Elementary students on average may be distracted about a quarter of the time in the classroom, according to a study of kindergarten to fourth-grade students in more than 50 classrooms. Researchers found that students most likely were to be off task during whole-group instruction.
An elementary school in Mississippi, once on the “Academic Watch” list, now is ranked among the best schools in the state. Principal Andrea Pastchal-Smith describes the school’s journey and how other schools can use similar turnaround strategies.
Officials in some school districts across the country are weighing whether to allow educators to carry guns to protect themselves, students and staff in the event of a school shooting. Fifteen states allow a form of concealed carry in schools, but a 2017 Pew study found that 55% of adults oppose the idea allowing teachers and administrators to carry guns in school.
Genius Hour programs — in which students spend 20% of their time pursuing a project they are passionate about — are not on the path of least resistance, but they are worth the extra time and effort, asserts educator Sean Crevier. He shares his own suggestions for such programs.
About 20 states have included elements of personalized learning in their Every Student Succeeds Act plans, says Lillian Pace of KnowledgeWorks. Even so, Chip Slaven of the Alliance for Excellent Education says states’ ESSA plans have not met overall expectations for innovation in schools.
Teresa Donnellan is an editorial assistant at SmartBrief.
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