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Edible enriching educational exercises

The Dalton Daily Citizen – Liz Swafford

“One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job as a non-formal environmental educator for the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority is the opportunity to lead students visiting our recycling center and landfill for a tour in educational activities that they normally wouldn’t do at school. Lessons about the carrying capacity of a habitat, the life cycle of a tree or those about identifying the right things to recycle are disguised as fun games. Usually the games are so entertaining that students don’t realize they’re learning until the game is over. As fun as the recycling relay race and other games are, the most memorable lessons tend to be the ones with an edible component. Yes, you read that right — edible. I have found that adding an edible component to an otherwise stale lesson enriches a student’s educational experience. When there’s food involved a two-dimensional lesson printed on a worksheet can become a three-dimensional object that students can touch, move, see, smell and — if the teacher allows — eat.”(more)

How and Why Districts and Charters Engage

Education Next – Daniela Doyle, Christen Holly and Bryan Hassel

“Over the past 25 years, charter schools have grown from a ragtag insurgency into a serious force in U.S. K–12 education. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, charters serve nearly three million children across the country and enroll more than 20 percent of students in several dozen cities. In most places, urban school districts aim to contain charters, but in a small but growing number of cities, the charter sector has become a serious educational player, too large and influential for the prevailing power to ignore. In such cities, districts and charters have sometimes responded by “engaging” with one another—that is, by collaborating or coordinating in pursuit of a common goal or to address practical challenges.”(more)

Region’s Economy: Teach children financial literacy in 2016 – Julie Heath

“So, as you make resolutions for this New Year, I encourage you to include making it a priority to talk to children about economic and financial literacy. Teach them that they can’t have everything they want and about making choices – that every decision has an opportunity cost (what you didn’t choose). Recognizing the opportunity cost of choices is one of the most important concepts that anyone can understand. Teach them that money comes from work, that they can invest in themselves – that they are worth investing in. Teach them how to critically think through decisions, weighing the costs and benefits. Be that “one” for a child.”(more)

Gender roles, career stereotypes to be challenged at 3 local middle schools

The Hillsdale Daily News – Jason Dafnis

“Where are all the girls? That’s one of the questions a new Ohio State University study asks – and it hopes to find the answer in Hillsdale County, among other places in the U.S. The study, led by OSU professor Dr. Sheryl Sorby, began as a pilot at a rural Colorado school district to determine what long-term impact Sorby’s spatial visualization training curriculum could have on 7th-grade students. The initial study tracked the proclivity of middle school students who received the training to join the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career fields. Three schools in Hillsdale County – Davis, Reading and Jonesville Middle Schools – opted into the national study. Multi-axis object rotation and reflection, isometric sketching, symmetry, cross sections, orthographic projection – students could be introduced to several new concepts alongside their current middle school geometry curriculum.”(more)

Licking Heights’ Mandarin program continues to grow

Newark Advocate – Chad Klimack

“More than 900 million people speak Mandarin, making it the world’s most-spoken language, a fact not lost on Licking Heights Local Schools officials. The district started offering Mandarin Chinese at its high school in January 2012, and only 14 students signed up for the initial offering. Flash forward to the current 2015-16 school year, and the district now offers four Mandarin Chinese foreign language courses, starting in its middle school. In addition, a whopping 300 students are enrolled in the courses…Considering the number of people who speak Mandarin around the world, in addition to China’s economic clout, Licking Heights Superintendent Philip Wagner said it made sense for Heights to expand the foreign language offering. “We always hear the world has become more globally competitive,” Wagner said. “We’re not doing what we can to better prepare students for that world if we’re not taking into account what the future holds.””(more)

So Far Only Ohio is Backing Off A High Standard for Proficiency

E-School News – Michael J. Petrilli

“Way back in 2007, we at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute published a landmark study with experts from the Northwest Evaluation Association: The Proficiency Illusion. It found that state definitions for reading and math “proficiency” were all over the map—and shockingly subpar almost everywhere. In Wisconsin, for instance, eighth graders could be reading at the fourteenth percentile nationally and still be considered proficient. This was a big problem—not just the inconsistency, though that surely made it harder to compare schools across state lines. Mostly, we worried about the signals that low proficiency standards sent to parents: the false positives indicating that their kids were on track for success when they actually weren’t. How were parents in Madison or Duluth supposed to know that their “proficient” son was really far below grade level, not to mention way off track for success in college and career? That was one of the main reasons we started pushing for national standards and tests (what would eventually become the Common Core). We wanted parents to know the truth about how their children were faring in school—and wanted educators to aim for higher expectations in their teaching. After years of lackluster progress with state-by-state standards, we thought an interstate approach might work better.”(more)