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Bridgedale Elementary Teachers Discuss School's Progress

Posted by: on December 20, 2013 9:48:34 AM
All hands are in the air in Michelle Brady's fifth grade reading classroom. Bridgedale Elementary in Metairie, where Brady teaches, was recently one of two schools in Louisiana to be named as a National Title I Distinguished School, and Brady, whose class focuses on reading comprehension, was one of the reasons for the honor. Brady and her fellow teachers, along with Bridgedale principal Ben Moscona say they have worked to create classroom environments that are more focused on individual subjects and more individualized. Moscona has said that one of the biggest reasons for the gains in test scores has been the emphasis that his teachers have put on using student data to help tailor lessons, dividing teachers by the subject they teach instead of having one teacher in charge of all subjects, and by allocating federal Title I money the school received for its high-poverty student population into an extra reading-intensive class.

A Meeting of the Minds: The First Multiple Intelligences Library

Posted by: on December 20, 2013 9:45:06 AM
A school library in St. Louis, Missouri, boasts something unique: It's the only known library whose design is based on Multiple Intelligences theory — a groundbreaking concept of intellect conceived by psychologist Howard Gardner and widely embraced by educators. Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory recognizes eight different kinds of human intellect, not just those that lead to high IQ scores. The library at the private New City School, which serves children ages three through grade six, was conceived to foster these intelligences: Linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic intelligence.

Michigan Receiving Share of $1 Billion in Federal Funds for Early Childhood Education

Posted by: on December 19, 2013 9:26:04 AM
Michigan is one of six states receiving a piece of a $1 billion investment in early childhood education through President Barack Obama's "Race to the Top" program, the U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday. The awards bring the number of states receiving grants through the Race to the Top — Early Learning Challenge program to 20, as Michigan, Kentucky, Georgia, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania were selected. Michigan's grant application lays out the state's goals for the money, with funds earmarked for providing scholarships to early childhood education programs for families eligible for child care subsidies, promoting health and nutrition standards in child care facilities and increasing participation in the state's preschool ratings system.

Here's What Your Favorite Children's Book Series Says About You

Posted by: on December 19, 2013 9:23:12 AM
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once (more or less) said, "you are what you read, you guys." If the books we read shape our character, the books we read when we were kids did doubly so, because everyone knows children possess heightened neuroplasticity. It makes sense, then, that the series you devoured under the covers, way past your bedtime, flashlight in hand, offers insight into exactly who you are today, now that you're a real person ("adult").

Resources for Writing IEPs Aligned to Common-Core Standards

Posted by: on December 18, 2013 9:46:31 AM
A few weeks ago, I hosted a chat on writing standards-based individualized education program goals aligned to common core reading and math standards. The guests, Barbara Van Haren and Carol Kosnitsky, did a great job answering questions from our audience, but one inquiry that came up over and over was from educators looking for clear examples of just what a standards-based IEP goal would look like. In the context of an hour-long webchat, we weren't able to link to all the information out there on this topic. I've gathered some resources from educators and my own research for this blog post, with an eye out to resources that offer as many examples as possible.

Supporting English-Learner Achievement: What States Can Do

Posted by: on December 20, 2013 9:47:39 AM
English-language learners are in every state, most school districts, and many classrooms. At 10 percent of the nation's public school population and growing, education policymakers in every state need to be attuned to their needs. So argues a new policy brief from the Education Commission of the States. In the brief, ECS describes the prevalence of English-learners and the diversity of the population, which varies greatly state by state. The brief then outlines a number of areas where policy actions could help educators better support the success of ELLs. And no surprise here that early-childhood programs are at the top of ECS' list of where states need to focus.

A Book for Two

Posted by: on December 20, 2013 9:43:45 AM
A Book For Two, as the name suggests, is intended to be read with a partner. Each side has different sections of the same text and the pair take it in turns to read out their sections. Certain paragraphs appear on both sides and are intended to be read aloud at the same time. A Book for Two brings a new dimension to the process of reading, encouraging interaction in an activity usually reserved for the individual. The product seeks to take the emphasis the digital world puts on sharing and return it to the world outside the screen. Project founder Soofiya Chaudry says the inspiration for the project came when she asked, "Why doesn't print and typography reflect the way we read and consume today?"

Audio-Book Readers Help Students Who Struggle

Posted by: on December 19, 2013 9:24:08 AM
Mike Albert started recording audio books for students who struggle to read about three years ago. The Peoria Unified School District occupational therapist was able to record about two or three a year, until he turned to volunteers. About 50 or 60 volunteers have recorded more than 350 books in the past two years — and he's always looking for more. The effort helps students who struggle with reading, whether due to vision issues or other disabilities. Instead of struggling through words, students can listen and better comprehend.

Houston ISD Stalls in Reading on Nation's Report Card, Sees Math Gains

Posted by: on December 19, 2013 9:21:37 AM
In another indicator that the Houston ISD hasn't mastered the art of teaching reading, today's release of scores in the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that while there are some gains in fourth and eighth grade math, average HISD reading scores have not improved since 2007 and, in fact, are below both the state and national average for public schools in large cities. The district's latest chief academic officer, Dan Gohl, said that literacy is a big concern for the district, adding that one problem may be that there is a wide range of reading programs in the district as compared to the math ones.

Young Early Birds Catch Reading Bug

Posted by: on December 18, 2013 9:44:28 AM
Arlington Elementary Reading Interventionist Kristen Craig and her students are making every minute count for early learners with a new initiative called Big Brothers, Big Sisters Reading Club. The purpose of the club is for older students, fourth- and fifth-graders, to help the kindergarten through third-grade students with their reading skills. Students arrive early for school every day in order to participate. "We've had tremendous parental support," Craig said. "They've been willing to bring their children to school." Not only are parents committed to bringing their children early to school, but many also attend Family Read nights held every third Thursday of the month.

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