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18 years of publication, 17,000+ subscribers                 Monday, May 4, 2015
News and updates to Kathie Nunley's Layered Curriculum Sites for Educatiors:  

  • School-Wide Tip: Use the back of the bathroom stall doors to provide emergency / help information for students
  • Hot Topic: Student Autonomy is Strongest Predictor of Homework Benefits
  • Article:  Why Teachers Fear Cell Phones and How to Overcome the Fear 
  • Quote of the Week
  • Misc Chatter & Workshop News

School-Wide Tip:  Use the back of bathroom stall doors to provide emergency/ help information for students
I found this sign attached to the inside back of the stalls in the student's restroom at Erin High School in Erin, Ontario last week. The sign provides emergency shelter information along with help hotlines for a variety of issues pertaining to adolescents.  I particularly like the last phrase, "Please do not deface or remove this poster;  someone you know might need it!" 
 
 
  Have a teaching tip for us?  Please send it to kathie@brains.org 
 

HOT TOPIC: Student Autonomy is Strongest Predictor of Homework Benefit
Education research has long provided evidence to support homework to improve students’ academic performance.  However, researchers are now digging deeper on the details surrounding when, how much and what types of homework are beneficial.  What they found is that student autonomy in homework is the largest predictor of academic benefit.  When students are allowed to choose if, when and how much, homework is more beneficial than other factors such as effort and duration.  The optimum time spent on homework was one hour. Citation at the website.  
 
More Hot Topics & Tips at the Brains.org Website and via my Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/kathienunley
 
 

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 Why Teachers Fear Cell Phones in School and How to Overcome the Fear
A lifetime ago, I remember math teachers who were frightened by the thought of allowing us to use calculators in math class. They fought them for years and years. I seriously remember them saying, "what would happen if you find yourself on a desert island with no calculator?" Of course none of us ever brought up the fact that if we were stranded on a remote island, not having a calculator would be the least of our problems. And of course, there was the obvious question of why exclude a very wonderful learning aid simply for the sake of preparing for a highly doubtful future scenario.
We see a similar story being played out in schools today with cell phone use. Teachers are scared to death of what they see as their biggest competition in the classroom. I've met more than one teacher recently who was thinking of retiring out of teaching simply because of student cell phones. How can a person seriously consider leaving a profession because of one small (but I'll admit, very powerful) addition? There are several reasons for the fear:  Keep Reading Article....
 

 
Quote of the Week
 
Spring is nature's way of saying 'Let's Party!'
                                                                             - Robin Williams 
                                                                                                                                     
 

Misc Chatter & Workshop News
Greetings on this beautiful May day in New England.  Winter has finally released its grip on us and let us breathe.  The flowering trees are giving a sneak peak of their colors today and the puffy skies show summer is coming.  
 
I must thank the wonderful teachers and staff at Upper Grand District School Board for the wonderful day at Erin High School last week.  The high school is unusual in that it is combined with the town into a community center.  So while the high school utilizes one end of the complex, the town utilized the other end with a senior center, preschool and arena.  The town and the high school then share the middle part of the complex including the library, a clinic and a dental office.  Great use of resources!  
 
We spent the morning on "What's Best for the Brain at Any Age" and Layered Curriculum.  I always enjoy my visits to Ontario and look forward to hearing follow-up from the teachers there.  I'm home for a couple of weeks before heading out for a district-wide conference at Antelope Valley Union High School in Lancaster, CA.  I'll be doing multiple presentations there titled "Don’t just Flip your Classroom, Tip It Sideways Instead:  Blended learning WITHIN the room, using Layered Curriculum.
 
And, it's time to get your 2015-16 professional development days booked!  I still have a couple of August dates open if someone needs a kick-off event.  Dates are still open for late fall and spring 2016.  For information, just email me for a brochure of  2015-16 Workshop Offerings and Costs
 
 
As always, my best to you and yours,
Kathie
 
Dr Kathie F Nunley
Layered Curriculum(R) . . . because every child deserves a special education (tm)
 

 
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18 years of publication, 17,000+ subscribers                 Thursday, February 26, 2015

News and updates to Kathie Nunley's Layered Curriculum Sites for Educatiors:  

http://Help4Teachers.com          http://Brains.org 


  • Teaching Tip: Include Learning Objectives on Layered Curriculum Units
  • Hot Topic: Teachers - Use Your Fancy Words to Help Improve Reading Skills
  • Layered Curriculum Teachers Beta-Testing Lesson Builder for SmartBall  
  • Misc Chatter & Workshop News

Teaching Tip:  Include Learning Objectives on Layered Curriculum Units

Just a reminder to include the student learning objectives along with the assignment choices when constructing Layered Curriculum Units.  The objective lets students know "WHY" they are doing a particular assignment.  For example:  "You need to be able to list 5 significant events leading up to the Civil Rights Act".  Then list 2 or 3 suggested ways (assignments) for students to learn that objective.  

 

  Have a teaching tip for us?  Please send it to kathie@brains.org 

 


HOT TOPIC: Teachers - Use Your Fancy Words! 

A new study out this month compares reading comprehension progress with teacher vocabulary use in middle school.  The researchers compared beginning of year scores to end of year, from a variety of classrooms.  They also recorded and analyzed the classroom teachers' speech. Students whose teachers used more sophisticated vocabulary in class had more significant improvements in reading comprehension as the year progressed.   

Citations and more Hot Topics at the Brains.org Website 

 


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Layered Curriculum Teachers Beta-Testing Lesson Builder app for SmartBall

Several Layered Curriculum teachers around the US have been having a ball - literally - this month!  Physical Apps, maker of TheO SmartBall agreed to build an app for the ball that could be used by middle and high school teachers.   Their SmartBall holds a smartphone with an app to teach lessons as the ball is tossed or bounced.  But the apps for the ball were focused on preschool and elementary students.  So I approached them and asked if they could build something we could use at the secondary level.  And they did!  So, we now have Lesson Builder and I'm excited that we get to be beta-testers for it!  It has great engagement possibilities for Layered Curriculum classrooms.  

 

As of this week, the public beta version is available for Android users here. The IOS version will be out shortly. So, we'd love more beta-tester this school year.  You design "flashcard" style lessons on their website, download onto your smartphone (or I prefer to use an old smartphone rather than my own) and it snaps into a ball.  Each time it's tossed the card changes.  I built lessons this week for Insect Orders, genetics vocabulary, and one for shapes and arrangements of bacteria.  The app is free.  The ball can be purchased direct from the company through this link, or you can also get TheO SmartBall from Amazon.  We're just starting to construct a library of lessons -so let me know if you make any.  

 


 

Misc Chatter & Workshop News

Thank you again to the great staff at Woodruff Career and Technical High School in Peoria.  We had another great day there yesterday - this time working on some classroom management strategies along with continued work on Layered Curriculum.  Can't wait to see more units from you all!  

 

This winter has made travel challenging to say the least - but I know spring will arrive soon.  (Of course, here in New England, I still have a 4-foot blanket of snow in my yard, so I'm not expecting spring flowers anytime soon).  But at least I can see "March" on the calendar next week, so that makes me feel warmer anyway. 

 

 
I have several new workshops and conferences on the calendar for the rest of this school year and I'm now starting to fill the fall calendar as well.  If you are interested in hosting a Layered Curriculum / Differentiation workshop at your school in 2015, email me for a brochure of  2015 Workshop Offerings and Costs

 

 

As always, my best to you and yours,

Kathie

 

Dr Kathie F Nunley

Layered Curriculum(R) . . . because every child deserves a special education (tm)

 


 

You are receiving this newsletter because you requested to be on my mailing list by entering your email address at one of the two websites. I NEVER share or sell my newsletter list, nor is it used for any other purpose other than this bi-monthly newsletter. Should you need to be removed from the list, simply reply to this and let me know. 


Layered Curriculum(R) is a trademark developed by and registered to Dr. Kathie F Nunley.  Usage information available at: http://help4teachers.com/usage.htm

Unsubscribe and address change information at the bottom

 

18 years of publication, 17,000+ subscribers                 Tuesday, January 6, 2015

News and updates to Kathie Nunley's Layered Curriculum Sites for Educatiors:  

http://Help4Teachers.com          http://Brains.org 


  • January Tip: Use a Full-Spectrum Light in the Classroom During Dark Months
  • Hot Topic: Children With Dyslexia Struggle with Writing Due to Spelling Issues
  • Article:  Children With Autism Need Accommodation for Reading Material 
  • Quote of the Week
  • Misc Chatter & Workshop News

January Tip:  Use a Full-Spectrum Light in the Classroom During Dark Months

January is often a time for "seasonal affective depression" or SAD - caused by lack of sunlight.  In children this often manifests itself as increased restlessness, aggression or hyperactivity. Have a Full Spectrum Desk Lamp in the classroom and make it available to students on either an "as-needed" basis or rotation.  Ten minutes within 2 feet of full-spectrum light each day can alleviate SAD and the associated behaviors. 

 

  Have a teaching tip for us?  Please send it to kathie@brains.org 

 


HOT TOPIC: Children with Dyslexia Struggle With Writing Due To Spelling Issues

Children with dyslexia can write at the same speed as children without dyslexia.  However, on writing tasks, they write less overall and pause more frequently while writing.  In particular they pause within words due to poor spelling ability.  The majority of writing deficits in children with dyslexia result from non-automated spelling and within-word pausing.  Citation at the website.  

 

More Hot Topics & Tips at the Brains.org Website and via my Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/kathienunley

 

 


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New Article: Children with Autism Need Accommodation for Reading Material

Children (and adults) with autism will rarely read, understand or relate to fictional literature. People with autism have a different human interaction experience, so these novels will be challenging. If you parent a child with autism, consider asking for a modification on their IEP that they be offered non-fiction books instead of fiction novels assigned in class. This will also be the case if watching videos or films that are relationship-based. Documentaries will be better understood.  Read Entire Article....

 


 

Quote of the Week

 

 “You can't get too much winter in the winter."   

                                                                             - Robert Frost. 

                                                                                                                                     

 


Misc Chatter & Workshop News

Happy New Year to all of you.  My best wishes for a wonderful, fulfilling and healthy 2015.  

As you read this I'm already out on the road enjoying a day of introducing Layered Curriculum to the staff and faculty at the Woodruff Career and Technical Center in the Peoria School District in Illinois.  And next week, it's off to Ohio!  I guess it goes without saying that I'm hoping for a mild January to keep road and airports open.  

 

I want to thank the teachers and community in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for another wonderful two days with teachers and parents last month.  I look forward to hearing about your continued good work.  

 

And as you all start planning your 2015, let me know if you are interested in hosting a Layered Curriculum / Differentiation workshop at your school.  For information, just email me for a brochure of  2015 Workshop Offerings and Costs

 

 

As always, my best to you and yours,

Kathie

 

Dr Kathie F Nunley

Layered Curriculum(R) . . . because every child deserves a special education (tm)

 

 

 


 

 

 

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