Common Core Field Assessments Going Relatively Smoothly

Early reports are showing that common core field assessments are going pretty smoothly with just a few technological issues and some concerns over the difficulty of new assessments. According to Education Week, the majority of states that have adopted the Common Core Standards are using assessments developed by two organizations — the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

Currently, there are 22 states signed up to take the SBAC assessments, including California, North Carolina and Connecticut. Field tests began March 22 and will continue through June 13, with 21 states participating. Over 3 million student…


Google’s Latest Education Innovation: Google Classroom

Google recently presented its latest technology tool for the classroom. According to PCMag, Google Classroom is the technology giant’s newest resource in the Google Apps for Education Suite. While it can currently be viewed in preview mode, Google Classroom should be fully available to educators by September, and, best of all, it’s free.

With Classroom, teachers can set up pages for their classes where they can interact with students, set up new assignments and deliver messages to their classes. Teachers can also provide feedback to students on assignments submitted in Google Classroom. The tool is uncomplicated, and according to Zach Yeskel, the Google Classroom program manager, “Classroom is based on the principle that educational tools should be simple and easy to use, and is desig…


Elementary Schools’ New Approaches To Combat Obesity

In response to the obesity epidemic, many U.S. schools are increasing nutrition education, revamping physical education programs and offering healthier lunch menu options. Every two years, elementary students in California’s Chula Vista school district step on a scale and have their weights and heights measured. Meanwhile, a technician at a remote location collects the data and calculates students’ body mass indexes (BMI). According to Education News, this practice is referred to as “surveillance activity,” and schools across the nation are following suit because of growing concerns over childhood obesity, which can lead to more serious health issues like diabetes and heart conditions. Of the 25,000 students who were weighed and measu…


Chess Is Making a Comeback in Education

The Common Core Standards were developed to help students achieve several common goals — including building their problem-solving and analytical skills. As students are encouraged to think more deeply and critically in order to prepare them for future careers, a new trend has occurred. While widely popular in the 1970s and ’80s, the game of chess seemed to lose its appeal in the ’90s and early 2000s as computer games grew in popularity. That is now changing. According to Education News, chess is back in, as educators begin to recognize the educational benefits of the game.

Jay S…


#TheyTaughtMe: Advocacy is an Act of Love [by Cara Clarke]

When I was in first grade, my mother became a house parent for a group home in northeastern Pennsylvania. It was a home for teenage and young adult males with various disabilities, including autism and Down syndrome. On Fridays, my mother, brother and I would drive just over an hour to the house and stay the weekend or longer during the summer. My aunt stayed at the house during the week.

My aunt and mother worked at this home for a long time, and the boys became family to me. Typically, three boys lived in the home but I was closest with John. John could easily have been my brother — we were both short in stature with the same red hair and blue eyes. The …


#TheyTaughtMe: “Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder Doesn’t Keep My Son From Talking With Dogs”

This blog was originally published on Healing Rescue Dogs on November 7, 2013.

Kathy H Porter is a freelance writer, author and head cheerleader for her amazing son. She grabs inspiration from a background that includes 14 years of business experience and 17 years as an educator. Her latest project? Crafting work-related "explaining scripts" for adults with autism. Join her newsletter to find out when her next article will be published and to discover more useful on-the-job strategies for autistic adults.

My 27 year old son who is formally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder (ASD), has been “talking dog” his whole life.

Having Asperger’s and being fluent in how…


A New Way to Teach and Learn: 5 Technology Trends in Education

By JT Ripton

Technology is teaming up with education, and the partnership is making life easier for both teachers and students. Thanks to technological trends in education, students can kiss their 10-pound geometry and history textbooks goodbye and teachers can plan a semester’s worth of coursework from the comfort of their own tablets. Here are five of the top technology trends in education for 2014 – pay attention because there might just be a pop quiz later.

Video Killed the Chalk Board

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