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How some schools use movement to keep students engaged

Giving students a much-needed brain break—and academic boost—with exercises in class

With instructional time for physical education on the decline and childhood obesity a concern, a growing number of schools are integrating short bursts of exercise into their classrooms. Some schools have adopted media-based programs that can be used with interactive whiteboards. In one case, students ran in place while learning about the history of the Olympic Games. “Movement helps get the wiggles out, and they’re ready to go back to work,” principal Victoria Velazquez said.

Like a Wood Duck: Finding Peace in the Classroom

Educators should avoid taking it personally when students act out in class, high-school principal Ben Johnson writes in this blog post. He writes if educators can separate themselves from a student’s emotional baggage, they will be able to remain calm in such situations. 

4 principles for keeping calm in the classroom

  1. Don’t Take It Personally

  2. Be Prepared

  3. Reach Out to Parents/Guardians

  4. Reflect Daily

Changing the homework structure for greater student success

Tips to help principals create a homework culture that supports student motivation. Author and clinical psychologist Kenneth Goldberg suggests schools adopt a homework philosophy that includes fixed times for homework, penalty reduction and greater respect of parental authority.

Electric school buses roll out in effort to reduce emissions

A small but growing number of school districts in California are using electric school buses in order to reduce diesel-fuel emissions at schools and save money by not purchasing petroleum products. Some school districts are introducing the electric buses through state-funded pilot programs intended to help districts comply with new environmental regulations

(via EdSource)

Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre.

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Gail Godwin

(via Brainy Quote)

Fuel Creativity in the Classroom with Divergent Thinking

5 strategies to foster outside-the-box thinking

Educators at all grade levels should take steps to encourage creative — divergent — thinking in schools, according to educator and artist Stacey Goodman. Blog offers five strategies that support outside-the-box thinking. “Divergent thinking strategies offer the possibility of doing more than fostering a creative classroom environment; they can also help us better understand and appreciate difference[s] in all areas of our students’ lives,” he writes.

(via edutopia)

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Becoming a role model district in Colorado

Colorado district uses 3-point  reform plan to improve graduation rates & student performance. Plan included a wider range of school choice options, a revamped curriculum & merit-based pay for teachers.

Creating a system of training and support for instructional technology

A school district in Georgia has taken a new approach to training teachers in technology. The district’s model includes technology teacher-leaders who are paid a stipend to oversee an individual school’s use of instructional technology. 

Apr 9

What is the role of student voice in education?

Student voice is “the instrument of change” in education, Russell Quaglia, president and founder of the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations, told ASCD conference attendees. Quaglia shared three steps to help schools amplify student voice, including building self-worth, engagement and purpose. “You need to amplify the voices of people, and I’m talking young people. They are our greatest resource,” he said.