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Research Roundup, September 17

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 17, 2014

Do students learn more when their teachers work well together? Washington Post

Student achievement may be connected to the quality of relationships among teachers. “A number of studies suggest that good things happen for students in schools where teachers work together routinely,” the blog states, which highlights work from organizational behavior scholars Carrie Leana and Frits K. Pil from University of Pittsburgh. Students who have disadvantages of lower achievement due to socioeconomic status may be able to offset their chances if they have teachers of high social capital.

Preschool Program Focuses on the Brain KVNF

“Focused Kids” is a program that helps preschoolers focus and calm their minds so they are ready to learn. The young students tend to come from lower income and broken families, so even at the age of five, they can learn to take “charge of their own brain.” The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning in Chicago have studies that have found that “developing kids’ social and emotional skills is critical to being a good student, citizen and worker. And, it can prevent or reduce risky behaviors.” Focused Kids utilizes the SEL model as their foundation.

One to Grow On/Releasing the Will to Learn Educational Leadership-ASCD

How can educators motivate students to learn? Student success requires motivation, but barriers to this are parental support, lack of time, and lack of resources (Education Week Research Center, 2014). The “Three Concentric Circles” are the areas discussed in this ASCD piece that affect student motivation: The Personal Sphere, The Social Sphere, and The Academic Sphere. Read about the concerns of students and how teachers can respond to them.

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School Climate Transformation

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 15, 2014

Integrating behavioral models with a holistic approach that supports students, parents and school personnel learning and working together

by Jonathan Cohen, President & Co-founder of NSCC

Too many educational leaders are confused about what school climate improvement means: a behaviorally informed model or a more holistic and comprehensive effort that intentionally engages students, parents or guardians, school personnel and even community members to learn and work together.

There is growing awareness that K-12 schools are struggling with two major problems that undermine student learning and their healthy development: bully-victim-bystander behavior and the shameful high school dropout rates that disproportionally effect economically disadvantaged students of color and feed the high school to prison pipeline.

A growing number of Federal organizations, State DOE’s and districts as well as the recent School Discipline Consensus Project report and AERA’s Bully Prevention Report and Recommendations have recognized and endorsed school climate improvement efforts as an evidence-based strategy that promotes school connectedness, reduces bully-victim-bystander behavior as well as student drop out rates.

The US Department of Education (ED) has decided to do something about it by soliciting the School Climate Transformation grants and allocating $29 million to deal with these problems.

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Research Roundup, September 10

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 10, 2014

Why Learning Space Matters Edutopia

Think about your classroom when you were in school. You know what you liked and what you didn’t like—so how can we change our classrooms today? The physical surroundings, including comfort, lighting, and visual displays all affect the way young students feel and learn. Edutopia makes suggestions on how to affordably alter your classroom in a “neuroscience-compatible” way.

Teaching Children Empathy NY Times

Harvard University’s Making Caring Common project recently released a report on the values that adults send to children, lacking value in empathy. “Empathy... is a function of both compassion and of seeing from another person’s perspective, and is the key to preventing bullying and other forms of cruelty.” This piece dives into 5 suggestions that Harvard project believes will develop empathy in children.

With new school year, new rules for parent engagement have begun Chalkbeat New York

NYC’s Chancellor Carmen Farina and teachers’ union President Michael Mulgrew discuss how to use the new contract for parent outreach effectively. With the new mandate, the Chancellor hopes to see improved schools as “communication about academics and social-emotional development” become more prevalent. Teachers must use 40 minutes of their time after school on Tuesdays for parent engagement activities, and “80 minutes on Mondays to be spent on in-school teacher training.”

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Research Roundup, September 3

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on September 03, 2014

Download the Parent Toolkit App NBC News- Education Nation

If you’re familiar with the Parent Toolkit website, the Parent Toolkit app will make access much simpler. From customization to creating a list to review later, the freshly released app will help parents benchmark their children’s learning and development and how you can support them in the process. Available on both Android and iOS, now you can use the Toolkit anywhere you go. Brand new sections on Social & Emotional Development will be available in October on the website, so stay tuned!

Kids and Screen Time: What Does The Research Say? npr

Could your child or student be missing out on human emotion recognition? A study conducted by UCLA shows that increased time spent on technology can inhibit the ability to read emotions. One group of sixth grade students were sent to an education camp for five days without access to electronic devices, while another group spent their lives as usual.  After the end of the five days, students who went to camp “scored significantly higher when it came to reading facial emotions or other nonverbal cues than the students who continued to have access to their media devices.” With the evolving classroom incorporating more screen time for students, how will this affect their learning?

How to Get Kids to Class NY Times

Students that come from lower income backgrounds often struggle keeping a perfect attendance in school. Research shows that “chronically absent students have lower G.P.A.s, lower test scores and lower graduation rates than their peers who attend class regularly.” This opinion piece by president of Communities in Schools Daniel Cardinali says bringing in social services may be the answer to help these students with the extra support they lack.

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Research Roundup, August 27

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on August 27, 2014

Ferguson Teachers Use Day Off As Opportunity For A Civics Lesson npr

During the time schools in the Ferguson and Jennings districts in Missouri waited for the delayed start of school, teachers used the time to show their students and community that they care by helping with cleanups, meal delivers for students with needs, and mental health services.

Even Recess Offers a Kind of Education The Ridgefield Press

Elementary students in one Connecticut district are given both structured (physical education) and unstructured time (recess) during the school day so they can “experience and know what to do when they have that freedom.” Encouraging students to cooperate and demonstrate their leadership skills and enhance their soft skills through interaction with their fellow peers will be a lesson in itself.  Although the schools are in trial mode for this new method, implementing a new and different way to interact shows that school leaders are committed to more than just learning in the classroom.

A New Twist on Concentration: Standing While You Work District Administration

Schools are beginning to use standing desks in the classroom to fight the increasingly sedentary lifestyle that technology induces. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than a third of children were obese in 2012. A study in four Texas classrooms showed that students who used standing desks burned 300 more calories per week than students who sat at their desks. Teachers also said the “desks had a positive impact on student behavior and classroom performance.”

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