ICYMI: Most read by educators

Principal: How to stay positive to close the year

As the school year winds down, it is important to stay focused on teaching and learning, writes Tracey Smith, an elementary-school principal in Georgia. Smith shares four ways to maintain engagement while ending the year on a positive note, including integrating food into staff meetings and moving some lessons outside.

Full Story: SmartBrief/Education

Research: Traditional schools outperform virtual programs

Enrollment in virtual schools continues to grow, but research by the nonprofit National Education Policy Center finds such programs may be less effective than traditional schools. Michael Barbour, who teaches instructional design at Touro University California, says students in brick-and-mortar schools tend to outperform those in online and blended learning programs.

Full Story: EdSurge

Why one teacher allows test retakes

David Cutler, a high-school history, government and journalism teacher, says he allows students to retake most assessments. Cutler describes how the approach puts the focus on mastering content and shares several ways he makes the policy work.

Full Story: Edutopia online

Study questions relevance of learning styles

Tailoring instruction to the way students say they prefer to learn does not improve outcomes, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan that calls into question the relevance of learning styles. Instead, Shaylene Nancekivell, a visiting scholar at the university, says educators should focus on using best practices in the classroom.

Full Story: Newsweek

Middle-schoolers pilot "playful assessments"

Researchers at the MIT Playful Journey Lab are piloting an approach -- called "playful assessments" -- to measure achievement under project-based learning among middle-schoolers at two California schools. The goal is to provide measurable data about achievement under maker-focused education.

Full Story: The Hechinger Report

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.