Students enrolled in an accelerated math class at a Pennsylvania elementary school are playing the market through the international The Stock Market Game and getting a feel for real-world investments. The curriculum teaches students about math, economics and social studies, and allows them to grow $100,000 in investments, researching, plus buying and selling stocks -- all using up-to-date market prices.
Two Missouri school districts have posted higher scores in math on state standardized exams since adopting the benchmarking approach in which students must demonstrate proficiency in a skill or concept before moving on to the next one. While the change has prompted more confidence in some students, it hasn't made all students like math or inspired them to enroll in higher-level math classes. Still, educators emphasize the benefits, including higher ACT scores, better transitions to college math and workforce preparation.
The decision to waive parts of the federal education law for 34 states and the District of Columbia allowed the federal government to provide about $2.8 billion in funding for schools, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Thursday during a hearing in the U.S. Senate. The hearing comes as lawmakers are considering the future of No Child Left Behind, which has expired. Republicans on the committee criticized the conditions placed on the waivers as federal authority over schools, though Duncan characterized the measures as ensuring accountability.
Changes are in store for teachers at all levels in states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards, education consultant Erin Powers writes in this blog post. The standards emphasize the role of all teachers in the development of students' literacy skills, and in math, focus will shift to the application of real-world skills -- rather than passing a test, Powers writes. The common core also recognizes the growing importance of technology in education and the expectation that students can access information anytime, anywhere, she writes.
Educator Suzie Boss describes in this blog post how to use real-world social problems as a launching point for project-based learning. She lists several issues recently highlighted on The New York Times' Fixes blog series, with suggestions and online resources for related PBL classroom lessons. "By sparking students' interest in real issues that affect them and their peers around the world, you will give them cause to think more critically about what they are learning," Boss writes.