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Articles: Teaching & Learning

STEAM learning—which incorporates art and design thinking into the traditional STEM subjects—is becoming increasingly adopted as educators seek to inspire more creativity, problem-solving skills, collaboration and critical thinking in their students. Educators in the Maury County Public Schools in Tennessee began pursuing their mission to blend project-based learning and STEM subjects with art and design in 2015. The end result was the creation of the Mt. Pleasant Arts Innovation Zone, the first preK-14 STEAM campus in the U.S.

When Wicomico County Public Schools implemented common core state standards six years ago, complaints from parents rolled in regarding challenging homework assignments. 

“Parents did not understand so they couldn’t help their children,” explains Julie Dill, elementary math supervisor for the 15,000-student district on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Then came Everyday Mathematics 4, a comprehensive math program that enables parents to access lessons and watch videos at home to break down the common core language barrier.

Mounds of research has shown that principals’ most important contributions to their schools come in the realm of instructional leadership.

Children from 19 El Paso ISD schools now engage in social-emotional activities at nearly two dozen new playgrounds, thanks in part to districtwide communication.

In the U.S., the majority of adults who both do and don't work in STEM-related field say they like science and math, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

More STEM workers (66 percent) have said they like these subjects, however, than non-STEM workers (45 percent).


Link to main story: Sounds of STEM education

With just over 100 K12 students and the closest 1,000-student district nearly 100 miles away, Colorado’s Arickaree School District utilizes e-learning technology to create virtual classrooms.

In particular, it collaborates in synchronous online learning with the 1,800-student STEM School Highlands Ranch near Denver.


Link to main story: Sounds of STEM education

A lot of science goes into building a great acoustic guitar. For example, students must analyze malleability, weight and other composition factors when picking the wood to make their own instrument.

Coaching has surfaced as a key quality improvement strategy for early childhood instruction, according to a recent report by Bellwether Education Partners.

Across the US, the number of teen suicides has risen dramatically over the years. Whether it’s the stress of high-level courses or the anxiety of divorcing parents, a staggering amount of students are overcrowding school counseling centers, says Psychology Today. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that 1 in 5 teenagers and young adults suffer from mental illness.

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNIN’—A typical class at  Tahoma High involves students working on separate machines, including a tire balancer. Instructor Luke Thompson also provides writing assignments. Documenting work, he says, is an industry standard for tasks such as repair orders.

Schools have started fine-tuning their automotive tech programs to make them ideal vehicles for STEM instruction.

FINDING THEIR VOICES—Students from the New Haven Urban Debate League in Connecticut are among those across the nation who have been learning the speaking and presentation skills necessary for productive public engagement.

A number of schools nationwide are committed to teaching skills coaches say will last a lifetime, including how to maintain eye contact and ask meaningful questions.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids hopes the federal government will take stronger action to restrict sales of the devices, such as raising the legal purchasing age to 21. (Gettyimages: martinedoucet).

District leaders have taken a wide range of responses to curb the alarming increase in students’ use of vaping devices and e-cigarettes.

Sam Frenzel is a writer for Teach.com based in upstate New York. He covers topics including education policy, teacher welfare and classroom technology.

Many teachers are forced into using technology they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable using. Administrators should do all they can to help teachers overcome this. Here are four keys to supporting and engaging teachers.

All districts face employee issues. Some have learned better than others how to address problems early, before they erupt.

Educators and psychologists propose a host of explanations for the apparent uptick in student anxiety. Some point to public events – terrorism, school shootings, opioid addiction, the coarsening of political discourse in the age of Trump.

Others blame technology—devices that substitute electronic contact for face-to-face interaction, and social media that transform school-hours drama into a 24-7 preoccupation.

Still others look to family dysfunction, or pressure to match parental achievements. “The anxiety comes from so many different sources.

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