The Latest Issue of Word Up!
In Focus: In Focus: Spring Into Summer
It may be summer, but that doesn't mean that learning should end! This month, we're focusing on summer learning and what teachers and parents can do to make sure that all kids stay on track.
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Early and sustained summer learning opportunities lead to higher graduation rates, better preparation for college, and positive effects on children's self-esteem, confidence, and motivation. High-quality summer programs keep students engaged in learning, teach them new skills, allow them to develop previously unseen talents, and foster creativity and innovation. Use this checklist to find the perfect summer program for your child!
Heading off to camp, writing pen pals, and listening to a few good books are all great summer activities. Browse our virtual beach bag of ideas just for tweens and teens. You'll find materials to download and print, expert advice on how to communicate your child's needs to summer camp staff, book suggestions, and much more!
This article focuses on eighth-grade summer bridge programs. These unique summer programs offer academic remediation, social support, and orientation activities designed to enhance students' freshman year with the goal of keeping kids in school through high school graduation.
Books & Authors
Do you know Kate DiCamillo? If you shook your head, think again. You and your kids have probably read all her books! Listen in as the author of The Tale of Despereaux, Because of Winn Dixie, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and more describes her struggles to break through as a writer and the role persistence played in her success.
There are so many great titles for summer reading that we couldn't fit all the books on one list! Browse through BOTH of our summer reading lists to find books that let tweens and teens relax a little, have some adventures, earn a little money, or even have a life-changing experience!
In the Classroom
Anticipation guides are beloved by teachers because of their ability to engage all students. These guides challenge students to explore and analyze new information, and to think critically about what they may already know about a topic. In this way, anticipation guides add meaning to the reading even for students who might not be engaged by the topic at first.
Scaffolding is a way of teaching whereby the teacher provides support in the form of modeling, prompts, direct explanations, and targeted questions — offering a teacher-guided approach at first. As students begin to acquire mastery of targeted objectives, direct supports are reduced and the learning becomes more student-guided.
Research & News
As the school year draws to a close, it can get harder and harder to get your child to school on time. Attendance research suggests that there is an important link between attendance and achievement. But how can parents support good attendance habits? Check out this PDF from Attendance Works for tips to keep your teen on track and how to communicate with his or her school. The PDF is available in English and Spanish, and for multiple ages.
Women and girls are historically underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. The authors of this blog post from Scientific American believe that one way to interest more girls in science is through storytelling rather than relying on outdated and fact-laden textbooks. The post provides several examples of recent books that tell fascinating science-based stories and intertwine science and stories.
Video is a powerful medium. And kids' unrelenting fascination with videos is motivating many educators to find ways to leverage them for all kinds of purposes. But the best ways of using videos are not always obvious. Teachers want to know: Among all the millions of videos out there, how do you find the best, across the content areas? Who are the great content creators, and what are the most well-curated sites? What kinds of videos are best for actual instruction? How do you get students engaged in discussion after watching videos? Hold your questions! KQED's Mind/Shift guide has answers for you.