local bank to help students learn about the value of saving, budgeting, setting financial goals, borrowing and how to avoid credit card debt.
To turn project-based learning into a game, teachers must create a web of lesson plans to accommodate the many choices students may make, middle-school teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron writes. In this blog, she details how she piloted the gamified lessons with a small group of students and set benchmarks for grades and rewards.
About three-fourths of traditional public schools in the District of Columbia require students to wear uniforms. Nationwide, the number of public schools requiring uniforms also rose to 20% in the 2011-12 school year. While some say that uniforms reduce violence related to clothing and other issues, others say uniforms infringe on students' rights to express themselves.
Mike Green, the West Virginia State Board of Education president, says the School Building Authority overreached its authority by rejecting a county's plan to reorganize its school system. Green is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for another vote on the matter, arguing the county has followed procedures and has funding for its plan.
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