5 Questions: How to Grow Your Blended Learning Program

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Blended learning is a huge investment for administrators and teachers as they work to restructure schedules, buildings, and even curriculums to accommodate this change. As such, many schools and districts start small with a select group of teachers and students who test the program to make sure it is effectively helping students succeed. Once that program has proven to be successful with higher test scores, graduation rates, or other measurements, many administrators may begin looking to expand. The question is, how? We break that question down into five considerations to explain how to grow your blended learning program.
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Make Learning Easier with These Graphic Design Tips for Teachers

Everyone tells you not to judge a book by its cover but we often do so anyway, even if we’re not aware that we’re doing it. There’s something about good graphic design that naturally attracts the eye, holds the reader’s attention, and increases comprehension. So when you’re creating resources, assignments, presentations, and assessments for your students, it’s important to be mindful of graphic design. We’re not suggesting that you need to spend hours creating intricate, sophisticated works of art, but there are elements of design that would be good to keep in mind to help your students as they learn. We’ve put together these graphic design tips for teachers to ease the learning process and help you ensure your students are understanding the material.

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Brighten Up Testing Season By Celebrating These 3 Math Holidays!

With testing season in full swing, lots of classrooms around the country are full of students and teachers working hard to ensure success on the tests. For many, this means missing out on some of the fun of learning (and teaching!). And during March, a month that is home to several different math holidays, that can be particularly unfortunate as it could mean many students don’t get the chance to enjoy delicious pie or be inspired by women pioneers in mathematics. So read on to learn why you should take a few minutes to recognize some of these fun and interesting math holidays in March! Read More

Dealing with Anxiety about State Testing in Elementary Schools [Infographic]

Mrs. Scott stood at the front of the classroom explaining that we would be taking a test, one that all the students in the first grade would be taking. It was very important that we take the test seriously and to not look at our neighbor’s paper. Our easy-going, reserved young teacher radiated an unusual seriousness as she held a thick stack of assessments in her arms.

Shortly after the tests were handed out, tears fell from one of my classmate’s cheeks. Then she turned to throw up on the carpet next to her desk. The room erupted in chaos, tests forgotten, and Mrs. Scott ushered us into the hallway. She knelt down to talk to the crying little girl, and word quickly spread that our classmate had been so nervous about the test that she got sick.

That was in the early 1990s, and the frequency and pressure of assessments has ratcheted up exponentially since; however, there are ways to ease test anxiety at home and in the classroom to help prepare young students for assessments. Most states start standardized testing in elementary schools as early as third grade, so preparation for students in K–2 is important.

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Success with Virtual Learning in Alternative Schools

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New data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that the 2015–16 graduation rate is nearly a point higher than the prior year’s of 83.2 percent. Obviously, there are many factors behind this great success, and one of them is the rise of virtual learning in alternative schools. Blended and virtual learning providers can partner with alternative schools, like Louisiana’s JCFA, to bring education into the hands of underserved populations like the overage and under-credited, as well as high school dropouts. We recently chatted with Erich Hein and Ashley Mills of JCFA to discuss how their educational model works and learn more about its impact on student success.

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