DIY: How to Find Local Grants

Blog, Grants
How to Find Local Grants for Teachers The beginning of any large project can be a daunting task, especially a project that could ultimately earn your school a large amount of money - if done correctly. Even the initial stages of the grant application process can be overwhelming! This early anxiety about the research stage can be summed up by one all too common question among teachers interested in grant writing: Where can I find a grantor who would want to support my students? For many teachers nationwide, this question can usually be answered locally! It is most often the case that your school district or city has an education foundation or community foundation of some sort.  What is a Local Education Foundation? It is always surprising to me as…
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Kinesthetic Engagement in the Virtual Classroom

Kinesthetic Engagement in the Virtual Classroom

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Kinesthetic Engagement in the Virtual Classroom The coronavirus pandemic has forced many students out of school and required educators to create virtual classrooms. Now that the school year is starting up again, many school districts have opted for a virtual or hybrid model in favor of in-person schooling. While virtual or hybrid options are the best for stopping the spread of COVID-19, they present new challenges for supporting students' social and academic success. The classroom environment should be set up to promote students' physical and intellectual development. Especially in elementary classrooms, students have the opportunity for daily exercise and play. Play helps children develop their creativity, physical strength, cooperation with others, and emotional strength. These areas all key for brain development! Consequences of Virtual Learning Now, imagine taking all of…
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BDNF on the Brain: Movement-Based Learning

BDNF on the Brain: Movement-Based Learning

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BDNF on the Brain: Movement-Based Learning In our last post, we talked about the effects of ACEs on the ability to learn. This post focuses on how movement impacts the brain in several ways that are important for children with ACEs. First, movement increases levels of glutamate in the brain through brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This messenger neurotransmitter is responsible for starting and maintaining the communication between nerve cells. Communication is crucial for smooth brain functioning and complex thought (Maddock, 2016). What is BDNF? Exercise increases the release of small proteins called “growth factors.” These growth factors promote the growth, maintenance, and repair of neurons which can be disrupted as a consequence of ACEs. Growth factors are key in maintaining plasticity in the brain through adulthood. The specific growth factor…
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ACEs and Learning

ACEs and Learning

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The Effects of ACEs on Learning What are ACEs? Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are any instances of abuse, neglect, or trauma experienced by a minor (Center for Disease Control 2019). Examples of ACEs are health problems, divorce, sexual and physical abuse, and emotional and physical neglect (Jarvis, 2018). A study of 17,000 participants found that 64% of people had one ACE and 12.4% had four or more (The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2013). Furthermore, children with at least one confirmed ACE probably have more than one ACE(Mersky, Topitzes, & Reynolds, 2013).  ACEs can have a major impact on a student's ability to learn. Research shows that higher dropout rates, low academic achievement, and lower school engagement are more common with students with ACEs. Shockingly, students with three or more ACEs…
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Famous Black Mathematicians and Their Contributions

Famous Black Mathematicians and Their Contributions

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8 Famous Black Mathematicians and Their Contributions Happy Juneteenth! On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Galveston Bay, TX were notified that they, along with the more than 250,000 other enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree. The contributions of African Americans throughout our nation’s history are numerous and significant. Today, we want to highlight and celebrate the Black mathematicians who have greatly impacted our nation and the future of mathematics. Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806) Benjamin Banneker was a primarily self-educated mathematician and astronomer. He is best known for building America's first clock at the age of 24 - a wooden device that struck hourly. He also was able to accurately forecast lunar and solar eclipses. Banner's deep curiosity and understanding of mathematics greatly paved the way years before…
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Fun Activities To Get You and Your Child Excited About Learning

Fun Activities To Get You and Your Child Excited About Learning

Activities, Blog
Fun Activities to Get You and Your Child Excited About Learning Parent Engagement and Math A parent’s self-confidence in math is said to be “the strongest predictor of mathematics achievement” [1]. If a parent doesn't understand the material a student is learning, don’t feel confident in the content, or if they simply dislike math, these feelings can easily be passed down to their child. Good news! There are many ways to overcome the barriers that can prevent parent engagement in student learning. Feeling a lack of inspiration for engagement activities? We have compiled a list of some activities for you and your student to try! Even though most schools will be ending this month, you can try these out this summer at home, and carry them into fall! 7 Ways…
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The Importance of Parental Engagement

The Importance of Parental Engagement

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The Importance of Parental Engagement And what it really means. Joining the PTA, chaperoning field trips, and running school bake sales can come to mind when picturing parental engagement. But is that what parental engagement is really about? Not necessarily. These types of activities are parental involvement. They are incredibly important for supporting the school, teachers, and students’ attitudes about education. Parental engagement, on the other hand, has the potential to deepen the trust that you are invested in your child’s education and also improve their educational achievement [1]. Parental engagement is defined as “parents and teachers sharing a responsibility to help their children learn and meet educational goals” [2]. Parents can help by assisting with homework and encouraging fun, educational activities during a child’s free time [1]. To put in…
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6 Ways to Thank a Teacher This Week

6 Ways to Thank a Teacher This Week

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6 Ways to Thank a Teacher This Week This year, Teacher Appreciation Week looks a little different. With schools closed nationwide and online alternatives to education becoming the current teaching method, everyone has had to adjust tremendously. Parents, students, and especially teachers, have had to adjust quickly to a type of schooling that most have never experienced before. Teachers deserve to be appreciated every day. Right now, they are navigating unknown and challenging circumstances and we are blown away by their resilience. Here are six ways to thank your child's teacher this week: Record a video message of you and your child, thanking the teacher for all that they have done.  Let your child design a digital card or color a picture that shares their appreciation for their teacher and all…
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We Have a Math Crisis. Here’s How to Solve It.

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We Have a Math Crisis. Here's How to Solve it. Americans are lagging behind other countries in math. Many students have difficulty with math from an early age that affects their entire math education. This so-called 'math crisis' stems from students’ difficulty in understanding math concepts. Innumeracy-- what John Allen Paulos calls “the mathematical equivalent of not being able to read”--has become a long-term trend among American students. In 2012, the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) evaluation of 15-year-old students’ math scores found that Americans rank 24 out of 29 industrialized nations. America ranks behind 23 countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Spain. In recent years, this trend hasn’t shown signs of improvement. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics found that, in 2018, only 25% of American…
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Home Study Tips For School Closure

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10 Home Study Tips to Prepare Parents and Teachers for School Closures Many schools have closed their doors and encouraged teachers and parents to adopt a home study plan until it’s possible to re-open. In the meantime, students still need to complete their classwork. Teachers and parents should work together to make sure students have the resources and guidance they need to excel at school. Check out these ten tips for transitioning students to home study and online classrooms.Online Classroom Transition Tips for Teachers1. Plan Homework AheadTo make sure students stay on track with school curriculum, look ahead in your lesson plan. Create a take-home packet with any class work, homework, and extra materials students might need. Include a list of instructions for parents to guide student learning.2. Keep Parents…
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