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Trends in Education
Teachers, students happy with flexible seating classrooms
First-grade teacher Dana Elting said she learned about flexible seating from a co-worker at an end-of-the-year bonfire. Ridge View first-grade teacher Katie Ritter said she heard about flexible seating from a former mentor in a different school district and approached Marnholtz with the idea.
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Teaching Against the Grain: One Title I School's Journey Toward Project-Based Literacy Instruction
The current high-stakes testing environment is compelling many educators to teach reading in programmatic ways. This type of teaching contrasts research on effective literacy instruction. This article describes a Title I elementary school's effort to improve literacy instruction not by adopting a program but rather by providing professional development emphasizing project-based literacy instruction. A teacher research study examined how teachers implemented project-based literacy instruction and how they felt about using such instruction. This study found several themes in (a) the types of projects teachers implemented, (b) what went well in using project-based instruction, and (c) obstacles teachers faced in implementing this type of instruction
Working as A Team
Click the link. You will be prompted to create a free account in The Teaching Channel. Watch Ms. Cope facilitate collaboration in her classroom.
How does Ms. Cope facilitate collaboration between students?
What other strategies might you use to help students work together productively?
How does working in groups on an investigation helps students build their understanding of scientific concepts and skills?
Exploring a School-University Model for Professional Development With Classroom Staff: Teaching Trauma-Informed Approaches
Schools serving communities with high rates of poverty face the profound challenge of meeting the needs of students who are often exposed to significant family and environmental stressors and trauma. Classroom staff are vital members of school communities who often work closely with students with the highest needs, but they are typically not provided with professional development opportunities to develop skills for social-emotional learning intervention. This study, conducted in three parts, describes (1) a needs assessment with classroom staff to determine their learning needs, (2) the development and implementation of a series of professional development workshops that incorporated findings from the needs assessment, and (3) post-workshop surveys and focus groups to assess the impact of the workshops and identify ongoing professional development needs. Findings include themes of continuing concern regarding learning, school climate, and the need to address stress and trauma in students' lives. Additionally, findings point to the workplace environment as creating barriers for classroom staff to implement new strategies and make use of the knowledge and skills gained in the workshops. Implications for building or enhancing a trauma-informed school community are discussed.
Issues in Education
Can the Achievement Gap Be Linked to Differences in the Development of Naming Strategies? A Comparison of African American and European American Children’s Responses on a Picture-Labeling Task
In this study, working- and middle-class African American and European American adults and children aged two through six were shown a series of pictures including “normal” referents and unfamiliar combinations which they were asked to identify. There were both age- and class-dependent differences in terms of naming behaviors but there were none according to ethnicity. When these results are interpreted in consideration of the still-widening achievement gap, it is clear that linguists and educators continue to face the same issue: there remains a societal insistence on furthering the primacy of middle class linguistic structures and language behaviors which serves to maintain a cycle of educational failure for African American working-class children.
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Issue 2: The Homework Debate-"The great homework debate: Too much, too little or busy work?"
There is a sharp debate among parents about homework.
The National PTA recommends 10 minutes of homework per night per grade level.
The research on the benefits of homework is mixed.
Giving students homework time at the end of school day helps, say students.
Principals Clamor for Inclusion in States' ESSA Planning: Some worry commitment may be far from uniform
The new federal K-12 law contains strong requirements for input from principals and others as states create new education plans, but some worry state commitment may be far from uniform.
The effects of a multiyear universal social–emotional learning program: The role of student and school characteristics.
Objective: This article examines the impact of a universal social–emotional learning program, the Fast Track PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) curriculum and teacher consultation, embedded within the Fast Track selective prevention model. Method: The longitudinal analysis involved 2,937 children of multiple ethnicities who remained in the same intervention or control schools for Grades 1, 2, and 3. The study involved a clustered randomized controlled trial involving sets of schools randomized within 3 U.S. locations. Measures assessed teacher and peer reports of aggression, hyperactive–disruptive behaviors, and social competence. Beginning in first grade and through 3 successive years, teachers received training and support and implemented the PATHS curriculum in their classrooms. Results: The study examined the main effects of intervention as well as how outcomes were affected by characteristics of the child (baseline level of problem behavior, gender) and by the school environment (student poverty). Modest positive effects of sustained program exposure included reduced aggression and increased prosocial behavior (according to both teacher and peer report) and improved academic engagement (according to teacher report). Peer report effects were moderated by gender, with significant effects only for boys. Most intervention effects were moderated by school environment, with effects stronger in less disadvantaged schools, and effects on aggression were larger in students who showed higher baseline levels of aggression. Conclusions: A major implication of the findings is that well-implemented multiyear social–emotional learning programs can have significant and meaningful preventive effects on the population-level rates of aggression, social competence, and academic engagement in the elementary school years.