Tue October 28, 2014

The Many, Many Secret Lives Of Teachers

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 9:29 am

Erin Pruckno, a preschool teacher in Washington, D.C. (clockwise from top left); Mei-Ling Uliasz, a second-grade teacher in Danbury, Conn.; Elizabeth Metzger, right, an educator in south Florida, with a friend at a football game; and Mathias "Spider" Schergen, who teaches at Jenner Elementary Academy of the Arts in Chicago.
Elissa Nadworny NPR (left column) and Courtesy of Mei-Ling Uliasz and Elizabeth "Biz" Metzger

Since we launched our project last week, we've heard from hundreds of you on Twitter, in email and on Facebook. And the responses are still coming in.

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Mon October 27, 2014

Making Jewelry From Buttons And Bottle Caps

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 1:22 pm

Doll's-eye necklace pendant
Courtesy of Mei-Ling Uliasz

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Artist? Carpenter? Quidditch player? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

When she's not teaching second-graders in Connecticut, Mei-Ling Uliasz turns bottle caps and little tin cars and brass protractors and other found objects into whimsical "upcycled" jewelry.

Tell us about your secret life.

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Sun October 26, 2014

A New Orleans Family's Lives Changed In An Instant

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 2:38 pm

Five-year-old Kyle Romain sits on the lap of his grandmother, Barbara Romain, at a football game. Kyle lost his sight when he was hit by a stray bullet two months ago.
Eric Westervelt/NPR

NPR Ed is reporting this year on the extraordinary changes in the New Orleans schools.

I was in New Orleans to report on how the city's nearly all-charter school system is handling children with disabilities and special needs.

An old friend, a veteran New Orleans reporter, told me about a family — a mother and her two youngest sons — who'd been badly wounded in a drive-by shooting just days into the new school year.

I met up with Alanna Romain at a recreation league football game at City Park. She has five children. Her oldest boy plays football.

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Fri October 24, 2014

Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why?

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 3:42 pm

The Limbic Reward System lights up when curiosity is piqued.
LA Johnson NPR

How does a sunset work? We love to look at one, but Jolanda Blackwell wanted her eighth-graders to really think about it, 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.

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Wed October 22, 2014

The Slide Rule: A Computing Device That Put A Man On The Moon

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 12:54 pm

LA Johnson NPR

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:

The slide rule.

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