Travelouges and Adventure Journals: Keeping Kids Writing Over the Summer


A lot of students travel in the summer. They go to the beach or to the mountains.  Kids go camping with family or maybe even to summer camp. Families travel far from home and close to home. They visit familiar places like a grandparents or a totally new place like a foreign country. Use these adventures to keep students writing over the summer and prevent summer slide. Continue reading

Science Like a Girl: Exploring Women in the Sciences


The image above is not an accurate depiction of women in the sciences. When the statistics are examined and looking around the world of science and technology it becomes clear very quickly that there really aren’t a lot of women working as professionals in these fields. In her February 23, 2015 post, “Teaching Science for All: Helping Women Fulfill their Potential”, on the Stanford University Teaching Commons blog Teaching Talk, Mandy McClean points out, “less than one-quarter of bachelors degrees awarded in fields such as computer science, engineering and physics go to women.”  And it isn’t due to the number of women enrolled in higher learning. A recent Forbes magazine report notes that males only outnumber females in higher learning nationally by 2 percent and according to the National Center for Education Statistics, since 1998, women have outnumbered men in post-baccalaureate programs.

So what can K-12 teachers do to encourage girls to choose higher education and future careers in the sciences, math and technology? Continue reading

Close Reading For Homework

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The Common Core State Standards require students of all grades to closely read text. Close Reading is needed in society today. Students need to foster habits of close reading to develop automaticity in reading comprehension. Close reading is a necessary skill. People need the ability to read closely in order to understand complex text. In all areas of life, adults and children need to closely examine text. People need to closely read driving directions. Students need to read and reread the test directions and questions. Directions on medication need to be read carefully. Continue reading

Thank you, Teachers!

We are so honored to work with incredible teachers every day. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week and National Teacher Day, we created this infographic to share some of the many ways educators go above and beyond for their students. Download it here.



Writing With Current Events-What’s The Scoop?

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Reading Informational Text

In most cases, when students are reading current events they are digging into informational text. The news is a free source of information that is updated daily. It exposes learners to new events each day. Educators and parents can introduce students to the newspaper, news-based magazines, online news, and televised news. Once kids and teens automate the habit of checking news sources daily, their knowledge and vocabulary will soar.

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Stay Ahead of the Summer Slide

For students, the arrival of spring means a countdown until the last bell rings. What they don’t realize (while they’re preparing to leave school work in the dust) is that most of them will return to class in the fall unable to match their performance on tests from the previous year.

Children from low-income families suffer most. Studies show that two thirds of the achievement gap between high- and low-income students can be attributed to how students spend their summer breaks during elementary school. Those without access to learning resources are less likely to graduate high school and advance to college. [1]

To help tackle summer learning loss, Big Universe has created an infographic you can download for free:

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Click here to download

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