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This simple change can help students become better thinkers

E-School News – Alan November

“The math lesson on variables began with a simple prompt. As Dan Rothstein, executive director of the Right Question Institute, tells the story: “The teacher presented the following equation: 24 = (smiley face) + (smiley face) + (smiley face).” Then, she asked her students to think of as many questions as they could about the equation. What did the students want to know about this expression? What were they curious about? The rules that she gave her students were simple, Rothstein says: (1) Ask as many questions as you can. (2) Do not stop to judge, discuss, or answer the questions. (3) Write down every question exactly as stated. (4) Change any statements into questions.”(more)

An Easy “Reader’s Menu” for Fighting the Summer Literacy Slide

Education World – Keith Lambert

“Hello, parents and guardians of a fantastic generation of students! The formal school year is over, and we are all off on our summer adventures! Thank you for all of the support you have given the teachers, administration, and support staff at your school this year. It does not go unnoticed, and it is incredibly appreciated! This resource is for you. You often hear about supporting students academically during the summer, but we know how difficult it can be! Today, we want to share with you a pretty easy and manageable way to support your student’s reading during the summer months. Particularly, we’re concerned about the ominous “summer slide”. Check out the details below on a simple way you can help us prevent this phenomenon.”(more)

Want a job when you graduate? Choose these majors

USA Today – Kellie Bancalari

“Until college graduation, students spend their whole lives preparing for one thing: a job. Fortunately, unemployment among college graduates has been on the decline in the last decade, but many graduates still struggle to find well-paying jobs to start their new lives in the workforce.”(more)

Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani: Why An ‘Hour of Code’ Isn’t Enough

Ed Surge – Mary Jo Madda

” It’s no shock to anyone—there is a gender disparity problem in the computer science world. The computing industry’s rate of job creation in the United States may be three times that of other industries, but the number of females attaining computer science degrees is falling, as U.S. News reports: “In 1984, 37 percent of computer science majors were women, but by 2014, that number had dropped to 18 percent.” However, Reshma Saujani doesn’t think the issues merely lie in offering girls more opportunities to learn. Rather, it’s a problem of culture and consistency. “A girl doing an ‘hour of code’ is not going to have an epiphany that is going to convert her,” she tells EdSurge.”(more)

State ESSA plans opportunity for K-12, higher ed to develop STEM career pipeline

Education Dive – Shalina Chatlani

“Former federal accountability measures under No Child Left Behind, as well as Common Core standards derived from them, primarily emphasized reading and math, which left many schools pushing science education to the background. However, this created serious gaps in learning for students and a general lack of interest in science education overall. A recent survey from Lockheed Martin examining students’ interest in STEM found that only 38% of educators believed a majority of students seemed “naturally interested” in STEM subjects, and another 25% of those surveyed said current school curriculum is not properly preparing students for a STEM career.”(more)

Why writing doesn’t just prove learning, it improves all learning-including STEM

E-School News – Eileen Murphy Buckley

“Writing is used to assess student learning more often than it is used to facilitate learning. We talk about writing as a product for assessment, a subject where paragraphs and commas are taught, or a skill that one either has developed or lacks. Rarely do we hear people, even teachers, discuss writing as a process for learning. Imagine if a teacher said, “Go write on it and see what you come up with,” after a student asked a question. “Writing organizes and clarifies our thoughts,” writes William Zinsser in Writing to Learn: How to Write–And Think–Clearly about Any Subject at All. “Writing is how we think our way into a subject and make it our own. Writing enables us to find out what we know—and what we don’t know—about whatever we’re trying to learn.” Simply put, writing is our critical thinking made visible.”(more)