Category Archives: Tuesday Trends

The Next Big Thing?

We recently read an article Rural Arkansas Town Rethinks High School that got us thinking. This article talks about a public high school that has changed the way high school operates. Instead of embedding career choices into regular curriculum, they have reworked the structure of their school. They now have “academies” that the students can choose from. The school has programs for healthcare, engineering, and communications. Basically, they are offering students a chance to be a part of the field they think they are interested in.

This is giving students a more rigorous academic experience and allowing them to be more aware of certain job fields. Students are not “stuck” with one program. If they feel healthcare is not the right fit for them, they are able to choose between the other two programs. After four years, if they find that they enjoy these fields but it is not something they want to pursue, they have just saved themselves or their families thousands of dollars of trying them out in college.

Take a look at the article to see what kind of activities the students get to experience on a day to day basis.

Was your high school experience similar to this? Our high school provided no career guidance whatsoever. What a great opportunity these students have!

Stop by our friend, Teacher’s Toolkit, to enter in her 100 follower Giveaway!

We’ve joined up with many of our friends to celebrate this milestone for Teacher’s Toolkit. Enter for a chance to win our Number Recognition {1-30} Center! For this activity, students match a farmer with the appropriate number of fruits. Super cute, fun, and easy!

2011 Writing Assessment

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released the results of the 2011 computer based writing assessment on September 14th. Last year was the first time the test was given on a computer.

The test was give to 8th – 12th graders and consisted of questions and essays. The new test is comprised of two writing prompts. A unique factor in grading these tests, is that the scores are partly given based on how often the students used tools like spell check and other editing tools. Clearly, those with more exposure to computers are going to have the upper-hand in this aspect.

However, even with students being familiar with computers, only about 25% of students were rated as proficient or higher. (The possible grades being: basic, proficient, or advanced.)
Whether the students had a hard time with this test based on a new format, lack of experience with computers, or knowledge level is hard to say. This test is not comparable to other tests from the past.

You can read the full report at the Nation’s Report Card.

Our friend Leah over at Learning 4 Keeps is having a 100 followers giveaway. Be sure to stop be her blog and enter for a chance to win one of our newest activities Nutty About Prefixes along with some awesome resources from our other friends.

Our Nutty About Prefixes activity covers 40 of the most common prefixes. Students match the tops and bottoms of acorns – a prefix with its meaning. There is also a recording sheet included.

Tuesday Trends – Chicago Teacher Strike

By this point, you’ve heard about the Chicago teacher strike. On Monday morning, thousands of teachers left their classrooms behind and took to the streets. For the first time in 25 years, hundreds of thousands of students were left without their teachers.

All teachers believe in fair assessments, adequate pay, etc. It is unfortunate for the children in Chicago to be placed in the middle of the disagreements without doing anything wrong. The Chicago Teachers Union felt a formal strike was the only way to make any progress in the negotiations they have been trying to make for over a year.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis attends a rally Tuesday afternoon in the Loop on the second day of the strike.
September 11th – 4 PM Update

In the latest press release from the Chicago Tribune, they stated that the strike will not end today. We hope for the sake of the students that things will be worked out quickly and classes will resume as soon as possible. While the Union has a right to strike, we need to get those kids back in school!

On a lighter note… Leah at Learning 4 Keeps is having a fun linky party.

Learning 4 Keeps
She asked everyone to share some of the great *laugh out loud* moments found through Pinterest. So here are a few of our favorites…

Tech teacher humor