How does a sunset work? We love to look at them, but Jolanda Blackwell wanted her 8th graders to really think about them, to wonder and question.
So Blackwell, who teaches science at Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High in Davis, Calif., had her students watch a video of a sunset on YouTube as part of a physics lesson on motion.
"I asked them: 'So what's moving? And why?'" Blackwell says. The students had a lot of ideas. Some thought the sun was moving, others, of course, knew that a sunset is the result of the earth spinning around on its axis.
Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:28 pm
The protractor and the Bunsen burner. Playing the recorder in music class. Drawing arcs and circles with a compass in geometry. These tools of the education trade become part of our lives for a semester or two and then we move on.
Today, NPR Ed begins a new series examining these icons of the classroom. We start off with a device that once was essential to higher-level math, in school and in the workplace, but now has all but disappeared:
If you're a 12th-grader right now in the Los Angeles schools, that means you probably started kindergarten back in 2001. It also means that, as of this week, you've seen four superintendents come and go.
As we discussed today on Morning Edition, the ouster of John Deasy last week as the head of the nation's second-largest district has renewed a long-running debate about leadership of big-city schools, and particularly the challenges of raising achievement in such a politically charged environment.
Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 1:06 pm
By Steve Drummond
So where do they go, all the teachers, when the bell rings at 3 o'clock?
When you're a kid, you don't really think they go anywhere. Except home, maybe, to grade papers and plan lessons and think up pop quizzes.
And when you find out otherwise, it's a strange experience. Many people remember it vividly: the disorienting feeling of encountering your teacher in the grocery store, or in the line at McDonald's, talking and acting just like other grownups. A jarring reminder that they have lives outside the classroom.
Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:26 pm
By Eve Abrams
Once upon a time, most kids attended things called schools to get an education. And, in those schools, these kids were called students.
Well, times are changing — especially in urban areas with lots of charter schools. In New Orleans, where just about every school receiving public funding is now a charter, we asked a bunch of adults where they had gone to school.
Their answers: Newton Elementary and Newton High School, Warren Easton High School, Epiphany School, Folsom Elementary School, Valena C. Jones School and the Moses Brown School.