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Friday, May 21, 2010

Updates in Education

Here are some updates from ASCD Smart Brief. 

I will begin posting on a more regular basis now that the webinar series are completed.  Enjoy:)

1) What does differentiated instruction really look like?
Differentiated instruction is often more easily defined in theory than in practice, writes Edutopia consulting online editor Rebecca Alber in this blog post. Alber, who teaches online education at Stanford University, suggests that teachers start with researching students' educational histories and backgrounds to better understand their individual needs and follow up by adapting objectives or assignments to meet those needs, remembering that equality in education is not about "all students getting the same, but all students getting what they need." (04/13)
2) Why RTI is the "last, best hope" for teaching all students to read
Early-literacy expert and author Richard Allington explains in this interview why he believes response to intervention is "our last, best hope" for teaching all students to read. Allington, a University of Tennessee education professor, suggests that students do not need scripted reading programs but need the help of skilled and expert educators who can provide intensive, individualized reading instruction while they are in kindergarten and first grade. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (04/12)

3) Massachusetts schools aim to improve literacy across all subjects
Efforts to improve literacy among older students in Massachusetts schools have led to a push to integrate reading instruction into the teaching of other subjects throughout the school day. In one Boston-area middle school, students are using a new note-taking system where they create columns of notes that record all the steps needed to solve an algebraic equation. "Kids also need to know how to read in science and social studies and math," one district official said. Boston Globe, The (04/08)

4) Freshman academy helps keep ninth-graders on track
A program at a Minnesota high school is helping keep at-risk ninth-grade students on track for academic success. Northfield High School's freshman academy enrolls students who are deemed at-risk upon entering high school and offers them extra academic support. Students in the program take English, science and social studies together in smaller classes and receive extra help in an intensive study period during the school day. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (04/13)

5) Experts: New approach is needed to reach iGeneration
The iGeneration requires a more individualized approach to learning that students born before the 1990s did not, according to psychology professor and author Larry D. Rosen. These students also expect that technology will be a part of classroom lessons, Rosen and other experts said. "More than any other generation, they are pleading, 'Engage me,' ... because to sit and listen and do one thing for long periods is so foreign to their daily lives," said Andy Petroski, a learning-technologies expert at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania. eSchool News (free registration) (04/12)

"It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously."
--Peter Ustinov,
British actor and writer

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