Culture

Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls is Making a Difference

Amy Poehler, well known for her roles in Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation, has taken her platform and used it to help fight global poverty. Poehler and a colleague of hers, producer Meredith Walker, started Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls in 2007, which originated with a YouTube video series in 2008 to help inspire girls and teens to express themselves. Since then, the web series has grown into a dedicated website that is intended…

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7 Child of Divorce Myths Parents Need to Know

The effect of divorce on children is profound. The nature of divorce means that even with kids involved, adult needs are often prioritized before their children’s, and considering nearly half of all American marriages end in divorce, that’s a lot of children of divorce whose needs are being made secondary. When children’s needs aren’t prioritized in a divorce, it leaves room for misconceptions to run rampant and almost no space at all for truth-telling. These…

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These Non-Violent Video Games Are Ideal for Kids

In the past, many non-violent video games simply weren’t fun, but today that’s no longer the case–and the list of qualifying games is growing. Whether you’re looking for game-based learning or simply games that are fun to play, all of the video games on this list represent an impressive design achievement, and they are definitely worth a play. Whether kids will actually enjoy the game or not, especially in an era dominated by Fortnite and…

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What Counts as Attendance in the Time of COVID-19?

For as long as anyone can remember, taking attendance and rewarding kids for showing up has been a time-honored school ritual. Like so many other aspects of education, that simple measure — “here” or “absent” — is not so simple anymore. States are having to update their attendance policies to cover the realities of virtual learning, and where school is being held in-person, strict coronavirus health protocols mean students must now stay home at the…

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4 Tips for Building Community in the Online Classroom

Building community among students and teachers is more important now than ever, but it’s also probably never been more difficult as all learning moves online. Teachers can still build strong communities of learners and strong rapport with students, however, even without seeing them in person. Here are four tips for building community in the online classroom.  1. Frequent communication is a must to begin building classroom community. Sending a welcome email at the beginning of…

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How to Teach Financial Literacy to Young Adults

Young people today face a staggering number of elaborate financial decisions, but most of them are not yet ready to make well-informed choices about money as they proceed into adulthood. According to a 2014 study, 3 out of 4 young adults can’t answer simple financial questions. While helping students develop traditional academic knowledge is useful for every child’s future, teaching students about financial literacy can be the difference between a life well lived and a…

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Mindfulness in Schools: How Helpful Is It Really?

When kids at Warner Arts Magnet Elementary School act up, they aren’t sent straight to the principal’s office. Instead, many students at the high-poverty school in Nashville go to the mindfulness room. The serene space is awash in sunlight and brimming with plants. There are yoga mats, toys, a lounging nook and soothing music drifting out of a desk speaker. In this room, teacher Riki Rattner, who is also trained as a yoga instructor, helps…

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Teaching Climate Change to Students of All Ages

Climate change, also known as global warming, has received much attention. It is also a source of much controversy. Yet while debate continues about how to best understand and manage our changing climate, scientists agree that it does have an impact. In fact, one of the essential principles of teaching climate change to students is the message that it has consequences for the earth and human lives. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration…

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5 Top Tips for Motivating Students

Teachers can know their content backwards and forwards, and they probably put hours into their lesson plans. But if motivating students hasn’t been taken into account by parents and teachers, learning won’t happen. According to a new working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, a multidisciplinary research collaborative housed at Harvard University, childhood experiences may make motivation harder for some students. The paper takes a look at the machinery of motivation:…

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How Teachers are Using Harry Potter to Connect with Students

Whether you’re a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, or muggle still hoping your Hogwarts letter will arrive by owl, it is undeniable that Harry Potter has had a lasting impact throughout the world. Quidditch is no longer just a game of fantasy. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is more than a textbook to pick up in Diagon Alley. Hogwarts is no longer a place you can only dream of visiting. Let’s take a look…

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