Author: Sensory Edge

Research Projects for K-2

Research skills can be very beneficial for young elementary school students, and are worth incorporating into your lesson plans. Recommended research projects for the K-2 age group incorporate research questions with fun, hands-on projects. To learn about bugs, for example, kids can use modeling insects to create clay fossils. Or to learn about plants and agriculture, kids can plant bean plants in jars, and watch them grow. Whatever the project, research-based skills are certain to make learning better for students of all ages. Key Takeaways: According to PebbleGo, a leading K-2 database, kindergarteners are not too young to begin learning how to be effective readers and researchers. Try assigning each student a bug, arm them with a magnifying glass and tweezers, then let them answer simple questions about their specimen. Kids love animals, so let their imaginations run wild and have them create the tracks of bears and lions using cardboard and sponges. “Yes, you can teach kindergarteners how to do proper research (i.e. be awesome detectives and readers).” Read more:...

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Spanish-Speaking Parents Struggle to Learn How Well Schools Serve Their Children

Goya Diaz is the Spanish-speaking mother of two children who is pushing for school boards to provide educational data in a way that they can digest and understand equally. Most of the information surrounding graduation statistics, attendance, and suspensions are only available on an English database, leaving out those who primarily speak Spanish. Diaz is pushing to make it so that this information is more accessible to those who do not fluently speak English as their first language. Key Takeaways: Databases that hold information such as graduation rates and attendance are often only available in English. Diaz suggests that the ways in which public schools serve ELL families is absolutely vital in terms of communication. Currently, students who are not English-speaking are typically not ready for college when they are assessed. “As observed in Part I of EdSurge’s report on school data, parents say insights from data dashboards allows them to make informed decisions about their children?s school experience and helps the community hold local officials accountable to promises for improvements.” Read more:...

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25 Things Successful Teachers Do Differently

Becoming a successful teacher that is inviting yet assertive is essential in maintaining an orderly and fun classroom. These two characteristics have the ability to exist wonderfully as long as specific strategies are used. One of the things that you should do is ensure that you give praise when it is deserved, but do not give it so much that it ends up decreasing in value. Also be sure that you always have clear objectives before you start your day in order to help you and your students stay on track with the curriculum. Key Takeaways: Successful teachers have clear objectives to steer them and a sense of purpose. Successful teachers realize that immediate results may not be forthcoming and can live with that. Successful teachers have a sense of humor and he ability to praise. “What students take away from a successful education usually centers on a personal connection with a teacher who instilled passion and inspiration for their subject.” Read more:...

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20 Awesome Team-Building Games and Activities for Kids

Team-building activities have the potential to benefit students in many ways, especially in terms of communication skills and increasing their trust within the community. Many teachers find success in playing games such as, “All My Friends”. In this particular game, students will stand in a circle and list an interest of theirs. If someone else also likes that interest, then they will switch places. This can really bring a sense of unity between students once they find a common ground. Key Takeaways: You can use auction paddles that give students the chance to say, “Me too!” when someone lists an interest of theirs. Someone is listed as a “finder”, and they are directed towards classroom objects by three to five other students by following claps that increase in volume. “All My Friends” is a spin-off of musical chairs and gives students a chance to find common grounds by listing what their friends like. “Divide students into groups of equal numbers. Pass out an equal number of marshmallows and wooden toothpicks to each group. Challenge the groups to create the tallest, largest, or most creative structure in a set amount of time, each member taking turns doing the actual building.” Read more:...

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How Transparent Is School Data When Parents Can’t Find or Understand It?

When Mosi Zuberi learned that his 18-year-old son, Kaja, might not graduate from McClymonds High School in Oakland, he anguished over his parenting missteps, wondering where he had gone wrong. Yet, after seeing data from the California School Dashboard and learning that close to one-fifth of McClymonds’ students were not graduating, he mentally shifted some accountability to the school, seeing a systemic failure to meet the needs of all students. Situations like Zuberi are bringing attention to public school officials when it comes to the lack of communication surrounding their children’s academic performance while enrolled in a public school setting. Key Takeaways: Parents can better advocate for their children, possibly preventing school failure, when there is transparency of school data. Such data becomes even more relevant when students are attending traditionally low-performing institutions. Relevant data that could arm advocating parents includes, graduation rates, attendance records, disciplinary measures normally enacted, etc. “after seeing data from the California School Dashboard and learning that close to one-fifth of McClymonds students were not graduating, he mentally shifted some accountability to the school, seeing a systemic failure to meet the needs of all students.” Read more:...

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