How I turned my classroom into a ‘living video game’—and saw achievement soar

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2013/03/12/how-i-turned-my-classroom-into-a-living-video-game-and-saw-achievement-soar/?ps=92709-0013000000j0MYV-0033000000q5h7A&buffer_share=28e9a

The notion that struggling and failing is important to learning runs counter to traditional approaches to U.S. education. In fact, failure and its accompanying “F” grade stigmatizes a student as unprepared or “challenged” and is usually seen as a predictor of failure in future grades.

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Do we need emotional intelligence tests for teachers?

http://theconversation.com/do-we-need-emotional-intelligence-tests-for-teachers-12805

With the newly announced federal government reforms to teacher training announced this week, emotional intelligence is now firmly on the agenda for trainee teachers.

Under the proposed rules, prospective teachers will need to undergo emotional aptitude tests before they begin their training.

The idea has intuitive appeal and testing emotional intelligence remains a “hot topic” in psychology circles. But it is also a slippery construct and can be difficult to test.

States adopting laws requiring third graders to pass reading test or face retention

http://legalclips.nsba.org/?p=18686

The Washington Post reports that a growing number of states are drawing a hard line in elementary school, requiring children to pass a reading test in third grade or be held back from fourth grade. Thirteen states last year adopted laws that require schools to identify, intervene and, in many cases, retain students who fail a reading proficiency test by the end of third grade. Lawmakers in several other states and the District of Columbia are debating similar measures. Not every state requires retention; some allow schools to promote struggling readers to fourth grade as long as they are given intensive help.

Teaching Kids the Rules of the Game

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/05/teaching-kids-the-rules-of-the-game/

Back when Jill Vialet was a kid, she used to play with her neighborhood friends for hours at a time, unsupervised. It seemed unstructured, because no adults had established any parameters. But in fact, all their games had rules.

“We knew how to pick teams, resolve conflicts, there were spoken and unspoken rules,” she says. “There was a real culture of play. There was a real structure but kids owned it.”

Do Textbooks Still Have a Place in Schools?

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2013/03/do_textbooks_still_have_a_place_in_schools.html

Most toddlers walk around with their little blankets. Of course, they call them binkies, blankies and a whole list of other cute names. Just like Linus, toddlers feel unsafe without their blankets because it offers them a level of safety. To young children, it feels unnatural to sit in their carriage or on their bed without their favorite comfort item clutched in their hand.

Kalamazoo Promise analysis: Focus on literacy paying off in higher reading scores

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2013/03/tracking_academic_progress_in.html

KALAMAZOO, MI — In fall 2008, 29 percent of fourth-graders in Kalamazoo Public Schools scored in the bottom tier on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program reading test.