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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tips from District Administration Magazine


District Administration magazine’s “Research Center” has assembled 15 tips taken from over 50 articles. In this post, we examine the first five of them. Full articles are available on their website.

Encourage students to think before they speak. When teachers ask questions in class, students are more likely to give responses that are longer and more complex if teachers pause for three to five seconds after asking the question. Research conducted by Mary Budd Rowe shows that most teachers give students less than a second. ("Questions Can Be Powerful," September 2007) Anyone who has ever gone through PEPE with me and heard me talk about "wait time" is familiar with this idea.

Allow time for student writers to plan and revise. Students in grades 8 and 12 outperformed peers on the 1998 NAEP writing assessment when they were asked to do two things: first, plan their writing at least once a week or once or twice a month and, second, write more than one draft. ("The 'Write' Connections," November 2005)

Include the arts. When researchers analyzed a database of 25,000 students in 1999, they found a correlation between arts-integrated curricula and high levels of student success. ("Linking the Disciplines-and Achievement," October 2007)

Give children an early start in second-language learning. In the United States, most students who study a foreign language begin at age 14 or later. But linguistic studies show that children who begin learning a second language before adolescence exhibit more nativelike pronunciation than those who start later. ("Learning a Second Language: When & Why," November 2006)

Give children a break. The National Institute of Medicine recommends that school-age children get at least 30 minutes of physical activity or exercise every day. ("Fighting Obesity: What Schools Can Do," August 2006)

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