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How longer classes could allow for deeper learning

How longer classes could allow for deeper learning
A trend toward block scheduling in public schools fell by the wayside amid an increased focus on standardized testing, but some say the trend is thriving in private schools. One New York City private school this year adopted longer classes — some are 130 minutes long — to provide time for deeper exploration of subject matter. Some parents say the arrangement can be stressful for students, who now have five end-of-term cycles during the year. However, teachers say the new schedule allows more time for collaboration and experiential learning. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)

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Posted by on June 14, 2011 in Education News

 

Do students benefit from more instructional time?

Do students benefit from more instructional time?
A panel of K-12 education experts gathered this week to discuss the benefits and challenges of extending the school day or year, at a time when budget cuts are shortening instructional time at some schools. The Cincinnati school district has seen success with its “Fifth Quarter,” which convenes in June and provides basic academics and enrichment activities. However, panelists noted a need for professional development for teachers, as well as data on such programs to determine whether they are making an impact on student learning. Education Week Teacher (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org)

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Education News, News

 

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The science behind math anxiety

The science behind math anxiety
Students’ fear of math can hinder their learning, according to one study that shows math creates a stress reaction in the brain for some students that could direct brainpower to worrying — rather than math. Separate experiments show that such students might otherwise be enthusiastic about the subject. Researchers also have found that students’ anxiety about math often starts at an early age and even can be passed down from their parents. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org)

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Education News

 

What effect does class size have on average students?

What effect does class size have on average students?
A three-year expansion of class sizes in Clark County, Nev., has educators worried about achievement among average students. They say as many as 40% of students will either excel or struggle regardless of class size. For students who fall in the middle, however, overcrowded classes and a lack of one-on-one interaction with teachers can make a difference. Some, however, say that a quality teacher is more important than class size. Las Vegas Sun

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Education News

 

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How teacher-student relationships can foster safe schools

How teacher-student relationships can foster safe schools
Strong relationships between teachers and students can help create safe learning environments, even in schools located in the most crime-ridden neighborhoods, a study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago finds. The study’s lead author says the findings support the mission of the city’s “Culture of Calm” program, which has seen success in pairing at-risk Chicago students with adult mentors. The continuation of the program is in question, however, as federal stimulus money dwindles. Chicago Tribune

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in News

 

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Supporting principals in struggling schools

Supporting principals in struggling schools: How teachers can help
School leadership coach Elena Aguilar, a member of the Teacher Leaders Network who works in Oakland, Calif., schools, offers ideas for supporting urban principals whose difficulties are compounded by budget cuts. She recommends that teachers verbally recognize the strengths of their school leaders or organize a day of appreciation to close the school year. Aguilar also suggests that teachers work to foster a culture of compassion in struggling schools. Education Week Teacher (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org)

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in News

 

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