How LEGO is Helping to Shape Interactive Learning Environments
Stephan Turnipseed, President Emeritus and Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships at LEGO Education, says that many of the problems facing our classrooms could be resolved through a greater emphasis on interactive learning.

"We know as adults how much we dislike doing things that are not engaging, that are not relevant," he says, explaining that children learn most when they can take ownership over what is covered in the classroom."We have to engage them in the manner in which they are engaging the world. To do less is to deny them the opportunities they deserve."

 

Turnipseed, who is also chairman of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (an advocacy organization), transformed LEGO Education from a product sales company that puts bricks into classrooms into an educational resources leader promoting hands-on learning across America. He explains that the LEGO Education mission is to combine LEGO resources with a unique learning methodology to better prepare students for success.

 

LEGO Education is delivering solutions in classrooms from pre-K to college, and from teaching children how many ways there are to build a duck to analyzing data from robotic sensors, the group is finding a new way to make learning both fun and engaging.  >>READ MORE  

The National Education Association is a proud partner with the Pacer Center in National Bullying Prevention Month. For more National Bullying Prevention Month information: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm.

 

The National Bullying Prevention Month was created in 2006 by the Pacer Center to spread awareness about how to prevent bullying. NEA along with other partners such as the American Federation of Teachers and the National PTA helped Pacer to spread the word about National Bullying Prevention Month and make it an annual event. Facebook, CNN and Yahoo! Kids have also supported the month. So too have Disney and Green Giant.   >>READ MORE 

Annie Adopts Turnaround Arts to Support Struggling Schools

In advance of the release of the highly anticipated motion picture Annie, in theaters on December 19, 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment is helping to support Turnaround Arts, a signature program of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Turnaround Arts works with local program partners to provide intensive arts education resources to clusters of high-poverty schools across the country, leading to increases in attendance, academic achievement, and student engagement. As part of a collaboration with Annie to promote arts education, Turnaround Arts will receive support, and Turnaround Arts schools who want to put on the Broadway classic will get resources and assistance in staging their production.

 

The initiative kicked off Wednesday, September 10, 2014 in Minneapolis, where Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhan� Wallis, and filmmaker Will Gluck visited Northport Elementary, a Turnaround Arts school, where they met the first-through-fifth graders and worked with students preparing to audition for their school production of "Annie."

 

Commenting on the announcement, Margo Lion, Co-Chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, said, "We are thrilled to be working with Sony Pictures and the new film of Annie, a truly beloved American musical, to get more arts education into the schools that need it the most. For any school, producing and performing a musical can be a memorable event. For our Turnaround Arts schools, it can be transformational. Students, parents and teachers get involved building sets, sewing costumes and rehearsing, and the whole community hums with excitement and expectation. In schools that often struggle with low morale and low parent and student engagement, putting on a musical is a doorway into more teamwork and collaboration, and we are excited to be there with Sony Pictures and Annie as the curtain goes up on these efforts."  >>READ MORE 

Portland, Oregon Public Schools Sanctioned for Exclusionary Discipline

The Oregon Department of Education has fined Portland Public Schools for over-disciplining African American special education students at a higher rate than other students. This punishment requires the district to use $1.5 million, which is 15% of its federal funding from Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) during the 2014-2015 school year and the 2015-2016 school year to resolve this issue.

Kelly House of The Oregonian reports that according to district spokesperson Christine Miles, the money is to be used to implement programs that will improve this pattern of disciplining special education students too severely and often.

Portland Public Schools has had a long-term issue with imbalanced discipline of minority young people.  School districts nationwide have had this same issue take place, as The Oregonian previously reported.

Superintendent Carole Smith made oversight of the district's disciplinary practices one of her goals for the 2014-2015 school year.  The state department sanctioned the district in 2011 for this same reason.  >>READ MORE 

UP Academy charter school aims to turn around a Springfield middle school   
The CEO of Boston-based, UP Education Network, which has had success in turning around five low-performing public schools in the eastern part of the state, believes his organization can help transform an underperforming middle school in the city of Springfield.

Former private charter school principal Scott Given, who founded the nonprofit UP Network in 2010, will meet with Springfield School Committee members Monday night to outline the group's proposal to open the first UP Academy west of Interstate-495 in fall 2016.

 

In an interview with The Republican, MassLive.com, Given said, the UP (unlocking potential) Education Network essentially "restarts" existing public schools - from the hiring of principals and teachers to outlining a curriculum with the aim of substantially boosting performance at struggling schools.

 

The city of Springfield requested the proposal from the UP Education Network to help improve performance at a yet-to-be-identified underperforming, or state-rated Level 4, middle school in Springfield.  >>READ MORE 

Jostens and the GRAMMY Foundation� Partner to Support Music Education in Schools   
Jostens, the leading producer of yearbooks and student-created content, today announced a partnership with the GRAMMY Foundation� in support of their GRAMMY in the Schools� music education programs and in celebrating all the moments that matter in high school.  As part of the partnership, GRAMMY� Foundation artist ambassadors Jack Antonoff, Colbie Caillat, and Darius Rucker have created messages for students reflecting on music and their own high school experiences.

In an immediate effort to support music education, Jostens will donate $50,000 to the GRAMMY Foundation today to promote the educational and inspirational impacts of music in high schools.  Additionally, students across the U.S. will have the opportunity to join Jostens in raising up to $100,000 for music education through yearbook and class ring customization offerings between September 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. When a student purchases the music icon for the cover of their Jostens yearbook, Jostens will donate $1 to the GRAMMY Foundation (up to $50,000). When a student purchases a Jostens Heritage� or Achiever� class ring with a Music Design-A-Side�, Jostens will donate $1 to the GRAMMY Foundation (up to $50,000).  

 

"Working with educators to increase the climate and culture across U.S. schools is a priority for Jostens, and music programs are shown to be beneficial to students' motivation and academic achievement," said Chuck Mooty, president and CEO, Jostens. "We are honored to partner with the GRAMMY Foundation to further the work they are doing to support music education in high schools and make a difference in people's lives through music." >>READ MORE  

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Alex alligator arrived at Allison Arthur's apple farm in April, when the apple trees were covered with blossoms.

Brenda was busy baking a batch of blueberry muffins in the kitchen of Butler's Bakery when the bell rang.

A big bug bit a bold bald bear and the bold bald bear bled blood badly.

Fabian Frogmorton stole Freddy's frog Fats on the Friday of the town of Flowerpot's Fabulous Frogs Contest.

Philadelphia, distinct among large urban districts for its long history of pursuing school turnarounds using outside management organizations, has been a real-world laboratory of reform experiments for more than a decade.

 

By studying the successes and failures of the District's recent efforts to turn around academically underachieving schools, a team of researchers wants to create a body of knowledge that all schools can use to improve.

 

The School District and the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education will undertake a two-year, federal grant-funded research partnership to examine school remodeling efforts in Philadelphia, seeking to understand what makes them soar or fall flat.   >>READ MORE 

Washington County Museum hopes to bring more students in on field trips this year with the help of free transportation paid for by a $20,000 grant from the Reser Family Foundation.

 

The foundation awarded the 2014-15 grant to the museum to use for its field trip program, which includes bus transportation scholarships, and new interactive learning stations, said foundation director Mari Jo Prlain.

 

All schools in Washington County can apply for scholarships to cover the cost of transportation to and from the museum on school buses, although the field trips target early elementary students, said Beth Dehn, the museum's curator of education and folklife.   >>READ MORE 

As part of its ongoing "Connect the Dots" STEM education initiative, Discovery Communications announced today it has begun airing a cross-channel public service announcement promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and mentorship. The PSA, a component of Discovery's partnership with US2020 announced at the White House Science Fair in May, features MythBusters co-host Kari Byron and will be showcased on air across all of Discovery's 13 U.S. networks.  >>READ MORE 
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