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5 ways to buoy early science learning at home

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“More parents would focus on science-related activities with their young children if they knew how to actually engage in such activities, according to a new survey. The survey from Education Development Center (EDC) and SRI International includes data from more than 1,400 parents of young children ages 3 to 6—many of whom (63 percent) are from low-income households. One of the biggest takeaways from the results? Science for young children doesn’t have to involve expensive devices or equipment—it can be as simple as encouraging inquiry, curiosity, and asking “Why?” with young children.” (more)

Outdoor Learning Expert: Enhance Student Motivation

Education World – Sarah W. Caron

“In the book Moving the Classroom Outdoors, author Herbert Broda provides real-life examples of how teachers can effectively incorporate outdoor learning into their lessons. Moving the Classroom Outdoors retails for around $23 and is available on the Stenhouse Publishers Web site. Broda teaches education at Ashland University in Ohio. Though he’s a professor now, he began his teaching career in grade schools” (more)

Pair the Plants: An Introduction to Scientific Names

Education World – Staff Writer

“In this activity, students use online or library resources to learn more about some common plants. They match the common names of those plants with their scientific names on the Education World Pair the Plant Names work sheet. Start the lesson by explaining to students that most plants have both common names and scientific names. That might be confusing to students, but you can explain that the system of giving scientific names to plants resulted from the fact that scientists were confused too!” (more)

Introvert-Friendly Cooperative Learning

Edutopia – Bekah Landfair

“Walk into any elementary school classroom, and you’ll likely see the desks clustered in little pods to easily facilitate small group discussions. Look at a high school class syllabus, and it will boast a group project or two. Open up any recent instructional strategy book, and you’ll find the buzzy phrase cooperative learning scattered throughout.” (more)

Designing Engaging Assignments

Edutopia – Beth Pandolpho

“As I contemplated the writing assignment for our required reading of The Odyssey, I was filled with dread at the thought of reading 120 uninspired essays in which my ninth graders would dutifully recount details from the epic. Essay grading is tedious work, and I’m convinced that the hours we spend grading papers are the least effective way to positively impact students.” (more)

Cisco partners with school districts, colleges to close technical skills gap

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“Cisco’s U.S. public sector senior vice president, Larry Payne, said in a recent conversation with Education Dive that the company saw opportunity was lacking “for students who couldn’t pursue that four-year engineering or computer science degree … to enter into the tech industry.” Payne said the company recognized it as a void it could fill to help train future workers. “If we’re going to introduce people to our industry, we can’t just expect everyone to come out of a four-year college with a computer science degree,” he said.” (more)

Teach kids financial literacy with childhood bank accounts

The Toronto Star – Craig Wong

“Parents hoping to teach their children the power of compound interest on their savings today will have a harder time than parents in the 1970s and 1980s, when interest paid on savings accounts soared above 10 per cent compared with rates today, when even the highest-paying savings accounts sit in the low single digits. But earning interest isn’t the only reason parents would want to help their children open a bank account of their own.” (more)

How Reading Novels in Math Class Can Strengthen Student Engagement

KQED News Mind/Shift – Kara Newhouse

“Every January, Nashville teacher Joel Bezaire reads The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time aloud to his students. Sounds pretty standard, right? It would be — for an English class. But Bezaire teaches math. The novel is part of a unit on number sense. While it’s easy to envision using math picture books in elementary school classrooms, literature for older grades poses a bigger challenge. Can reading fit into the curriculum as the books get longer and the math gets more complex? ” (more)

Poll: Social media makes it both easier and more challenging to parent tweens

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“As children hit the “tween” stage between early elementary grades and the teenage years, parents may struggle balancing the need for independence with appropriate supervision, a new national poll suggests. And modern technology has changed the ground rules. Nearly all parents of tweens ages 9-12 agree that social media makes it easier for kids to get in trouble. But 61 percent also felt that social media helps parents keep track of tweens, according to a new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan.” (more)