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New teaching model yields learning improvement for students in math

The Brookings Institute – Michael Hansen and Ben Backes

“Since President Trump took office nearly a year ago, it seems that most of the education news has moved decidedly away from one of the key pillars of the Obama-era education platform: teacher quality. Increasing overall teacher quality, and particularly disadvantaged students’ access to effective teachers, were principles that surfaced time and again from the U.S. Department of Education under the leadership of secretaries Arne Duncan and John King. Though this priority has been set aside at the federal level in favor of school choice initiatives and deregulation, many practitioners in state and district offices have continued to quietly tinker with various reforms to teacher policies and staffing practices.” (more)

How a growing number of states are hoping to improve kids’ brains: exercise

The Hechinger Report – Lillian Mongeau

“Despite her stated disinterest, the level of physical activity Anna and her classmates experience during their school day is unusual and probably beneficial. In the U.S., where 31 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 are obese, most school children move far too little, experts say. Thirty years of focus on increasing academic minutes in the school day has resulted in reduced recess and physical education time at many schools. The lack of physical activity is taking a toll on student fitness and that’s bad for growing brains, research shows.” (more)

Progress in reading stalls at secondary school. It should be a priority

The Guardian – Keith Topping

“We have a persistent problem encouraging secondary school pupils to read challenging and age-appropriate books. The tenth annual What Kids Are Reading Report, which analysed the reading habits of almost one million school pupils from 4,364 schools that use the Accelerated Reader assessment programme, found that this is true across Britain and Ireland. The report revealed that progress made by pupils in primary school halts when they transfer to secondary school and, from then on, the gap between students’ reading ability and their age grows wider each year. Worryingly, by the later years of secondary school many students are reading books that are no harder than those in primary school.” (more)

Exercise is more precious than ever. So let’s stop scaring kids off PE

The Guardian – Anna Kessel

“When I was growing up I routinely bunked PE lessons. I saw PE as optional – it was on the timetable, but no one seemed to care if you didn’t attend. PE was for sporty kids anyway, and I wasn’t one of them. Times have changed. We now know so much more about the value of physical activity – for physical and mental wellbeing, to promote positive body image in women and girls, to help people with depression, to engender a healthy lifestyle from an early age, to sharpen concentration and academic performance, and even to tackle the gender pay gap (research shows that women who play sport are more likely to enjoy high-flying careers).” (more)

What Separates a Good Blended Learning Program From a Bad One?

Ed Surge – Rebecca Recco

“These days many schools tout blended learning programs when marketing their school to potential students. And in a way, this does make sense. Blended learning can combine the flexibility of online instruction with the benefits of in-person teaching. But much like nutritional claims, such as “all-natural” and “healthy,” the term “blended learning” can mean just about anything depending on how you define it.” (more)

4 steps to help students develop a healthy media diet

E-School News – Stacey Pusey

“With the proliferation of technology in school and at home, parents are looking for direction on how to keep their kids’ media habits in check. Librarians, who are often at the front lines of media and tech in schools, can provide that crucial guidance. The discussions shouldn’t focus on denying technology, though, said Michelle Cooper, library media specialist at White Oak Independent School District (ISD) in Texas, in the edWebinar “Achieving Media Balance in a Tech-Immersed World.” Instead, librarians can help families learn how to maintain a healthy balance and become good digital citizens.” (more)