Using student-driven ideas in lessons can help learners overcome distractions and stay on task, high-school teacher Dianne Pappafotopoulos writes. Pappafotopoulos shares how students' interest in the game Fortnite sparked an idea to use an "escape room" concept in her own lessons.
Annie Griffin, principal of Tongue River Elementary School in Ranchester, Wyo., founded Project GIFT to encourage young children in her community to read. The program seeks to inspire parents to read to children from birth to kindergarten and will provide children with free books in partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.
Students at some private schools in India are using the mobile app WhatsApp to communicate with teachers -- even after school has ended for the day. In some cases, students create groups that allow them to communicate with teachers, allowing them to ask last-minute questions before exams and more.
A group of Democratic senators has introduced a measure that would seek to reduce college remediation by aligning high-school courses with higher-education academic requirements. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Doug Jones, D-Ala., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., would provide grants to develop articulation agreements and other statewide programs to minimize remediation.
Teachers can help students build math and reading skills by pointing out similarities in vocabulary in both subjects and encouraging students to persevere when challenged by assignments, writes Texas educator Valentina Gonzalez. Students stronger in one area over the other also can learn to transfer those skills to improve their weaknesses, she writes.
Students at one North Dakota high school have been studying some of the lives lost during the Holocaust through films, biographies and online resources to develop presentations for a history fair as part of a class. Teacher Kari Hall, the state's first teacher to train at the Olga Lengyel Institute of Holocaust Studies and Human Rights in New York City, this year started the class called The Holocaust: History and Memory.
Students from some New York schools have received a boost in their science studies thanks to a mobile science lab equipped with microscopes, experiments and two scientists. The BioBus, which the staff says has hosted more than 250,000 K-12 students since 2008, provides hands-on science experiences than some schools may be unable to provide due to a lack of resources.
Video-mediated instruction can help balance video modeling and direct instruction techniques, write Kimberly Brdar and Lauren Ellison. VMI is particularly useful in teaching students with autism spectrum disorders, because it can give them an individualized learning experience without the sensory overload that comes with an event like a science fair, they write.
Living history lessons that engage students in role playing have garnered negative headlines for being racially insensitive at times. Teachers need "a higher level of content and pedagogical knowledge" to teach these types of lessons, says LaGarrett King, an associate professor of social studies education at the University of Missouri.
Teachers can use situated motivation theory to boost student engagement and motivation to learn, panelists said at the recent EduCon Conference in Philadelphia. The panelists shared four components of this theory, including choice, challenge, collaboration and control.
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