February Vacation Activities in the Boston Area

There are many fun activities for families to enjoy in the Boston area over February vacation. Check out our list of  activities and events happening around Boston in February 2023. Have a great break! February Vacation Week: LEGO Maritime Festival When: Sat 2/18/23 – Sun 2/26/23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Where: USS Constitution Museum Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown, MA, 02129 Age: kids, teens, adults Cost: free with donation Let your imagination set…

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How Shop Class Can Boost College Enrollment

College isn’t for everyone, many argue. But what is the alternative? An old idea is to train kids in a trade in high school via shop class. However, high school trade programs have had a deservedly bad reputation as a “dumping ground” for low-income students, providing a subpar education and failing to prepare young adults for the modern world. These classes are also bound up with a shameful racial history. When schools were forced to…

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As School Gets Back to Normal, It’s Both Better and Worse

“Things are better this year, right?” I am asked again and again. The short answer, from this high school administrator, is yes and no, depending on which aspect we choose to focus on. On the surface, things are mostly back to normal. We’re not in masks or tracking COVID cases or on a hybrid learning schedule. We’re having assemblies, sporting events, band concerts, and school dances. Hallway shenanigans are back. We had a senior prank…

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Teaching Students to Use Planners

Students have a lot to remember each day. Between completing homework assignments and studying for tests to participating in extracurricular activities, it can be easy for them to become disorganized. Help students stay on the right track by teaching them how to use a planner. Planners keep everything students need to remember in one place to use as a reference that helps them succeed. These handy tools improve productivity, assist with time management, track progress,…

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Why Play is So Very Important for Kids

They say playing is the work of children—and it’s true! Play is how children learn about the world, themselves and each other. It’s as much a part of healthy development as eating vegetables, reading books together and getting a good night’s sleep. Even the United Nations lists play as one of the basic rights of every child. There is no right or wrong way to play. It’s anything from sticking a hand in mashed potatoes to…

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The Bias in Test Optional Admissions

One college admissions officer at a large public university described how test-optional admissions had spurred more disagreements in his office. A third reader on an application was often called in to break a tie when one staffer said ‘yes’ and another said ‘no.’ Without SAT and ACT scores, he explained, the job of admitting students had become more subjective and more time-consuming. “I feel like everyone who reviews applications has their own perspective or opinion,”…

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How Promising is the New Dyslexia Treatment?

In 2019, a grassroots campaign led by parents succeeded in passing a wave of dyslexia treatment legislation. Many states mandated hallmarks of the Orton-Gillingham method, specifically calling for “multisensory” instruction, to help students with dyslexia read and write better.* In New York, the city spends upwards of $300 million a year in taxpayer funds on private school tuition for children with disabilities. Much of it goes to pay for private schools that specialize in the…

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How Much Does Noise Inhibit Learning?

It’s no surprise that loud, unwanted sounds can be disruptive and even damaging to ears. However, even background noise like the air conditioning running, the refrigerator humming and delivery vans idling outside can be cause for concern. According to Nina Kraus, a neurobiology professor at Northwestern University who studies sound, ongoing noises that people claim to “tune out” are unlikely to harm ears, but they can still have a profound effect on the brain. Repeated…

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Here’s Why Middle School Recess Is Important

In Fairfax County, Virginia, thousands of middle school students experience what most of their peers leave behind in elementary school — recess. The break is only 15 minutes long, but at Rocky Run Middle School (about 25 miles west of the nation’s capital), the seventh and eighth graders make the most of one of the few stretches of time in school that they can truly call their own. Fairfax County schools, a district of around…

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Dear Math Letters Can Help Overcome Math Dread

Many students fail to understand the value of math, and some grow to hate it. 15-year veteran math teacher, Sarah Strong, and her high school student, Gigi Butterfield, strove o discover the root of this problem by addressing concerns about negativity around teaching and learning math and why kids hate math (at least some of them). Digging into the feelings math evoked in hundreds of middle and high school students—that math is unnecessary, oppressive, and…

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