K-12 Groups Call to Action -- THE TEACHERS EDITION -- November 25, 2016

The Teachers Edition

What Teachers Are Talking About This Week

November 25, 2016  |  Sign up to receive The Teachers Edition.

It's Time to Retire Corporal Punishment

Corporal Punshiment

Secretary King sent a letter to the 22 states still using corporal punishment, strongly urging them to abandon the practice, which is often used more frequently on students of color. In fact, black girls are 2.9 times as likely as white girls to be corporally punished in schools. Read King's letter to states still using corporal punishment

Free App Lets Teachers Teach, Kids Play & Learn

App of the Week

Introducing: Apps for Educators

The Teachers Edition will occasionally bring you apps we've found that teachers may want to use in their classroom. This week: Kahoot. 

What’s more fun in a classroom than playing games? Kahoot is a free app for teachers to quiz, survey, and start discussions with their students. Anyone with a device and internet connection can play, and it’s simple for teachers to set up. In a quiz or skills practice scenario, the teacher sets up the questions with multiple choice answers in advance. Kids get the code, set up a name, and they’re ready to play! 

A Book for All America, but Especially Young People

March - book award

The National Book award for young people’s literature was given to “March: Book Three,” the final volume in a graphic-memoir trilogy about the civil rights movement, by Georgia Representative John Lewis; the writer Andrew Aydin; and the artist Nate Powell

In an emotional speech, Mr. Lewis, a respected civil rights activist, described how growing up in rural Alabama with little money for books, he and his siblings were turned away at the public library, told it was for whites only. “And to come here and receive this award, it’s too much,” he said (Alter, New York Times).

Provide Movement Breaks for Students

As the weather starts to cool down, it’s the time of year that teachers face even more wiggly bodies than usual. WeAreTeachers offers 11 quick and easy ways to provide students a way to get out of their chairs and increase their opportunities to move. Children and adults of all ages need movement, what better way to do it than together? Teachers may also be pleasantly surprised to have better focus from the students after having an opportunity to get the wiggles out (Tornio, WeAreTeachers.com). 

Teacher, Students Challenged by New Science Standards

science students in classroom

The Next Generation Science Standards are doubtless complex and challenging, but junior high science teacher Kirk Lange of Channahon Junior High School (Channahon, Ill.), sees them as a way to incorporate inquiry and increase a hands-on approach to learning science. The inquiry basis and use of technology as an “accelerant” has led to some big changes in Lange’s classroom: “It’s a lot less of me telling them science and a lot more of them discovering science themselves,” he said (Millsap, Morris Herald-News).

Honda Robotics Robot

2066 - What Will the World Look Like?

Help your school or community earn a live demonstration of Honda Robotics products by creating a video, photo or essay showing how robotics will impact society by the year 2066. Honda is taking its philosophy of using the Power of Dreams to the classrooms with the Honda Robotics Contest. Students, clubs or other organizations can win a visit from Honda's humanoid robot ASIMO! 

Mixed up files

Art Immersion on a Different Level

If you have ever been jealous of the mischievous children in The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler for running away to live in the MET, then the Hammer Museum is at your service. The museum provides an opportunity for two Title I schools a year to spend an entire week conducting classes under their roof. Students that may not otherwise have an opportunity to access the beautiful resource are provided a special chance to learn how art can be used to develop analytical skills and support other subject areas and teachers are provided professional development on how to infuse art work into lesson planning (Neely, scpr.org).

K-12 Groups Issue Call to Action

A diverse group of national education organizations has issued a call to action that will "reaffirm the inclusive values that are the foundation of healthy learning cultures," and urges all education stakeholders to to support all students, especially those who face bias incidents in their schools. "These actions should specifically affirm the right of all students, regardless of race, color, national origin, immigration status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or religion to be educated in an environment free from fear, violence, and intimidation," the statement said (Blad, Education Week).  

Starting in HS, Diversifying the Teacher Profession

Young men of color

Schools districts in Kentucky are focusing efforts to diversify the teaching profession starting in high school through the Young Male Leadership Academy. Teaching professionals are still largely represented by white women and to break that trend Kentucky stakeholders are educating young men of color on the benefits of teaching, and also, attending college. Not all the young men may end up teaching, but the hope is that they all learn the value of college (Kelly, KentuckyTeacher.org). 

Accountability for Supporting High Achievers

Accountability measures often address the neediest of students, and that’s absolutely needed, but how are states tracking the services for students that are already meeting proficiency? Fordham Institute’s Chester Finn, Jr. argues that not pushing high achievers even farther does a disservice to those students and to our global competitiveness. Finn acknowledges that some may argue that focusing on high achievers equate this with classism or racist tendencies, but he argues that there are students of color and from poverty waiting to be challenged (Finn, Fordham Institute).

Resources to Use

What We Heard from Educators This Week

King with Leaders

5. “If teachers don’t feel valued by their supervisors, pay doesn’t matter.” Teacher, South Carolina

4. "We see value in meeting students where they are...so we can meet their social and emotional needs." Teacher, North Carolina. 

3. "My own voyage is to practice and teach empathy." Teacher, Louisiana.

2. “Nothing happens in schools without a good teacher.” Teacher, South Carolina

1. "We love our work or we wouldn't do it. If you empower us, we can do great things." Teacher, North Carolina