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Education Up Close

Previous Articles

January 2007
Helping Remedial and Reluctant Readers
Reading is arguably the single most important skill to have mastered by the end of elementary school. Yet, year after year, teachers find students entering middle school and high school struggling with reading material. This month, we look at ways to help those students who may be struggling with content area reading.

December 2006
Teacher as Researcher
Taking Action Research to Task

Curious as to whether a new teaching technique is making a real difference in the classroom? Want evidence to show your administrator that your newly implemented strategy works in the classroom? In today's high-stakes environment, teachers need to hone their decision-making process to choose the methods that work best. Action research helps teachers do just that.

October 2006
Using Blogs to Integrate Technology in the Classroom
As the Internet becomes an increasingly pervasive and persistent influence in people's lives, the phenomenon of the blog stands out as a fine example of the way in which the Web enables individual participation in the marketplace of ideas.

Working With Challenging Parents
The majority of parents that you encounter as a teacher are genuinely concerned about their children's education. They are interested in assisting schools and supporting teachers to help their students be successful and obtain academic goals. However, a very small percentage of parents present a challenge for teachers.

Teaching for Understanding
Consider the difference between these two questions:

     What is the answer to this math problem?
     Why is this the answer?


Professional Learning Communities Hold Promise for Schools
Most teachers, students, and parents will agree that the quality of their school can be attributed to more than just the curriculum or any one particular teacher or classroom. The positive—or negative—feelings people have about a school are often formed by both tangible and intangible things.

September 2006
Creating Effective Teacher-Parent Collaborations
It isn't uncommon for great teachers to struggle in their efforts to reach out to classroom parents. Fortunately there are a variety of communication strategies you can use to improve your relationships with them. This month, we detail three simple but promising methods for forming effective partnerships with parents.

Evaluating Web Sites-Five Basic Criteria
Conduct a simple Internet search on just about any subject these days using one of the big search engines and you're liable to be come up with several hundred thousand related Web sites. How do you, or your students for that matter, separate the wheat from the chaff? This month, we focus on five simple criteria to apply to any Web site to determine the credibility of an online source.

Reading in the Content Areas:
Strategies for Success

As most teachers know, effective reading skills are a critical key to academic success. Yet, they are an elusive and often mysterious set of skills for students to acquire. This month, we report on what constitutes proficient reading and how content teachers can incorporate good reading strategies to help their students become better readers.

Handheld Devices Make Inroads in the Classroom
Imagine a classroom where the teacher electronically beams assignments and grades to pocket-sized computers that students can take home. Imagine students working on group projects and exchanging information without pen, paper, or photocopy machines. This month, we report on a surprising technological leap occurring in K-12 classrooms across the nation.

August 2006
Click Here: Teaching the Net Generation
The Internet and other new digital technologies have profoundly changed the world we live in and the way we respond to information. These changes are making an impact on students' learning styles and preferences. This month, we explore some of the shifts that are occurring and steps teachers can take to maximize learning for the Net Generation.

Block Scheduling
Increasingly, school districts are exploring new ways to configure the traditional school day, including adopting a block scheduling system. This month we explore the pros and cons of block scheduling.

Creating Effective Teacher-Parent Collaborations
It isn't uncommon for great teachers to struggle in their efforts to reach out to classroom parents. Fortunately there are a variety of communication strategies you can use to improve your relationships with them. This month, we detail three simple but promising methods for forming effective partnerships with parents.

What Works in the Classroom:
The McREL Report in a Nutshell

With so many federal dollars pouring into educational think tanks these past years, you may wonder, what's in it for teachers? This month we review a wonderful new guide for educators, What Works in Classroom Instruction, published by the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL for short).

July 2006
School-to-Work Focuses on Partnerships
School-to-Work programs have sprouted up across the country primarily due to the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994. This month, we offer a school-to-work primer.

Evaluating Web Sites-Five Basic Criteria
Conduct a simple Internet search on just about any subject these days using one of the big search engines and you're liable to be come up with several hundred thousand related Web sites. How do you, or your students for that matter, separate the wheat from the chaff? This month, we focus on five simple criteria to apply to any Web site to determine the credibility of an online source.

Tech Tricks:
Web Browser Shortcuts You Should Know

If you are like most Internet users, you haven't delved much beyond the address bar and back button on your Web browser. Fortunately, most Web browsers are far more powerful than that, offering a range of tools that make Web browsing more efficient and responsive to our needs. Read our short Tech Trick article today and move more quickly and effectively through the Web tomorrow.

Teacher as Researcher
Taking Action Research to Task

Curious as to whether a new teaching technique is making a real difference in the classroom? Want evidence to show your administrator that your newly implemented strategy works in the classroom? In today's high-stakes environment, teachers need to hone their decision-making process to choose the methods that work best. Action research helps teachers do just that.

June 2006
Crafting a Successful Performance Assessment
In the first article in this series, we defined some of the characteristics of performance assessment. This month, we examine ways for you to successfully implement performance assessments into your classroom.

Summer Volumes:
Reading into the Profession

Summer is a great time to catch up on your professional development and there's no easier way to start about it than reading one of the many books dedicated to theory and practice. This month, we review a selection of titles that is sure to prove an interesting, if not enlightening read.

Summer Reads
Our second annual review of books for educators comes just in time for you to curl up with a volume or two at the beach. In between chapters of that best seller, take some time to read through one of these page-turners. You won't regret it.

Essential Test Preparation Strategies for Your Classroom
In this new era of the No Child Left Behind Act, teachers across the nation are working hard to prepare students for the slew of high stakes tests that will determine whether students, teachers, and schools are performing at acceptable levels. While the tests are quickly becoming routine, the results are too important and far-reaching to treat any part of the process lightly. This month, we focus on teacher and student preparation for the high stakes test.

May 2006
School-to-Work Focuses on Partnerships
School-to-Work programs have sprouted up across the country primarily due to the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994. This month, we offer a school-to-work primer.

Evaluating Web Sites-Five Basic Criteria
Conduct a simple Internet search on just about any subject these days using one of the big search engines and you're liable to be come up with several hundred thousand related Web sites. How do you, or your students for that matter, separate the wheat from the chaff? This month, we focus on five simple criteria to apply to any Web site to determine the credibility of an online source.

Handheld Devices Make Inroads in the Classroom
Imagine a classroom where the teacher electronically beams assignments and grades to pocket-sized computers that students can take home. Imagine students working on group projects and exchanging information without pen, paper, or photocopy machines. This month, we report on a surprising technological leap occurring in K-12 classrooms across the nation.

Funding Professional Development
Professional development activities not only deepen our understanding and skill as professionals, they energize us with a renewed enthusiasm for teaching. Getting those activities funded, however, is a whole different ballgame. This month, Teaching Today investigates what is getting funded and where savvy teachers go to get grant information.

April 2006
Cell Phones: Nuisance or Necessity
Cell phones have become a ubiquitous accessory of high school students since the late 1990s. Initially banned by schools as an unnecessary distraction, events such as the Columbine tragedy and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 have made most districts reconsider the place of cell phones in middle and high schools.

Preparing Your Students for a Standardized Test
As the No Child Left Behind Act becomes a reality, teachers across the nation are scrambling to prepare their students for the slew of high stakes tests that will determine whether students, teachers, and schools are performing at acceptable levels. While the tests are increasingly becoming routine, the results are too important to treat any part of the process lightly. This month, we focus on teacher and student preparation for the high stakes test.

Crafting a Successful Performance Assessment
In the first article in this series, we defined some of the characteristics of performance assessment. This month, we examine ways for you to successfully implement performance assessments into your classroom.

National Board Certification-Is It for You?
Most teachers have heard something about national accreditation. While relatively few have actually earned the National Board Certification thus far, it is a credential that is receiving more attention each year. Learn what this certification entails, and whether it is right for you.

December 2005
A Road Map to Federal Web Resources for Teachers
Within the past year, activity at the Department of Education has shifted into high-gear to increase resources dedicated to education, but did you know that the federal government has been publishing millions of free materials online since the Internet began? This month, we provide a road map to the most valuable federally funded Web sites for teachers.

November 2005
Click Here: Teaching the Net Generation
The Internet and other new digital technologies have profoundly changed the world we live in and the way we respond to information. These changes are making an impact on students' learning styles and preferences. This month, we explore some of the shifts that are occurring and steps teachers can take to maximize learning for the Net Generation.

October 2005
What Works in the Classroom:
The McREL Report in a Nutshell

With so many federal dollars pouring into educational think tanks these past years, you may wonder, what's in it for teachers? This month we review a wonderful new guide for educators, What Works in Classroom Instruction, published by the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL for short).

September 2005
Block Scheduling
Increasingly, school districts are exploring new ways to configure the traditional school day, including adopting a block scheduling system. This month we explore the pros and cons of block scheduling.

August 2005
Engaging Students with Project-Based Learning
A central issue in teaching at the middle or secondary level is how to engage students in learning. How do we, as educators, get students to care about what they need to learn? The answer often has to do with making learning more relevant to the world in which students live today. Project-based learning offers teachers and students the opportunity to do just that.

The Great Homework Debate: Making the Most of Home Study
The amount of homework students are assigned each night varies greatly across grade levels, schools, school districts, and states. Some students come home burdened with heavy backpacks and hours of work to be completed before the next day. Other students are assigned little to no work to be done at home.

July 2005
Creating Effective Teacher-Parent Collaborations
It isn't uncommon for great teachers to struggle in their efforts to reach out to classroom parents. Fortunately there are a variety of communication strategies you can use to improve your relationships with them. This month, we detail three simple but promising methods for forming effective partnerships with parents.

Working With Challenging Parents
The majority of parents that you encounter as a teacher are genuinely concerned about their children's education. They are interested in assisting schools and supporting teachers to help their students be successful and obtain academic goals. However, a very small percentage of parents present a challenge for teachers.

May 2005
Crafting a Successful Performance Assessment
In the first article in this series, we defined some of the characteristics of performance assessment. This month, we examine ways for you to successfully implement performance assessments into your classroom.

Steal This Essay-
What Teachers Can Do About Plagiarism

Digital technology and the Internet are proving to be as effective as methods of ferreting out plagiarism as they are tools for comitting it. This month we look at the ways teachers are using these new tools in their efforts to find unoriginal work.

Evaluating Web Sites-Five Basic Criteria
Conduct a simple Internet search on just about any subject these days using one of the big search engines and you're liable to be come up with several hundred thousand related Web sites. How do you, or your students for that matter, separate the wheat from the chaff? This month, we focus on five simple criteria to apply to any Web site to determine the credibility of an online source.

April 2005
Click Here: Teaching the Net Generation
The Internet and other new digital technologies have profoundly changed the world we live in and the way we respond to information. These changes are making an impact on students' learning styles and preferences. This month, we explore some of the shifts that are occurring and steps teachers can take to maximize learning for the Net Generation.

Steal This Essay-
What Teachers Can Do About Plagiarism

Digital technology and the Internet are proving to be as effective as methods of ferreting out plagiarism as they are tools for comitting it. This month we look at the ways teachers are using these new tools in their efforts to find unoriginal work.

Reading in the Content Areas:
Strategies for Success

As most teachers know, effective reading skills are a critical key to academic success. Yet, they are an elusive and often mysterious set of skills for students to acquire. This month, we report on what constitutes proficient reading and how content teachers can incorporate good reading strategies to help their students become better readers.

Alternative Assessment Primer
With the No Child Left Behind Act, there can be no doubt that traditional standardized testing is grabbing headlines and class time. Yet, a number of teachers and schools across the nation continue to use alternative forms of assessment that go beyond short answer and multiple-choice questions. This month, we review what alternative assessment is about and why people continue to use it to compliment more traditional forms of assessment.

March 2005
A Road Map to Federal Web Resources for Teachers
Within the past year, activity at the Department of Education has shifted into high-gear to increase resources dedicated to education, but did you know that the federal government has been publishing millions of free materials online since the Internet began? This month, we provide a road map to the most valuable federally funded Web sites for teachers.

Teaching Limited English Proficiency Students
This fall, teachers across the United States are welcoming classrooms filled with new students from a variety of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Alongside their English-speaking classmates, thousands of non-native speakers will attend mainstream content courses in their middle and secondary schools. This month, we examine the issues surrounding effectively teaching this special population. We will also provide a list of teaching strategies you can use to improve their performance in your class.

Helping Remedial and Reluctant Readers
Reading is arguably the single most important skill to have mastered by the end of elementary school. Yet, year after year, teachers find students entering middle school and high school struggling with reading material. This month, we look at ways to help those students who may be struggling with content area reading.

Making the Most of Laptops in the Classroom
If you are returning to school and preparing for, or already underway with, a laptop implementation program, you may find yourself scrambling for strategies on how to deal with the new technology. Whether your school has 35 or 350 laptops, you can find creative ways to make the most of them. Find tips on training and inspiration from others who have been in your shoes.

February 2005
Helping Dyslexic Students Succeed
Imagine if every time you picked up a newspaper or a novel, you didn't recognize any words or paragraphs, only letters that seem to organize themselves into jumbles. You could recognize the letters, but no words. It might seem like you were reading a foreign language. To different degrees, this is exactly what dyslexics face when they try to process written language.

WebQuest-
The Making of a Good Journey

Since the early days of the World Wide Web, the WebQuest has been making an impact in classrooms across the country. Because technology integration has become a desired, but sometimes elusive goal, teachers have favored the solid instructional process WebQuests offer. This month, we delve deeper into the role of the WebQuest in today's classroom.

Integrated Learning Communities:
Communities Building Better Schools

Across the United States, many communities are fortunate to have a school that is closely aligned with a community partner. Partners range from cultural institutions to zoological gardens and, in one of the programs profiled here, sometimes they can include both. This month, we look at the characteristics of learning that define these unique schools and profile some of the most successful programs in the country.

Worthwhile Reading
Summer is a great time for teachers to get rejuvenated with new ideas and examples of successful classroom strategies. A great source of ideas can be found in either of the two inspiring books we've reviewed this month. Whether you are interested in integrating technology in the classroom or shoring up your teaching methods with what is known about how the brain works, you are bound to benefit from a little extra-curricular reading.

January 2005
Working With Challenging Parents
The majority of parents that you encounter as a teacher are genuinely concerned about their children's education. They are interested in assisting schools and supporting teachers to help their students be successful and obtain academic goals. However, a very small percentage of parents present a challenge for teachers.

The Great Homework Debate: Making the Most of Home Study
The amount of homework students are assigned each night varies greatly across grade levels, schools, school districts, and states. Some students come home burdened with heavy backpacks and hours of work to be completed before the next day. Other students are assigned little to no work to be done at home.

Writing Effective Tests: A Guide for Teachers
Creating effective tests is an essential task for all classroom teachers. While it is a task that every teacher undertakes year after year, how can you be sure you are making the best tests possible? This month we examine the importance of good test question construction and provide a variety of solid suggestions you can follow when constructing your next classroom test.

Click Here: Teaching the Net Generation
The Internet and other new digital technologies have profoundly changed the world we live in and the way we respond to information. These changes are making an impact on students' learning styles and preferences. This month, we explore some of the shifts that are occurring and steps teachers can take to maximize learning for the Net Generation.

Cell Phones: Nuisance or Necessity
Cell phones have become a ubiquitous accessory of high school students since the late 1990s. Initially banned by schools as an unnecessary distraction, events such as the Columbine tragedy and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 have made most districts reconsider the place of cell phones in middle and high schools.

Working with Your Technology Coordinator
Making technology work in the classroom isn't always a simple proposition. Not all teachers possess the skills required to pull off a seamless technology lesson—particularly when the technology is less than cooperative. Some teachers aren't clear about the best way to integrate technology into their lessons.

December 2004
Preparing Your Students for a Standardized Test
As the No Child Left Behind Act becomes a reality, teachers across the nation are scrambling to prepare their students for the slew of high stakes tests that will determine whether students, teachers, and schools are performing at acceptable levels. While the tests are increasingly becoming routine, the results are too important to treat any part of the process lightly. This month, we focus on teacher and student preparation for the high stakes test.

November 2004
The Great Homework Debate: Making the Most of Home Study
The amount of homework students are assigned each night varies greatly across grade levels, schools, school districts, and states. Some students come home burdened with heavy backpacks and hours of work to be completed before the next day. Other students are assigned little to no work to be done at home.

Helping Dyslexic Students Succeed
Imagine if every time you picked up a newspaper or a novel, you didn't recognize any words or paragraphs, only letters that seem to organize themselves into jumbles. You could recognize the letters, but no words. It might seem like you were reading a foreign language. To different degrees, this is exactly what dyslexics face when they try to process written language.

Using Blogs to Integrate Technology in the Classroom
As the Internet becomes an increasingly pervasive and persistent influence in people's lives, the phenomenon of the blog stands out as a fine example of the way in which the Web enables individual participation in the marketplace of ideas.

Working With Challenging Parents
The majority of parents that you encounter as a teacher are genuinely concerned about their children's education. They are interested in assisting schools and supporting teachers to help their students be successful and obtain academic goals. However, a very small percentage of parents present a challenge for teachers.

Teaching for Understanding
Consider the difference between these two questions:

     What is the answer to this math problem?
     Why is this the answer?


Professional Learning Communities Hold Promise for Schools
Most teachers, students, and parents will agree that the quality of their school can be attributed to more than just the curriculum or any one particular teacher or classroom. The positive—or negative—feelings people have about a school are often formed by both tangible and intangible things.

October 2004
Teaching Students with Attention Deficit Disorder
Students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) can be found in nearly every classroom in the United States today. According to a recent study(1), up to 7.5% of all school children have the disorder.

Inquiry-Based Approaches to Learning
Few things excite teachers more than when their students take over the role of grand inquisitor. When students begin formulating questions, risking answers, probing for relationships, we know they've entered the zone where learning occurs.

Engaging Students with Project-Based Learning
A central issue in teaching at the middle or secondary level is how to engage students in learning. How do we, as educators, get students to care about what they need to learn? The answer often has to do with making learning more relevant to the world in which students live today. Project-based learning offers teachers and students the opportunity to do just that.

Creating Effective Teacher-Parent Collaborations
It isn't uncommon for great teachers to struggle in their efforts to reach out to classroom parents. Fortunately there are a variety of communication strategies you can use to improve your relationships with them. This month, we detail three simple but promising methods for forming effective partnerships with parents.

Click Here: Teaching the Net Generation
The Internet and other new digital technologies have profoundly changed the world we live in and the way we respond to information. These changes are making an impact on students' learning styles and preferences. This month, we explore some of the shifts that are occurring and steps teachers can take to maximize learning for the Net Generation.

September 2004
Block Scheduling
Increasingly, school districts are exploring new ways to configure the traditional school day, including adopting a block scheduling system. This month we explore the pros and cons of block scheduling.

April 2004
National Board Certification-Is It for You?
Most teachers have heard something about national accreditation. While relatively few have actually earned the National Board Certification thus far, it is a credential that is receiving more attention each year. Learn what this certification entails, and whether it is right for you.

March 2004
Internet Safety and Security
What Teachers Need to Know

Internet security is a critical technology issue that affects both teachers and students. Understanding the reasons why school technology coordinators set up computer-related policies and procedures can help make the inconveniences and seemingly excessive rules for using the Internet all seem worthwhile. This month, we provide an overview of the types of Internet security and safety measures operating in schools today.

February 2004
Fighting Fire with Fire:
Using the Internet to Reduce Electronic Plagiarism

Electronic plagiarism is on the rise. When even the most prestigious academic institutions struggle with students submitting unoriginal work, how can secondary teachers keep on top of the problem? This month, Teaching Today looks at a number of ways teachers can combat this detrimental practice.

January 2004
National Board Certification-Is It for You?
Most teachers have heard something about national accreditation. While relatively few have actually earned the National Board Certification thus far, it is a credential that is receiving more attention each year. Learn what this certification entails, and whether it is right for you.

December 2003
Funding Professional Development
Professional development activities not only deepen our understanding and skill as professionals, they energize us with a renewed enthusiasm for teaching. Getting those activities funded, however, is a whole different ballgame. This month, Teaching Today investigates what is getting funded and where savvy teachers go to get grant information.

Evaluating Software for the Classroom
Using software products in the classroom can be an effective component in your overall technology integration plan. Choosing the right software for your subject area and classroom, however, can be a formidable task if undertaken without some preplanning. This month, we'll look at a set of criteria that can be used to evaluate most software products.

November 2003
Writing Effective Tests: A Guide for Teachers
Creating effective tests is an essential task for all classroom teachers. While it is a task that every teacher undertakes year after year, how can you be sure you are making the best tests possible? This month we examine the importance of good test question construction and provide a variety of solid suggestions you can follow when constructing your next classroom test.

October 2003
Internet Safety and Security
What Teachers Need to Know

Internet security is a critical technology issue that affects both teachers and students. Understanding the reasons why school technology coordinators set up computer-related policies and procedures can help make the inconveniences and seemingly excessive rules for using the Internet all seem worthwhile. This month, we provide an overview of the types of Internet security and safety measures operating in schools today.

Teaching Limited English Proficiency Students
This fall, teachers across the United States are welcoming classrooms filled with new students from a variety of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Alongside their English-speaking classmates, thousands of non-native speakers will attend mainstream content courses in their middle and secondary schools. This month, we examine the issues surrounding effectively teaching this special population. We will also provide a list of teaching strategies you can use to improve their performance in your class.

September 2003
Internet Safety and Security
What Teachers Need to Know

Internet security is a critical technology issue that affects both teachers and students. Understanding the reasons why school technology coordinators set up computer-related policies and procedures can help make the inconveniences and seemingly excessive rules for using the Internet all seem worthwhile. This month, we provide an overview of the types of Internet security and safety measures operating in schools today.

Helping Remedial and Reluctant Readers
Reading is arguably the single most important skill to have mastered by the end of elementary school. Yet, year after year, teachers find students entering middle school and high school struggling with reading material. This month, we look at ways to help those students who may be struggling with content area reading.

August 2003
Making the Most of Laptops in the Classroom
If you are returning to school and preparing for, or already underway with, a laptop implementation program, you may find yourself scrambling for strategies on how to deal with the new technology. Whether your school has 35 or 350 laptops, you can find creative ways to make the most of them. Find tips on training and inspiration from others who have been in your shoes.

Planning the First Day of School
You've received your class assignments for the year, your curriculum is set, you have created lesson plans and prepared materials, and all you are waiting for is school to start. Have you thought about techniques for getting the class off to a good start on the very first day? Read this month's article to learn how.

July 2003
Worthwhile Reading
Summer is a great time for teachers to get rejuvenated with new ideas and examples of successful classroom strategies. A great source of ideas can be found in either of the two inspiring books we've reviewed this month. Whether you are interested in integrating technology in the classroom or shoring up your teaching methods with what is known about how the brain works, you are bound to benefit from a little extra-curricular reading.

Roadmap to Success: A Curriculum Mapping Primer
Standardization of the curriculum across schools and districts is an important issue facing teachers and administrators today. Knowing the skills, content, and forms of assessments being used across grade level and within courses is essential to making critical decisions about the curriculum and instruction. Creating a curriculum map can be an effective process for documenting and analyzing what is being taught and when. Read more about this useful process in this month's article.

June 2003
Roadmap to Success: A Curriculum Mapping Primer
Standardization of the curriculum across schools and districts is an important issue facing teachers and administrators today. Knowing the skills, content, and forms of assessments being used across grade level and within courses is essential to making critical decisions about the curriculum and instruction. Creating a curriculum map can be an effective process for documenting and analyzing what is being taught and when. Read more about this useful process in this month's article.

May 2003
Integrated Learning Communities:
Communities Building Better Schools

Across the United States, many communities are fortunate to have a school that is closely aligned with a community partner. Partners range from cultural institutions to zoological gardens and, in one of the programs profiled here, sometimes they can include both. This month, we look at the characteristics of learning that define these unique schools and profile some of the most successful programs in the country.

April 2003
Field Trips Go Virtual
Can't make it to Washington for a tour of the White House? No busses available to take your students to the local aquarium to study marine mammals? Rather than scrapping your field trip plans altogether, why not consider taking your class on a virtual field trip? This month, we review issues to consider when planning a virtual field trip and provide links to some of the hottest educational destinations on the Web.

March 2003
Essential Test Preparation Strategies for Your Classroom
In this new era of the No Child Left Behind Act, teachers across the nation are working hard to prepare students for the slew of high stakes tests that will determine whether students, teachers, and schools are performing at acceptable levels. While the tests are quickly becoming routine, the results are too important and far-reaching to treat any part of the process lightly. This month, we focus on teacher and student preparation for the high stakes test.

Alternative Assessment Primer
With the No Child Left Behind Act, there can be no doubt that traditional standardized testing is grabbing headlines and class time. Yet, a number of teachers and schools across the nation continue to use alternative forms of assessment that go beyond short answer and multiple-choice questions. This month, we review what alternative assessment is about and why people continue to use it to compliment more traditional forms of assessment.

February 2003
Evaluating Software for the Classroom
Using software products in the classroom can be an effective component in your overall technology integration plan. Choosing the right software for your subject area and classroom, however, can be a formidable task if undertaken without some preplanning. This month, we'll look at a set of criteria that can be used to evaluate most software products.

January 2003
Helping Remedial and Reluctant Readers
Reading is arguably the single most important skill to have mastered by the end of elementary school. Yet, year after year, teachers find students entering middle school and high school struggling with reading material. This month, we look at ways to help those students who may be struggling with content area reading.

December 2002
Basic HTML for Educators
HTML is the building block of Web pages, and gaining a basic understanding of how it is structured will help you as you build your class Web site. Whether you are building your page line by line or simply trying to troubleshoot code generated by your Web page authoring software, this article will set you on your way to getting your site online.

Building Your Class Web Site
In this second part of our series on publishing class Web sites, we get down to the nuts and bolts of creating Web pages, including authoring software, FTP, Web graphics,and file directories.

November 2002
Web Publishing Basics
Building your first class Web site is an exciting and sometimes intimidating experience. While there are many software programs that can help you design a simple Web page, there are numerous other details that you will need to know before you can launch your class Web site. This article, our first in a series about Web publishing, offers you basic information about how Web pages are displayed, where they "live" in cyberspace, and what to watch out for when arranging for a hosting service.

October 2002
WebQuest-
The Making of a Good Journey

Since the early days of the World Wide Web, the WebQuest has been making an impact in classrooms across the country. Because technology integration has become a desired, but sometimes elusive goal, teachers have favored the solid instructional process WebQuests offer. This month, we delve deeper into the role of the WebQuest in today's classroom.

September 2002
Teaching Limited English Proficiency Students
This fall, teachers across the United States are welcoming classrooms filled with new students from a variety of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Alongside their English-speaking classmates, thousands of non-native speakers will attend mainstream content courses in their middle and secondary schools. This month, we examine the issues surrounding effectively teaching this special population. We will also provide a list of teaching strategies you can use to improve their performance in your class.

August 2002
Evaluating Web Sites-Five Basic Criteria
Conduct a simple Internet search on just about any subject these days using one of the big search engines and you're liable to be come up with several hundred thousand related Web sites. How do you, or your students for that matter, separate the wheat from the chaff? This month, we focus on five simple criteria to apply to any Web site to determine the credibility of an online source.

July 2002
Summer Reads
Our second annual review of books for educators comes just in time for you to curl up with a volume or two at the beach. In between chapters of that best seller, take some time to read through one of these page-turners. You won't regret it.

June 2002
Summer Reads
Our second annual review of books for educators comes just in time for you to curl up with a volume or two at the beach. In between chapters of that best seller, take some time to read through one of these page-turners. You won't regret it.

May 2002
Click Here: Teaching the Net Generation
The Internet and other new digital technologies have profoundly changed the world we live in and the way we respond to information. These changes are making an impact on students' learning styles and preferences. This month, we explore some of the shifts that are occurring and steps teachers can take to maximize learning for the Net Generation.

April 2002
Cooperative Learning
The State of Teamwork

Cooperative learning techniques have been used by teachers for a generation and throughout history. But how do teachers make coperative learning more than just a group activity requiring more time, but resulting in less learning than individual work? This month, we look at why these techniques often fail and then provide basic steps for improving cooperative learning in your classroom.

March 2002
A Road Map to Federal Web Resources for Teachers
Within the past year, activity at the Department of Education has shifted into high-gear to increase resources dedicated to education, but did you know that the federal government has been publishing millions of free materials online since the Internet began? This month, we provide a road map to the most valuable federally funded Web sites for teachers.

February 2002
Teacher as Researcher
Taking Action Research to Task

Curious as to whether a new teaching technique is making a real difference in the classroom? Want evidence to show your administrator that your newly implemented strategy works in the classroom? In today's high-stakes environment, teachers need to hone their decision-making process to choose the methods that work best. Action research helps teachers do just that.

January 2002
Fighting Fire with Fire:
Using the Internet to Reduce Electronic Plagiarism

Electronic plagiarism is on the rise. When even the most prestigious academic institutions struggle with students submitting unoriginal work, how can secondary teachers keep on top of the problem? This month, Teaching Today looks at a number of ways teachers can combat this detrimental practice.

Special Feature:
Coping with a National Tragedy

Teachers and parents can help students cope with recent events using the recommended resources provided here.

December 2001
Special Feature:
Coping with a National Tragedy

Teachers and parents can help students cope with recent events using the recommended resources provided here.

National Board Certification-Is It for You?
Most teachers have heard something about national accreditation. While relatively few have actually earned the National Board Certification thus far, it is a credential that is receiving more attention each year. Learn what this certification entails, and whether it is right for you.

November 2001
Special Feature:
Coping with a National Tragedy

Teachers and parents can help students cope with recent events using the recommended resources provided here.

Preparing Your Students for a Standardized Test
As the No Child Left Behind Act becomes a reality, teachers across the nation are scrambling to prepare their students for the slew of high stakes tests that will determine whether students, teachers, and schools are performing at acceptable levels. While the tests are increasingly becoming routine, the results are too important to treat any part of the process lightly. This month, we focus on teacher and student preparation for the high stakes test.

October 2001
Special Feature:
Coping with a National Tragedy

Teachers and parents can help students cope with recent events using the recommended resources provided here.

Tech Tricks:
Web Browser Shortcuts You Should Know

If you are like most Internet users, you haven't delved much beyond the address bar and back button on your Web browser. Fortunately, most Web browsers are far more powerful than that, offering a range of tools that make Web browsing more efficient and responsive to our needs. Read our short Tech Trick article today and move more quickly and effectively through the Web tomorrow.

Funding Professional Development
Professional development activities not only deepen our understanding and skill as professionals, they energize us with a renewed enthusiasm for teaching. Getting those activities funded, however, is a whole different ballgame. This month, Teaching Today investigates what is getting funded and where savvy teachers go to get grant information.

September 2001
Handheld Devices Make Inroads in the Classroom
Imagine a classroom where the teacher electronically beams assignments and grades to pocket-sized computers that students can take home. Imagine students working on group projects and exchanging information without pen, paper, or photocopy machines. This month, we report on a surprising technological leap occurring in K-12 classrooms across the nation.

Special Feature:
Coping with a National Tragedy

Teachers and parents can help students cope with recent events using the recommended resources provided here.

Bridging the Broken Link
How many times have you clicked on a Web link or entered a Web address in your browser only to reach a "Page Not Found" message? This month, you can learn a few simple tricks for finding your way to that "lost" page.

August 2001
Reading in the Content Areas:
Strategies for Success

As most teachers know, effective reading skills are a critical key to academic success. Yet, they are an elusive and often mysterious set of skills for students to acquire. This month, we report on what constitutes proficient reading and how content teachers can incorporate good reading strategies to help their students become better readers.

July 2001
Summer Volumes:
Reading into the Profession

Summer is a great time to catch up on your professional development and there's no easier way to start about it than reading one of the many books dedicated to theory and practice. This month, we review a selection of titles that is sure to prove an interesting, if not enlightening read.

June 2001
Evaluating Web Sites-Five Basic Criteria
Conduct a simple Internet search on just about any subject these days using one of the big search engines and you're liable to be come up with several hundred thousand related Web sites. How do you, or your students for that matter, separate the wheat from the chaff? This month, we focus on five simple criteria to apply to any Web site to determine the credibility of an online source.

May 2001
School-to-Work Focuses on Partnerships
School-to-Work programs have sprouted up across the country primarily due to the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994. This month, we offer a school-to-work primer.

April 2001
National Board Certification-Is It for You?
Most teachers have heard something about national accreditation. While relatively few have actually earned the National Board Certification thus far, it is a credential that is receiving more attention each year. Learn what this certification entails, and whether it is right for you.

March 2001
What Works in the Classroom:
The McREL Report in a Nutshell

With so many federal dollars pouring into educational think tanks these past years, you may wonder, what's in it for teachers? This month we review a wonderful new guide for educators, What Works in Classroom Instruction, published by the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL for short).

February 2001
Creating Effective Teacher-Parent Collaborations
It isn't uncommon for great teachers to struggle in their efforts to reach out to classroom parents. Fortunately there are a variety of communication strategies you can use to improve your relationships with them. This month, we detail three simple but promising methods for forming effective partnerships with parents.

January 2001
Block Scheduling
Increasingly, school districts are exploring new ways to configure the traditional school day, including adopting a block scheduling system. This month we explore the pros and cons of block scheduling.

December 2000
Click Here: Teaching the Net Generation
The Internet and other new digital technologies have profoundly changed the world we live in and the way we respond to information. These changes are making an impact on students' learning styles and preferences. This month, we explore some of the shifts that are occurring and steps teachers can take to maximize learning for the Net Generation.

November 2000
Crafting a Successful Performance Assessment
In the first article in this series, we defined some of the characteristics of performance assessment. This month, we examine ways for you to successfully implement performance assessments into your classroom.

October 2000
Defining Performance Assessment
This article, the first in a two-part series on Performance Assessment, takes an in-depth look at what performance assessment actually is, and what performance activities allow teachers to observe.
In Part Two, we will provide details about creating and implementing performance tasks in the classroom.


September 2000
Defining Performance Assessment
This article, the first in a two-part series on Performance Assessment, takes an in-depth look at what performance assessment actually is, and what performance activities allow teachers to observe.
In Part Two, we will provide details about creating and implementing performance tasks in the classroom.






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