Category Archives: school

Deep reading

Are your kids reading more, now that they are digi-kids?

Most kids are reading more words: simply add up the amount of time they spend on non-gaming screens.

However, all the screen time is creating a new challenge just being recognized by educators: screen readers are skimmers. They tend to flip rapidly through a text. To counter-balance this, “deep reading,” or reading for sophisticated understanding of content, is now the focus of classroom reading time.

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Wellness goes to school

In this new year, watch for signs that the culture of wellness has moved to school.

Look for words like “energizing,” “energy flow” and “frequent” in references to physical education. Watch for higher expectations of student’s personal responsibility, whether it’s charging the Chrome book every night or checking online for homework assignments.

Among administrators there’s a heightened awareness to helping students balance academics, emotional health and physical well-being. Now we’ll see how much of that “healthy living” language filters down to impact individual students.

School lunch transformation

If resolutions have included an upgrade of the brown bag you pack for school, ask your child what classmates bring to eat.

In a single school cafeteria, it’s now common to see kids eating vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan meals. The Junior Chef generation, that has grown up watching You Tube cooking videos, is bringing food experimentation to school.

Slamming shut the lockers

The sound of slamming lockers won’t echo in our kid’s memories. An increasing number schools are locker-free.

Instead, students at these schools are given low-cost Chromebooks
which allows access to all textbooks and library resources.

This also allows schools to eliminate labor-intensive security sweeps of lockers.

Kids cope with uncertainties

The uncertainties and fears of everyday life have triggered new attempts to help kids develop personal resilience.

This fall, some schools are prioritizing strategies to help students cope.

As a result, classroom breaks might include quiet music, a non-competitive game on the playground (even when it’s not PE!) or line-dancing. Some teachers pull out a joke book, merely to trigger laughter and a release of pent-up emotions.

Will it help children feel empowered to cope with life? It’s worth a try.

Silent cells

“No cell from bell to bell” has become far more prevalent at high schools this year.

Students are typically told to put cells on silent and store in backpacks during the day, although some schools are allowing phone use during lunch. Parent messages come through the school office.

At least one reputable study concluded that banning phone usage in schools leads to higher test scores for multiple reasons, including the fact that students are less distracted. I’m wondering if we’ll see a decrease in cyber bullying, too.

The security arsenal expands

I’m surprised that conversations about school safety have barely touched on what promises to be a huge issue: school use of facial recognition technology.

Some question the accuracy of the technology, requesting testing across demographics, but the biggest concern has focused on privacy. Future discussions will undoubtedly include the potential of federal oversight, but it’s definitely a potential tool to consider in a school security arsenal.