3 keys to supporting students during a mental health crisis

A January 2022 study published in JAMA Pediatrics confirmed what many educators, administrators, and support staff already knew: School closures, disrupted learning, and a pandemic year have coalesced to create an alarming mental health crisis among teenagers.

The study found that up to 60 percent of students are experiencing “strong distress,” including anxiety and depression. The results echoed a recent American Psychological Association (APA) report, which found that more than 80 percent of teenagers experienced “more intense stress” during the pandemic.

In other words, as Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, notes, “Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade.”…Read More

A simple routine to support literacy development in all subjects

When you look at the five components of reading and how teachers’ emphasis on them changes as students learn to read, one constant is word learning. This shouldn’t be surprising for those familiar with Scarborough’s Reading Rope, which suggests that vocabulary and background knowledge are essential components of skilled reading. These two strands of the rope can account for a 50-60 percent variation in reading comprehension scores. Not only do students need to know how to decode words, but they must also know the meaning of words in order to apply their meaning toward comprehension.

Fortunately, students are building vocabulary and background knowledge all the time as they pick up new words from context through reading and listening, learn new words and ideas in their daily lives, and of course, in all the various content areas they study in school.

Explicit vocabulary instruction not only helps students build vocabulary in the moment, but also gives them the tools to learn new words as they encounter them. Here’s an effective routine to help students learn new words whether they’re in an English class or the science lab.…Read More

Using tracking sites to bring current events to students

There is a lot of conversation about supply chains and logistics in the news these days. As a picture is often worth a thousand words, maps and tracking sites that allow students to visualize the traffic making up these supply chains can be helpful.

It is possible to track much of the shipping traffic through websites like Marine Traffic. The site is an interactive map showing the movement of many types of commercial ship traffic throughout the world. It is possible to see the general build-up around southern California ports and the normally heavy traffic around the Panama Canal. VesselFinder is a similar tool but seems to include at least some river traffic as well. It allows one to track a specific cruise ship, for instance.

Marine Vessel Traffic allows for tracking through the Great Lakes and appears to allow one to track naval ships. AdsbExchange provides similar information for air traffic. It allows one to filter by type of aircraft–Boeing 777s, for instance–by airline, or only to show military aircraft. FlightAware is a similar interactive map showing flights. It allows filtering by destination or departure location as well as by airline or aircraft type. FlightRadar24 is a third option that provides some additional features with a paid subscription.…Read More

Copyleaks Inc Partners with Canvas LMS to Offer Plagiarism Detection using AI and Machine Learning.

Copyleaks, an artificial intelligence platform that detects plagiarism, today announced a partnership today with Canvas, the learning management platform from Instructure, that allows educational institutions to seamlessly enable advanced plagiarism detection software directly within a Canvas account. Copyleaks can now be accessed by thousands of K-12 schools and universities around the world that are part of the ever-expanding Canvas community.

Through its artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, Copyleaks is able to understand and learn more about the text that students are writing throughout the school year. While many plagiarism checkers only find identical matches of text, Copyleaks can spot similar words and paraphrased text that are commonly missed by plagiarism software. The platform allows both teachers and students to improve their writing processes.

As more schools adapt to an e-learning environment this fall, teachers are both emphasizing the importance of academic integrity, as well as taking extra precautions to check that students have written original work.…Read More

How schools can cope during a pandemic

By now, we are all familiar with the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, and have suddenly learned more about epidemiological terms like vectors, latency periods, and mortality rates than we ever thought we would. And if we adults are getting worried about a pandemic, it’s a safe bet that our kids are getting worried, too.

At times like these, I’m reminded of the wise words of one of my childhood heroes, Mister Rogers. He once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

Related content: 10 resources to keep learning going during a coronavirus outbreak…Read More

Calling all teachers: Who’s up for the 1,000-word challenge?

How might a lesson run if the teacher were allowed only 1,000 words of whole-group instruction each class period? Speaking 1,000 words at an average pace takes about nine minutes, which means that a teacher could only use nine minutes to address instructions, misconceptions, management, and assessment for an entire class.

I believe that if teachers and professional development leaders took this challenge on a regular basis, it would drastically change the way they plan, the tasks they ask students to do, the way they manage behavior, and the way they would differentiate for each student in the classroom.

Implications of the 1,000-word challenge on planning

First, it is important to note that the 1,000 words only count in whole-group instruction. I am not advocating for a teacher to spend their words and then sit at their desk while the students work. The 1,000 words do not include conferring or small-group instruction.…Read More

5 ways to get started with OER

It has been almost three years since the launch of the United States Department of Education’s #GoOpen movement. If you are late to the #GoOpen party, it is the commitment to expand and accelerate the use of openly licensed educational resources in schools across the country.

The commitment, in a nutshell, is to replace at least one textbook with open educational resources (OER) within one year, share in a community of practice with other school districts, and share the resources created with a Creative Commons license. While this sounds like a novel concept in writing, this movement engages every stakeholder in the P-12 educational ecosystem. And, beyond the chatter and hype of #GoOpen’s launch, there is still lots of work to be done. The work begins with implementation and how schools plan to strategically scale OER.

In the words of Simon Sinek, if you “start with the why” when thinking about #GoOpen, the answer is easy:…Read More

Education Playbook spotlights teaching and learning

Resource from KnowledgeWorks aims to highlight the importance of teaching and learning as presidential debates continue

Amid a heated presidential contest, KnowledgeWorks has released an Education Playbook to put the spotlight on teaching and learning in the U.S.

In the first eight presidential debates, more than 175,000 words were spoken, but “education” was only mentioned 64 times. With the primary election looming and more debates on the calendar, there couldn’t be a better opportunity to discuss the U.S. education system.

“It’s time to raise the level of education debate in the country,” KnowledgeWorks Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Matt Williams said. “As the presidential candidates hit the campaign trail before the primaries, we must talk about and imagine a new vision for teaching and learning in the U.S.”…Read More

App of the week: Winning Words Match Games

winningwordsName: Winning Words Match Games

What is it? Winning Words takes the familiar game of memory match, and adds a twist: Instead of matching two pictures, users match two synonyms, antonyms or other word combinations. Created by a retired teacher and downloaded more than 25,000 times in the last two months, their apps were listed in the top 200 grossing educational games section in the app store.

Best for: Most ages…Read More