Catholic-school students at St. Matthew Elementary School in Iowa recently created paper versions of the helium-filled stars of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. The project -- started after reading Melissa Sweet's "Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade" -- had students using art, math and persuasive writing skills to create the balloons, displayed as a parade on a wall with artwork linked by string to a photo of the artist.
The coronavirus pandemic offers rich opportunities for teaching and learning, according to four science teachers interviewed for this article. Among them, Kathy Biernat, a middle-school teacher, said she has used COVID-19 as an opportunity to teach about scientific literacy, while middle-school science teacher Jennifer Newberg says learning about the history of the 1918 influenza pandemic -- and how society recovered -- can help ease the fears of students.
The Adams 14 district in Commerce City, Colo., has zeroed in on reading at grade level to boost literacy of students amid the challenges schools have faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. After a period of disagreement among various parties on how the district, the only one in Colorado that is operated by an external manager, should teach reading, the district is getting back on track with a focus on reading instruction.
Students at a Stamford, Conn., school have been studying ancient Greece in an eight-week unit that featured an Olympics-style event in which students competed as teams named for ancient Greek city-states, such as Crete and Ithaca, in events including the shot put and the discus (frisbee) throw. The school used an interdisciplinary approach to the unit, with students learning about Greek mythology in literature class and about government in social studies class.
Students at West Boulevard Elementary School in Columbia, Mo., built Lego bridges, assisted a veterinary surgeon with a teddy bear surgery and learned how to think like scientists during a recent STEAM Day event. Principal Morgan Neale said the event opens students' imaginations to possible career paths.
Studies show that mathematical reasoning ability is crucial in early education, and when children understand math before entering elementary school, they have higher achievement on both reading and math tests later in their school years. Carolyn Pfister, an education administrator for the California State Board of Education, said many adults have math anxiety that has been passed to children.
To address food insecurity for students during Thanksgiving, a number of colleges and universities are taking extra measures to provide food. Campus food pantries prepared special Thanksgiving boxes with staples, frozen turkeys and gift cards to get students through the holiday.
"As the Chief Technology Officer for a small, rural school district nestled in the hills of Appalachia, it is critically important that any recommendation I make to replace an aging system or network component be deliberate and strategic to ensure the optimal utilization of finite financial resources," writes Beverly Miller of Greeneville City Schools in Greeneville, Tennessee. "We always like to begin such a process by examining all the solution market leaders and by reaching out to colleagues across the nation to inquire about solutions they have researched and adopted."
"As soon as you bring a robot into a classroom, kids are already curious and wondering and excited," says Shawn Abele, instructional technology coordinator for Gilbert Public Schools in Arizona. However, Abele and Jon Castelhano, the district's executive director of technology, also know that sometimes robotics in the classroom is used merely as a fun way to pass the time and keep kids entertained rather than an educational tool. So when their district purchased a number of robotics kits in 2020 to loan out to various schools and classrooms in the district, they were determined to avoid using the devices as a gimmick.
If you're new to teaching or looking to learn more about digital tools for teachers such as Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, or Flipgrid--and all the related apps and resources--here's where to get started. We have the basics for each one, plus tips and advice to get the most out of your experience.
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