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The Edmentum Blog’s Top 10 Posts of 2017

The Edmentum Blog’s Top 10 Posts of 2017

To paraphrase the wise words of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change.” That insight can certainly by applied to the world of education in 2017. The first ESSA state accountability plans were submitted and approved, competency-based approaches entered the personalized learning conversation, and education equity took the spotlight. At Edmentum, it’s always a priority for us to stay on top of all the latest education and technology trends. We’ve followed these and other important topics on our blog throughout the year, and now, as 2017 comes to a close, we’re reflecting on all that it has brought by looking back on our most popular posts. So, without further ado, we’re excited to present our top 10 Edmentum blog posts of 2017!

1. 5 Ted Talks Every Teacher Should Share with Their Students

Inspiration can come in many forms, and figuring out exactly what will resonate with your students to help them engage in learning and pursue their passions can be a tricky task. Seeing what other kids their age have accomplished is often a powerful motivator, and TED Talks are a great way to help your students do so. We put together five of our favorite TED Talks presented by kids, for kids, to open up your students’ minds to just how much they’re capable of accomplishing.

2. Avoid Another #PinterestFail with These No-Fuss Classroom Anchor Chart Tips

We all know THAT teacher. The one whose handwriting looks like a font and never slants off the page. The one who can whip out a pack of markers and sketch out a concept with his or her class on command. The one whose classroom walls are covered with gleaming examples of every Pinterest-featured chart you’ve only hoped to replicate. While we applaud those educators, there’s no need to worry if those skills don’t come naturally to you. We have three tips that will help you create anchor charts that still provide a reference guide or visual aid to support learning without turning into an entire-weekend project.

3. [Foundational Literacy Skills] Why Reading by the Third Grade Really Matters

Insufficient reading skills expose students to the risk of a domino effect of academic struggles. Low reading proficiency inevitably makes grasping more advanced grade-level academic concepts challenging, but it also impedes social development, leading to a higher likelihood of dropping out of school without a high school diploma. In turn, without a diploma, students are significantly more likely to experience unemployment, poverty, and even incarceration. We’ve put together an overview of the research behind the importance of reading by the third grade, as well as simple literacy strategies teachers can implement in the classroom today.

4. [Professional Development] How to Stay Focused on Teaching Even When You’re Not Teaching

The summer months are a great opportunity for educators to relax and enjoy the warm weather, spend time with family and friends, and recharge before returning to the classroom. But, three months away from teaching makes the start of the school year that much more difficult to mentally prepare for. We have five easy ways to keep teaching and professional development on your mind during the summer months.

5. IDEA, IEPs, Co-Teaching Strategies, and More: The Teachers’ Ultimate Guide to Trends in Special Education

Special education—it’s a broad and incredibly complex topic. And, any educator who has worked in the field will tell you, all special education programs and each student enrolled in them are entirely unique. While this certainly leads to some challenges, working in special education can also be incredibly fulfilling. Whether you’re just diving into the world of special education or simply looking for a refresher on the latest trends, issues, and happenings in the field, we’ve put together some of our best resources to create this guide to all things special education, including important terms, the role of technology, co-teaching strategies, program funding, and the IEP process!

6. College Entrance Exams: What Parents, Teachers, and School Administrators Can Do to Help Students Succeed

The two major college entrance exams—the SAT® and ACT® tests—can cause stress for college-bound high school students every year. These exams are certainly important, as they can have a significant impact on which colleges or universities accept a student. However, with planning and preparation, there’s no need for these tests to be a fear-inducing experience. We have gathered strategies about what all of the adults in students’ academic lives—including parents, teachers, and school administrators—can do to support success on college entrance exams.

7. Taming the Chaos: Eight High School Classroom Management Strategies That Work

When the topic of classroom management comes up with teachers, it’s usually thought of as something that only applies to younger students. So, what about high school students? How do you handle a classroom full of students who are dealing with real challenges of growing up—along with plenty of legitimate and difficult adult problems—when hormones are raging, everything is over-dramatized, and classroom curriculum is becoming demanding? We have put together eight proven strategies for success in the high school classroom.

8. Research at Edmentum: Teaming Up with Marzano Research to Understand How Study Island Drives Student Growth

While education has always been research driven, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the everchanging policy landscape have placed an increasing emphasis on evidence-based practices. However, there is often confusion as to what exactly qualifies as evidence-based practices. Our Research Team here at Edmentum was honored to have Marzano Research peer review a recent research project that we conducted on Study Island, our program for classroom practice and assessment. In our original research, we used the What Works Clearinghouse™ (WWC) Standards to measure the impact of regular Study Island use on student achievement. Results of our study indicate that Study Island works really well, and our collaboration with Marzano Research for peer review confirms that there is scientific evidence to support this.

9. Five Reasons to Incorporate Literacy Stations in Your Elementary Classroom

Elementary educators have the great joy of watching their youngest students crack the code of reading in beginning their journey toward becoming lifelong proficient readers. Not only does sharpening reading skills build up a student’s confidence, it also helps them cultivate language skills, fluency, and writing ability. Additionally, reading exposes students to the magic of literature—expanding their imaginations, teaching them about the world around them, and inspiring them through storytelling. One great way to boost literacy in your classroom is to use a station-rotation model. Literacy stations allow students to build their reading skills incrementally through meaningful, ongoing practice and application. We have put together a few of our favorite benefits of incorporating literacy stations in the classroom.

10. How Teachers Can Help Students Cope with Test Anxiety

Even as more emphasis is being placed on approaches like personalized learningproject-based learning, and competency-based education, there’s no way around the reality that high-stakes testing remains a big deal. Teachers and students alike devote a lot of time and effort in the classroom and at home to preparing for state exams every year because they know a lot is riding on them. For some students, this causes their feelings about testing to morph from a willingness to try their best to all-out test anxiety. Of course, no teacher or parent wants to see a student stressed out to this extent over any single test. So, what can educators do to help kids manage test anxiety, and take the fear out of testing day? We have listed seven of our favorite tips.

We would like to thank all of the outstanding educators, students, and parents who we work with for making 2017 another incredible year of creativity, innovation, and problem-solving. We can’t wait to see what inspired teaching and learning is in store for 2018!