How to Write Better Headlines

headline-newsYou write countless hours of good content but how much time do you actually spend on formulating a compelling headline? As students, we read articles and blog posts almost on a daily basis. A headline is probably the most important part. Although it only contains a few words, it provides readers with the first impression of whether a post is interesting or not. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned writer, it never hurts to revise and check to see if you have an excellent headline.

Do you have a go to resource that can help you with formulating a good headline? Here are a few ways on how to make your headlines fresh and catchy. The info-graphic by Neil Patel from Quick Sprout will give you a simple formula for enticing headlines.

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Collaborative Classroom: Key to Deeper Learning

class discussionAs teachers, we love to see this right away. Here are a couple of steps in supporting students in demonstrating a deeper and meaningful collaboration in the classroom.

Teach Them the Art of Asking Good Questions
Have the class generate questions on any given topic, writing each one on the board. Decide on the most pressing and interesting questions of the bunch and discuss with students what makes these particular ones stand out. Talk about the types of questions that more often yield the best responses — those that are open-ended, thoughtful and sometimes even daring.

Teach Them How To Negotiate
A group member who speaks the loudest and frequently asserts may get the most said but that doesn’t mean they’ll convince a group of anything...

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Real World Math Problems

pizza-mathHere are cool ways in presenting math problems using familiar situations in the real world. Here are a few examples:

Pizza Party!

In this activity students decide how to divide 2 pizzas amongst 6 adults and 3 pizzas amongst 8 kids. Fractional pizza parts need to be drawn and considerations discussed about which fractions are greater. Students interpret a fraction as division of the numerator by the denominator (a/b = a ÷ b). Wicked fun, warm, and tasty.

California Wildfires

Wildfires are burning in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Yosemite National Park...

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Would a Different Job Make You a Different Parent?

work life balanceLisa Heffernan shares about parenting challenges in the American family today especially the effects of work on family life and how family life in turn affects the parent’s career. Despite the busy schedules and work commitments, having enough quality time with the family is still important in molding your child’s values.

Ms. Heffernan shares some insights about work life balance she gathered from a speech by Representative Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from Connecticut, as Rep. Esty herself shares how her three children had affected her career and how her very public career had impacted them.

Would a different job make you a different parent? Find out on this Motherlode blog by Lisa Heffernan.

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Ten Activities to Improve Students’ Self-Concepts

Peer_pressureStudents enter the new school year full of excitement and possibilities. They are filled with enthusiasm and passion for learning with a desire to fit in and be accepted by peers. It is undeniable that as these students navigate themselves through the school curriculum and the school halls, they are often subjected to a lot of peer pressure. This peer pressure often influence them that they are not good enough, needing them to blend in and lose their identity in the process.

As teachers, we can do something to counteract peer pressure. A handful of these activities are listed below:

The Journal
As a journal entry each student might write a poem, describe a dream, or share something he is pleased about or unhappy about...

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Why Getting Your Kids Into College Should Be the Least of Your Concerns

college-just-ahead-signWhat makes a successful parents? Is it when our kids get straight A’s? Is it when they display discipline and respect? Does even getting them to a good college equate to excellent parenting skills? Think again.

Michelle Rose Gilman, Fusion Academy and Learning Center founder, believes that parents today need some mindset breaking truths about what they think makes them successful. Although getting kids to college is like a culmination for some parents, Ms. Gilman believes that is not exactly the whole point. Parents should count themselves successful when their kids display desirable qualities and values that would help them flourish and thrive in the real world, prestigious college or not.

Do you know what speaks volume about your parenting? Find out here.

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Edward Hess Interview

Ed-HessWe live in a globalized world that thrives in evolving technology. In this interview transcript, professor and author Edward Hess shares his insights on businesses being transformed by technology and taking learning to the next level. He also talks about his book, Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization, and shares stories from his personal experiences that contributed to transformative process of making his book.

Here is a short excerpt of the interview:


Interviewer: Although people would agree that we want to set up a learning culture, and if you sat everybody in an organization in the room, they’d all say yes. Why doesn’t that ever happen, then? What are the impediments to enacting that?

Edward Hess: Another good question, and a complex question...

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Why We Can’t Reform Literacy and Math All at Once

literacy-numeracyThere have been countless reforms that are aimed at improving reading and math comprehension at the same time. The reality though is that all these efforts do not necessarily produce the desired results. The following explanation from Andy Hargreaves, the Brennan Chair in Education in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, will give us more insight on what educational improvement strategies didn’t work.

There is no one size fits all solution for this dilemma. One large scale reform cannot be imposed for all and expect literacy and numeracy gains. It was found out that literacy and math scores have actually fallen. The reformers realized that the numeracy strategy is not as comprehensive as the literacy strategy...

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A Powerful Example of Student Critique and Feedback by Ron Berger

Ron Berger has been an inspiration to show what students can do if we expect excellence, surround them with quality examples, create regular critiques where students and outside experts play a significant role, and provide the opportunity to make the work better. This is one of the new classics — a video that models what quality critique and feedback looks like.

Berger described the power of a culture that supports learners in the production of quality work. “Work of excellence is transformational. Once a student sees that he or she is capable of quality, of excellence, that student is never quite the same. There is a new self-image, a new notion of possibility. There is an appetite for excellence. After students have had a taste of excellence, they’re never quite satisfied with less.”

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Google Science Fair Top Prize Winners Take on World Hunger

science-fair-winnersStudents Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow from Kinsale, Ireland won the top prize from the recently concluded 2014 Google Science Fair. The three girls bested 17 other finalists at the annual Google Science Fair in Mountain View, California.

Their project revolves around boosting the crop production by utilizing a beneficial bacteria known as Rhizobia. After conducting more than 120 experiments and manually recording more than 120,000 measurements, the girls found that rhizobia increases the rate at which barley seeds germinate by as much as 50% and increased crop yield by as much as 74%.

Hickey shares that the idea came to her while she and her mother were gardening. They pulled up a pea plant and saw that the roots were covered in nodules which contained the bacteria...

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