As a student-teacher, I taught in a third-grade classroom with 35 students: six of whom had Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), five with 504 accommodations, and 12 who were English Language Learners (ELLs). I had no special education training, nor any knowledge of how to accommodate ELLs, but as a student teacher I knew that the student make-up of our classroom was unbalanced in comparison to the two other classrooms in our grade level. The other two classrooms had significantly less IEP, 504, and ELL students. I experienced firsthand how this inherent inequity made it challenging to meet the unique needs of these identified students.
In the last ten years, we’ve seen Social Emotional Learning (SEL) progress from an abstract concept in education to a central talking point within virtually every U.S. school. School-based SEL initiatives facilitate the explicit discovery, understanding, and self-management of emotions- and offer opportunities to practice these skills through goal-setting, choice-making, and constructive interaction. Research links Social-Emotional literacy to improved student behaviors, enhanced cognitive functioning, and academic gain. The bottom line: SEL-proficient students are better learners.
"Computing isn't about computers,” remarks Paul Curzon, one of CS4FN’s authors. Computer science, or CS, “is about people, solving puzzles, creativity, changing the future and, most of all, having fun.” As educators, that’s what we’re aiming for, isn’t it? Learning and fun.
“If remote teaching perplexes teachers, imagine what remote learning is like for ELs or newcomers”, write Margarita Calderón and Lisa Tartaglia for ASCD InService. If you’ve been busy supporting your emergent bilinguals and multilinguals this year, you’re likely living this challenge yourself.
I am a devoted follower of the late Sir Ken Robinson (may he rest in peace). Somewhere in his massive body of work he described math as a party to which many of us feel we have not been invited. Although I can't find the quote I have never forgotten it because I'm one of the people that got excluded from that guest list--or at least that's what I've always believed. I've gone along with the casual dogma of, "there are math people, and there are non-math people."
Student choice, combined with agency, results in learning. This is the summation of a 2016 report from the Buck Institute of Education. And the organization isn’t alone in its findings- studies from the 1970s to the present demonstrate that student choice has been linked to increased motivation, performance, comprehension, collaborative skills development, and socio-emotional well-being.
In May of 2019 the Guardian updated its style guide and publicly announced that they would be changing their use of terms regarding the environment. "Climate change" was replaced by "climate emergency, crisis, or breakdown." Editor-in-chief, Katherine Viner explained, "The phrase 'climate change' for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity." Several other media outlets followed the Guardian's example.
In December 2020, nearly $54 billion of additional stimulus funding was made available from the U.S. Department of Education to support schools in a variety of ways. From Covid safety, to digital connectivity, to learning loss, districts across the country have significant flexibility in how the majority of these funds can be used.
Student scheduling is fundamental to school operation. Unfortunately, the process of crafting these time matrices has been likened to conquering the Rubik's Cube. Here, we’ll explore three rooted-in-research ways to bring clarity to the process.