pzl-pcs.gif (2364 bytes)New Ideas

Last Updated: February 1, 2002

No Child Left Behind – Analysis from LearningFirst – Learning First is a consortium of major education associations. This page contains a link to their analysis of the new Education Act, especially the changes it will impose on teachers, schools, and school districts. Teachers should find this perspective especially useful.

RubiStar – If you find it difficult to create rubric for your lessons, this site can help you along, or even suggest a rubric. Designed by a regional educational consortium, the site also includes a library of "canned" rubrics for a wide range of subjects. This one could be a real time-saver.

Home Schooling in the United States – The popularity of home schooling is on the rise, and teachers need to understand why. This new report from the Census Department takes a look at home schooling – how many families are doing it, where they are, and what their motivations and successes may be. This should be interesting reading for anyone working in a public or independent school

The Impact of Charter Schools on Districts – Teachers and administrators will be interested in the report on this OERI-funded study of the impact of charter schools on school districts. While administrators generally fear the financial impact of these schools, they also admit that charter schools can spur changes within districts themselves. Download the full report (PDF Format) for the details.

New Eric Digests – Summer 2001 – This listing of 85 recently released ERIC digests includes a number of resources on distance education, uses of technology in teaching, and the teaching of writing and language, among many other topics.

Before it’s Too Late – This new report from the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching makes a series of recommendation for the recruiting and training of new science and mathematics teachers. The report also highlights the approaches to teaching these subjects which have proven successful among a variety of student populations. Our link will take you to the Executive Summary; the full report is available in both MS Word and Adobe Acrobat formats.

Math Standards – The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has released an updated publication, Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. The on-line text includes standards for all grade levels, a general overview of the standards, and a discussion of underlying principles. There is also a small collection of web-based examples. This is a valuable reference tool for mathematics teachers.

The Power of Preparation – This report from the George Lucas Educational Foundation highlights strategies for training and mentoring student teachers. There are a number of examples involving schools of education, universities, school districts, and community organization. Together, they show both the variety of workable strategies and the common elements that make effective teacher preparation possible. Lessons for everyone here.

Reading 2000 – Major Results – The latest study of reading based on NAEP data reveals some interesting new trends, but no major changes. This report, based on scores of 4th graders, reveals a widening gap among lower-performing students. The details are all here.

Updates from the National Education Goals Panel – Here’s a collection of updates and reports on progress toward the national education goals at the federal and state levels. The content includes a variety of Acrobat format reports on federal issues and state accomplishments.

Teaching Children to Read – The National Reading Panel has released the results of its study on best practices in reading instruction, concluding that the combination of whole language and phonics instruction can be the most effective strategy for teaching children. The panel’s conclusions, as well as a longer discussion of underlying committee reports, are available as both HTML and Adobe Acrobat files.

Two from the Department of Education – The U.S. Department of Education has recently release two reports which document both the projected increases increases in US school enrollment and the possible shortage of teachers for those students. Both are available in Adobe PDF format from DOE. The Projection of Educational Statistics to 2009 includes enrollment projections measured along several different criteria. In the same vein, Predicting the Need for Newly Hired Teachers in the United States to 2008-09 offers a look at how schools may need to cope with these increased enrollments

Active Learning Practices for Schools – This site from the Harvard Graduate School of Education offers teachers strategies for developing instructional modules which let students learn by experiencing. These aren’t traditional lesson plans; instead they demonstrate a new way of linking topics and developing instructional sequences. Easily navigated, with content for all grade levels.

Order in the Classroom  – The Educational Testing Service created this report to highlight the level and severity of current problems in maintaining an orderly environment in American Schools. The document is available as an Adobe Acrobat file, and will take about 5 minutes to download using a conventional dial-up connection. Visit the TeachersFirst Toolbox to get the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

You Can Handle Them All – This is a comprehensive guide to managing a long list of disruptive classroom behaviors. For each behavior, the site provides behavior examples, effects on other students, and suggestions on how teachers should and should not respond to these behaviors. While the solutions aren’t a sure cure for all situations, they provide good models and alternatives for new teachers or those dealing with a new age group.


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