Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

  • Parent Tips: Teaching Money, Money, Money – Strategies for 2nd Graders

    on Mar 27, 15 • in Policy • with Comments

    Parents are often surprised when their academically bright students struggle with learning money. There is really only one way to master money. It is to use it. Counting money is the math skill we all use everyday. Money practice and knowledge helps build numerous math skills. Calculating ways to pay for something builds addition skills, as well as problem solving strategies. Figuring out change supports double-digit subtraction, a second grade skill that is mind-boggling hard for many second graders to comprehend. It teaches fractions. It reinforces place value, also. Most children in second grade recognize

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  • Secure Your Oxygen Mask First in the Classroom

    on Mar 27, 15 • in Policy • with Comments


    If you’ve ever flown on a commercial airline flight, you are well aware of the instructions that occur before the airplane approaches the runway. It may sound something like, “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for flying XX airlines…please fasten your seatbelt and make sure that your tray and seat are in the upright position…emergency exits are here, here and here…” And then they may say something like: In the event of a decompression emergency, an oxygen mask will automatically drop down in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly

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  • Assessing the Damage: What students should know about tests like Smarter Balanced

    on Mar 17, 15 • in Common Core, Current Events in Education, Featured, Opinion, Policy • with Comments


    By Guest Writer Jessica Classen   “But I’ve passed all my classes! I mean, I should be able to graduate. Will I have to go summer school? Will I not be able to walk? What happens?” The panic in his voice was clear. Adam, a bright, hard-working junior, was already terrified of the possibility of failing a test months away. In my calmest teacher voice, I assured Adam, and those sitting around him whose faces indicated their shared fear, that this particular score was not the be all and end all, there were other paths,

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  • What are We Testing? – PARCC and SBAC

    on Mar 16, 15 • in Featured, Policy • with Comments

    picture courtesy The University Leader

      The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) is running several commercials that air concerns of both parents and teachers about PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) standardized tests currently being administered in the state. Concerns include: middle school students getting only a half year of science and social studies in order to leave time in the roster for test prep classes, computerized testing being touted as a better measure of student achievement than the observations of the teachers who see the children every day and children feeling stressed because of the

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  • Teaching Reading: No Magic Wand Required

    on Mar 13, 15 • in Educator Professionalism, Elementary Classrooms, English Language Learners, Literacy, Policy, Professional Development • with Comments

    Teaching reading

    Teaching children to read seems to be a mystery to everyone except primary school teachers. Someone recently asked: Is it true that it is not necessarily a teacher’s job to teach children to read? Is our job to give them the skills to make them better readers? Does any teacher have the time to teach all their students to read? I sat blinking at the question. It startled me. Obviously, this was not a Kindergarten, First, or Second grade teacher who asked. Teaching reading skills and strategies are our world. As a Second grade teacher,

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