An Iowa middle school this year has expanded its use of project-based learning as an alternative to traditional tests after the approach was introduced last year. Eighth-graders' work culminated in a museum where they displayed and presented projects from various social studies units during their language arts classes.
Kindergartners who ride the school bus are less likely to be "chronically absent" than students who use alternative ways to come to school, according to a study from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Increasing bus ridership could reduce the number of lost instructional days by about 1.04 million for kindergartners, researcher Michael Gottfried said.
Students from two Colorado middle schools re-enacted the Civil War's Battle of Bull Run with the help of a nonprofit that assists schools with historical battle re-enactments. Students learned about daily life and soldiers before immersing themselves into the battle with props and uniforms.
Fourth- and fifth-graders at an Indiana school studied coding by programming Sphero ball robots with their tablets to navigate an obstacle course. Working in groups, the older students, who had previous experience using the program, helped the younger ones with coding challenges.
School leaders can bring about transformation when they have a vision, tend to that mission and see themselves as serving others, University of Virginia professor Carol Ann Tomlinson writes in this commentary. Mentoring and professional development centered on these three areas can improve leadership skills, she suggests.
The Tennessee State Board of Education this week voted to increase minimum salaries of teachers by 4%, from $32,445 to $33,745, annually. The boost won't affect many of the state's districts, including large ones, where minimum salaries already are higher than state requirements, officials noted.
Moving to cloud-based computing can help K-12 school districts save time and money, writes education technology consultant Eric Patnoudes. In this commentary, he cites research that shows that, while administrators worry about security in the cloud, many have found advantages to making the move.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in testimony before Congress this week supported the administration's proposed education budget, which includes more than $9 billion in proposed cuts and seeks to direct more funding to school-choice programs. When asked about providing funding to private schools, DeVos maintained that such decisions would fall to states, rather than the federal government.
Language arts teacher Ariel Sacks in this blog post shares a poetry lesson that offers insight into her students' concerns about the future. Sacks created a poetry-writing station in which students used books to predict the future and revealed questions around subjects such as life on Mars, maintaining old customs and the end of the world.
Some education experts say having key positions still vacant in the US Education Department could affect the process of approving and revising states' Every Student Succeeds Act plans. A department spokeswoman said the vacancies are not expected to affect the process, but Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, noted that the department has "fewer people to deal with the issues that come up."
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