RSI Corporate - Licensing

Personalized Learning: Mistakes, Moving Furniture and Making it Work

KQED News Mind/Shift – Mike Elsen-Rooney

“Vista High School principal Anthony Barela had a vivid image of what school here could look like after a $10 million grant to reimagine learning: Rolling desks and chairs, with students moving freely and talking about their work. Better attendance, class participation and graduation rates. One year later, Barela has watched some of this vision flourish — including new classes and ways of teaching — while other parts never took off.” (more)

Parents: It’s A Good Thing When Your Child’s Math Homework Scares You

KPBS – Megan Burks

“I have a confession to make. I’m 31 and still use my fingers to add and subtract. Like a lot of people, especially women, I’ve always just thought I’m naturally bad at math. Then I visited Perkins Elementary School in Barrio Logan. Perkins is one of several San Diego Unified campuses piloting a new kind of math instruction that aligns with Common Core academic standards. It’s based less on knowing tricks and procedures and more on understanding and communicating concepts. “Back when you were in school and when I was in school, the way we learned mathematics — and I’ll talk about the division of fractions — we all learned the trick. You flip (the fraction) over, then you multiply and that’s how you come up with the answer,” said Principal Fernando Hernandez. “It worked, but that didn’t mean that you understand the concept.”(more)

San Pasqual students grow to appreciate agriculture with Harvest Day

The San Diego Union-Tribune – Laura Groch

“In June, the students at San Pasqual Union elementary school planted pumpkins in their Sage School Garden. And when they harvested them recently, the kids got a lot more than pumpkins out of the ground. The school’s third annual Harvest Day was a celebration not only of nature, but of just about everything that goes onto the plate and that helps it arrive there: fruits, vegetables, dairy products; heirloom seeds, butterflies and bees; recycling, soils and compost; farm animals and plants.”(more)

Lab sparks young minds in skills, jobs

The San Diego Union Tribune – Christine Huard

“A space where students can test the limits of their imaginations and creatively explore technology and engineering has opened in an unused basement room at the Civic Center library branch. The “Innovation Station” is modeled on Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab and created through a collaboration of the technology giant, the Chula Vista Elementary School District and the city of Chula Vista. It’s not the first Thinkabit-inspired learning lab in the district. An engineering lab at Feaster Charter School received the Qualcomm stamp of approval last December when the company announced it would bring the concept it created in its Sorrento Valley corporate headquarters to three schools in the county — Feaster, Lewis Middle School in the San Diego Unified School District and the Vista Innovation and Design Academy in the Vista Unified School District.”(more)

California court decision keeps teacher tenure protections

The Mercury News – Sudhin Thanawala

“In a victory for teacher unions, a divided California Supreme Court decided Monday to let the state’s teacher tenure law stand. The high court decided 4-3 not to review a lower court ruling that upheld tenure and other job protections for teachers. That ruling came in a lawsuit by a group of students who claimed that incompetent teachers were almost impossible to fire because of tenure laws and that schools in poor neighborhoods were dumping grounds for bad teachers. The case was closely watched around the country and highlighted tensions between teacher unions, school leaders, lawmakers and well-funded education reform groups over whether policies like tenure and firing teachers with the least seniority keep ineffective instructors in the classroom.”(more)

Teachers study new ways to learn science

The San Diego Union-Tribune – Deborah Sullivan Brennan

“In a muggy classroom at Mission Bay High School this week a group of third-grade teachers built weather vanes out of paper cups and plastic straws, and planned lessons around the theme that weather is predictable and observable. It was an easy conclusion to draw on the hot summer day. And it’s exactly the kind of connection that educators want their students to make under the state’s new science standards, which stress first-hand observation and inquiry. “It’s allowing students to find understanding through real world experiences,” said Kim Arvidson, a third-grade teacher at Empresa Elementary in Oceanside, and one of about 450 teachers from Southern California who attended the conference on California’s Next Generation Science Standards.”(more)