The introduction of the Common Core State Standards and the use of technology have increased questions about the relevance of cursive handwriting instruction in school. While such lessons are seemingly on the decline, a recent nationwide survey of K-5 teachers shows that 59% continue to teach cursive. Among teachers of second- and third-grade -- where cursive instruction is primarily centered -- the practice is even more common, with 75% saying they include it as part of the curricula, according to the survey by school supplies company Really Good Stuff.
Students at Judkins Middle School in Pismo Beach, Calif., are using iPads instead of pencil and paper to do math, and students and educators say the device helps with engagement, especially for reluctant math learners. "They put forth 10 times the amount of effort," said Kristi Fuller, a pre-algebra, leadership and algebra skills teacher.
Should the current push against media violence lead to a pushback from the TV viewing public, the programming landscape, including hard news, could be dramatically altered, Wayne Friedman writes. "[Y]ou'll be seeing a lot more singing competitions, straight-ahead comedies, harmless primetime soaps about musicals or other workplace scenarios, and news," he writes. "Zombies? Nope. Gang-related story lines? Nope. News stories about errant violent acts in your neighborhood? Maybe not so much either."
Boston Latin Academy teacher Lillie Marshall in this blog post identifies five characteristics of exemplary teacher evaluations. Marshall's list includes evaluator knowledge and credibility, frequent observations, the evaluator's awareness of student needs and progress, and immediate and useful feedback.
A recent shooting in Connecticut serves as a reminder of the possibility of workplace violence after an employee is let go. Experts say employers need to have employee dismissal plans in place to deal with the potential for retaliation by a worker. For example, security officers may be needed, and managers should be better trained to handle potential conflict. "Your actions and words need to be crafted such that they don't further inflame the situation," says Jim Francis, a security consultant.