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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Implementing a one-to-one initiative will come with benefits and concerns, writes Marquitta Mitchell, a magnet programs specialist for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina. Mitchell details how her district navigated this process, including how it prepared staff for the transition and addressed parents' concerns about the devices.
High-school students at an Oklahoma school recently built a walking bridge that connects the school's parking lot to the building. The existing bridge was more than 20 years old and the district was concerned about its safety.
Nearly 25% of the ice sheet in West Antarctica is now thought to be unstable, according to an examination of satellite data published in Geophysical Research Letters. "Using this unique dataset, we've been able to identify the parts of Antarctica that are undergoing rapid, sustained thinning -- regions that are changing faster than we would expect due to normal weather patterns," said researcher Malcolm McMillan.
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