24 September 2008

Ingenuity in K-12 Classes

Wondering how to get your math, social studies, reading, or science students to sit up and get engaged?

Students are full of ideas. So wrap your content around this question …..Got an idea that could change the world, or at least help a lot of people?

Why? Google wants to hear from you -- and they'll pay as much as $10 million to make your idea a reality.

Yup, critical thinking exists in every school content area. And, this question shows students the power of using thinking skills to help yourself and others. I am a big fan of improving thinking skills – being better analyzers of data and using creative solutions to solve issues – because that is a basic life skill.

Thinking, isn’t it a shame that more teachers don’t emphasize it during lessons? Here is a real world opportunity. Learn more by clicking here and read the Google notice.

22 September 2008

The United States of France?

I know this is an education blob but when I read this article in Time it made so much sense. Read it for yourself by clicking here. One paragraph that caught my attention...

"We've always dismissed the French as exquisitely fed wards of their welfare state. They work, what, 27 hours in a good week, have 19 holidays a month, go on strike for two days and enjoy a glass of wine every day with lunch — except for the 25% of the population that works for the government, who have an even sweeter deal. They retire before their kids finish high school, and they don't have to save for a $45,000-a-year college tuition because college is free. For this, they pay a tax rate of about 103%, and their labor laws are so restrictive that they haven't had a net gain in jobs since Napoleon. There is no way that the French government can pay for this lifestyle forever, except that it somehow does."

So how does the education system in France rate? The OECD, currently ranks France's education as the 25th best in the world.

USA education is primarily a State and local responsibility. It is States and communities, as well as public and private organizations of all kinds, that establish schools and colleges, develop curricula, and determine requirements for enrollment and graduation. The structure of education finance in America reflects this predominant State and local role. Of an estimated $1 trillion being spent nationwide on education at all levels for school year 2007-2008, a substantial majority will come from State, local, and private sources. This is especially true at the elementary and secondary level, where just over 91 percent of the funds will come from non-Federal sources.

In 1999, France's GDP was close to FF 9,000 billion (EUR 1,330 billion) per resident. Of this total, just over FF 600 billion (EUR 95 billion) were devoted to initial or continuing education: 7.2% of GDP.

In 2005 the USA GDP was $12.4 trillion. The federal funds attributed to K-12 education was almost 3%.

The US spends more per student on average per year but both US and France fall in the range of $8,000 - $8,800 per K-12 student (USD).

Read about education in France here .

Keep the faith and don't forget to vote.

21 September 2008

Got STEM in Your Lesson

A Global Challenge
A global project-based competition for high school students with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics of the complexities of global warming and the future of energy. Come learn from and interact with the Executive Director, David Gibson, and find out how students gain 21st Century skills through a self-guided project.

Innovative Programs Foster Education
During the course of the program, students will have the opportunity to work with the Global Institute of Sustainability to research and develop designs to mitigate the urban heat island, participate in “cognitive apprenticeships” with companies like Boeing, Intel, SRP, Motorola, and Microchip, and team up with the Mars Education Program to design autonomous rovers capable of navigating Mars-like terrain.

Say it - report cards: teachers, students, and parents

Remember nature? Southwest glory is here.

Teachers for Green Schools

Green School News

Education Gaming News

Facebook: Collaborate With K-12 Educators

Secret Of Engaging Students


19 September 2008

Okay to Bailout Wall Street but not K-12 Education - huh?

The news about covering the gushing wounds of greed on Wall Street is common news around the globe. Just how much are the taxpayers – you and me – going to pay in the name of stabilizing the financial markets?

"We're talking hundreds of billions of dollars - this needs to be big enough to make a real difference and get at the heart of the problem. "This is the way we stabilize the system." Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson

I understand why the Bush leadership is doing this move but I’m not saying I agree with the approach or the tactics. In case you missed the video I made, here are some key expenditures that put funding education in perspective……

--> $8,246: annual average spending per K-12 student in USA.
National Education Association – Ranking and Estimates 2005

--> $22,632: annual average spending per incarcerated person, excluding federal facilities. Department of Justice – State Prison Expenditures 2001

--> $49,026: average USA K-12 teacher salary in 2005-06.
National Education Association – Ranking and Estimates 2005

--> $361,000: annually to put a soldier, Marine, airman or sailor in Iraq or at bases and on ships in the region according to the Congressional Research Service. Houston Chronicle, April 29, 2006

So here is my question, why are we going to spend “hundreds of billions of dollars” on Wall Street - a number produce by greed and mismanagement - and we are unwilling to spend some serious cash to better educate our K-12 students – the future leaders of this world … cleaning up the messes of the people in power now? Go figure. Better yet, send the President and Speakers an email to tell them your thoughts at ……

President George W. Bush

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Speaker Harry Reid


Remember nature? Southwest glory is here.

Teachers for Green Schools

Green School News

Education Gaming News

Facebook Here's A Quick Way To Collaborate With K-12 Educators Worldwide

18 September 2008

Keep that Money Rolling' - K-12 Teacher Grant Resources

Youth Service America is offering the annual State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning: grants for youth-led community improvement projects across the United States and Canada. The program offers one hundred grants of up to $1,000 each to teachers and service-learning coordinators who engage youth (ages 5 to 25) in implementing service-learning projects on Global Youth Service Day, April 24-26, 2009. Click here for more info.

Toyota Tapestry Grants for Science Teachers
A partnership between Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. , Inc. and the National Science Teachers Association, the Toyota Tapestry Grants for Science Teachers program offers grants to K-12 science teachers for innovative projects that enhance science education in the school and/or school district. The program will award fifty large grants and a minimum of twenty mini-grants, totaling $550,000 in all, for projects implemented during the 2009-10 school year. Project categories are Physical Science Application, Environmental Science Education, and Integrating Literacy and Science.

The Target Field Trip Grants program will award U.S. educators grants of up to $800 each to fund a field trip for their students. Target Field Trip Grants may be used to fund trips to art museums, cultural events, civic experiences, and environmental sites. Up to five thousand grants will be awarded across the United States.

NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation supports a variety of efforts by teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff to improve student learning in America's public schools, colleges, and universities. Learning & Leadership Grants provide opportunities for teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff to engage in high-quality professional development and lead their colleagues in professional growth. The grant amount is $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study.

Remember nature? Check out the Southwest here.

Green School News

Education Gaming News

08 September 2008

K-12 Grant Resources

Teacher as Researcher Grant This grant supports classroom teachers who undertake action research inquiries about literacy and instruction. Grants will be awarded up to US$5,000, although priority will be given to smaller grants (e.g., $1,000 to $2,000) in order to provide support for as many teacher researchers as possible.

Improving Students’ Understanding of Geometry Grants for Grades K–8 Teachers
The purpose of this grant is to develop activities that will enable students to better appreciate and understand some aspect of geometry that is consistent with the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics of NCTM. For 2009–2010, grants with a maximum of $3,000 each will be awarded to persons currently teaching at the grades K–8 level.

George Lucas Foundation List of Grants
The George Lucas Educational Foundation is a nonprofit operating foundation and is not a grant-making organization. The comprehensive list at this web site includes grant information for all subjects and grade levels.


Teachers for Green Schools: you can support social responsibility and build character education skills in students.

Education Gaming News

The Secret Of Engaging Students

Green School News

06 September 2008

Constructing Innovative Teaching

Service Learning: Community Café
The Community Café is a table-service soup kitchen that has served more than 15,000 meals to needy residents since December 2006. Kristen Allcorn founded the Café as part of a high school community service project.

Project Based Learning: Digital-age projects give students room to follow their own interests.
Elise Mueller is a Bellingham, Wash., teacher who seems to be in an ideal setting for project-based learning to thrive. She and two fellow elementary teachers share teaching responsibilities for grades 3-5. Students come to Mueller's room for social studies and language arts; her colleagues teach science and math. All three teachers integrate technology, and they regularly plan projects that cut across disciplines. But as Mueller told me recently in an interview for Northwest Education magazine, there's still one remaining challenge: getting students on board.

Education Games: One Stop Resources - all subjects
The world of wikis is … well rich and wicked too.
Finally, a decent resource for all you interested in exploring the world of education video games. Check out this Education Game Resource wiki and you’re bound to learn at least one new resource today.

Online Teacher Community

K-12 Green Ed News

04 September 2008

Moving Forward: Rewiring K-12 Lessons

This video clip is worth a view for three reasons minimum ....
1. You will know exactly what the financial commitment of politicians is today for K-12 education.
2. You will gain some ideas in designing K-12 lessons
3. Your ideas of what education "is" will be refreshed.


Want Your Students To Increase Participation?

Here's A Quick Way To Collaborate With K-12 Educators On Facebook.

02 September 2008

Global Ed Village: International Perspectives on K-12 Education

A different cut today at viewing K-12 education. Let’s take a look at what is in the international news: here and here.. After all, the world really is a global village. We need some earnest dialogues and efforts about sharing success of education with all countries. That will help shorten the learning curve and build a brighter future for the younger generations.

If you are aware of any efforts and/or dialogues please tell me so I can follow them.

Americans say U.S. schools don't teach needed skills
Half of Americans say U.S. schools are doing only a fair to poor job preparing kids for college and the work force. Even more feel that way about the skills kids need to survive as adults, an Associated Press poll released Friday finds.

Nigeria: Aliyu Vows to Eradicate Education Backwardness
SENATOR Nuhu Aliyu (PDP, Niger North) has pledged to contribute his quota to the reversal of the education backwardness of the people of his constituency.

Outdoor classes start in schools
The foundation phase includes classes outdoors and experience of the environment. It starts with three and four year olds and extends up to the age of seven. But a teaching union said staff were under "enormous pressure" to deliver, without the promised level of funding.

French education minister finally admits defeat in battle against the English language
For generations the French have viewed the English language as an ugly tongue furthering brutal Anglo-Saxon values around the world. But after years of fighting its increasing influence, the French government finally admitted 'Oui - the secret of success is speaking English.'

The Secret Of Engaging Students.
Green School News
Education Gaming News
Go There -> Quick Way To Collaborate With K-12 Educators On Facebook.

01 September 2008

Do You Find Yourself Saying: "I Wish I Knew How My Students Are Thinking?"

Student feedback is essential for teachers to grasp the class knowledge and to determine the correct strategy for teaching. Taking that feedback personally can shatter or inflate an ego. Instead, look at the news objectively …. as sign posts on the road of improvement. Teachers, to excel, we need to know what methods and strategies to hang onto cause they work, and what to let go of.

Our students are our best mechanism for understanding our teaching successes and/or gaps.

The Secret Of Engaging Students.

Green School News Education Gaming News
Here's A Quick Way To Collaborate With K-12 Educators On Facebook.