Five ways to get kids to want to read and write

How can teachers get students to want to learn? Asks the Washington Post. Here is an article about the issue, from veteran educator Larry Ferlazzo, adapted from his new book, Self-Driven Learning: Teaching Strategies For Student Motivation. Some of the ideas in this excerpt were contributed by his colleagues at Burbank High School. Ferlazzo teaches English and Social Studies at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, California. He has written five books on education, writes a teacher advice blog for Education Week Teacher, and has his own popular resource-sharing blog

Click here for the full story

tags

Student wants to open café that serves discarded food for free

Turkey meatballs, organic Greek yogurt, fair trade coffee. It sounds like the makings of a persnickety shopper’s grocery list. But it’s just one batch of fresh food that Maximus Thaler retrieved from a dumpster outside of a Massachusetts supermarket, the Huffington Post reports. According to the National Resources Defense Council, supermarkets throw away on average, $2,300 worth of out-of-date, but still consumable, food every night. It’s a wasteful practice Thaler hopes to put an end to by raising $1,500 to open a café that gives away discarded grub.

“We believe food is a fundamental right, and should be shared freely with all,” the Tufts University student wrote on his Kickstarter page.

The idea for the café was born from the Gleaners’ Kitchen, a cooperative living house at Tufts that the dumpster diver founded. He hopes to offer concerts, poetry readings, lectures and one meal a day for the hungry, according to his Kickstarter page…

Click here for the full story

tags

School bans dodgeball citing bullying concerns

Students attending Windham schools in New Hampshire, won’t be dodging balls during gym class anymore. The school district voted to ban dodgeball and other “human target” sports in a recent 4-1 decision, according to multiple sources, the Huffington Post reports. Windham Patch reports that school officials launched an inquiry into the physically aggressive activities after a parent complained. Ultimately, administrators cited bullying concerns for the reason to prohibit students from playing dodgeball and similar games during school hours.

“We spend a lot of time making sure our kids are violence free,” Windham Superintendent Henry LaBranche told the Eagle-Tribune. “Here we have games where we use children as targets. That seems to be counter to what we are trying to accomplish with our anti-bullying campaign.”

Click here for the full story

tags

Amazon plans to buy social network for book fans

Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it plans to acquire the book recommendation website, Goodreads, Reuters reports. In buying Goodreads, Amazon gets a community of bibliophiles primed to buy and recommend books – one of its key areas of business.

“Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world,” Russ Grandinetti, Amazon vice president, Kindle Content, said in a release.

Based in San Francisco, Goodreads is a social network site that lets bookworms catalog and review books. Co-founded by Otis Chandler, whose family once published the Los Angeles Times, Goodreads has more than 16 million members, who have generated more than 23 million reviews…

Click here for the full story

tags

Educational apps of the month: March 2013

Through our “App of the Week” feature, every Monday we pick an Android or Apple app to highlight online and in our newsletters. Check out these four new educational apps we chose in March.

Do you have any suggestions for educational apps that you’d like to share with readers? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

 

Name: Vernier Video Physics

What is it? A 2012 CODiE Awards Finalist for “Best Educational Use of a Mobile Device,” Video Physics brings physics video analysis to iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Users can take a video of an object in motion, mark its position frame by frame, and set up the scale using a known distance. Video Physics then draws trajectory, position, and velocity graphs for the object.

Share video, graphs, and data via the Camera Roll, eMail, and iTunes. Perform on-the-go analysis of interesting motions. Measure the velocity of a child’s swing, a roller-coaster, or a car. Or, take a video of a basketball free throw shot. Video Physics will display the path of the ball and provide graphs of Y vs. X, as well as the X and Y position and velocity as a function of time.

Best for: Students and physics instructors.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Price: $4.99

Rated: 4+

Features: Capture a new video using the built-in camera, choose a video from your photo library, or use one of the sample videos provided; mark the position of one object, frame by frame; set the scale of the video using an object of known size; optionally set coordinate system location and rotation; view graphs of trajectory, and x/y position and velocity; export the marked video to your Photo Library; graphs are appended to video; eMail the video and data for further analysis in Vernier’s Logger Pro software for OS X and Windows; open data files directly in Vernier Graphical Analysis for iPad; open data files in Dropbox or Google Drive to upload to the cloud.

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vernier-video-physics/id389784247

tags

What happens when a rich and poor school share the same campus?

I’ve been teaching for 13 years, and I think the number one thing that would make our profession just a little bit easier is collaboration, says a contributor for TakePart.com. I was shocked during my first year of teaching to see how little teachers shared information. I found myself searching for those that would help and I didn’t find much. People have always asked me what I thought our school was missing. Was it funding? No, our school has soared since the budget has been cut. Was it leadership? We have gone through more than seven principals in 13 years. Leadership that sticks around sure does help, but I think the number one thing that can turn a school around is true collaboration. When I’m at a workshop and people share things about their schools and how well they collaborate, I want to work with them. I want to join a team of professionals who work together to help students achieve. I want to turn things around and make my own school better. I am in awe when I go to conferences and whole teams of teachers from schools are there together, because I am usually alone…

Click here for the full story

tags

Conn. student disabled on school trip wins $41.7M

A jury on Wednesday awarded $41.7 million to a woman who sued her prestigious boarding school after contracting a tick-borne illness on a school trip to China that left her unable to speak and brain damaged, the Associated Press reports. The federal jury in Bridgeport ruled in favor of Cara Munn, 20, in her lawsuit against The Hotchkiss School, a private school in Lakeville. The school said it would appeal. Munn, of New York City, was a ninth-grader at Hotchkiss when she joined a school-supervised trip to China during the summer of 2007, according to her lawsuit. The then-15-year-old suffered insect bites that led to tick-borne encephalitis, her attorneys said. The school failed to ensure that the students take any precautions against ticks and allowed them to walk through a densely wooded area known to be a risk area for tick-borne encephalitis and other tick- and insect-transmitted illnesses, her attorneys said…

Click here for the full story

tags

Sex-Ed teacher is being punished for saying the word ‘vagina’

Tim McDaniel, an 18-year veteran of the biology department at the public school in Dietrcich, Idaho, might have to figure out how to teach the miracle of life to his high-school students without saying the word “vagina” after a group of unhappy parents found the word offensive, the Atlantic Wire reports. According to what McDaniel told Boise’s Times-News, four parents at the school complained that he taught their children “the biology of an orgasm” and said the word “vagina” during his sex-education lesson to a room of sophomores. Yes, sophomores, some of whom have had vaginas for 14 to 15 years. It’s unclear whether the word “penis” was met with equal offense. But, apparently, allegations from parents also complain that McDaniel has shown the film an Inconvenient Truth in class…

Click here for the full story

tags

Bulletproof backpacks for kids

It was an ordinary school day for Demitric Boykin and his 4-year-old daughter, Jaliyah. Ordinary, except for her brand-new backpack, ABC reports. Despite the girly pink fabric and pretty fairies that adorned it, Jaliyah’s backpack offered military-grade protection. It could literally stop bullets.

“It protects me,” she said.

On the morning before Jaliyah took her bulletproof backpack to school for the first time, her father, over a bowl of Fruit Loops, had some grown-up explaining to do.

“So if any bad guy was to come in to your classroom, remember we don’t use guns, right, but bad guys do, right? So if they were to come in to your classroom with any guns, you put this on and this would stop the bullets,” Boykin told his daughter…

Click here for the full story

tags