Engage students by asking quality questions

Asking students high-quality questions is key to “sustaining deep learning,” according to Illinois high school teacher Chris Kubic, and so is incorporating one simple, specific query: How do you know?

“Asking this follow-up question after a student provides an answer prompts deeper thinking in a number of ways,” Kubic writes for Edutopia. “Students have to not only consider evidence and alternative answers but also support their thinking.…

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Teacher, students collaborate to make classroom library a shared space

When Connecticut middle school teacher Katie Durkin decided her classroom library could use “a serious facelift,” she turned to her students for help.

“I’d been researching the benefits of promoting student voice and choice — specifically by allowing them to assist in organizing an in-class library,” Durkin writes for MiddleWeb. “Now I wanted to give it a try.”…

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New DOE resource supports student mental health

On Oct. 19, the U.S. Department of Education released “Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Needs,” a resource meant to supplement the three handbooks from earlier this year related to safe reopening strategies at public schools and colleges.

“Many children and students struggle with mental health challenges that impact their full access to and participation in learning, and these challenges are often misunderstood and can lead to behaviors that are inconsistent with school or program expectations,” reads the new resource’s executive summary.…

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Education community must step up for teachers’ wellness

Teachers are not only supposed to support the social and emotional well-being of students, they are also expected to take care of their own wellness, writes Beth Pandolpho in a column for Education Week.

“And we wonder why teacher burnout has been a long-standing issue,” adds Pandolpho, a former high school teacher and an instructional coach in New Jersey.…

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Weingarten, Chiera speak at Murphy-LD 16 rally

AFT President Randi Weingarten and AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera were among the speakers Oct. 16 at the Legislative District 16 Canvass Kickoff in Princeton, attended by Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate candidate Andrew Zwicker, and Assembly candidates Roy Freiman and Sadaf Jaffer.

Weingarten, the closing speaker, spent a few minutes addressing recent comments former Gov. Chris Christie made when asked on TV about threats of violence against educators and school boards.…

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Lessons learned from remote teaching

Rather than focus on learning loss that may have occurred during the pandemic, South Carolina high school teacher Lauren Gehr would prefer that educators concentrate “on the teaching methods that worked for them and their students when they were forced to be resourceful during an unprecedented health crisis,” she writes for Edutopia.

Read her column here.…

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Weingarten is set to visit Paramus, Princeton on Oct. 16

AFT President Randi Weingarten is coming to Paramus and Princeton on Oct. 16 to campaign for Gov. Phil Murphy’s reelection.

Joining Weingarten at both events will be AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler.

Weingarten, Shuler and Murphy are scheduled to begin their day together by attending the Bergen County CLC Labor Walk, which starts at 8 a.m. and takes place at IBEW 164, 205 Robin Road in Paramus.…

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Weingarten v. DeVos settled; AFT taps online resource Summer to navigate PSLF process

The 2019 lawsuit Weingarten v. DeVos, filed by AFT President Randi Weingarten, the AFT and eight other plaintiffs against then-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education, was settled Oct. 12.

At the root of the lawsuit was holding DeVos and the Department of Education accountable for “gross mismanagement” of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which was established under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007.…

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Holloway talk to close Chronicle’s interview series

A conversation with Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway on Oct. 18 will close out The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Leadership Interview Series.

In his talk with The Chronicle’s Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez, Holloway is expected to discuss how he’s navigated race-related issues on campus as Rutgers’ first black president and what he’s learned being a university president during a pandemic.…

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Putting movement into classroom learning

Incorporating physical activity into classrooms “isn’t just good for kids’ bodies, it’s also a powerful tool for improving learning and focus and reducing classroom management issues,” write former teacher Stephen Merrill and journalist Sarah Gonser for Edutopia.

“There are many smart, innovative ways to build movement into lessons,” they add, and among their examples is something called basketball math.…

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AFT gives Share My Lesson a refresh

The online resource Share My Lesson has been relaunched, and the updated version “reflects what educators, school staff and families truly need to help all students thrive — socially, emotionally and academically,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

“As I travel around the country, I see firsthand how our students are returning with immense needs — including a need to prioritize social-emotional learning and learning recovery,” Weingarten said.…

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Free lessons available for Indigenous Peoples Day

Oct. 11 is Indigenous Peoples Day, and there are myriad free resources available online suitable for the classroom.

AFT’s Share My Lesson has more than 60 resources covering American Indian ways of life, arts and more. As part of its Native Knowledge 360 Education Initiative, the National Museum of the American Indian offers a Teaching & Learning About Native Americans FAQ that covers terminology, laws, reservations, tribal sovereignty, mascots and other topics.…

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Garland launches effort to address school threats

In a one-page memo dated Oct. 4, U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has directed the FBI and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to meet with law enforcement nationwide to “facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff” within 30 days.

“Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety,” he wrote.…

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New law protects N.J. workers from age discrimination

Gov. Phil Murphy on Oct. 5 signed A681, which provides protections to New Jersey workers who are age 70 and older.

“The legislation closes a loophole that allows governmental employers require an employee to retire when he or she reaches a certain age,” Murphy said during the virtual signing. “The legislation I’m signing would eliminate a law allowing higher education institutions to require tenured employees to retire when they turn 70.”…

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