App of the week: Grammar Wonderland

Name: Grammar Wonderland

What is it? Students can fly, swim, feed, and toss their way to grammar mastery. Characters can be led through many adventures as they practice using nouns, verbs, adjectives, and more; a quick and easy way to practice and reinforce different grammar concepts to enhance reading, writing, and parts of speech.

Best for: K-6

Price: Free until February 8.

Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Rated: 4+

Features: Grammar Wonderland is available in two versions: k-2 and 3-6. In conjunction with several education conferences slated between now and early February (FETC, TCEA and Digital Learning Day), McGraw-Hill Education is lowering the price on its Grammar Wonderland apps to give teachers and parents the opportunity to download them and offer feedback. These new apps are a part of a larger suite of educational apps that recently launched alongside the company’s new core program, McGraw-Hill Reading Wonders.

Link: (k-2) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grammar-wonderland-primary/id591911867?mt=8

(3-6) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grammar-wonderland-elementary/id580623949?mt=8

tags

Fourth grader wins science fair with drug-sniffing dogs, ounce of cocaine

In an early bid for Father of the Year, a Miami police detective allowed his 10-year-old daughter to use three drug-sniffing dogs and an ounce of cocaine for a science fair project, Yahoo! News reports. Douglas Bartelt, a detective with the Miami-Dade Police Narcotics Bureau, provided his daughter, Emma, with three detector canines and 28 grams of cocaine (street value: approximately $1,300) for her entry into Coral Gables Preparatory Academy’s annual science fair. Not surprisingly, she won.

“The purpose for this scientific investigation was to find which dog would find the cocaine fastest using it’s [sic] sense of smell,” the fourth grader wrote in the abstract for her project, entitled “Drug Sniffing Dogs…

Click here for the full story

tags

Feds: Teacher scammed federal program of hundreds of thousands

A New York City substitute teacher is accused of running a scam through a tutoring service that between 2005 and 2012 billed the government for millions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of which the U.S. attorney claims are fraudulent, the Huffington Post reports. Michael Logan, 48 years old, allegedly recruited teachers and former students to collect signatures from students at school and extracurricular events to inflate attendance records for the TestQuest tutoring company, the New York Post reports. According to court papers, the falsified attendance sheets allowed the company to claim more federal funding than it was eligible for. Logan was a manager for now-shuttered TestQuest, whose services were intended to assist disadvantaged students in the city. Funding for tutoring programs is based on the volume of students tutored, and is provided by the federal Supplemental Education Services program through the city’s Education Department…

Click here for the full story

tags

USDA to announce new healthy school snack rules

After more than a year’s delay, American schools will soon see new U.S. government rules targeting the kinds of snacks sold to students, a move nutritionists say could play an important role in fighting childhood obesity, Reuters reports. Anxious schools have waited more than a year to find out how sales of potato chips, candy bars, sodas and similar treats to students will be restricted. These rules on food sold outside traditional cafeteria meals are a key part of the first major overhaul on school food in more than three decades. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently told Reuters that the rules on what snacks may be offered in vending machines, school stores and the like, originally due in late 2011, are expected to be finished in the early part of this year…

Click here for the full story

tags

Bill Gates: Invest in better teaching

Yesterday I released my annual letter. Each year, I reflect on what I learned in the last year through our travels and work with the foundation and how that will shape my thinking over the coming months, said Bill Gates for CNN. This year, my letter focuses on how important it is to set clear goals and measure progress in order to accomplish the foundation’s priorities, both here at home and around the world. Setting a clear goal lets you know what you’re driving at: Picking the right interventions that will have the most impact on that final goal, using that information to understand what’s working and what’s not, and adapting your strategy as necessary. One of the clearest examples of the power of measurement was the work of our partners to support great teachers…

Click here for the full story

tags

Fla. governor wants $1.2 billion more for schools

Florida Gov. Rick Scott will ask for a $1.2 billion boost in spending on public schools in the coming year, a move that could set up a clash with the Republican-controlled Legislature but could boost his bid for re-election, the Associated Press reports. Scott revealed the figure when he outlined his top spending priorities during The Associated Press’ 19th annual planning meeting on Wednesday. His announcement comes a day before the Republican governor is expected to make his 2013 budget recommendations to state legislators. Scott will give additional details on his budget proposal, although it is unlikely that Scott will provide a definitive answer on whether he supports accepting federal aid to expand Medicaid…

Click here for the full story

tags

The Vietnamization of public education

Here’s an interesting look at the false metrics of success that characterized the Vietnam War, and now, school reform, by Steve Cohen, a senior lecturer in education at Tufts University, says the Washington Post. I have been reading a new book, “The Generals,” by Tom Ricks, says Cohen. He looks at individual American military leaders from World War II until the present day and offers thumbnail sketches of their successes and failures. Ricks also made some interesting points about the changes in personnel policy in the military over time. One of his arguments was a critique of common practice in the late 1950s and leading into the Vietnam Era when the Army decided to rotate officers to provide them with more and varied experiences…

Click here for the full story

tags