Why we should be teaching students economic literacy

When 17-year-old Jerry Marnell thought about heading off to college, economics seemed like an enticing major to study. Between self-starting his own production company and serving as president of a local club, he knew basic business tenets were vital to success and he was interested in learning more about the subject.

But like for so many young people across the country, Jerry’s high school in California’s Monterey Bay area did not offer economic classes. He had no way of knowing for certain if economics was something he’d like to pursue, or how economic principles touch every facet of our lives—from the decisions made by individuals and companies to the performance of regional, national, and global economies.

As students return to class this back-to-school season, many parents may think their own teenagers will be taking an economics course, given the topic’s importance. For the last several years, however, only half of the U.S.—a stark 50 percent of states—require that high schools even offer an economics class as part of the curriculum, according to the Council for Economic Education. Meanwhile, 27 states mandate that personal finance courses be offered – a number that has nearly doubled since 2011. Unfortunately, economic literacy has taken a back seat when it comes to young Americans because many policy makers confuse the discipline of economics with financial literacy.  …Read More

How schools can become air quality champions this year

The COVID-19 pandemic affected every aspect of our lives for more than two years, but perhaps the hardest hit population were children who suddenly found themselves unable to go to school. This was disruptive not only from an educational standpoint, but socially, as well. That’s why school districts have done everything in their power so that children can experience a normal 2022–2023 school year. But that can only happen if superintendents make safety a top priority to prevent coronavirus outbreaks that could derail their carefully planned back-to-school plans. And it all starts with air quality. 

This isn’t just a local issue. Over the coming months, the Biden administration will be honoring and highlighting school districts who are excelling in their efforts to improve indoor air quality. It’s a great opportunity for leaders to be recognized for their amazing work, and to instill confidence in a public that is still skeptical that the worst days of the pandemic are behind us. 

According to a recent statement from the White House, in addition to vaccines, boosters, and COVID tests, one of the pillars of keeping schools open is, “helping schools plan and implement indoor air quality improvements.” Schools will have access to federal funds to optimize ventilation through inspection, repairs, upgrades, and replacements in their HVAC systems, as well as installing new systems that facilitate better ventilation. …Read More

7 educators share back-to-school action plans

This year, classrooms are opening with a combination of optimism and uncertainty. On one hand, this is the first truly “normal” back-to-school opening since the fall of 2019. But on the other, teacher burnout, educator shortages, and mass teacher resignations have plagued districts and states across the nation. Pandemic-related learning loss and student mental health remain among educators’ top concerns.

But, ready or not, back-to-school season is here. Seven educators shed light on their own back-to-school experiences, from early childhood education to STEAM and robotics and teacher recruitment.

Here’s what a return to classrooms looks like for these educators:…Read More

How to ensure clear communication with your paraprofessionals

As back-to-school commences this fall, in addition to the students and teachers returning to school buildings, somewhere between 160,000 and 250,000–or more–folks will be joining those students and teachers. Known by a variety of titles, from paraeducator and paraprofessional, to aid, to assistant teacher, these educational support personnel have the least training of people working in schools. Add the fact that most paraprofessionals are assigned to work with students with the most significant needs, and one can see why these positions are difficult to fill and have generally high turnover rates.

There are a couple of things that can be done to better assist paraprofessionals in their roles within schools. The first is to ensure more effective communication between teachers and the paraprofessionals who work with the same students and support them in the classrooms.

Building administrators should make sure that teachers provide clear and direct guidance for paraprofessionals at the beginning of each term. Often, paraprofessionals might be new to education and might not have much time to prepare for their assignment. One effective method is to have teachers who will work with paraprofessionals complete a short checklist explaining the items they want the paraprofessional to focus on and what they would prefer is left to the teacher. Building administrators then need to facilitate conversations between the teacher and paraprofessionals so expectations are clear. Such a practice can help eliminate problems before they arise by ensuing clear expectations are set for each paraprofessional.…Read More

HMH Unveils Major Platform Enhancements to Empower Educators and Engage Students Heading Back-to-School Nationwide

BOSTON, /PRNewswire/ – As students and teachers nationwide head back to school, learning technology company  HMH today announced major enhancements to Ed, HMH’s connected teaching and learning platform, that will offer an even more streamlined experience to empower educators and engage students. Seamless integrations with Google Classroom and Clever, as well as refinements and new features to many of HMH’s core, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, provide powerful connected teaching and learning experiences that drive positive outcomes—all from one platform.

“At HMH, we know that an innovative, connected approach is what educators need to make the most of their time and resources and meet all students where they are,” said Greg Collins, SVP of Platform at HMH. “This back-to-school, a streamlined Ed experience will equip students, teachers and administrators with powerful integrations like Google Classroom and Clever, enhanced embedded assessment, joint solutions like Amira + Saxon Phonics & Spelling and evolve the overall HMH platform experience.”

Critical Integrations…Read More

5 tips for a positive back-to-school experience

Heading back to school can be an exciting yet challenging time for students, teachers, and parents alike. While many school systems are returning to full in-person learning, some students are taking advantage of virtual or hybrid learning models their school may offer.

Hybrid learning serves as a great option for students–however, in the early days of pandemic virtual learning, teachers noticed the need for stronger tools and resources in order for them to create the best possible learning experience.

With the hybrid learning model here to stay, many teachers are continuing to struggle with keeping their students engaged, while some learners find it difficult to stay motivated and pay attention to instruction.…Read More

5 classroom management strategies to try this year

A rise in harassment and violence against teachers is taking a toll on already-exhausted educators. A recent survey from the American Psychological Association found that 6 in 10 teachers reported student violence or verbal aggression during the pandemic, with nearly half expressing a desire or plan to quit or transfer schools.

To create a teaching environment where educators feel safe, school leaders may want to consider adding evidence-based behavior management strategies to their back-to-school plan. The more preventative maintenance teachers can do through proactive strategies, the less likely they will encounter problem behavior.

Here are five classroom management strategies to help educators regain control of their classrooms: …Read More

Successful edtech impacts more than just teachers and students

In this episode of Innovations in Education, hosted by Kevin Hogan:

  • 4 ways library media specialists lead digital transformations in districts
  • 6 back-to-school tips for virtual district leaders
  • Back office innovations: Devising a more dynamic workflow

…Read More

18 back-to-school tips to start the year off right

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to cast uncertainty on education, and the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year is no different. But with some valuable lessons learned under their belts, educators are feeling better prepared for the back-to-school season–one that could be the most normal since the pandemic.

Here are some back-to-school tips, advice, and valuable insights from educators, stakeholders, and industry experts.

“COVID has dramatically impacted students from a social and emotional standpoint. It’s basically shifted the developmental continuum for where kids are and what they can handle and it has been a struggle for schools and districts to adapt. This school year will see a focus on prioritizing social and emotional learning–accepting the fact that that continuum has changed and giving teachers permission to spend time reteaching those skills. We’ll see more schools and districts placing a priority on SEL instruction just like math or reading. We’ll also see a greater increase in educators looking for solutions for their students with challenging behaviors and looking for tools like DESSA to help schools design interventions for students in specific social emotional competencies.”
Dr. Norah Barney, EdD, Director of Special Education and Curriculum, Anaconda School District #10, Montana…Read More