Mock trials can help boost literacy and critical-thinking skills among students, writes Shane Safir, a writer, educator and facilitator. In this blog post, she writes about a mock trial exercise she participated in at an Oakland, Calif., high school and how the exercise teaches students how to make an argument and analyze texts.
Citizen science projects may help to engage students in environmental conservation, according to a study led by Stephanie Schuttler of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Rachael Polmanteer, an eighth-grade science teacher in North Carolina, said that adopting citizen science lessons in her classroom has helped to engage students in the subject.
Rising fifth- and sixth-graders in a Virginia school district are learning Chinese and Russian during a free four-week program funded by a grant from the federal government. The students, who are chosen to attend by lottery because of heavy interest, speak the languages full time in an immersion model and participate in cultural enrichment activities and field trips.
Educators can benefit from participating in summer learning programs, asserts Brenda McLaughlin, chief strategy officer for the nonprofit Building Educated Leaders for Life. In this commentary, she shares five benefits for teachers, including gaining new professional skills and more time to develop relationships with students.
A Tennessee school district has used a state Read to be Ready grant to offer a free four-week literacy camp to a group of students at risk of significant learning loss during the summer. Students engage in literacy activities and field trips, plus get breakfast and lunch as part of the program.
At one California high school, fewer ninth-grade students have been failing math since the school started a summer math camp for incoming freshmen. During the four-week camp, students solve math problems and enhance their teamwork skills, school officials say.
Media specialists can embrace the "unconference" movement to network with fellow educators, writes Ge-Anne Bolhuis, a Georgia school district instructional technology specialist and media specialist liaison. In this commentary, she shares three suggestions for building such a network, including by using Twitter and organizing local CoffeeEDU meetings.
Thirty-seven percent of the US schools that tested their water for lead found elevated levels, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. Data show that fewer than half of all school districts tested their water in 2017.
Puerto Rico could move forward with plans to close 263 schools as early as this summer, after Puerto Rico's Supreme Court ruled to allow the local government to close several schools west of San Juan. Gov. Ricardo Rossello says the ruling recognizes that financial considerations make it necessary for the government to close the schools.
Researchers found that the rate of 12th-grade students who reported lifetime abstinence from substance use increased from 5% in 1976 to 26% in 2014 and the rate of those who said they didn't have any substance use within the previous month rose from 23% to 52% during the same period. The findings in Pediatrics also showed a significant increase in adolescent alcohol and cigarette abstinence, but abstinence from marijuana and other illicit drugs rose only slightly.
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