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Articles: Language Arts

As of January 2017, of the 46 states that originally adopted the Common Core, eight had officially repealed or withdrawn, and 17 had not yet made any changes.(Gettyimages.com: gjohnstonphoto).

In September, New York’s Board of Regents voted to revise the standards and drop the Common Core name in favor of “Next Generation Learning Standards.”

With U.S. businesses of all sizes competing on the global stage, foreign language classes—and the teachers who teach them—are vanishing from K12 schools.

Only about 10 percent of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English proficiently, and just 15 percent of public elementary schools offer language instruction, according to The American Academy of Arts and Science.

An innovative arts program in Connecticut allows students to study art alongside visiting Chinese students and collaborate in ways that allow a deeper appreciation for art from both cultures.

East High School students in the Rochester City School District recently earned the opportunity to send their microgravity experiment to the International Space Station.

Districts faced with hard-to-fill vacancies—in math, science and bilingual education, among other subjects—look for candidates abroad, often with help from recruiting agencies

In a soon-to-be-released study of eighth-graders in seven states, results reveal that game-based learning can not only engage students, leading them to perform better on assessments, but it can be easily incorporated into lessons.

Tips from Eric Antuna, coordinator of English learner programs for Palm Springs USD, and Mandy Gonzales, a district ELL teacher.

24/7/365?—Some students at Palm Springs USD, above, can take advantage of programs that run before and after school, Saturdays and during the winter and summer breaks to develop a better grasp of the English language and to learn even more about art, dance and science.

Palm Springs USD helps English language learners find success with an extended instructional program that allows students to practice their English skills before or after school, on Saturdays and during breaks.

PINT-SIZE COMPUTERS—First-graders, above, at Elizabeth Forward School District start learning how to think like a computer.

A large gap between the number of computer science graduates and available jobs has led an increasing number of districts to boost instruction in computational thinking.

The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), which helps schools find resources to teach the subject, is among several organizations campaigning for state bills that would mandate media literacy instruction in public schools. 

“The goal is not to create cynical people who don’t trust anything—it’s about creating informed skeptics,” says Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, NAMLE’s executive director. “The core is prompting learners of all ages to think critically and immediately ask, ‘Oh, how do you know that’s true?'”

Allowing students to explore news articles that spark their curiosity can provide a bigger literacy boost than having them read nonfiction texts about random topics far removed from a youngster’s interests. 

Todd Brekhus, President, myON​

What was the reasoning behind wanting to link current events to reading literacy for K8 students?

Literacy is essential for success in school, but when students at the middle and high school levels continue to struggle with reading, the consequences can be lifelong. Struggling adolescent readers are more likely to have discipline or behavioral issues, to have lower academic achievement overall and to drop out of school.

Best practices in reading instruction are always evolving, as researchers are constantly learning how to better support early literacy, particularly for young readers and struggling readers. Recent years have brought more changes to how phonics instruction is emphasized in reading curriculum. Many educators who taught during the Reading First era and later within the Common Core are uncertain about how to best support strong phonics instruction, and thus how to lay the foundation for reading success in their districts.

Across the country, for reasons both political and practical, even districts with substantial numbers of students who don’t yet know English seldom rely on native-language curricular materials.

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