Differentiated Instruction, Flexibility Make Multi-Age Classes Work
Multi-grade classes sound like a lot of work for teachers. But by regularly assessing students, differentiating instruction, and using flexible groupings, the experience can be revitalizing for a teacher. Included: Tips for planning lessons in multi-grade classes.
How Teachers Can and Must Reverse the ‘Boy Crisis’
In the book The Trouble With Boys former Newsweek reporter Peg Tyre outlines boys’ struggles in school, describes how education became less friendly to boys, and warns that failing to engage boys in school could seriously impact the nation’s future.
Making Inclusion the Norm
Including special education students in "regular" classes and finding ways to meet their -- and all other students' learning needs -- should be the goal of every school, according to professor Dr. Mara Sapon-Shevin.
Creating ELL-Friendly Classrooms
With the increase of non-English speaking students, teachers are searching for strategies to help them learn and feel part of the class. Teachers Kathleen Fay and Suzanne Whaley outline ways to help ELL students develop their literacy skills.
Different Strokes for Little Folks: Carol Ann Tomlinson on "Differentiated Instruction"
Professor Carol Ann Tomlinson understands the challenge of providing appropriate learning experiences for all students. Once a classroom teacher who had to simultaneously meet the needs of kids struggling to read at grade level and those who were ready for Harvard, she turned to differentiated instruction.
NMSA's Vision of Middle School Excellence
Late last year, the National Middle School Association released 14 recommendations for dramatically improving middle schools. NMSA president Linda Robinson has been hard at work spreading the word and her passion for the suggestions.
Saving a Community's Heart: The Small Rural School
At the center of many small, rural communities is the school -- and as states look for ways to save money, more small districts are being consolidated. The Rural School and Community Trust, though, argues that rural students benefit from small, local schools.
Looping -- when a teacher moves with his or her students to the next grade level rather than sending them to another teacher at the end of the school year -- is a phenomenon that is growing in popularity. What are the benefits and disadvantages and looping?
Is the Time Right for "Elemiddles"?
Some communities have found that middle schools full of hormone-drenched adolescents are neither tranquil nor productive. So they have reverted to the old "grammar" school structure of grades K to 8 in one school -- and they are pleased with the results.
Prepping Kindergartners for the Future
Faced with growing numbers of immigrant children and more state requirements, the Santa Ana (California) Unified School District is considering implementing a two-year kindergarten program to help children catch up academically and socially. Students would receive intensive English-language instruction before moving on to first grade.
Magnet School Helps Students Develop, Appreciate Different Talents
A new elementary magnet school built on the campus of the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut, is striving to educate a diverse student body using the multiple intelligences theories of psychologist Howard Gardner. Although admitting the school is "under a microscope" to see whether it will succeed, Principal Cheryl Kloczko is committed to the school's missions.
Substitute Teachers Gain National Voice
Shirley Kirsten, president of the year-old National Substitute Teachers Alliance (NSTA), tells Education World that although the demand for substitute teachers is increasing, the pressures on them are growing as well. Substitutes need more training and more support, Kirsten says.
Grants Allow Schools to Develop Small Communities
The U.S. Department of Education's Smaller Learning Communities program provides funds for large high schools to break down into smaller units.
AFT President Proposes Extra Year of High School
About 4,000 members of the American Federation of Teachers are gathering in Philadelphia this week for its 76th annual conference. Highlights of the conference include Vice President Al Gore's delivery of a key policy address, which can be seen during a live Webcast on the AFT Web site on July 5 at 2:30 p.m. Other highlights include debates and resolutions about controversial teacher testing, charter schools, and a proposal by AFT president calling for an extra year of high school to help prevent high school-dropout rates from climbing.
Is Nationwide Pre-K on the Way?
Georgia is on the right track with its all-day, free prekindergarten program, say parents and educators. Future school reform should include universal prekindergarten nationwide, according to Head Start founder Edward Zigler and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Richard W. Riley.
Study Looks for Keys to Early School Success
Kindergartners start school with a wide range of early childhood experiences, skills, and knowledge. A government study is taking a close look at kindergartners as they start school and will track them through their primary grades so the nation's schools can better meet their diverse needs. Included: New unpublished analyses focusing on ethnic-minority classrooms and gender and age differences.
Is Year-Round Schooling the Answer?
Do year-round schools enhance student learning, or are they a costly, hectic, and largely ineffective cure for the nation's educational ills? Those involved in year-round schools -- school superintendents, specialists, researchers, teachers, and principals -- share their views with Education World readers.
The School Day: It's Not a Race; Let's Change the Pace!
Does the relentless pace of the school day frustrate you? Do you need to cram more and more into six hours? In his latest book, TIME TO TEACH. TIME TO LEARN, Chip Wood takes a serious look at the frenetic pace of teaching and learning. He offers dozens of suggestions for refocusing on what's really important during the school day. In this exclusive Education World e-interview, Wood talks about his new book and about his ideas for changing the way we spend time in school.
Around the Block: The Benefits and Challenges of Block Scheduling
Learn about how block scheduling can help your school, and get tips on successful implementation.
Alternative School Calendars: Smart Idea or Senseless Experiment?
If American students are to compete effectively in a global economy, do they need to spend substantially more time in school? Would increasing the length of the school year or school day raise students' achievement, or would it be more advantageous to alter how we use the time we currently have? Many school systems are experimenting with alternative instructional schedules in an attempt to find out. Included: Year-round schools, later start times, the four-day week, trimesters, and more!
In the Loop: Students and Teachers Progressing Together
Looping ---when a teacher moves with his or her students to the next grade level rather than sending them to another teacher at the end of the school year--- was initially advocated by early 20th-century Austrian educator Rudolf Steiner and since has been used successfully for years in Europe. Despite the successful experiences of European school systems, looping is still uncommon enough in the United States to be considered innovative. Included: Looping research and comments from kids ---pro and con--- about looping.
From the Principal Files: Making Class Lists Needn't Be a Nightmare!
You've just completed the annual ritual --- the creation of next year's class lists. You've promised yourself you'll look for ways to make the process run more smoothly next year. First step: Read the advice in this story from Education World's "Principal Files" --- advice from school administrators who've been there, done that. Included: Why do parents request specific teachers?
K-8 Schools: An Idea for the New Millenium?
Are K through 8 schools things of the past, memories of yesteryear? Are middle schools the wave of the future? Many educators think so, but some still believe K through 8 is the best way to go!
Homogeneous or Heterogeneous: Which Way to Go?
Is ability grouping the best way for students to learn or does it hold many back? Education World takes a look at recent information -- from researchers and from teachers -- on the issue.
Should Schools Take a Break from Recess?
Does it make sense, educationally and developmentally, to eliminate recess for students in elementary school? That question is the subject of debate among educators. What do teachers and parents have to say?
Is the Four-Day School Week Coming Your Way?
Test scores were on the downswing; unfunded state mandates were on the rise. There was not enough money, not enough time. What is a superintendent to do? Lewis Diggs, Superintendent of Schools in Saratoga, Arkansas, might have found the answer for his system in the four-day school week.
The School Calendar: It's Time to Make Time for Learning!
How is the school-year calendar determined in your school system? How is the length of the school day determined? Is student learning at the center of those decisions?
Where Does Sixth Grade Belong?
Should sixth grade be in the middle school? the elementary school? a school all its own?
Starting Kindergarten Late: How Does It Affect School Performance?
Does entering kindergarten late help some children do better in school? The answer isn't as simple as it sounds! Opinions -- and the results of several recent surveys -- are divided on that question.
Who Will Pay for Full-Day K?
Do you pay to send your child to public school kindergarten? Some parents who want full-day kindergarten programs do. Parents in Seattle may be next.
Block Scheduling: A Solution or a Problem?
The merits of block scheduling are a subject of great debate. Is it a flexible scheduling alternative that benefits students -- or is it a fad that's sure to pass?
Grade Configuration: Who Goes Where?
K-3? K-8? 5-8? 7-8? How about a ninth-grade-only learning center? What is the best grade configuration for a school? A new report from the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory looks at schools of every configuration!
Is Ability Grouping the Way to Go---Or Should It Go Away?
Logic, emotion, and research often clash in the longstanding debate over the advantages and disadvantages of ability grouping (tracking). Should it be left up to the courts to decide whether such grouping is fair or not?