The Learning First Alliance welcomes Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director of the National School Boards Association, as the 2016-17 chair of our Board of Directors
- Issues and Publications
- Common Core
Summer slide refers to a decrease or loss of academic skills over the summer break. As summer goes by, if students do not actively engage in learning experiences, the progress they had made throughout the school year will not only decrease, it can actually regress.
Avoiding this “summer slide” is easy if strategies are in place to help students stay fresh until the next school year. This is where digital tools and technology can step in and help students be ready for the start of the new school year.
Ways to avoid the slide
There are many digital options for helping students avoid this summer slide. With the rise of technology, students have access to diverse tools with many options for providing these learning extensions. Students have choices when given opportunities for practice and this will help them to return to school better prepared. ...
The National Institutes of Health is launching a 10-year, multifaceted study on adolescent brain development that could provide important clues to how students learn and grow.
As the largest effort ever undertaken on this topic, the study will include about 10,000 children and will follow 9- and 10-year-olds into early adulthood to look at the impact of both genetics and environmental factors on brain development. The study seeks to set standards for brain development and help doctors identify risk factors that could lead to issues such as depression, substance abuse, lower academic achievement.
By following a large number of children over a long period of time, researchers may see consistent patterns that lead to the achievement gap, said Dr. Gaya Dowling, the NIH project director who presented a webinar today explaining the study to Learning First Alliance member organizations and partners. ...
Educational technology is generally considered an asset for schools. But correctly integrating technology into a classroom curriculum and using digital devices to help students to learn in meaningful ways is a skill that continues to evolve--and challenge educators.
Megan Kinsey, Principal at Ridge Middle School in Mentor, Ohio, co-founded a research project at her school to help support both teachers and students as they use educational technology. The Catalyst project allows her and other educators to observe new technologies and instructional strategies as they are being used in a classroom. For this project and her commitment to lifelong learning, Ms. Kinsey recently was named a “20 to Watch” educator by the National School Boards Association. ...
Dealing with a death is never easy, but for young children and teens, it can bring a range of emotional experiences that will undoubtedly impact learning.
The vast majority of children will lose a close family member or friend by the time they are 16, and one in 20 will lose a parent. But while a 2012 survey by the New York Life Foundation and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) found that 92 percent of teachers believe grief is a serious problem that deserves more attention in schools, 93 percent of teachers had never received any form of bereavement training and only 3 percent of school districts offer any such training. ...
Deanna Martindale is a 2014 PDK Emerging Leader and principal at Hebron Elementary School in Ohio. She has spent nineteen years in education, teaching sixth grade, serving as a professional development coach, and helping plan one of the first K-12 STEM programs in her state.
She recently took some time to share her thoughts on STEM learning, engaging curriculum, preparing students for college-and-career, and connecting with parents, students and staff in support of student achievement.
Public School Insights (PSI): Thank you so much for taking the time to share your insights with us here at Learning First Alliance. First, would you share some of your professional background with us?
This is my 19th year in education and my fourth year as an elementary principal. I have taught sixth grade, all subjects, and served as an instructional coach, working on assessment design and inquiry based teaching. I also spent time as a professional development coordinator with the Teaching and Learning Collaborative, working some with COSI Columbus to develop an Inquiry Learning for Schools summer program for teachers. I conducted professional development around the state to help roll out Ohio’s new science standards and best instructional practices, and I was a STEM coordinator for Reynoldsburg schools, where I worked with a design team of teachers and administrators to plan one of the first K-12 STEM programs in the state ...
By Terry Pickeral, Project UNIFY Senior Education Consultant
I recently co-facilitated a webinar sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) titled Social Inclusion: An Opportunity for Principal Leadership.
My co-facilitators included Steven Bebee, principal Cactus Shadows High School (AZ), Bill Schreiber, principal Granite Falls Middle School (NC) and Barbara Oswald, Special Olympics South Carolina.
It was a privilege to share and learn from these local and national leaders on how principals lead their schools to integrate and sustain social inclusion.
While US schools understand physical inclusion (ensuring all students have equitable access to facilities, services and activities) and academic inclusion (engaging diverse students in the teaching-learning process of the general education classroom) there is less familiarity with social inclusion ...
Students that drop out of school may vanish from the school system, but they do not disappear from society. They will reappear in court or prison, in the unemployment numbers that are released each month or as part of a welfare or poverty statistic. And students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) are more likely to drop out of school, as they face additional barriers to academic success. Fortunately, it is possible to reconnect with this population, with programs that show particular success when it comes to re-engaging these dropouts sharing key characteristics. The most recent issue of PDK International’s Kappan Magazine features an article, “Re-engaging School Dropouts with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders”, which is targeted at these students, though it offers advice that could help reengage all dropouts. ...
Looking back on 2014, the Learning First Alliance is pleased to bring you the five most viewed success stories* from the more than 190 stories housed on our site. Criteria for inclusion on the site is relatively straightforward – the story must show that a school, district or state identified a challenge, addressed it and produced positive results through their efforts. These results are measured in a variety of ways, from increased graduation rates or decreased dropout rates to improved standardized test scores or positive outcomes in student health and behavior. Other indicators may highlight parent engagement, improved classroom performance or new innovative practices that foster student engagement. Many stories also highlight the collaboration among education leaders. We would like to extend our thanks to all the organizations that allowed us to cross-post their features in this past year.
We wish you happy reading and a Happy New Year!
STEM is far more nuanced than the acronym suggests. At an early December NCTET-sponsored event at Discovery Education headquarters, the focus was on the importance of STEM in teaching and learning.
Science, technology, engineering and math aren’t just for individuals who already excel in the subjects; STEM can be for all students in all classes. And it really isn’t about excelling in key subjects, but a mindset that can be infused across a curriculum. In school, STEM helps students see what they can be, what they can do, and what problems they can solve. You can’t be what you can’t see, and STEM learning is a logical connection to the real world opportunities students can pursue in their future careers. ...
What makes good public policy? Some analysts might respond with the phrase "evidence-based research." Unfortunately, policymakers can also be political agents, acting in the interests of outside forces and influences. A recent book, Show Me the Evidence, by Ron Haskins, heralds the Obama Administration's focus on using evidence to inform public policy solutions. Unfortunately, the administration’s current obsession with the use of value-added measures (VAM) to track student growth and account for their progress in teacher evaluations runs counter to this evidence-based emphasis. ...