Common Core Standards: Helpful Summer Reading for Teachers

Though many believe the Common Core Standards (also referred to as just the Common Core) are a great tool for teaching American students valuable, real-world knowledge and skills, the onus for translating the standards into lessons has fallen on the shoulders of teachers.

Designed to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, the initiative (currently adopted by 44 out of 50 states) has proven less than digestible for many educators.

Luckily, there’s help — in the form of a little summer reading. Here are a few books designed for teachers to help explain the standards, share activity and lesson plan ideas and troubleshoot common issues with teaching the Common Core (like working with advanced students, or helping kids develop the vocabulary…


Avoiding The Plagiarism Epidemic in Your Classroom

Plagiarism is a rising issue in today’s schools. According to the Huffington Post, the Pew Research Center recently conducted a poll of college professors and found that plagiarism is “at an all time high among college students.” It’s more important than ever that we educate students on the matters of plagiarism in order to understand how to avoid it.

Defining Plagiarism

Students need to understand exactly what plagiarism is before they are given strategies to avoid it. According to Pearson Prentice Hall, plagiarism is defined as:…


Lessons in Lock-Up: What It’s Really Like to Teach in Prison

If you’re a fan of Orange is the New Black (OITNB), you may have been shocked by inmate Taystee’s abrupt return to Litchfield Correctional just three episodes after her release. However, if you’ve worked in the education department of a correctional facility, you’re more than familiar with “bounce-backs,” or as Alice*, a teacher who has worked at three correctional facilities for almost 20 years correctly calls it, “recidivism.”

Teachers like Alice* understand the importance of recidivism, or inmate returns, because it’s the reason their jobs make a difference.

According to a 2013 RAND study , correctional education reduces recidivism by 43 percent. Correctional education includes te…


Not Just in January: #Edchat Members Share Resolutions for Upcoming School Year

New Year Resolutions aren't just in January. In the education space, the beginning of a new school year provides teachers and educators with the opportunity for a fresh start. While it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of all of this change and innovation, it's important to keep your New Year goals both reasonable and attainable. Set your sites on one main goal that you want to accomplish in the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.

This week, #Edchat posed the following question to it's community of educators:

What is one new thing you are going to do (or try) in the upcoming school year?

See below for how #edchat community members vow to make innovative changes in the upcoming school year. What is your New School Year Resolution?


STEM in the Summer: DNA Learning Center Summer Camp

For many students, the last ring of the school year’s bell is the time when summer learning begins, since many parents and educators recognize the benefits of summer learning to maintain and enhance educational progress. Fortunately, there are many summer learning opportunities, and the growing need for STEM education is a perfect environment to make it happen. One such innovative program in the education space is the DNA Learning Summer Camp—geared for young students and aimed at engaging them in STEM studies.

Why Summer Learning?

Research has proven the benefits of learning over the summer to maintain knowledge retention when it’s time to return to school in the fall. A


Creating an LGBTQA-Inclusive Classroom Environment

On June 4th, Washington D.C.’s Woodrow Wilson High School celebrated their second annual LGBT pride event. This year’s event came with a special twist as principal Peter Cahall came out of the closet. He said, “If I was going to stand in front of these kids today celebrating our pride and saying, you can be who you are, I would be a hypocrite if I decided to hide.” In an effort to help all students feel valuable and included, Cahall decided to promote a school environment that is the antithesis of the one that he grew up in—one that supports and celebrates diversity rather than punishes students for being different.

As we ide…


For Teachers, By Teachers: Top 11 Books that Document the Teacher Experience

If you’re thinking about becoming a teacher, you may be envisioning a picture-perfect classroom where students eagerly raise their hands to answer questions and quickly quiet down when a teacher walks into the room at the start of class. The reality is that teaching can be difficult, and often frustrating, but it is also one of the most rewarding professions that allow you to truly make a difference in the lives of students.

Teachers are some of the most important role models for children and adolescents, but in order to really make an impact, teachers need to continuously refine their craft. For new and prospective teachers, there a…

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