RSI Corporate - Licensing

3 lessons on innovating in PBL

E-School News – Don Martin

“After 28 years as a classroom teacher, administrator, and superintendent in rural, southwestern Pennsylvania school districts, I left the traditional school setting and began working for Pennsylvania’s alternative education system, serving at-risk and special needs students. Many students struggle to learn and master concepts in traditional classroom settings. Without a hands-on connection, lessons can be easily lost and remain unhelpfully abstract. I firmly believe that project-based learning (PBL) is one of the best ways to solve this disconnect, so I applied to build a Fab Lab for students in Pennsylvania’s Intermediate Unit 1 (IU1) region.” (more)

3 winning characteristics of a school STEAM program

E-School News – Chris Fornaro

“I started my career at The Shipley School, an independent K-12 school located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, at an innovative and exciting juncture. In 2014, Shipley was starting an engineering course from scratch, and having spent several years in the industry as an engineer and several more as a math and science teacher in Philadelphia-area schools, I jumped at the opportunity to pioneer a new program as an Upper School (grades 9-12) teacher.”(more)

Think big, start early: New effort to close gender gap in science starts in preschool

CBS News – Shanika Gunaratna

“Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce, according to numbers released last year from the National Science Foundation. Other data shows they lag behind men in securing higher paying jobs at a number of major Silicon Valley companies.”(more)

This district is using novel methods to teach familiar skills

E-School News – David Singer

“From gamifying popular works of literature, to pitching invention ideas in “Shark Tank” productions, school districts are rethinking how to get beyond homework and traditional lectures to engage students. Teachers in Pennsylvania’s Avella, Burgettstown, Canon-McMillan and Carmichaels districts have offered up how they’re reworking class time to help young pupils value their education and take it beyond the classroom. Though it all can’t be fun and games, even the nuts and bolts of mathematics can be made more captivating.”(more)

Viewpoint: A case for pre-K education

The Reading Eagle – Dr. Solomon Lausch

“Throughout all of the current political debate, one theme has been constant, conservative or liberal: the decline of the American middle class. In 2013, for the first time, 51 percent of public school students fell below the federal government’s low income standard for free or subsidized school lunches. That standard is 300 percent of the defined federal poverty level…Why all this focus on 3- and 4-year-olds? The answer is that these are the years in which a child’s brain is rapidly developing and equally, when the child is acquiring the social skills, self control, and persistence which matter for success in life.”(more)

5 States in Crisis: Budget Battles, Court Challenges, Political Bickering Leave Schools Millions Short

The 74 Million – Carolyn Phenicie

“Chicago Schools are laying off 1,000 staff members. In Kansas, schools closed their doors early. And the situation in Oklahoma schools is truly grim. In Oklahoma City Schools, leaders first cut 208 teaching positions, then 92 members of the administrative staff. Fine arts budgets will be cut in half for the upcoming school year, and there will be no money for new library materials. Oklahoma’s Newcastle Public Schools will start charging $100 per student for extracurricular activities — and that’s after district officials have already eliminated most field trips, increased class sizes, delayed a major textbook purchase and moved to a four-day school week. Celebrity talk show host Ellen DeGeneres helped one elementary school librarian in the state’s Union Public School District pay for a summer reading program. Leaders in Tulsa are filling budget holes with a community fundraiser, forebodingly called “SOS” — Save our Schools.”(more)