Tagged “Service Learning”

Sharon Jacobs

The Power of Community Partnerships

I must begin this post by stating one fact; I am so very appreciative and do not take for granted the number of hours spent in Washington Montessori School on a daily basis by our volunteers and community partners. We partner with local businesses, agencies, city offices, and so many others. Some of our partners help provide food for our back-feeding program for the weekend (where students discreetly get to take home food to eat), clothes for our clothes closet, and healthy snacks for the school day. For example, West Market Street United Methodist Church helps us celebrate birthdays each month and provides supplies for students and staff throughout the school year as well as providing a week-long free summer enrichment camp for students.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

How We Know Kids Living in Poverty Can Meet the Common Core Standards

The Common Core State Standards underscore five key shifts in teaching and learning that place greater emphasis on

  1. Critical thinking, reasoning, and use of evidence to defend an argument.
  2. Deeper conceptual understanding, particularly in math.
  3. Writing, not only through explicit standards for writing, but also through the need to communicate one's reasoning through writing.
  4. Applying learning to real-world situations.
  5. Using informational texts to build content knowledge and literacy.

The shifts embodied in the standards necessitate that students become self-regulating, metacognitive learners. And for each shift, a body of research points toward pedagogies that are particularly effective in helping students who live in poverty meet and achieve the skills, knowledge, and dispositions embodied in the shifts. The brief descriptions below describe these research-based approaches in relationship to a particular shift; however, many of these approaches could apply to more than one shift. The purpose is not to "sell" or promote a particular approach, but rather to illuminate the large volume of evidence that can challenge our mind-sets about students from low-income families and their ability to learn to high standards.

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Gerald A. Lieberman

Fitting the Environment in Education: A Bipartisan Approach?

Once rare, it has now become commonplace to hear news reports and conversations about global climate change, loss of habitat and endangered species, dwindling regional supplies of clean fresh water, and local sewage or hazardous waste spills. This growing concern and awareness about the state of our environment has led to a multitude of complex government regulations and tax policies like those that encourage businesses and homeowners to add solar panels to their homes, require utility companies to undertake habitat restoration projects, and compel cities to implement recycling programs. Environmental issues that—until recently—were viewed as nonpartisan are now often catalysts for partisan wrangling, adding another layer of complexity to any measure directed at ameliorating the impacts of human activity on the environment.

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Start Empathy

Facilitating Leadership

Post written by Laura White for Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, a whole child partner organization.

Amy Potsou and Elizabeth Stickley have a unique approach to educating students. As 3rd grade and 1st grade teachers at North Glendale Elementary School in Kirkwood, Missouri, they strive to help children "walk in the shoes of others, even if they are of a different background," and "assist others because it's the right thing to do,” not because there's a reward. According to Potsou and Stickley, these are the characteristics of a leader—yet these skills are difficult to teach.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Implications of the New “Poor”

Post written by Pam Capasso, Sara Gogel, Tracy Knight, and Janine Norris of Holly Glen Elementary School in Williamstown, N.J.

Holly Glen Elementary School serves approximately 580 students with one-third on free or reduced-price meals. Our school houses English language learners, students with autism, and students from low-income housing. In the past, Holly Glen comprised various socioeconomic levels ranging from upper class to lower income.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Award-Winning Programs Demonstrate Excellence in Summer Learning

Post submitted by Gary Huggins, chief executive officer of whole child partner National Summer Learning Association.

Research has shown that every year, most youth lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in math skills. Low-income youth lose over two months in reading skills. Called the "summer slide," this loss of academic skills disproportionately affects low-income students, contributing to high dropout rates and an ever-persistent academic achievement gap.

But there is evidence that students can avoid this learning loss by attending high-quality summer programs, which help boost student achievement. Three such programs have recently been chosen by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) for the 2012 Excellence in Summer Learning Awards: the United Way of Santa Barbara County (Calif.) Fun in the Sun Initiative, Ohio State University's LiFE Sports Camp, and the GO Project of Lower Manhattan in New York. These programs all demonstrate effective strategies in curbing the effects of summer learning loss by offering strong, individualized instruction and engaging activities for students.

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Klea Scharberg

Throughout February: Engaging Learning Strategies

Learning is active, engaging, and social. Students need to be engaged and motivated in their learning before they can apply higher-order creative thinking skills. They are most engaged when they themselves are part of constructing meaning, not when teachers do it for them. By encouraging students to meet challenges creatively, collaborate, and apply critical-thinking skills to real-world, unpredictable situations inside and outside of school, we prepare them for future college, career, and citizenship success.

Join us throughout February as we examine effective classroom instruction that embraces both high standards and accountability for students' learning. It can be project-based, focused on service and the community, experiential, cooperative, expeditionary ... the list goes on. These engaging learning strategies are grounded in instructional objectives, provide clear feedback, and enable students to thrive cognitively, socially, emotionally, and civically.

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