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Ed World interviews education experts from across the world.

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Technology in the Classroom

Undetected Eye Problems Hamper Student Learning
Few children have comprehensive eye examinations before they start kindergarten, and undetected vision problems can have a devastating impact on early learning. An optometrist explains some of the “symptoms” of vision impairment in young students.

Helping Kids Spotlight Heroes
Tired of seeing negative behavior and poor role models filling the media spotlight, news producer Jeanne Meyers founded the MY HERO Project, which encourages youngsters as well as adults to recognize the heroes in their lives and learn about others’ heroes.

Linking Healthful Eating to Sustainable Living
Educating young people about how their eating habits affect not just their own health, but other people’s too, as well as the health of the environment, can help improve student food choices and cut obesity rates, according to the Center for Ecoliteracy.

A New Look at Intelligence
In the book, Intelligence and the Brain, Dr. Dennis Garlick argues that intelligence reflects a person’s ability to understand, not just to memorize, and suggests that there are key stages in a child’s development in which parents and teachers should cultivate understanding.

Students Benefit from Active Learning
A program that increases students’ academic and physical fitness -- and blends into classroom schedules -- might have teachers doing cartwheels of their own. By tying physical activity bursts with lessons, Activity Works helps improve students’ focus.

Students Describe Qualities of Great Teachers
Viewing students as consumers -- and consumers with strong ideas about how their instructors should treat them as learners and individuals -- can help good teachers become great teachers in the eyes of the people who matter most, according to a new book.

Edutainers Make Lessons Engaging, Relevant
In coining the term edutainer, Dr. Brad Johnson and Tammy Maxson McElroy arent suggesting that teachers juggle at the front of the room, but rather that teachers should use some entertainer-type skills to help make lessons more relevant and engaging.

Veteran Actor Tony Danza Steps onto Classroom Stage
Years after studying to be a history teacher, actor Tony Danza decided to try his skills in the classroom as a high-school English teacher in Philadelphia. His experiences as a first-year teacher are featured in the A&E series, Teach: Tony Danza.

Books in the Home Can Predict a Childs Education Level
The presence of books in the home has a greater influence on a childs level of education than does parents income, nationality, or level of education. A 20-year study shows how investing in books can make a big difference.

An Inspiring Teacher Draws Inspiration from Students
Finding ways to put students at the center of their own learning and helping them find their passions are just some of the reasons Sarah Brown Wessling was named the 2010 National Teacher of the Year.

Designing Schools That Enhance Student Learning
The average school and classroom designs havent changed in decades, but some architects maintain that a few renovations could make classrooms more student-centered and lead improvements in test scores.

Creative Commons: Transforming Education Through More Accessible Resources
The Internet and digital technologies have transformed how people learn. Creative Commons provides the legal and technical infrastructure that makes it possible for educational resources to be widely accessible, adaptable, interoperable, and discoverable.

Siemens Foundation Chief Aims to Expand Programs Reach
The Siemens Foundation long has been known for honoring top math and science students. New foundation president Jeniffer Harper-Taylor wants to make math, science, engineering, and technology education more accessible to students at all grade levels.

Training the Next Generation of Science, Math Teachers
Building musical instruments to teach the physics of sound, and using geometry to construct life-size figures, are just two of the inspiring lessons brought to schools by teachers in the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation fellowship program.

Technology Integration, Projects Mark Top Administrators Work
Two administrators named the 2009 Outstanding Young Educators by ASCD are successfully using data, technology, project-based learning, and parent involvement to help transform their schools and inspire their students and teachers.

Technology Jump Starts the New Phys Ed
Dodge ball and out-of-shape, whistle-blowing phys ed teachers are becoming mere memories as PE teachers focus on using technology to enhance the health of individual students, according to a major survey.

Harry Potter, Magic Hook Kids on Science
As a new teacher, Alan McCormack turned to magic to conjure up more student interest in his science lessons. Then, when the Harry Potter books appeared, he wove aspects of those books into his lessons. His students were enchanted.

Math Games Can Target Key Instruction Areas
Classroom games these days may seem like an indulgence, but math consultant Dr. Nanci Smith shows teachers how to use games to differentiate instruction and reinforce skills that students need to tackle higher math. Included: Sample games for differentiating math instruction.

An I.D.E.A.L. Way to Include Autistic Kids
Children with autism often find social situations stressful, making school and family outings difficult. A process developed by a special educator helps prepare children with autism for such outings, allowing them to go more smoothly.

Heart Health Programs Move into Schools
Heart disease used to be largely an adult concern, but childhood obesity increased the risk of heart problems among children. The American Heart Association is raising its profile on programs schools can use to help students develop good health habits.

Steps for Making Good Schools Great
Good schools can be great schools if staff focus on best practices, common elements for instruction, and strategies to help all students learn, says Dr. Tim R. Westerberg, author of Becoming a Great High School: 6 Strategies and 1 Attitude That Make a Difference.

Renegade Lunch Lady Battles for Better Meals
Chef Ann Cooper, aka The Renegade Lunch Lady, is determined that all children have access to tasty, nutritional school lunches. So shes launched a Web site that could make mystery meat a thing of the past.

Practical Advice for Principals in the Field
Whether a principal is new to the role or to a school, there is always a lot to learn about a school, its culture, and people. The New Principals Fieldbook offers administrators practical advice on how to process and prioritize all that information.

Executive Gives Arts a Boost Where He Got His Start
Now a successful businessman and philanthropist, Richard Fields still remembers his elementary school music teacher with appreciation. He now is funding an extensive arts program at his former school to give todays students the experiences he had.

Okay, Grammar Still Isnt Fun, But Everyone Can Master It
Veteran English teacher Marian Anders wants people to know that when it comes to grammar, it does matter which option you choose, but learning to make the right choice neednt be the ordeal most people fear it will be.

Principals Tough Stand Turns School Around
Frustrated by what he considered low expectations and minimal structure at American Indian Public Charter School, Dr. Ben Chavis set out to reform the school instituting no-nonsense policies regarding attendance, appearance, and instruction. And it worked.

Rafe Esquith on Raising Extraordinary Kids
Parents must be the people they want their children to be. We parents and teachers need to understand that we cannot be in front of a television set and command our kids to go to their rooms and read. Never underestimate the power of a role model.

Teachers Can Help With the U.S. Census
The U.S. Census provides the federal government with key data that affects local communities, and the Census Bureau wants educators to spread the word about the 2010 head count through lesson plans and teaching materials it has prepared for teachers.

Sports Offer Autistic Kids Physical, Social Benefits
Participation in individual sports, such as martial arts and track and field, can have many benefits for children with autism, according to one neurologist. Children gain confidence and better awareness of their bodies, which can lead to improved communication skills.

Film War on Kids Calls for Scrapping Schools as We Know Them
The documentary film The War on Kids argues that public schools have become overly restrictive and ineffective due in part to an irrational fear of young peoples potential for violence. The films creator said he is not certain the existing system can be reformed.

Enlisting the Community to Promote Achievement
Concerned that many urban students, especially African-American ones, were underachieving in school, Hugh B. Price made community involvement in local schools a focus of his tenure at the National Urban League as well as the subject of a book.

The Book Whisperer Inspires Kids to Read
Donalyn Miller earned the nickname The Book Whisperer because of her almost mystical success getting kids to read -- a lot. Allowing children to choose books, and providing reading role models and time to read are among her strategies.

See Me After Class
New teachers often feel as though they need to do everything right -- and end up feeling as though theyre doing everything wrong. Former first-year teacher Roxanna Elden shares anecdotes and advice from her new book on surviving the first year of teaching.

Cultivating, Running a Great Parent Volunteer Program
Former teacher Rhonda Joness book Turning Parents into Volunteers features more than 175 pages of step-by-step instructions, tips, ideas, and forms for creating a successful parent volunteer program. Recently, we had the opportunity to talk with Jones.

What Students Really Think of Their Education, Teachers
When 414,000 grade 6-12 students speak, educators should listen. A student survey showed that while many students enjoy school and learning, they want their education to be more relevant to their everyday lives.

Mathnasium Offers Workout for the Mind
Rather than stressing memorization and repetitive exercises, the Mathnasium Method of math instruction focuses on first helping children develop an intuitive idea of how numbers work and learning how to do math mentally.

NEA Leader Stresses Goal of Great Public Schools for All Kids
National Education Association president Dennis Van Roekel wants to give all students access to a quality education in part by working to close the achievement gap, seeking more funding for public schools, and increasing parent and community involvement.

Enlisting Students to Create a Culture of Academic Integrity
Over at least the past decade, academic cheating has become more widespread and more accepted by many students. One researcher is piloting a project in which students and staff create, implement, and enforce academic integrity policies to help reduce cheating.

Stanley the Christmas Tree Has Lessons for All Seasons
Stanley the evergreen has one wish: to be the centerpiece of a family’s Christmas celebration. While other trees sneer at him, Stanley never gives up his dream. The story Stanley the Christmas Tree reminds children to dream big and never lose hope.

Using Old Newspapers to Teach History
Few people think of todays newspapers as tomorrows history books. But two history teachers have compiled reproductions of newspapers front pages to help students get a snapshot of events as they were reported.

The Importance of Nurturing Resiliency in Children
Societal pressures on families and children make resiliency an important characteristic for children to have. Once thought to be an inborn trait, resiliency can be developed and cultivated with help from educators.

Authors Make Case for Longer School Day
The common cry from many teachers these days is they need more time. For two authors, the solution is simple: Give teachers more time. Extending the school day will allow students to master academic subjects and spend time on enrichment programs, they say.

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 nations future.

NYC Teacher Selected to Present Lessons from Antarctica
Middle-school science teacher Shakira Brown encourages her students to take part in hands-on learning. She will be following her own advice as part of an eight-week expedition to Antarctica.Brown plans to teach lessons for U.S. students live from the ice.

Offering Teens Shoulders to Stand On
Teenagers confronting adult-world issues probably wish there was simple advice for their grown-up questions. Retired educator William Lee Swisher has put together a short guide for adolescents that touches on finances, relationships, and responsibilities.

Stopping the Spread of GI Illnesses in Schools
Gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses are among the most common maladies for young children, spreading rapidly through classes and schools. Using disinfectants on desks and hands, though, can slow the rampage of a stomach bug.

Top Teacher Ties History to Current Events
By tying the lessons of history to the issues of the day, Deirdra Grode, a seventh-and eighth-grade social studies and language arts teacher at Hoboken Charter School in Hoboken, New Jersey, is teaching her students to be analytical and socially aware.

Resources to Help Reach and Teach Autistic Students
Autism Spectrum Disorders are the fastest growing diagnosis of childhood disabilities in the U.S. During National Autism Awareness Month, the NEA is highlighting some of its teacher and parent resources for reaching and teaching students with autism.

Safeguarding Laptops and Their Contents
Most people wouldnt leave school without locking up confidential files. Yet, they fail to lock up" their laptops -- leaving the data and computers themselves vulnerable to theft. Educators and students must practice laptop security to prevent devastating data breaches.

Documentary: U.S. Students No Match for Peers in India, China
China and India may be associated with lower-cost products and labor, but these countries are mass-producing highly-educated, motivated students -- who surpass their U.S. peers at every academic level. The documentary Two Million Minutes warns of a pending economic crisis if U.S. students can’t compete globally.

Applying Differentiated Instruction
Author and educator Rick Wormeli notes in his book, Fair Isn't Always Equal that differentiated instruction is more than dividing students into groups -- the key is putting them into groups based on what you know about them.

Fitness Champ Teaches by Example
Even though P.E. teacher Scott DeTore always has taken pride in keeping fit, he was surprised when he won two fitness contests last year. He uses those experiences, as well as his skills as a personal trainer, to inspire his students to embrace healthful lifestyles.

Leveling the High-School Field
While U.S. education officials have been focusing on elementary and higher education over the past few years, little has been done to improve high schools, especially in low-income areas. A national campaign aims to give all kids a quality high-school education.

Teacher of the Year Inspires Excellence
The daughter of a teacher/minister who taught service to others by example, the 2007 National Teacher of the Year Andrea Peterson became a music teacher dedicated to helping her students appreciate music and reach their potential.

Wonder Years Actress Extols Wonders of Math
After endearing herself to TV viewers as Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years, actress Danica McKellar discovered her love and aptitude for mathematics. McKellar hopes her book, Math Doesnt Suck, makes math more understandable for girls.

New Chancellor Committed to Urban Students
Michelle Rhee only spent a few years as a classroom teacher, but during that time she developed a passion for helping underprivileged students. She plans to apply that drive and a commitment to high expectations as the new head of the DC Public Schools.

Developing More Resilient School Administrators
People who are resilient -- realistic optimists" who adapt to changes and learn from mistakes -- often are more effective leaders. More administrators are learning what it means to be resilient.

Schools Where "It's Being Done"
In the book, Its Being Done, author Karin Chenoweth looks at once-struggling schools that were able to turn around because of high expectations and staff members who were dedicated to helping students succeed.

National PTA Taps First Man to Serve as President-Elect
Charles Saylors has a message for dads who think the PTA is just for moms: The PTA needs you. Saylors, a PTA veteran, is slated to be the first man to serve as president of the 110-year-old National PTA. Getting more fathers involved is one of his top priorities.

Top Educator Finds Alternatives to Failure
Joris Ray, director of the Memphis City Schools alternative schools, believes that helping students achieve academic success leads to confidence and better behavior. That dedication helped earn him ASCDs 2007 Outstanding Young Educator Award.

Using Acting Skills in the Classroom
Students will be more engaged and behave better when educators teach with enthusiasm, using acting techniques such as physical and vocal animation, role-playing, and the use of suspense and surprise, according to the authors of a book on acting lessons for teachers.

CES Develops Engaged Students Who Demonstrate Their Learning
The Coalition of Essential Schools believes that helping students master certain essential skills and basic knowledge and requiring them to demonstrate mastery of those skills will help them succeed in life, and it wants to share its philosophy with others.

Practical, Hands-On Financial Literacy Lessons
Managing money is not an innate skill, as the high rate of debt in the U.S. shows. Lessons on managing money should be part of a formal education, many believe. Programs like Hands on Banking give students practical lessons in handling their finances.

Helping Children Become Well Aware"
In the book One Well, author/educator Rochelle Strauss talks about the need to view the worlds water supply as a giant, finite pool from which everyone on Earth drinks, and the responsibility we all have to protect that well.

An Insiders Look at Students Lives
As a school counselor, Barbara J. Kiernan got an inside look at the complex issues with which teens cope. Using composite characters, she wrote a book about those issues to let kids know they are not alone and to give insight to teachers about students lives.

The Growing Role of Online Learning
Enrollment in online and blended courses -- those that combine online and traditional learning -- will continue growing, a study says. Educators need training and schools need plans to ensure online learning is integrated effectively and efficiently into schools.

Vigorous Exercise Can Lead to Academic Gains
A group of researchers found that exercise -- when it is vigorous enough -- can help improve students academic performance. While not all kids break a sweat every day, even some activity during the school day can help students focus, one of the authors said.

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.

Why Teachers Unions Are Needed
The growing number of mandates and non-educators enforcing them make teachers unions more critical than ever, according to professor Diane Ravitch. Unions need to ensure that teachers influence on curriculum and practices is not further eroded.

Minorities Benefit from Integrated Schools
While the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education ordered schools desegregated, many schools remain segregated, and because of that, unequal. A study indicates, though, that minority students learn less in segregated schools.

Lesson Study Can Improve Teaching, Learning
Through lesson study, teachers learn to work together to develop, teach, and refine a lesson. While this can mean breaking old teaching habits, the authors of a guide to lesson study say the result is improved instruction and student learning.

Enlisting Students to Make the Internet Safer
The potential dangers to young people using the Internet become more real every day -- yet, so do the opportunities for enrichment. iSAFE Inc. aims to help students understand and navigate online hazards, and encourage them to educate their peers as well.

Its Time to Repair Americas Schools
Stories of vermin, mold, asbestos, and water in classrooms have become all too common in the U.S., according to a report from the American Federation of Teachers. Its time for the nation to commit itself to repairing its aging and deteriorating schools.

Breaking the Homework Habit
The ideas that homework reinforces classroom lessons, helps children develop good work habits, and improves student achievement have no basis in fact, says Alfie Kohn. Homework should be assigned selectively rather than automatically, he says.

Acting Out Could Be Sign of Stress
Children today live with more uncertainty, stress, and trauma than those of a generation ago, leading many to act out in school. Teachers need to differentiate between kids who are disobedient and those who are anxious, says child trauma expert Barbara E. Oehlberg.

AACTE Defends Teacher Education
Teacher education programs may have their flaws, but schools and states need to build on their strengths rather than start from scratch, according to Dr. Sharon P. Robinson, president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Top Administrator Focuses on Standards, Achievement Gap
Under the leadership of Dr. Beverly L. Hall, the Atlanta, Georgia, Public Schools have seen achievement rise as the achievement gap shrinks. For these efforts and others, Dr. Hall earned the award for the nations top urban educator.

Transitions Focus of Inclusion Week
Transitions between grades and schools are difficult for many students, but the challenges increase for students with disabilities or limited English skills. National Inclusive Schools Week this year focuses on supporting special needs students through transitions.

A Framework for Raising Well-Balanced Children
Children may be pampered with a plethora of gadgets, but they are not nurtured in a way that helps them develop into responsible and caring citizens, argues Dr. Peter L. Benson. All segments of society must commit to childrens well being, he argues.

Reforming the Chaos" of Teacher Education
Teachers are graduating from college unprepared to cope in todays classrooms and improve students performance, according to a report by the former president of Teachers College, Columbia University.

Hooking Kids on Reading
Despite schools focus on reading, many students still are not reading independently or for pleasure. A program developed by a college professor stresses hooking students on reading by introducing them to challenging subject matter that interests them.

Teaching Critically Is Worth the Effort
With all the pressures to prepare for tests and stick with the curriculum, some teachers feel they are losing teachable moments." But it is just those moments, argues Mary Cowhey, which can help students develop as critical, creative thinkers.

Principal of the Year Personalizes, Individualizes Student Learning
After watching her bright brother drop out of high school, Dr. Jeryl (Jill) Martin wanted to find ways to keep kids in schools. Her efforts as principal to personalize education at Thomas B. Doherty High School helped earn her Principal of the Year honors.

Keeping Art Alive Under NCLB
While nothing in the No Child Left Behind Act says schools must eliminate the arts to concentrate on math and reading, arts instruction is shrinking or vanishing in many schools. Arts advocates say the arts are critical to a complete education.

A Guidebook for Teens
Doesn't everyone at some point wish for a manual for... life? Nothing could be that comprehensive, but Sean Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens provides practical advice for navigating adolescence.

Why the Achievement Gap Refuses to Close
While more people are talking about the achievement gap among students of different ethnic backgrounds, progress on providing all students with a quality education remains slow, according to the authors of the book Unfinished Business.

NEA Launches NCLB Reform Effort
Many educators have expressed concerns about the requirements and sanctions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, and the National Education Association has adopted a plan to reform the law, which it wants Congress to hear.

NYC Teachers Recall 9/11
Many New York City teachers on September 11, 2001, had to push aside the average person's concern for self and family and focus on the safety of the frightened children in their classes. A book of teachers' essays relates their bravery and creativity on 9/11 and in the days and weeks after.

Ending Bullying by Teaching Kids Not To Be Victims
Bullying and teasing are part of life, says psychologist Izzy Kalman, so rather than trying to stamp out bullying, educators and parents need to teach children how to deal with bullying; that is, how not to be victims.

Board Chair Looks to Continue Urban Schools' Gains
Despite underfunding and the challenges of recruiting qualified teachers in key subject areas, urban schools continue to make gains, according to George H. Thompson III, this year's chairman of the Council of the Great City Schools' board of directors.

Teacher Wins $100,000 for Excellence
The Kinders of Texas believe excellent teachers deserve six-figure salaries, the same as other professionals. They decided to award $100,000 to an outstanding educator, kindergarten teacher Linda Alston of the Denver, Colorado, schools.

Judging, Regulating Student Online Content
Questionable content on teen online social networking sites such as MySpace and other Web sites is prompting many educators to wonder what, if anything, they can do to regulate content. Nancy Willard offers some advice to educators on this challenging issue.

Help for Teaching Students With Learning Disabilities
More educators are teaching children with learning disabilities, at the same new regulations and strategies for helping these students are coming out. The National Center for Learning Disabilities has new resources to help all teachers.

Principal Unites School Around Student Strengths
When changes hit Khowhemun Elementary School in British Columbia, staff members and the community initially found it hard to adjust. Charlie Coleman, ASCD's 2005 Outstanding Young Educator, helped give the school focus and unified the staff.

Solid Leadership Key to Good Middle Schools
A multi-year, national study of leadership in middle schools led by professor Jerry Valentine of the University of Missouri-Columbia's Middle Level Leadership Center showed in part that successful schools had good leaders with positive attitudes.

Adding Up the Benefits of Financial Literacy
With so many Americans saving little and spending a lot, financial literacy is a critical skill. The Foundation of Investor Education offers multiple resources for teaching students about saving and investing, including the popular Stock Market Game.

School, Town Create Holocaust Memorial
While studying the Holocaust, Whitwell Middle School students set out to collect 6 million paper clips to comprehend the number of Jews killed by the Nazis. They not only exceeded their goal, but with community help, created a memorial to those who died.

Peeing in the Ool and Other Favorite Kids' Poems
Kenn Nesbitt is the author of The Aliens Have Landed! a collection of humorous poems for children. He lives in Washington state with his wife, two children, three cats, and six computers. His zany and whimsical poetry has appeared in children's poetry anthologies all over planet Earth and can also be found on the Internet at Poetry4Kids. When he's not playing with his family, cats, or computers, you'll find Nesbitt writing poetry or visiting elementary schools, sharing his crazy brand of rhyming humor with kids everywhere. Included: Links to poetry resources for teachers.

Helping Schools Promote Fitness, Healthful Diets
Spurred by a government report warning about the effects of overeating and inactivity among children, education and health officials formed Action for Healthy Kids, a group that works with schools to promote more healthful lifestyles for youngsters.

Using Student Ears, Eyes to Stop Crime
Building on the success of its community programs, Crime Stoppers USA is encouraging schools to set up Crime Stoppers in Schools programs. These programs allow students to anonymously pass on tips to authorities about potential crimes or threats.

O, Say, Does Your Class Know the National Anthem?
For years, students learned "The Star-Spangled Banner" and other patriotic songs in music class. Budget cuts, though, have forced many schools to eliminate music, so the National Association for Music Education is urging people to learn and sing the anthem.

Improv Team Acts to Curb Violent Behavior
Imagine being able to freeze the action in a dispute, step out of the "scene," and get feedback on your next move. The Urban Improv troupe lets students do that, and helps them see the non-violent approaches to resolving conflict.

Guide Offers Practical Character Education Lessons
With more teachers and parents seeing the need for character education, the not-for-profit Heartwood Institute has released a book of lessons for teachers and counselors to teach children ethics, social, and emotional skills.

Helping Boys Learn
Over the past several decades, boys' behavior and performance in school has continued to decline. Researchers like Michael Gurian say these are indications that schools are not structured to accommodate how boys' brains work and how they learn.

Teen Brings Unique Voice to School Board
Many high school students might groan about attending a school board meeting. But for senior Pallas A. Snider, serving on the Anne Arundel County school board is a chance to make her voice heard on issues important to the community and fellow students.

How Breakfast Choices Affect Learning
Research shows that children who eat breakfast do better in school. But one study found that eating whole grain foods with higher fiber and protein content, such as oatmeal, could enhance children's learning even more.

Teachers Have It Easy--NOT
Too many people still regard teaching as an easy part-time job at full-time pay. In Teachers Have It Easy, the authors attack those perceptions, by citing the long hours, sacrifices, and low salaries imposed on many teachers.

Ways to Teach Empathy Skills
Everyone has met people who are highly compassionate. But we would meet more of them if children were taught at an early age to be empathetic, according to author/teacher David A. Levine, who has created lessons and activities to teach empathy skills.

Remembering, Supporting, "The Forgotten Middle"
Many of today's students are what educators call "average," not distinguishing themselves academically, yet not doing poorly enough to warrant attention. One educator says these "forgotten middle" students have been ignored too long.

What H.S. Kids Want from Their Principals
High school students can be a tough bunch, but they also like knowing that someone cares for them. In Sent to the Principal, high school students talk about what principals can do to help them become responsible, confident adults.

Author Frank McCourt Reflects on Teaching Career
Frank McCourt began his second career as a writer in a big way, winning the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for his memoir, Angela's Ashes. But before McCourt was a writer, he spent 30 years as a New York City English teacher, an experience detailed in his latest book, Teacher Man.

Fantasy Game Helps Students "Pass" Math
Many youngsters crunch sports statistics, but never think of it as doing math. But a curriculum developed by a former middle school math teacher that combines math with Fantasy Football is scoring big with students.

Businesses Provide Supplies, Grant Money
Office supply companies often find themselves paying to store extra inventory or have it carted away. But the Kids In Need Foundation matches companies with schools that need supplies and helps teachers fund innovative lessons.

Online Math, Science Training for Teachers
Increasing the number of qualified math and science teachers in U.S. schools is a concern not just for school systems, but for businesses as well. Now some companies have teamed up with the University of California-Irvine Extension to improve teachers' skills.

Play Fair and Win
John Hourihan, a coach and writer, passes on lessons from two decades of coaching youth sports in his book, Play Fair And Win. Many children spend almost as much time with coaches as they do with teachers, and they can complement one another.

Principal Actions Key to Retaining Teachers
Often principals don't realize how much influence they have on teachers' job and career satisfaction. By employing certain p behaviors that convey support and respect, principals can be the difference between keeping and losing a teacher, according to some studies.

A Guide to Doing the Right Thing
How often do we ask ourselves, "What is the right thing to do?" and wonder if we are forcing our sense of what is right on other people. Ethicist Bruce Weinstein offers five principles everyone can use in ethical decision-making.

Help Students Rise Above the Clutter
Many children have trouble keeping track of assignments, but manage until the demands of multiple teachers in middle school overwhelm them. A book explains how teachers and parents can help students better organize their time and responsibilities.

Teacher of the Year Targets Education Inequities
Jason Kamras, the first National Teacher of the Year from Washington, D.C., wants people to know that urban children want to learn - they just need the resources and support.  

New Approach to Teaching Math, Science Spurs Gains
Instructing teachers to use computational math and science in their lessons has led to marked student improvement in two New York districts. Dr. Osman Yasar, director of the institute that trains teachers in this approach, explains why.

Ways to Engage, Nurture Middle Schoolers
Middle schoolers are active, inquisitive, impulsive, and that's what makes them fun, says author/educator Rick Wormeli. Rather than try to change the kids, he suggests ways teachers can structure their teaching to better engage young adolescents.

Teacher Education Programs
Too often new teachers walk into their first classroom assignment full of educational theories but short on practical training, according to consultant Dr. Howard Seeman. Teachers need more hands-on experience in classroom management, he said.

Celebrating the U.S. Constitution
September 16 is the day this year for schools and all Americans to honor and study the U.S. Constitution. Louise Leigh, the founder of Constitution Day, hope lessons give students a new appreciation of their heritage and freedoms.

Creating Harbors of Hope Where All Children Can Learn
Educators and consultants Linda Dier and Wayne Hulley outline a process for creating "harbors of hope:" schools where all children feel safe and know they can succeed.

Creating School-Wide Anti-Bullying Strategies
Approaches to reducing bullying often focus on the conflicts among specific children. But what school counselor Stan Davis advocates and practices is a school-wide anti-bullying approach that encourages and outlines respectful behavior as well as consistent consequences.

Secretary of Education Staying the Course on NCLB
Test scores are up and the achievement gap is shrinking under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. Staying true to the law is the best way to ensure quality education for all students, she told Education World.

Growing Caring Citizens Through Good Works
Social studies teacher Peter White always felt compelled to help the less fortunate, and he spread and channeled his passion through a student club called Students for 60,000. Students have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for causes in the U.S. and adopted two Nicaraguan towns

Got Questions? Ask the Homework Lady
The more homework students do, the more they learn, right? For too long, educators and parents have clung to that idea, according to "Homework Lady" Dr. Cathy Vatterott. Fewer, more focused assignments benefit students more, she says.

School-Community Relations is Great PR And Then Some
George Pawlas, author of The Administrator's Guide to School-Community Relations, says every principal should carry a list of "six statements you can say with pride about your school." Pawlas offers that PR advice and much more in this EdWorld interview.

Strive To Be A Better You"
Pete Hall came to Anderson Elementary School in Reno, Nevada in 2002 as a young principal with a mission: to help children who desperately needed support. In two years, Hall changed Anderson from a failing school to one of the districts top achievers.

Striving to Make Peer Mediation More Effective
Peer mediation programs have shown themselves to be effective in reducing student conflicts, but now advocates are working to make them more successful and easier to implement.

Using Different Styles to Help Weak Readers
The National Reading Styles Institute (NRSI) trains teachers to help struggling readers by identifying students' learning styles, and then adapting instruction to those styles. The approach works with older as well as younger students, according to NRSI executive director, Dr. Marie Carbo.

Teaching Manners in a Manner-less World
With manners in U.S. society at what some consider an all-time low, author and psychologist Dr. Alex J. Packer has written a humorous etiquette guide for teenagers that offers real-life lessons and explains the value of manners.

Helping Schools Do What's Best for Special Ed Kids
Peter Wright struggled in his first years of school until his learning disabilities were identified and intensive remediation helped him learn to read and write. Now an attorney, Wright is helping parents and educators understand special education law.

Repaying the Kindness of Strangers
Like hundreds of thousands, Laura Dunham's tranquil morning in Sri Lanka December 26, 2004, was shattered by a massive tsunami. Afterward, Dunham was fed and sheltered by local residents, and has returned to that village to help with reconstruction.

Teacher Evaluations as a Reform Tool
Standardizing teacher evaluations in a state can provide consistency and tie evaluations to performance goals, according to a report. Evaluations that define quality and strive to improve student and teacher performance can be strong reform tools.

Music's Key Role in Helping Students Learn
Music's positive impact on learning is becoming well known, and one of the groups trumpeting that message is NAMM, the International Music Products Association. NAMM's Mary Luehrsen talked about the research behind the group's message.

Do Good Manners Contribute to Academic Success?
Education World speaks with etiquette expert Linda Williams about what etiquette is, what educators can do to help students learn proper etiquette and good manners, and how practicing good manners can help children be successful in life.

Setting Learning to Read in Motion
Nothing captures young children's attention more than music and motion, and an approach called Reading In Motion lets youngsters exercise their creativity (and their bodies) as well as their minds as they learn to read.

Filmmaker Gives Fast-Food Warning to Kids
When filmmaker Morgan Spurlock decided to eat nothing but McDonald's for 30 days for his movie Super Size Me, his health deteriorated more than anyone expected. Now he is urging schools to help steer kids away from fast food, through more healthful lunch choices.

A Call for Scientific Approaches to Reading Instruction
If U.S. children are going to learn to read more quickly and effectively, schools need to use methods that have demonstrated success and monitor what works for different children, according to Dr. G. Reid Lyon, a research psychologist.

Uniting A School Around Improvement
A former U.S. Army officer, Samuel E. Harris set out to change the culture at Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High School when he became principal five years ago. Harris's efforts have helped transform the school.

Putting the Arts in the (Everyday) Picture
While for the most part the arts have been on the fringes of education, when they become a larger part of the curriculum, they can engage students in numerous ways, and particularly can benefit students in low-income, low-performing schools.

Getting the Most Out of Homework
When teachers know how homework fits in with their lessons and students understand the purpose of assignments, homework is more productive and helpful for everyone. A consultant talks about how to make homework more meaningful.

Videoconferencing Deserves a Second Look!
Better and cheaper technology, combined with the rapidly growing availability of videoconferencing sites, have made this learning tool affordable and accessible to most K-12 classrooms. In this Education World interview, videoconferencing expert Jan Zenetis shares tips and cautions for making your first videoconference a real success.

Not Your Mother's Grammar Lesson
If you find diagramming sentences an ordeal to learn and teach, you are not alone. English teacher Les Parsons in his book Grammarama offers new strategies for teaching grammar that are more engaging for everyone.

Teaching Health With Vigor -- At Age 91
After 35 years in the classroom, health teacher Eleanor Bralver is thinking about retiring -- someday. But at age 91, she is in no rush. Bralver said her goal is to help her students' live the healthiest lives they possibly can.

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.

Making Social Studies Work for At-Risk Kids
Joann Winkler, the 2004 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) elementary school teacher of the year, has her at-risk kids running businesses, collecting for the needy, and giving national park "tours."

Advancing the Need for International, Global Studies
Caryn Stedman is so eager to broaden her students' views of the world that she has invited visitors from other countries to her school. Stedman, an award-winning social studies curriculum specialist, talks about her zeal for international literacy.

Teachers Significantly Impact Girls' Science Views
More than parents or peers, teachers are a major factor in developing girls' interest in science, according to high school science teacher Dr. Michael Papadimitriou. Girls who liked a high school science teacher had positive views about the course and science.

Bringing Out the Best in Kids
Author and teacher Dr. Thomas Armstrong helps teachers apply multiple intelligences in their teaching, so they can tap into students' traditional and non-traditional talents and styles of learning.

How Understanding Poverty Can Help Low-Income Children Learn
Teachers often come from vastly different social and economic classes than their students, which can lead to culture clashes in the classroom. A new book by Dr. Ruby K. Payne helps educators understand low-income students, and discusses ways to improve their learning.

Author Makes Science Readable, Enjoyable
Finding the textbooks her children brought home uninspiring, Joy Hakim combined her skills as an educator and journalist and began writing texts. Her latest, The Story of Science, is a flowing narrative of the evolution of science.

Preventing a School Hostage Crisis in the U.S.
The hostage crisis at a Beslan, Russia, school last month has raised questions about the safety of public schools in the U.S. A security consultant tells Education World why he thinks schools need tougher security measures.

Elections, Voting in Words a Kid Can Understand
The vocabulary and idiosyncrasies that surround voting and the election process are difficult for adults to grasp. In America Votes: How Our President is Elected, Linda Granfield explains the whole process in words any fifth grader will understand.

Helping Urban Students Succeed
Judy Farmer, the new chairwoman of the board of directors of the Council of the Great City Schools, thinks urban schools are doing a lot right, and more joint efforts by educators and communities can lead to greater gains.

Reporter Turned Teacher Recalls First Tough Years
After working as a reporter for 24 years -- including covering the state's child welfare system -- Leslie Baldacci was ready to take on the job of inner city teacher. But she had a lot to learn, as she recounts in her book about her early teaching experiences.

Developing 9/11 Lessons That Are Informative, Sensitive
For the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, The Families of September 11, Inc., released guidelines for lessons about the attacks that are informative and sensitive to the needs of children who may have lost relatives or friends.

Scholarship Allows Teacher to Experience Japan
Thanks to a Toyota scholarship program, Sandi Bullington and 49 other U.S. teachers to traveled to Japan for intensive study of the education system, economy, and culture. Their experiences will bring an international flavor to their lessons this year.

Dealing With Difficult Parents
In Dealing With Difficult Parents, Doug Fiore and Todd Whitaker offer strategies and techniques that make it easier to deal with seemingly difficult parents and with the difficult situations in which they find themselves. Included: Doug Fiore answers our questions.

Reform from the Ground Up: Looking at School Design
Too often, when people talk about school reform, they never look at how the facilities themselves affect education. Paying more attention to school design can enhance learning, according to researcher Michael DeArmond.

Author Explains Juvenile Justice System
Television court dramas may draw a lot of young viewers, but they don't educate the public about the juvenile justice system. Author and lawyer John W. Biggers hopes his Kids Law books will help adults and teens understand the juvenile system.

Tracing the Start of the Laptop Revolution in Schools
In 1990, fifth graders at a private school in Australia were introduced to laptops, and their learning was never the same. Author Bob Johnstone talks about the first laptop school, the response it received, and integrating laptop learning.

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.

Seeking Help in the Accountability Era
Long known for its role in preparing students to take college entrance exams, Kaplan, Inc. now is spending more time helping school districts with curriculum and professional development. Kaplan's Seppy Basili talks about the company's role in those areas.

Strike up the Band, Exit Stage Right!
In the Internet, TV, video game-age, kids draping a sheet in a garage to "stage" a "play" seems quaint. But author and performer Deborah Dunleavy wants children to create their own dramas and music, and has written guidebooks both kids and teachers can use.

Teacher of the Year Aims to Celebrate Teachers, Teaching
National Teacher of the Year Kathy Mellor, an English as a second language teacher in Rhode Island, is eager to spend her term celebrating teachers and teaching and encouraging school-community partnerships to improve education.

Focus, Higher Standards Can Bring Urban School Gains
As chairman of the Board of Directors of the Council of the Great City Schools, Carlos A. Garcia says part of his job is telling people what urban educators are doing right. Recent academic gains in some cities are reason for optimism.

A "Nuts and Bolts" Approach to Classroom Successes
A former teacher, Dr. Jane Bluestein turned her pages of tips for teachers about classroom management and organization into a book and then a business. She works with educators seeking new ways to improve their teaching and interactions.

Outstanding Young Educator Connects Learning With Life
"Jennifer Morrison is known for using her classroom as a living laboratory for best practices and for sharing research-based knowledge with her colleagues," said ASCD executive director Gene R. Carter. "She is the embodiment of what we envisioned when the Outstanding Young Educator Award was implemented."

NBPTS: Building Better Teachers
A goal of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to "provide a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet high and rigorous standards." NBPTS president Joseph A. Aguerrebere Jr. explains how that certification process can improve both teaching and learning.

Starting School Reform from the Inside
Teachers and principals know their schools best, which is why they need to take the lead in school reform, says author Roland S. Barth. Only when everyone in a school commits to life-long learning will education change.

Make Way for the New Report Cards
As districts revise curriculum and try to better measure how much of that curriculum students master and how well, new versions of report cards are inevitable. Education professor Dr. Thomas R. Guskey talks about some trends.

Author Says Technology Brings False Promises to Schools
When it comes to technology, too often educators think the more the better, the sooner the better, according to author Todd Oppenheimer. He argues that the current emphasis on technology use in schools drains resources from other subjects and prevents students from developing critical and creative thinking skills.

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.

Author Does His Homework on Hot Topic
Everyone knows that doing homework is a must for a good education, right? Not necessarily, according to author John Buell. Revamping how much and what type of homework is assigned can create more opportunities for learning.

Cold Mush: Serving Stories from the Iditarod Trail
Jeffrey M. Peterson of Minnesota, this year's Teacher on the Trail, is eager to experience the Iditarod and to share his observations and lessons with students around the world.

Restorative Practices Build Community, Responsibility
Although student misbehavior impacts many people at school, often only the student is involved in the discipline process. The restorative practices approach stresses correcting the harm rather than punishing the deed, and advocates including the affected parties in the process.

Gifted Education as a Whole School Model
Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli, director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, advocates for lessons that challenge all levels of learners, including gifted students.

SteveSongs Transforms Kids Into Songwriters While Reinforcing Classroom Skills
Setting Christopher Columbus's journey, the virtues of kindness, and even the long "e" sound to music are part of a day's work for Steve Roslonek. The musician conducts workshops that use songwriting to reinforce skills and concepts taught in other classes.

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.

From Custodian to Principal
After working with students and teachers as a school custodian, Jack Yates knew he wanted to be an educator. With support from family and colleagues, Yates earned two degrees, and now is an elementary school principal.

Firing Up Teacher-Student Communication
What do high school students really want from their teachers? According to the 40 students who expressed their views in Fires in the Bathroom: Advice to Teachers from High School Students, they want respect, honesty, and an understanding of them as individuals. Included: Students' tips for classroom teachers.

Uniting Against Cheating
When students began to complain about the level of cheating at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut, principal John J. Brady knew it was time to face the issue directly. Faculty, students, and parents now are working to end cheating.

Singing for Societal Change... Again
Disrespect has become rampant in U.S. society, according to singer, songwriter, and activist Peter Yarrow of the trio Peter, Paul & Mary. Yarrow's curriculum, Don't Laugh at Me, teaches children to respect themselves and others.

"Not Much, Just Chillin'," a Window on Middle School Life
Washington Post education writer Linda Perlstein spent a year following five Maryland middle school students, and then wrote "Not Much, Just Chillin'" a rare insight into the lives of young adolescents.

Teaching Self-Control: A Curriculum for Responsible Behavior
Martin Henley has created a curriculum for teaching 20 self-control skills all children need. The Teaching Self-Control curriculum includes role-plays, simulations, learning center activities, and children's literature that can be used to teach those skills.

Learning to Tap Away Stress, Anger
In Dr. Lynne Namka's book, Good Bye Ouchies and Grouchies, Hello Happy Feelings, Namka describes how teachers and parents can use tapping and reflection to help children release unhappy feelings.

Evaluating In-School Suspension Programs
Monitoring in-school suspension programs can make them more effective, or even unnecessary, if school climate changes occur, according to education analyst Anne Wheelock. Schools need to monitor who is suspended and by whom.

PTA President Seeks Larger, More Diverse Membership
Attracting and keeping involved parents, and reaching out to underrepresented parent populations, are among the priorities for Linda Hodge, the National PTA's new president. Hodge brings experience from the local and national level.

"Married with (Many, Many) Children": Principal Partners Speak Out
When Pam and Roger Burton met during college, they could not have anticipated that both would end up working not only as educators, but as principals. Ed World chatted with the Burtons about the pluses and problems of being partners at work and home.

Rallying Cry from a "Champion for Children"
Emmy-winning TV producer/reporter Thomas Baldrick left his job to focus on efforts benefiting children. The author of two books that focus on kids and how adults relate to them, he visits schools and presents workshops for students, teachers, and parents.

Breakfast Serials Serve Up Fiction Fun
Concerned that fewer and fewer Americans are reading for pleasure, Avi, a Newbery Award-winning author, founded Breakfast Serials, a re-incarnation of the serialized newspaper novel. Everyone, from young teens to adults, is devouring them -- chapter by chapter.

A Child's Plea Becomes an Adult's Crusade
Jodee Blanco's school career was not a series of joyous milestones, but a years-long sentence of misery. Blanco talks with Education World about her book, which details her harsh treatment at the hands of bullies, and her current efforts to help schools stop bullying.

National Teacher Calls for More Teacher-Leaders
Dr. Betsy Rogers, the 2003 National Teacher of the Year, wants to share with other educators and the public her passion for teaching and the need to provide a quality education for all students.

How Responsive Classroom Practices Work
Mary Beth Forton, director of publications for the Northeast Foundation for Children (NEFC), and a former teacher, talks about how Responsive Classroom techniques can save teachers time and make students' and teachers' lives more pleasant.

Web Site Links Schools and Museums
Education World chats with Stephanie Norby, director of the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, about its new Web site and about the Center's efforts to foster partnerships between museums and schools.

The Essential 55: Rules for a Lifetime
Ron Clark, the author of The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child, discusses his classroom rules and the philosophy behind them

Class Rules Smooth Way for the Year
Rules in School, a book from the Northeast Foundation for Children, tells teachers how they can regain instructional time during the school year by helping students develop class rules and consequences at the beginning of the year.

Induction Programs Help Keep Better Teachers
Educator-author Annette Breaux talks about the Framework for Inducting, Retaining, and Supporting Teachers (FIRST), a new teacher induction program that has reduced her school system's teacher attrition rate by 80 percent.

A New Guide for New Teachers
I remember my first day teaching -- and the downhill slide that followed. Yvonne Bender explains how her New Teacher Handbook can save today's new teachers from the kind of year I had.

Stretch Break for Kids: Free Software Helps Prevent Computer-Related Injuries
Dr. Karen Jacobs, a recognized expert in the fields of occupational therapy and ergonomics, discusses Stretch Break for Kids, a software program designed to help children avoid injuries associated with computer use, and offers tips for preventing repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) in kids.

Starting Good Eating Habits in the Lunchroom
High-fat school lunches that mimic fast food may be contributing to childhood obesity and other health problems, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Schools need more fruits and vegetables on their cafeteria trays.

No Child Left Behind Picks Up Steam
Under Secretary of Education Dr. Eugene W. Hickok responds to questions about new regulations related to the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. Those regulations deal with such issues as accountability, adequate yearly progress, teacher quality, school choice, and more.

New American Schools Helps Schools Make the Grade
Schools, school districts, and states looking for help in developing a comprehensive improvement plan can turn to New American Schools, a nonprofit consulting organization. Harold C. Doran of New American Schools recently talked with Education World about his views on testing, reform, and the No Child Left Behind Act.

Linking Mentors, Students Via the Internet
Support from a mentor can help women studying engineering and science remain in the field. Distance and schedule conflicts can make personal mentoring meetings difficult, but MentorNet allows students and mentors to communicate via e-mail. Executive director Carol Muller talks about how the program benefits students and mentors.

Who Moved My Cheese? Message Continues to Spread
Bruce Bracken is the chief operations officer of of Who Moved My Cheese.com. He talks with Education World about why he thinks the book Who Moved My Cheese? is so popular.


Schools of Education Work to Improve Urban Schools
Donna Browder Evans of Ohio State University is the new chairperson of the Council of the Great City Colleges of Education'. She discusses her hope that the collaboration will produce teachers better prepared to teach in urban schools -- and higher-achieving urban students.


Stopping Dropping Out!
Franklin P. Schargel is co-author of Strategies to Help Solve Our School Dropout Problem. He talks about why educators, parents, and the community need to work together to reduce the school dropout rate.


Get That Degree from Home!
Leslie Bowman, through her consulting firm E-Learning Innovations, works with universities and professional development providers to design online professional development and graduate courses for educators.


Olympic Torch Run a Personal Victory for Maryland Teacher
Kristen Adelman is a sixth-grade teacher who carried the Olympic torch on its way to Salt Lake City. Adelman talks about the honor of carrying the torch and about her continuing fight against cancer.


WestEd Offers One-Stop Education Consulting
Fred Tempes is a director with WestEd, a regional educational laboratory for the West Coast. WestEd works with school systems to assess instruction methods and student performance, then helps with implementing an action plan.

School Psychologists' Changing Roles, Responsibilities
Charles R. Deupree is president of the National Association of School Psychologists. He chats with Education World about the changing role of the school psychologist in today's schools.

Comedy in the Classroom: Just What the Doctor Ordered?
Emily Oldak is the author of Comedy for Real Life. Oldak explains the role of comedy in teaching and how it can ease the tensions of children in an unsettled world.

Texas Firm Creating Bank of School Safety Information
Dr. Saul Willen is CEO of International Horizons Unlimited. The company is surveying educators and the public about their views on school safety issues.

Reading, Writing ... and Moral Intelligence
Michele Borba is author of Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. A few minutes of daily re-enforcement, Borba says, can help build children's moral skills.

Students Revel in Lessons from Storyteller Bill Harley!
Bill Harley is a popular children's musician and storyteller. Hook students on the power of Bill's "every kid" stories and songs -- and watch them write and tell stories of their own!

Weekly Reader Keeps Young Readers Informed
Charles Piddock is editor in chief of Weekly Reader. He discusses how this classroom newspaper's approach to news has changed since September 11.

Defusing Explosive Children
Ross W. Greene is author of The Explosive Child. Greene shares tips for helping "explosive" children control their outbursts.

Teach for America Aims to Level Educational Playing Field
Nicole Baker is a vice president with Teach for America. She chats about the organization, which recruits recent college graduates to teach for two years in an urban or a rural school system.

NEA Urges End to High-Stakes Testing
John I. Wilson, executive director of the National Education Association (NEA), chats about testing. "Life is not a multiple choice and, quite frankly, testing is becoming an instructional straitjacket."

A View from the Rural Trust
Rachel Tomkins is president of the Rural School and Community Trust. Through advocacy, research, and outreach, the Rural Trust strives for policies that enhance the climate for rural communities.

Former Astronaut Champions Science Literacy
Pinky Nelson is a former astronaut and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Project 2061. He offers recommendations for improving science education.

Substitute Teachers Gain National Voice
Shirley Kirsten is president of the National Substitute Teachers Alliance. She discusses the challenges substitute teachers face.

New Web Site Enhances Successful Safety Curriculum
Meri-K Appy is vice president of public education with the National Fire Protection Association. She talks about Risk Watch, the NFPA's new injury-prevention curriculum.

GUYS READ: Helping Boys Become Better Readers, Better Students, Better Guys
Jon Scieszka is author of many popular childrens' books including The Stinky Cheese Man and Math Curse. He recently founded GUYS READ to draw attention to issues of literacy among boys.

Author Aims to Help Children Manage Anger
Laura Fox is author of I Am So Angry I Could Scream. She chats about helping children identify and address things that make them angry

Financial Support Key to Urban Schools' Meeting Standards
Michael D. Casserly is executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools. Urban schools are showing improvement, he says, but they will need more financial resources if students are to keep up with increasingly rigorous standards.

Motivating Teachers: A Wire Side Chat with Todd Whitaker
"Outstanding principals know that if they have great teachers, they have a great school," Todd Whitaker, author of Motivating and Inspiring Teachers, told Education World. Whitaker shared his tips for motivating teachers.

Mentoring Programs That Work!
Karen Hessel has worked as a national trainer for an Educational Testing Service professional development program called Pathwise. She shared her thoughts about the value of mentoring in this Wire Side Chat.

Retired Air Force Officer Faces New Challenges as School Superintendent
John Fryer, Jr., is superintendent of Duval County (Florida) Public Schools. Fryer talks about how his military training helps in running a school system.

New PTA President Focuses on Parent Involvement, Diversity
Shirley Igo is president of the National PTA. She discusses how the organization plans to increase parent involvement in the schools.

'How To' Books for First-Year Teachers
Lynne Rominger is co-author of Your First Year As a High School Teacher and Your First Year As an Elementary School Teacher. The challenges of first-year teaching are revealed!

'Ordinary Resurrections'
Jonathan Kozol has been a passionate voice and champion for the cause of quality public education for America's poorest children for three decades. Kozol shares thoughts about his latest book and about life in the urban United States.

Strategies to Stem School Violence
Scott Poland is president of the National Association of School Psychologists. Poland discusses the causes of school violence and offers strategies to prevent more school violence.

When Size Matters: Making Big Schools Feel Small
Paul S. George is coauthor of Making Big Schools Feel Small: Multiage Grouping, Looping and Schools-Within-a-School. Educators have seen the fallout from big and anonymous schools -- kids don't flourish in those environments.

Reading Experts Sound 'Off' -- Not 'Out' -- About Phonics
Wendy Cheyney and Judith Cohen are reading experts who share their practical approach to teaching phonics in presentations across the nation. Plus reading research that every teacher should read!

Inside Track on Houston School Reform Effort
Dnald R. McAdams is author of Fighting to Save Our Urban SchoolsAnd Winning! Lessons from Houston. Included: Twelve lessons from Houston school reform.

Understanding the Hype: Media Literacy
Catherine Gourley is author of Media Wizards: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Media Manipulatives. She shares her thoughts about media literacy and its role in education.

What It Takes to Run a Homework Site
Thirteeen-year-old B. J. Pinchbeck is creator of BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper. He talks about what it's like to run a homework help site.

The Busy Educators Guide to the World Wide Web"
Marjan Glavac is an educator and author of The Busy Educators Guide to the World Wide Web. Included: Glavacs picks for the best of the best *plus* management tips for using the Internet with your students!

Carrots or Sticks? Alfie Kohn on Rewards and Punishment
Alfie Kohn is an outspoken critic of the focus on grades and test scores. He shares his views on classroom rewards and punishments , and he tackles the tough topics -- standards, accountability, and high-stakes

Teacher Crowned Miss America 2001
Angela Perez Baraquio is an elementary school gym teacher -- and Miss America 2001! She chats about character education, teacher pay, and who inspired her to become a teacher.

Homework Takes a Hit!
John Buell is co-author of The End of Homework: How Homework Disrupts Families, Overburdens Children, and Limits Learning. Buell makes a case for ending homework as we know it!

Bush and Gore on Education
Presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Goer respond to questions about national standards, national testing, technology in the classroom, and school prayer.

Reaching (and Teaching) Kids Through Entrepreneurial Education
Steve Mariotti is author of The Young Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting and Running a Business. How does a teacher reach inner-city kids who think reading and math are irrelevant to their lives?

Hazing: When Rites Become Wrongs
Hank Nuwer is author of High School Hazing: When Rites Become Wrongs. Nuwer has been writing and speaking about hazing behavior and its consequences "nonstop" for the past 14 years.

'Formative Leadership' Theory Views Principal as Leader of Leaders
Dr. Ruth Ash and Dr. Maurice Persall, of Samford University, have developed the Formative Leadership Theory. The theory supports the teacher as a school leader and the principal as the leader of leaders.

Education World Goes One-on-One With the Secretary of Education!
Richard W. Riley is Secretary of Education during the Clinton administration. Riley chats about a wide variety of issues.

Mr. Lowe -- From the Classroom to the Funny Papers!
Mark Pett is creator of the 'Mr. Lowe' comic strip. Why a comic strip Dedicated "to the unsung heroes who manage our nation's classrooms... and the kids who aggravate them"?

The King of Classroom Management!
Fred Jones is a national expert in classoom management and author of Tools for Teaching. He shares his thoughts about the difficulties teachers face in classrooms today.

The Making of a Dynamic Department Head
Rodney LaBrecque is author of Effective Department and Team Leaders: A Practical Guide. He talks about how a department head can manage morale and conflict.

Know When to Discipline!
Howard Seeman is author of Preventing Classroom Discipline Problems: A Classroom Management Handbook. Seeman shares his thoughts about preventive discipline, effective classroom management, and more.

International Teaching: What Is It Really Like?
Education World chats with four international teachers. Have you ever wondered what teaching abroad would be like? Are you interested?

And in This Corner ... The 'High-Tech Heretic'!
Clifford Stoll is author of High-Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don't Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections by a Computer Contrarian. Stoll shares his controversial thoughts about computers in the classroom.

Is Technology Just for Boys?
Sherry Turkle is one of the co-chairs of the American Association of University Women's 15-member Commission on Technology, Gender, and Teacher Education. She shares her thoughts on issues arising from the commission's recent report.

Girls and Sports -- A Winning Combination!
The husband-and-wife team of Gil Reavill and Jean Zimmerman are authors of Raising Our Athletic Daughters: How Sports Can Build Self-Esteem and Save Girls' Lives. Learn what you can do to level the playing fields for the girls in your life.

Meet Bernie Dodge -- the Frank Lloyd Wright of Learning Environments!
Bernie Dodge is the originator of the WebQuest concept. Why were WebQuests developed? Why should teachers use them?

Always a Teacher: Teacher-Astronaut Barbara Morgan
Teacher Barbara Morgan is an astronaut at the Johnson Space Center. She chats about her role as NASAs first education mission specialist, and about what the space program has to offer students and teachers.

The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
Betty Castor is president of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. She chats about the requirements for national certification and the future of the program.

Why Children Turn Violent
James Garbarino, a national expert on youth violence and author of Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them, talked with Education World about why some young people become violent.

Principal-in-Residence Speaks Out on Key Issues
Carole Kennedy is the principal-in-residence at the Department of Education. She suggests solutions to problems that plague educators and articulates insights into the essential role principals play in schools.

How Can Teachers Develop Students' Motivation -- and Success?
Carol Dweck is a professor of psychology at Columbia University and the author of Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development. Is self-esteem something that teachers can or should "give" to students?

The School Day: It's Not a Race; Let's Change the Pace!
Chip Wood is a teacher and author of Time to Teach, Time to Learn. he shares his thoughts about the frenetic pace of teaching and learning.

'Speaking of Classroom Management' -- An Interview with Harry K. Wong
Harry K. Wong is a popular education speaker and author of The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher. Learn the secret to your success in the classroom!

Teacher of the Year Andy Baumgartner: On Education, Accountability, and Sleeping Beauty
Kindergarten teacher Andy Baumgartner is the 1999 Teacher of the Year. He credits the influence of his family and his own experiences as a parent with helping him to become a successful educator.

Larry Magid: Keeping Kids Safe On-Line
Larry Magid is a leading expert on keeping kids safe on-line and founder of the Online Safety Project. What does Magid have to say about the tragedy in Littleton, Colorado, and the resulting call to take away students' Internet access?

Teacher of the Year Philip Bigler
Philip Bigler is the 1998 Teacher of the Year. He celebrates one of his teachers who had a profound influenced on him

Bettie Lake: Building a Home for Art Teachers on the Internet
Bettie Lake is creator of The Art Teacher Connection Web site, a guide to art resource on the Web. Art might be considered one of the least compatible with computers and the Internet -- but Lake proves this is not so!

David Willey: "Mad" Scientist, Stunt Man, and Physics Instructor
David Willey is part scientist, part stunt man, and all physics instructor. He is a regular on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

Kathy Schrock: An Educator's Best Friend!
Technology guru Kathy Schrock explores the Net to find the best sites for educators. Shrock talks about how she got started, and about the books and the Web site that she has created to help teachers work the Internet into their lessons.

There's a New Captain in the Treasure House!
John McDOnough is the new Captain Kangaroo! We had an opportunity to talk with him about his background and about his goals for The All New Captain Kangaroo.

Simulations Engage Students in Active Learning
Simulations engage students in ways that few other activities can. Teacher Max Fischer, the author of a book of simulation activities for the social studies classroom, shares his initial simulation experiences, his process for creating simulations, and tips for using simulations in the classroom.

Celebrating Women Who Shaped History
Meet Tonya Bolden, the author of 33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History.

A Forgotten Genocide Recalled
Adam Bagdasarian's novel Forgotten Fire recalls the horrors of the Armenian holocaust in Turkey that began in 1915. Based on the life of Bagdasarian's great-uncle, Forgotten Fire recounts a 12-year-old Armenian boy's struggle for survival.

Helping Blind Students 'See' the Stars
Benning L. (Ben) Wentworth III, a science teacher at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, was named Disney American Teacher Awards 2001 Outstanding Teacher of the Year for his innovative ways of teaching science to visually impaired students.

News from the Front: Women Reporters of World War II
While "on the spot" reporting by women in war zones is not unusual today, during World War II, women reporters and photojournalists often had to argue and cajole their way to the frontlines. Penny Colman's book, Where the Action Was: Women War Correspondents in World War II tells the stories of some of the women reporters who fought to cover the news.

Taking JayJo to School
When Kim Gosselin's young sons were diagnosed with asthma and diabetes, she started JayJo Publishing -- named for her two sons -- and published Taking Asthma to School and Taking Diabetes to School and more than a dozen other books to help children understand what it is like to live with chronic illnesses.

Teens Out to Teach Teachers
Students Evan Russo of Columbia, South Carolina, and Marshall Roch of North Hampton, New Hampshire, started Out2Teach in 2002, a free Web site with activities, technology resources, and tips about integrating technology into the curriculum.

Schwarzenegger Seeks to 'Terminate' the Danger Zone With After-School Programs
Before he was governor of California, former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger spent years advocating for after-school programs for children.

Reporter Reflects on Year as a Teacher
Christina Asquith, a former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter who spent a year working as an emergency certificated teacher in a Philadelphia middle school, recounts her struggles as a teacher -- and her insights.

"Mister Rogers" Reflects on Respect, Diversity, and the Classroom Neighborhood
Even though Fred Rogers died in 2003, his Mister Rogers' Neighborhood lives on in reruns. A year before he died, Rogers talked with Education World about ways teachers could promote a "neighborly" feeling among their students.

Bang Bang's Message Reverberates
Author William Mastrosimone has been overwhelmed by students' response to his Showtime movie Bang Bang You're Dead. Mastrosimone hopes schools will use the movie as part of their own anti-bullying efforts.

Sheila Tobias on Re-Thinking Teaching Math, Science
Author and educator Sheila Tobias talks about her approach to teaching math and science -- and about teaching in general.

Tales from the Trail: Iditarod Teacher Readies Lessons, Long Johns
"Teacher on the Trail" Cassandra Wilson sees a sled-ful of lessons in the annual race.

Lessons of the Holocaust
Warren Marcus, a teacher educator for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., discusses the information and insights students need to understand the events and implications of the Holocaust.

Helping "Fake Readers" Become Proficient Life-Long Readers
Cris Tovani, author of the best-selling "I Read It, but I Don't Get It," talks about her checkered reading past and about her widely acclaimed work with students and teachers in the area of reading comprehension strategies.

Motivating Teachers to Use Technology
Dr. Walter Tobin, interim superintendent of the Calhoun County, South Carolina, Public Schools, talks about ways of motivating teachers to use technology in the classroom more extensively and efficiently.

Effective Strategies for Staff Development: A Wire Side Chat With Angela Peery
In-service teacher training is a popular approach, but it might not always be the most effective way to nurture professional growth. Angela B. Peery shares thoughts about video, journals, study groups, and other effective professional development strategies.

Superintendent of the Year is a Ready Advocate
Superintendent of the Year Dr. Kenneth Dragseth plans to advocate for children, education needs.

Md. Asst. Principal is ASCD's First Outstanding Young Educator
Barely ten years into an education career, Patrick J. Bathras has gone from the classroom to the assistant principal's office to the national spotlight as ASCD's first Outstanding Young Educator of the Year. Bathras sat for an Ed World e-interview.

Beyond the Bake Sale: A Guide to Phenomenal Fund-Raising
Looking to marshal your parent volunteers into an effective fund-raising team? Jean C. Joachim's book, Beyond the Bake Sale, offers a manual for principals. Included: Advice on launching and maintaining effective fund-raising efforts.

"Reaching Out" Tops New AASA President's Agenda
Dr. John Lawrence, the new AASA president, talked with Education World about reaching out to members, training new administrators, and monitoring national issues.

The Challenges of Staffing Low-Performing Schools
Dr. Paul D. Houston is the executive director of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). He discusses the problem of retaining high-quality teachers at low-performing schools in this Wire Side Chat.

'Formative Leadership'Theory Views Principal as Leader of Leaders
Dr. Ruth Ash and Dr. Maurice Persall, of Samford University, have developed the Formative Leadership Theory. The theory supports the teacher as a school leader and the principal as the leader of leaders.

U.S. Ed Tech Director Well Equipped for Job
John P. Bailey is the new director of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Technology. He says the time has come for U.S. schools to view technology as a tool for learning and not a separate subject.

Converge Highlights Technology Integration Successes
Converge magazine focuses on technology integration in schools, with articles about resources, approaches, and examples of successful integration programs. Publisher Marina Leight talked about the role of the magazine in technology integration.

Technology Integration, Assessment and No Child Left Behind
John Bailey, director of educational technology for the U.S. Department of Education, discusses in a teleconference how the federal No Child Left Behind Act can help schools and states use technology more extensively and efficiently.

Technology Training, Assessment, and No Child Left Behind
Don Knezek, chief executive officer of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), discusses efforts to enhance and assess educators' technology skills.

Assistive Technology Benefits All Students
Technology tools designed to help students with physical disabilities or learning differences might benefit more students than we've traditionally assumed. Steve Timmer, creator of Premier Assistive Technology, explains how assistive technology tools can help all students succeed.

Susan Patrick on the National Educational Technology Plan
Susan Patrick, director of the DOE's Office of Educational Technology, talked with Education World about the vision of the National Educational Technology Plan -- and responded to its critics.