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Articles: Teaching & Learning

A STEAM learning philosophy is just one of many trends that districts will incorporate more over the next five years, according to the latest New Media Consortium/CoSN Horizon Report,

Teachers across the country are creating their own more sophisticated formative assessments and using adaptive learning software to generate real-time information on how each of their students are performing.

When Deer Creek School District in Edmond, Oklahoma, was asked to participate in a pilot program for Marzano High Reliability Schools, there was an immediate buy-in from Grove Valley Elementary School principal Kelly McCoy.

“We were very excited to see what it could do and if it could make an impact at our school,” McCoy says.

Deer Creek assistant superintendent Diana Jones saw the Marzano HRS model as a way to support student achievement and teacher growth.

Indicative of a rich curriculum, deeper learning occurs when a district successfully empowers students to synthesize and creatively apply knowledge through critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. While essential to preparing today’s students for colleges and careers, building a culture of deeper learning can be challenging to accomplish at a district level.

In just the last few months, several districts and states have eliminated tests and cut assessment time to make room for instruction and reduce stress.

When Nita Cochran was district math coordinator for Norman Public Schools in Oklahoma, she was looking to help the district’s elementary school students improve their mathematical foundation. There are nearly 16,000 students in NPS, which is located in Oklahoma’s third-largest city and is also home to the University of Oklahoma. 

Cochran, who is currently math curriculum coordinator for Mustang Public Schools in Oklahoma, launched a pilot program in 2003 with Everyday Mathematics from McGraw-Hill at two of the district’s elementary schools. 

GUIDING LIGHT—Principal Marc Martin greets students at Commodore John Rodgers School, a K8 building in Baltimore. Educators at the school, which has achieved a dramatic turnaround in performance, are now mentoring their counterparts at three of the city’s most troubled schools.

Three chronically underperforming Baltimore City Public Schools are now getting intensive, hands-on guidance from educators at a fourth district school that has achieved a dramatic turnaround.

An innovative arts program in Connecticut allows students to study art alongside visiting Chinese students and collaborate in ways that allow a deeper appreciation for art from both cultures.

Passing the University of Cambridge's Cambridge Primary curriculum culminates with an Advanced International Certificate of Education, recognized by colleges and universities around the world. (Gettyimages.com: chrisdorney).

Florida’s Collier County school district will use the Cambridge Primary curriculum, which was developed by the University of Cambridge, in every one of its 29 elementary schools.

Nearly 315 religions and denominations exist in the U.S. alone. (Gettyimages.com: peterhermesfurian).

The National Council for the Social Studies this past June released new guidelines for teaching religion in schools.

Mold may raise images of sick students and rotting buildings, but in reality, it’s an easy—and most times inexpensive—problem to solve if dealt with quickly and effectively.

Maine led the nation in 2012 in becoming the first state to require that students demonstrate proficiency in academic areas to earn a high school diploma. (Gettyimages.com: qingwa).

Eighth-graders in Maine in the 2017-18 school year will be the first to adhere to proficiency-based standards.

Sensory rooms not only help students with special needs feel more comfortable and empowered in the classroom, they may also keep them in their neighborhood schools, according to K12 administrators.

Superintendent of Flint Community Schools, Bilal Tawwab, expands staff to support students harmed by lead-tainted water

Superintendent Bilal Tawwab of Flint Community Schools in Michigan has expanded staff to support students harmed by lead-tainted water.

Fatme Faraj is director of School Improvement/Leadership Coaching for ​Dearborn Public Schools. Glenn M. Maleyko is superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools.

Evidence-based best practice is a hot topic in education, especially in regard to the proposed ESSA accountability system.

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