Thursday, July 9

Learning

How NYC Students and Teachers are Making Sense of George Floyd’s Killing
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

How NYC Students and Teachers are Making Sense of George Floyd’s Killing

Many students and educators across the five boroughs were already dealing with the trauma of illness ravaging their communities and the isolation of being forced out of school buildings due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, while apart from their school communities, they’re trying to make sense of Floyd’s death and other recent police killings of black people that have sparked protests and an 8 p.m. curfew in New York City through June 7. New York City’s protests have largely been peaceful but have also resulted in some violent clashes between police and protestors, hundreds of arrests, and incidents of looting. Students and educators alike are struggling with how to reckon with what’s happening and have important, but difficult conversations about race and violence. Not only is it a chal...
How Teachers Want Emergency Distance Learning Improved
Education, eLearning, Learning, Student, Teacher

How Teachers Want Emergency Distance Learning Improved

On teaching in one of the country’s coronavirus epicenters: “The whole first two months and change, we were hearing about 10 sirens a day. And obviously New York City is a very special place in that respect because of the density of the population, surely. But it can really rack on the brain in a way when you have so many sirens going off and so many things happening around you and the (few) degrees of separation between you and someone who's passed away. ... For me, living in Harlem, which is not too different from Washington Heights, that's kept me closer to the kids than they can imagine. Even though I can't see them every day, I know … what they're going through. I have students whose parents have passed away, whose family members have passed away, whose families also many of them are...
Reflections On A Lost Senior Year With Hope For The Future
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

Reflections On A Lost Senior Year With Hope For The Future

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many high school graduations to be replaced with virtual, drive-in and other alternative ceremonies. And so, the tradition of valedictorians and salutatorians addressing their classmates at this huge moment in their young lives is a little different this year. NPR spoke with a few student leaders about their speeches and how a not-so-typical senior year inspired their words for the class of 2020. Emma Cockrum Valedictorian, East Ascension High School, Gonzales, La. East Ascension High School Valedictorian Emma Cockrum with her dog Hercules in front of her old play house at her home in Prairieville, La. (Emily Kask for NPR)Aside from her bike rides, Cockrum was also inspired by a few words from Sol Rexius, a pastor at The Salt Company Church of Ames in I...
Four Ways Racial Inequity Harms American Schoolchildren
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

Four Ways Racial Inequity Harms American Schoolchildren

Black students are more likely to be arrested at school. In the 2013-2014 school year, black students accounted for 16% of students enrolled in U.S. public schools, but 33% of arrests in those schools. That's according to a 2017 analysis of federal data by the Education Week Research Center. Meanwhile, white students accounted for 50% of enrollment and 34% of arrests, and Hispanic students accounted for 25% enrollment and 25% of arrests. "If you've got a kid who is black, there's a decent amount of research that shows that good, well-intentioned and not overtly racist people will look at that situation and judge it to be more threatening," said Josh Gupta-Kagan, a law professor at the University of South Carolina. Gupta-Kagan spoke to NPR's Kat Chow in 2017, two years after a troubling v...
5 Radical Schooling Ideas For An Uncertain Fall And Beyond
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

5 Radical Schooling Ideas For An Uncertain Fall And Beyond

"Never in the modern history of our education system has the importance of family engagement been more apparent," says Alejandro Gibes de Gac, the founder of Springboard Collaborative. Springboard is a social enterprise that looks at families as the "single greatest resource" for helping struggling readers. In pre-pandemic times, it offered a series of hourlong workshops to family members, mostly in low-income communities, coaching them to set goals and practice specific reading concepts with elementary school-age children. In just five weeks, on average, 3 out of 4 of their participants get to the next reading level or even further. And these strategies work even though one-third of Springboard's parents, grandparents and other relatives are unable to access the text their child is holdi...
‘I’m Willing To Fight For America’: 5 Student Activists On Protesting For Change
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

‘I’m Willing To Fight For America’: 5 Student Activists On Protesting For Change

Julian Dowell, 20, Washington, D.C. When he was growing up, Julian Dowell says, his mom was a big advocate for reading up on racism in American history. "In the eighth grade I was reading Cornel West. Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow had just come out," he says. "So when Trayvon Martin occurred, I was actually kind of in my school mobilizing people around me, like, yo, we're gonna do a day where we're all going to wear our hood up." Today Dowell is a junior Georgetown University, studying African-American studies and thinking about adding economics. But his biggest interest is understanding augmented reality technology — and finding a way to use it as a tool to protest and speak out. Julian Dowell, 20, says he's wrestling with the idea of what it means to be an activist right now, an...
Why There’s A Push To Get Police Out Of Schools
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

Why There’s A Push To Get Police Out Of Schools

He points to two separate incidents captured on body cameras in the fall semester of 2019. One officer in Florida put a 6-year-old girl in handcuffs as she sobbed. Another in New Mexico was shown shoving an 11-year-old girl against a wall. Both students were Black. "And what is happening in schools around the country," says Hagopian, "is, instead of figuring out how to help that [student] who's having a difficult time by having counselors, we meet these kids with force." This all adds up to what Monique Morris calls the criminalization of Black students. "The presence of police in schools, I believe, is fueled by a dehumanization of children of color, which suggests that there needs to be a constant surveillance of these children in schools." Morris is the author of the books Pushout and ...
What Parents Can Learn From Child Care Centers That Stayed Open During COVID19 Lockdowns
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

What Parents Can Learn From Child Care Centers That Stayed Open During COVID19 Lockdowns

In a separate, unscientific survey of child care centers, Brown University economist Emily Oster found that, as of Tuesday afternoon, among 916 centers serving more than 20,000 children, just over 1% of staff and 0.16% of children were confirmed infected with the coronavirus. The Y emphasized to NPR that its data is not comprehensive, and the availability of testing has varied across the country. But experts say it's worth taking these low numbers into account. A Valley of the Sun YMCA staff member takes the temperature of a child before she enters child care. (Valley of the Sun YMCA)"There are almost no recorded cases of child-to-adult transmission of COVID-19," says Elliot Haspel, an education policy expert and child care advocate who wrote an op-ed arguing for reopening full-time child...
18 Books to Teach Kids About July 4th
Education, Learning, Teacher

18 Books to Teach Kids About July 4th

Steeped in layers of history, the story of how this country was born is one that’s worth telling. The basics are simple enough for younger children to understand, and you can build on that foundation every year. To help you get started, we’ve put together a fun list of books to teach kids about July 4th. While the holiday marks the United States’ independence from British rule, not all Americans were free until much later. For books and resources about Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating freedom for slaves, click here. Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves! Decked in red, white, and blue, a family heads to a parade, hosts a backyard BBQ with friends and family, dodges an afternoon thundershower, ...
23 Out-Of-This-World Space Activities for Kids
Education, Learning, Teacher

23 Out-Of-This-World Space Activities for Kids

What kid doesn’t dream about being an astronaut one day and visiting the stars? All future astronauts and rocket scientists will love these fun and free space activities for kids. It’s time to blast off for learning! 1. Make a model solar system This is one of those classic space activities for kids that everyone should try at least once. There are hundreds of ways to make one; find one option at the link. Learn more: Gift of Curiosity 2. Snack on the moon phases What goes better with Oreos than a glass of milk? How about a little bit of moon science! We love lessons you can eat when you’re done, don’t you? Learn more: Science Bob 3. Use geoboards to map constellations Geoboards are such a cool classroom tool, and you can use them for so many things—like making constellations. Get free...