The Elementary and Secondary Education Act should include a focus on social and emotional learning, and support for the proposed Academic, Social and Emotional Learning Act could lead to that inclusion, according to Maurice Elias, the director of the Social-Emotional Learning Lab at Rutgers University. In this blog post, Elias writes that schools have disconnected programs and initiatives that support social and emotional learning, but including related education policies in ESEA could offer a more "systemic and coordinated" approach that would benefit students.
Educators in a Michigan county are using Promethean's ActivClassroom system to improve student engagement. The system's large computer screens replace blackboards and hold students' attention, teachers say. Hand-held devices that allow students to respond to teacher questions also serve to improve participation. "Their eyes automatically get a little bigger. They seem a little more enthused about what's going on," one teacher said of using the system.
Missouri's Kansas City school district held an event to provide free school supplies and immunizations to students from poor households. Area businesses donated backpacks, school uniforms, books and winter coats for students, while school employees and volunteers informed parents about resources such as free and reduced-price lunches. "We're just providing an opportunity for young people to be prepared for school and providing them with the essentials they need for academic success," a city councilman said.
A group of teachers from Ohio is taking part in a three-year program in education and leadership to give them new tools for bringing Shakespeare's literature to the classroom. During the summer, the teachers travel to the U.K. to study with actors and educators from the Royal Shakespeare Company, translating their experience into classroom lessons when they return.
The new mantra for many food makers appears to be simple products and simple messaging. In recent years, there has been a move to use fewer ingredients and fewer claims regarding food and beverage products, according to this article. "This is a response to consumers increasingly shifting their nutritional health/wellness focus toward 'natural,' 'real' and additive-free foods," the article states.