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June 15, 2012

All in the Wrist: Can a Bracelet Measure Student Engagement?

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has put $1.4 million into the development of an "engagement pedometer," a bracelet intended to measure students' emotional responses to instruction, according to Reuters. The devices, which have been tested to gauge consumers' reactions to advertising, could tel...

June 05, 2012

A Student's Presidential Pardon

Eleven-year-old Tyler Sullivan brought his teacher arguably one of the best excuse notes for missing class ever written: Mr. Ackerman— Please excuse Tyler ... he was with me! Barack Obama Rather than attend school June 1, Tyler had gone with his father to see the president give a speech at ...

April 18, 2012

Video: Teachers' Test-Prep Rap

Well, here's one way to spur student engagement: A group of teachers at Jennings High School in St. Louis has produced a rap music video to get their charges motivated for state-mandated end-of-course exams. According to St. Louis Today, the teachers wanted to do something out of the ordinary to con...

April 12, 2012

Do Morning Announcements Need an Upgrade?

On The Daily Grind teacher-blogger Mr. McNamar muses that the P.A. systems used each morning in schools around the country are woefully out of date. Even those savvier schools doing TV broadcasts are behind the times. He writes: In a generation where schools are constantly looking to draw their stu...

March 23, 2012

Feeding 'The Hunger Games' Frenzy

If you're working in a school right now, this is probably all you're hearing about today (I'm not working in a school and it's been a dominant topic of conversation in my social circles). The premier of "The Hunger Games." The Columbus Dispatch jumped on "The Hunger Games" hubbub to write about th...

March 21, 2012

Study: Teacher Influence Key to Student Engagement

A new study published in the Child Development journal concludes that teachers and parents play a more important role than peers do when it comes to keeping adolescents engaged in school.

March 09, 2012

Survey: Students Perceive Teachers as Uncaring

A report released this week, based on survey results from 57,883 students in grades 6-12, found that only slightly over half of students feel that their teachers care about them.

March 07, 2012

Can Meditation Ease Classroom Management?

Edutopia has an interesting story about a principal at a troubled San Francisco middle school who instituted (among other holistic changes) twice daily meditation sessions for students. The results, according to the piece, have been dramatic: Suspension and truency rates at the school are down, whil...

December 15, 2011

White Accountant Has All the Answers for Poor Black Kids

Gene Marks, a public accountant who writes about the business of technology, recently posted an item on Forbes' site entitled "If I Were a Poor Black Kid." Marks, as he discloses upfront, is actually a middle-aged white man from a middle-class upbringing. I think it might be about time for some self...

December 13, 2011

Gum-Chewing to the Test

A new study reports that college students who chewed gum prior to taking a test exhibited improved memory function and performed better than their non-gum-chewing counterparts. The theory behind this, according to one of the study's authors, is that the chewing motion improves blood flow to the brai...

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