No Child Left Behind was one of those wonderful and increasingly rare things that everyone could agree on—conservatives and liberals, teachers and business groups, parents and students, politicos at the state and federal level. Nobody liked it. Calling it a “Christmas miracle,” President Obama signed into law the Every Child Succeeds Act, finally replacing NCLB after 14 years. The new law significantly shifts education oversight away from the federal level and reduces the role of testing.
Some schools have already been working on a way to get beyond the test to measure success and progress—surveys. “A growing battery of school leaders, researchers and policymakers think surveys are the best tool available right now to measure important social and emotional goals for schools and students—qualities like grit, growth mindset, student engagement or, as in the Chandler example, student-teacher relationships.”
The second item on this list of “8 Ways to Become a Better Educator Every Day” is a kind of survey: Ask your students for feedback.
Feedback is essential for growth, but sometimes it’s hard to hear. ASCD’s Educational Leadership blog provides strategies for providing a colleague with constructive feedback: “Saying What You Mean Without Being Mean.”
Discussing current events with kids can be tricky, especially when they hear or read about the suffering, meanness, xenophobia, and violence that tend to dominate the news. For help with these conversations, Brightly offers “Books to Help Kids Make Sense of Challenging Current Events.”
Educators continue to see a steady climb in the number of students with an autism spectrum disorder. Scholastic’s Edu Pulse blog provides five elements of successful programming for students with an ASD.
A new study shows that ADHD prevalence is rising among Hispanics and girls.
Six Dallas middle schools are reducing referrals and improving school climate by using restorative discipline.
Tennessee high school students turn a school project into a way to give Central American orphans a lasting way to grow food.
Are you using learning stories in your early childhood classroom? They’re a powerful and meaningful learning tool for students and families—and they’re easy to write. Here’s a handy guide from NAEYC.
Do you suffer from middle-of-the-night anxiety about your next day’s lesson plan? You’re not alone. Here’s a humorous, late-night text exchange with that inner administrator who tends to nag, nag, nag.
For book lovers! NPR’s Book Concierge is an interactive guide to the year’s best reads.
Also for book lovers! “8 Clever Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Books.” Iceland’s Christmas Eve tradition is one we can get behind.
For book lo—okay, that’s all of us, right? But what do you do with damaged books? Make them into holiday decorations.
File this under character education: A cop tracks down a woman who shoplifted baking ingredients for her child’s birthday cake. Instead of arresting her, he pays for the items.
Finally, this woman quit her job to knit sweaters for greyhounds and has knitted more than 300 so far. Please click this link to see the photos. You won’t regret it. (She even knits them hats!)
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