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Gates Foundation moves to implement new strategy to support ‘networks for school improvement’

Ed Source – Louis Freedberg

“Following a speech last October in which Bill Gates announced a major shift in the education priorities and strategy of his foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is moving to implement its plan to invest the biggest share of its education philanthropy dollars in education networks that come up with their own “locally driven solutions” to improve student achievement.” (more)

Young Adult Novels That Teach a Growth Mindset

Edutopia – Robert Ward

“Heroes in books and movies captivate kids, many of whom could teach a master class on these characters. The fresh perspective teachers can offer is how students themselves can and should be heroes. As advocates of growth mindset, we can teach children that heroism does not require obsession with perfection or product. We should show students that we also value process and progress. Heroic stories can help: They teach students about mitigating mistakes, learning from loss, and overcoming adversity, all of which are key elements of growth mindset.”(more)

Reconstructing Math & Science for Success

The Huffington Post – Irene Aldridge

“A recent Georgetown study found that memorable and engaging educational experiences outside of school at an early age is a strong predictor of success in middle school and beyond. To put it simply, fun advanced Math & Science, in addition to the formal graded schooling process, expands the brain. Even children enrolled in the most well-respected of schools benefit from activities that go beyond standard curriculum and that are really fun. In addition, hands-on projects address the need for immediate gratification to see science work and to create long-lasting practical connections with real-life applications.”(more)

Easing the Shift From Elementary to Middle School

Edutopia – Heather Wolpert-Gawron

“The biggest shift in K–12 education is the transition from elementary school to middle school. So much is different: campus size, the numbers of students in each class, the accessibility of teachers, how lessons are implemented, student expectations, and the interaction with families. As a teacher, you want parents invested, but some families need guidance in stepping back a bit. Nevertheless, you know that some students falter or fail when the scaffold of parent or elementary teacher falls away.”(more)

Switching To Middle School Can Be Hard On Kids, But There Are Ways To Make It Better

NPR – Anya Kamenetz

“A large body of research suggests that students who go to middle school or junior high do worse academically, socially and emotionally, compared to the young teenagers who get to be the oldest students at schools with grades K-8. A new paper in the Journal of Early Adolescence reinforces this message. The study found that starting a new school in either sixth or seventh grade hurts students’ perceptions of their own reading ability and motivation to work hard in English language arts.”(more)

A teacher’s tips on how to get kids excited about STEM

Buffalo News – Joseph Popiolkowski

“Emerging diseases, energy sustainability and severe weather are just some of the global issues today’s students will be asked to solve using the skills they learn in the classroom, according to one local teacher. Kenneth L. Huff, a middle school science teacher in the Williamsville Central School District, was one of 10 teachers nationwide chosen to help promote the science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum as a 2017 STEM Teacher Ambassador. The program aims to train the teachers in communication skills so they can provide input on policies for K-12 STEM education on the local, state and federal level.”(more)