Nan Austin Blog
Posted by Nan Austin on August 20, 2014
These first weeks of school, I have been seeking out Common Core lessons to watch and get a feel for what has changed. Here are some notes that never made it into the stories:
• Classrooms seem louder as teachers call for responses and ask kids to discuss points. Enthusiasm and energy echo off the walls on elementary campuses. The older kids, used to straight note-taking, have not all embraced having to talk about the lessons. At both age levels, kids seem to be paying more attention. Time will tell if that lasts through May.
• The premise that kids can direct the learning sounded like so much edu-speak, but after watching it in action, it makes sense. Kids can pick a topic – how fast race cars go, or how many miles to Paris. If the object is learning to multiply, either one works. With standards more focused on the big stuff, teachers have more leeway for how to set up assignments.
Posted by Nan Austin on August 13, 2014
The cutting edge comes with a learning curve in educational technology. But ready or not, here we go into a world where the whiz-bang device isn’t the point. It’s what kids can do with them that matters.
Posted by Nan Austin on August 6, 2014
Keynote speaker Alex Kajitani’s signature style of merging music with numbers to reach young students and improve their math skills was shared Wednesday at the After School Summer Institute, hosted by the Stanislaus County Office of Education.
Posted by Nan Austin on July 30, 2014
Lessons in courage and compassion still come on the field and in the pool as young athletes show sportsmanship, a sometimes rare quality in the professional sports world.
Posted by Nan Austin on July 23, 2014
Fair farm animals versus dittoed sheets: Two ways of learning lay out the hopes for hands-on, real-life Common Core lessons, compared with the assembly-line stress too many classrooms endured over the past few years. Here are some tips for parents on what to look for and ways to help their students thrive in the coming school year.
Posted by Nan Austin on July 16, 2014
It’s mid-July and summer is more than half over for schoolkids and teachers. Time to take those day trips to the beach or camp under the big trees.
Posted by Nan Austin on July 9, 2014
Results of a first-ever international test of 15-year-olds’ financial savvy released Wednesday shows plenty of room for improvement in U.S. schools.