ICYMI: Most read by educators

4 PD challenges inspired by reality TV

Professional learning consultant Beth Holland and Tim Wilhelmus, an innovation, curriculum and technology specialist, were inspired by reality television to create several professional-development challenges to help teachers take risks with their instructional design. In this blog post, they share four PD approaches inspired by reality shows, including "Fixer Upper" and "Cupcake Wars."

Full Story: Edutopia online

SEL curriculum helps students make mistakes

Some schools in a Minnesota community are teaching students about mistakes as part of a social and emotional learning curriculum called "Top 20." Fifth-grade teacher David Skeels says the students celebrate their confusion because it means they are learning.

Full Story: Winona Daily News (Minn.)

Districts aim to improve workplace culture

Some school districts are improving hiring practices and training procedures to build more positive work environments and reduce negativity. Jason Liewehr, director of personnel services at a Texas district, says his schools are trying to develop a "customer experience culture where people are treated 'right.'"

Full Story: District Administration magazine online

School focuses curriculum on developing empathy

A New Jersey school focuses on teaching real-life skills, including empathy, as part of its curriculum, writes Roberta Brandao, director of the Popkin Innovation Lab at Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County. In this commentary, she offers four strategies for teaching empathy, including a focus on active listening and project-based learning.

Full Story: Education Dive

Report: Students benefit from choice, relevancy

Teachers should strive to give students more choice and make lessons relevant to their lives, according to a report from the nonprofit Education Trust. The report offers strategies for integrating choice and relevancy in classrooms, but it also advises teachers not to offer "rewards," including stickers or candy, to motivate students because they "rarely influence deeper learning."

Full Story: T.H.E. Journal

Audrey Altmann is an editorial assistant at SmartBrief.

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This "most read" feature reflects the most read items in ASCD SmartBrief from the previous week. Sign up for ASCD SmartBrief to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s education newsletters, covering career and technical education, educational leadership, math education and more.