Here is an example of the way that schools are using the current financial crisis to teach students about the stock market and the importance of saving and investing at a young age. The program, called The Stock Market Game, allows students to use up to $100,000 of hypothetical money to buy, sell, and trade stocks over the course of a semester. Most students are losing money these days when they invest, but the teachers see it as a good opportunity to talk about using the stock market to invest in the long term, not just over a 10 ...


Last night after work, I still had Sean Cavanagh's Education Week story about how American culture discourages girls from cultivating high-level math skills up on my computer screen when my roommates—who are, notably, both women—came in to check their e-mail and catch me up on the day's events. As my first roommate began to log on to her account, she read the headline of Sean's story (American Culture Seen to Thwart Girls' Math Development) and to my surprise exclaimed, "That's so true!" which sparked a long discussion about their associations with math and gender. Although I've read numerous ...


Students in cash-incentive programs in both Washington and Chicago got paid last week, according to this AP article. It'll be awhile until we know whether or not these plans are actually working, although teachers in Washington say that they've seen less tardiness since the program has been in place. I wonder whether students will be more motivated to earn more cash now that they've seen one pay day or whether interest in the program will wane as the year goes on. What's your prediction?...


My colleague Kathleen Kennedy Manzo recently wrote an article about Freedom Schools, run by the Children's Defense Fund or CDF, which have after-school and summer programs in disadvantaged communities in six states. The program aims to provide after-school homework help and boost children's reading skills and is rooted in community involvement. The tutors are university students who are trained to help kids and often take place in churches, community centers, and schools. So far, research suggests that the program has helped improved reading skills of those students who have participated. “Freedom Schools have always been conceived of as parallel institutions ...


PBS has launched a new Web site called Ready to Learn that provides resources for educators, parents, and caregivers to help children between the ages of about 2 to 5 learn how to read (or get ready to learn how to read). The site includes tips on ways to integrate reading lessons into everyday activities such as going to the grocery store and driving in the car, book recommendations based on age level and theme, as well as printable and interactive games on the computer that help teach children basic literary skills. By encouraging parental involvement, hosting games with familiar ...


Back in September, Kevin wondered whether recent economic failures in the U.S. would provide an opportunity to raise discussions about the teaching of economic literacy. Since then, many other events have shaken up the economy in the U.S. and around the world, reinforcing the importance of teaching kids financial responsibility and economics. This article in The Christian Science Monitor talks about how parents are using the recent economic downturn as a way to talk to their children about money. Just as adults are worried and nervous about what is going on, so are children, says the article, and ...


It's not always just students who need to be motivated to be involved with school—sometimes parents and community members need a little motivation, too. As we've seen over and over again, community involvement is a key part of student engagement and success. That's why I think this program, which encourages community leaders to spend a day shadowing a principal in their school district, is really important. Seeing the ins and outs of how the school operates as well as what students are doing in class can really make the importance of community involvement tangible for leaders....


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