Teaching vocabulary can improve outcomes for students, writes Timothy Rasinski, professor of literacy education at Kent State University and director of its reading clinic. In this blog post, Rasinski offers eight tips to help make vocabulary lessons more effective, including teaching words related to each other, focusing on meaningful word parts and incorporating vocabulary-themed games.
There are four potential scenarios -- all of which include some level of distance learning -- being proposed by the CDC concerning what schools will do in the fall. Schools could begin the year in person but plan for closures during a potential second outbreak; begin the year with online learning while monitoring health conditions; do blended learning; or perform 100% online learning.
Reopening schools must be done carefully and with a focus on the safety of students and staff, writes Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who suggests schools could test best practices by offering a voluntary summer school program. Weingarten writes in this commentary that summer programs could offer experiences for school leaders to rely upon as they look to reopen schools in the fall.
A Detroit teacher is dividing her time during a period of prolonged school closures between delivering virtual lessons for her fourth-graders and serving as a tutor for the district's Homework Hotline to help students with math questions. Ronye Craft says she tries to offer "normalcy" for students, and herself, and strives to help boost learning of students and their parents.
Micro field trips can create opportunities for different learning experiences that can build vocabularies in new contexts for world language students and English-language learners, writes Laurel Schwartz, an education consultant and former teacher. Schwartz writes that such trips, when schools reopen, can include visits to parks and grocery stores with experiences built around scavenger hunts or recipes.
California English and history teacher Kimberli Heck's middle-schoolers have been asked to make videos of themselves as someone from the Renaissance period as Heck tried to recapture the engagement experienced when schools were open. Without live videoconferencing is unavailable because of equity issues, Heck says she's doing other things but a journaling assignment left students frustrated with trying to write what would have been a discussion in the classroom.
US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she plans to release a rule that would make official her desire to direct a portion of coronavirus relief funding to private schools. Initial guidance that would have provided funds for private schools drew criticism from some, who suggested the funding should be distributed to lower-income schools just like other federal funds.
One in five teachers say they are unlikely to return to the classroom if schools reopen this fall, according to a USA Today/Ipsos poll. Of the teachers who were surveyed, 83% say they are facing challenges teaching students, and two-thirds say they are working more than they did before the coronavirus pandemic.
Veteran teacher Gina Doolittle loves the puzzle-like excitement of math and the problem-solving opportunities it presents every day. The fifth-grade math teacher, who has been named Teacher of the Year at Liberty Hill Intermediate School in Texas, says watching students succeed in math gives her the greatest joy.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a slide in learning, especially in math, writes Scott Muri, a Texas superintendent. The use of Math Innovation Zones can help by providing districts with flexibility to design custom learning pathways for each student, Muri writes.
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