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"Funny Money" Gets Serious About Teaching Financial Planning
posted by: Garry | September 24, 2013, 11:13 am   

Americans have been taking a long hard look at debt for years. According to estimates, the average American owes roughly $15,000 in personal debt, and the United States as a whole is $11.3 trillion dollars in debt. American teenagers are the largest consumer group, with an annual income of just $91.1 billion, and an averaging spending rate of $208.7 billion.

Gamification: What it Is & What it Is Not
posted by: Ruthie | September 13, 2013, 03:46 pm   

With the recent blog entry about using badges in the classroom, this seems a good time to write about how to leverage gamification in your classroom.  The two concepts often go hand in hand, with badges being an excellent way to add a level of gamification.

Professional Development and Online Courses
posted by: Ruthie | September 11, 2013, 12:57 pm   

With the announcement of Google and EdX joining forces to provide online courses, opportunities to take courses online, either for free or pay, continues to expand. For teachers, this provides an easy way to keep on top of their craft through professional development. While not every site offering online courses have courses that teachers can use for professional development, many do.
Changes to National Boards Make Certification More Flexible for Teachers
posted by: Garry | September 10, 2013, 11:43 am   

With tight budgets and changing requirements, teachers are always excited to hear about ways to save money on professional development and certifications. Recently, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) announced a $600 decrease in the price of certification. The change is designed to save teachers money and make certification easier to obtain.

In addition to the $600 decrease, NBPTS will also reduce the application fee for teachers– a savings largely achieved through advancements in electronic submission of candidates’ portfolios. Teachers will also be permitted to complete the process using a pay-as-you-go approach.

Due partly to a 3.7 million dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the price drop accompanies further modifications. Teachers will be given greater flexibility in completing required assessments and the program will begin to integrate new information into the certification process, including student surveys and measures of students’ academic progress.

Social and Emotional Learning: Integral Components of a Quality Education
posted by: Garry | August 30, 2013, 10:02 am   

Recently, a Phi Delta Kappa survey revealed 59% of Americans would expand mental health services in schools, whereas only 33% would opt for hiring more security guards.  In light of recent high-profile school shootings and fiscal realities facing districts, the ability to foster social and emotional learning is more critical than ever.

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