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Teacher collaboration leads to Common Core math success

Ed Source – Theresa Harrington

“Fifth-grade math teacher Wei Zhang moves her hands in small circles with her palms up, coaxing her students to think about the math problem on the board. “This way makes it easier to certain people,” Zhang said as she explained how to set up an equation that included both addition and multiplication using brackets. “Do you have to do it this way? No. What are the other ways you have learned?” It’s a lesson in learning math the Common Core way – using multiple methods to come up with the right answer. The state standards require students to think critically as they solve problems – and math test scores at E.M. Grimmer Elementary School in Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area reflect the impressive growth that students have made during the past two years.”(more)

Where Sports and Science Meet: San Francisco 49ers Expand Support of STEM With New Lab at Calif. HS

The 74 Million – Tim Newcomb

“Since 2014, when the San Francisco 49ers made their first foray into STEM education, the local Santa Clara schools have revolutionized how they engage students in the study of science, technology, engineering and math. The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, which started with 60 kids at Cabrillo Middle School, now has 180 students in grades seven through nine who study a rigorous curriculum both in and out of school.”(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)

Preparing kids to go back to school

The San Francisco Examiner – Richard Carranza

“Hard to believe it, but school starts today for our students. We are so excited to welcome every single student back to a great year of learning. I know that getting back into a school routine can be a challenge, so I’d like to share tips on how to make a successful transition. Reasonable bedtimes: We see our share of sleepy kids during the first few weeks of school. If you haven’t already, start settling your child into bed a little earlier. If getting up on time for school is hard for your child, you’ll be glad you started now.”(more)

Five-year olds and laser cutters—perfect together? Welcome to the first early childhood fab lab

The Hechinger Report – Chris Berdik

“A few weeks ago, at the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) near San Francisco, five-year-old Jack Stabenow climbed a step stool to peer into a machine that cuts cardboard with a high-powered laser. The red beam precisely followed a squiggly building design that Jack had just finger-drawn on a tablet computer. Jack’s goal was to make a building that could stand up to the wind of a nearby table fan. With his cardboard cut, Jack hurried to the assembly area where about two dozen other kids his age labored over teetering, but well-taped, creations. If these first attempts toppled in the breeze, that was to be expected. In fact, back-to-the-drawing-board was kind of the point. The kids were learning the cycle of design, prototype, test and redesign that’s a hallmark of engineering.”(more)

49ers Launch Football and STEM Academy Summer Camp Program

Forty Niners Football Company – Emily Lucas

“Last week, the San Francisco 49ers launched its Football and STEM Academy summer camp program to extend the organization’s impact on youth education about football and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) concepts…In addition to discovering the important values of education and fitness, the camp afforded students with specially-designed activities that teach the fundamentals of football and STEM while learning how to apply important life skills such as respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and teamwork.”(more)