To kick off the 2016-2017 academic year, this edition of The Spark News Roundup highlights some innovative ideas and activities for both in and outside of the classroom, from NYC’s work to professionalize early learning to the addition of STEM technology into ELA lesson plans.
How Robots and Other STEM Tech Can Be Used in English Class
Robots and 3D printers may typically be seen as science tools, but that hasn’t stopped English teachers across the country from incorporating the STEM technology into their lessons. Meghan Bogarduz Cortez of EdTech Magazine highlights three compelling ways that unlikely technology is being used to bring traditional literature curriculum to life, including programming a robot to traverse an environment similar to what the Joad family travelled in The Grapes of Wrath.
As Students Return to School, Debate About the Amount of Homework Rages
School and homework may seem to go hand-in-hand, but some parents and educators beg to differ. The New York Times recently published an article highlighting some of the key arguments being made in the fight against homework and some potential solutions proposed by the National PTA and the National Education Association. Furthermore, this Washington Post article examines why some parents are allowing their kids to opt out of homework assignments altogether.
What Do Preschool Teachers Need To Do a Better Job?
At HMH, we believe that early learning is vitally important to a child’s success early in life, so we were thrilled to hear about New York City’s work to professionalize early education in an effort to ensure that top quality preschool is available to all city residents. Lillian Mongeau from The Hechinger Report talks to NYC teachers and administrators about the changes underway in their classrooms, from training sessions about child development, to social workers introducing new family engagement initiatives.
On A Mission to Race The Middle School Brain
Many afterschool programs bring students together and promote creativity, but very few also teach math, science and engineering skills like the Kinetic Sculpture Race Club at Arbutus Middle School in Maryland. In a three-part series, NPR takes a closer look at this one-of-a-kind STEM club in which students are working together to design and build a human-powered kinetic sculpture to race in a 15-mile obstacle course around Baltimore Harbor.
High School Teaching, Extracurricular Duties Demand Balance
Most school days may end at 2:00 p.m., but for many students and teachers the final bell marks the beginning of an afternoon full of extracurricular clubs and sports. How can teachers balance teaching, grading, lesson planning and coaching or mentoring all in one day? Alexandra Pannoni of U.S. News and World Report shares four tips, such as “make time for yourself” and “lead an activity you enjoy,” for educators considering the added responsibility of managing an afterschool activity.
In case you missed it…
The Search Is On To Find the Nation’s Best High School Writers
HMH is looking for the best high school storytellers in the US and they could be sitting in your classroom!
5 Tips to Level-Up Game-Based Learning in the Classroom
HMH Lead Design Architect Julie Thieblemont shares five tips for incorporating game-based learning into the classroom.
Make Engineering Accessible: A Brief overview of Engineering in NGSS
HMH science curriculum author, Michael DiSpezio, explains how and why engineering is incorporated into the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).