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STEM: Engineer Girl!


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?

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Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Children-using-digital-tablet.jpgPositive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is the latest instructional method for classroom management. PBIS is designed to support students in achieving social, emotional, and academic success. It was developed from the idea of behavior analysis and has roots in educational law since the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

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Four Fantastic Ways to Make St. Patrick’s Day Memorable in Your Classroom

st-patricks-day-2070200_1920.jpgOne of my favorite school memories was as a young child in preschool.  My speech therapist, Mrs. Patrick (no pun intended), and her assistant, Mrs. Taylor, started the week by getting us to help bake shamrock sugar cookies.  From start to finish, we measured the ingredients, rolled the dough, cut the cookies out and put them onto the baking sheet, and watched the cookies bake in the oven.  Once they were done, we iced them and enjoyed the sweet savory treats.  Although that was about three decades ago, I appreciate the way my teacher incorporated such a fun activity into a holiday often surrounded by rainbows, gold, and lucky three-leaf clovers.  Below are some ways to make this–or any–holiday memorable for your students:

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5 Tiny Tweaks to Improve your Literature Circles

confetti_3inRow.jpgHappy Read Across America Day!

Today, many are reading as part of the annual Read Across America. This day celebrates and encourages reading. One way to keep students motivated and excited about reading throughout the year is a through the use of Book Clubs or Literature Circles.This is the first of a four-part series on literature circles for the month of March.

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ESSA Updates

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 3.40.28 PM.pngIt has been a year since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESSA, replaced No Child Left Behind, NCLB, as the nation’s new K-12 federal law. States are working to implement their plans so that classroom teachers will be prepared for the changes that will become effective in the 2017-2018 academic school year. In a letter to all state schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos provided clarity to ESSA implementation instructing states to continue to move forward and that the Department will work to ensure that state education leaders have the state and local flexibility that Congress intended. States should continue to follow the timeline for developing and submitting their plans for review and approval and those are due on or about March 2017.

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Building Bridges: Making Guest Readers Work In Your Classroom

classroom-643047_1280.jpgThis is the first in a 3-part series about ways to strengthen communication between school and home/community.  If you don’t do so already, incorporate one or more of the strategies shared during the series and reply with the results below.

Looking for ways to get your students parents and caregivers involved in the learning process?  One way I’ve found very engaging is having parent or community volunteers come into my classroom and read to students.  Having your student’s caregivers come in to read provides lots of benefits for your students, the volunteers, and for you as a teacher.  Students, through read alouds, develop their decoding and fluency skills along practicing comprehension strategies.  Depending on how volunteers choose books, volunteers share parts of themselves as well as their interests with the kids.  They also contribute to buidling a positive classroom and school environment. As an educator, you see how their students respond when hearing another adults read, build positive rapport with the volunteers, and get a moment to relax during a long day of learning! You might even learn about some new series or author you can use in the class, which was always a great thing for me, especially in my early years of teaching.

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