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What’s Working: Setting Goals For Success

The Huffington Post – Allan Golston

“Whether a student is laying out a school uniform, the latest in brand-name gear, or simply a clean set of clothes, this simple act is full of meaning. Because in the care with which they choose that first outfit, and in the symbolism of arranging it—just so—students capture the excitement of the Back to School season; the anticipation of what the new school year will hold; and the planning required for a successful year ahead. Planning is good, but of course there are plans to enact and goals to set that are far more central to students’ success in school than the clothes they wear. That’s why over the next two weeks, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is celebrating the Back to School season by highlighting powerful examples of the thoughtful planning, the intensive collaboration, and the ambitious goal-setting that parents, teachers, and communities are undertaking this school year to set students on the path toward real and lasting success.”(more)

The Most Essential School Supplies

The Huffington Post – Rona Milch Novick

“My August memories include family vacations followed immediately by school supply shopping. As a student and then as parent, it seemed so critical to get everything on the list . . . pencils, notebooks, protractor, looseleaf paper, reinforcements, and on and on. Now, as both a child psychologist and Dean of a graduate school that prepares educators and educational leaders, I have a different perspective on what should be on everyone’s school supply list. What we need for a successful school year is both complex and simple. We need students ready, willing and able to learn and we need teachers ready, willing, and able to facilitate learning and growth for all students. For the student side of the equation, how can we support student readiness and motivation? The most important supply we can give students cannot be bought, or ordered online. It is the priceless and powerful commodity of belief.”(more)

What’s Going On Inside the Brain When We Play Music?

KQED News Mind/Shift – Staff Writer

“Humans love music, especially when there’s repetition that catches the attention. And even though many people listen to music to relax, the brain is doing a lot of work to break apart and understand the music before putting it all together again. Brain scans of people listening to music show many different parts of the brain firing at once, but that’s nothing compared to what’s going on inside the brains of musicians themselves. “Playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full body workout,” says educator Anita Collins in a TED-Ed video on how playing music benefits the brain. Playing music requires the visual, auditory, and motor cortices all at once and since fine motor skills require both hemispheres of the brain, the act of playing music may strengthen the bridge between the two sides.”(more)

Could you pass a maths GCSE exam?

The Guardian – Staff Writer

“Do you remember anything your maths teacher taught you? Have a go at our quiz with questions from last year’s higher tier paper by the AQA exam board. Calculators may be used only from questions 1-6.”(more)

6 Tips From Personalized Learning Innovators Leading Change

Education Next – Julia Freeland Fisher

“Earlier this year, the Rhode Island-based Highlander Institute and the Clayton Christensen Institute teamed up to bring together a conference on blended and personalized learning in Providence, R.I. The goal of the event was to focus on the practical elements of blended and personalized learning by surfacing the tactics that practitioners were deploying in the trenches. More than 100 teachers and leaders from around the country were invited to share their approaches to piloting and scaling blended learning in classrooms and schools, which we summarized in our latest report, “From the frontlines: Takeaways from the 2016 Blended and Personalized Learning Conference,” out this week.”(more)

Working play into early childhood education boosts students’ learning experience

Phys ORG – Jim Carlson

“Incorporating play into early childhood education can lead to better schoolwork among preschool and primary-level students, research by a pair of Penn State professors has shown, and instructing prospective teaching candidates to follow that path should be a constant. Play has been an important part of teacher preparation in early childhood education because preschool and primary children learn through play and it is necessary for their development, according to Jim Johnson, professor of education in curriculum and instruction and program director for early childhood education in the College of Education.”(more)