Some Pennsylvania third-graders are talking with older students about high school and career goals using Skype -- a free online program that allows users to see and talk to each other using a webcam. "We wanted the students to learn about technology and communication in addition to learning about different careers," one teacher said.
A long-established reading program is being credited with improving students' reading proficiency at one Ohio elementary school. Educators say the Reading Recovery program -- which focuses on improving alphabetic skills, fluency and comprehension among struggling first-grade readers -- has had long-term benefits for participants.
Two Massachusetts teachers incorporated community service into their classroom lessons by helping their students create and sell cookbooks as a benefit for a local food bank. In guiding their students to develop "35 Ways To Feed Them All," seventh-grade teachers Amanda R. Locke and Lisa P. Ritchie helped students learn to calculate unit pricing and nutritional content while teaching them about making a positive impact on their community.
Each year, a Washington state teacher reopens her school's Super Supply Shop -- developed and staffed entirely by students in her third-grade class. To prepare and operate the shop, students use math as well as organizational and social skills to determine which products to sell, analyze inventory, create product displays, make sales and give change to customers. Funds raised through sales are used for student activities at the school.
Representatives of Hawaii's teachers union and education officials say a tentative agreement has been reached in the hopes of reducing the 10 remaining teacher furlough days this school year. Negotiations between the parties stalled recently over Gov. Linda Lingle's proposal to convert teachers' planning days into instructional time for students, with the union resisting the offer. The new plan must be vetted by union and school board leadership and receive approval from the governor.