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July 11, 2019
In the middle of Chicago, an emerging curriculum blooms in a hidden city garden
Most days begin with weeding, planting, or harvesting in the garden, and in the afternoon, students learn about the science and social implications behind their work.
more than a paycheck
July 8, 2019
3,000 Newark youths start summer jobs through city employment program
Hundreds of young people packed into the bleachers at a community college in Newark on Monday. They were all there for one reason — to start their summer jobs.
July 3, 2019
NYC children out of school for summer struggle to access free meals — as food, federal dollars go to waste
The city’s free summer meals program is designed to combat child hunger when school is out of session, but limited outreach is causing meals to go unclaimed.
share your story
July 2, 2019
School’s out—Chicago educators, how are you recharging this summer?
Where are you traveling? Which books are you reading? What are you doing for fun? How are you challenging yourself this summer? Chalkbeat Chicago wants to hear from you.
Fighting summer slide
June 20, 2019
100 Black Men’s Summer Academy swells with families who want to curb learning loss, empower students
Keli Reese doesn’t like to hear complaints from her students at the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis' Summer Academy.
June 28, 2013
City schools struggle to connect students with summer options
Lettie Edgerton says it's a struggle to keep her granddaughter Kyndal busy over the summer. Jovani Nias’s 21 years as a mail carrier in Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn has given her unique insight into how families in the neighborhood spend the year. Now that school is out, she said, differences among families even in the same building are even more obvious. “You see some kids leaving for programs or summer school, and the other kids are just out, hanging on the corners," Nias said. Which direction a student takes over the summer can change the course of her education. Researchers have pegged students’ academic regression — known as the “summer slide” — as the equivalent of two months of school or more. Students who are occupied in summer learning are more likely to sustain their progress from the previous year. But whether city students can avoid the summer slide is often a matter of luck, depending largely on how their school’s approach to summer learning and their family’s access to information that schools don’t always provide. “There are opportunities that are invisible in my community that are more visible in other communities,” said Sheryl Davis, a Brooklyn parent. “We all have that conversation, what are you kids doing this summer? And I find that a lot of schools do not help with that.”
August 16, 2012
Students act as engineers, chemical testers in summer program
Senior Samuel Fok joined teammates in presenting design ideas for an alternative construction project in the East Village. When asked to envision an office…
August 14, 2012
Want to boost students' tech skills? There's an app class for that
Adam Israfil pitches his book reviewing app to peers at NYC Generation Tech. "Have you ever worried about lost papers?" Steffany Ceron read from a notecard to three fellow students powwowing in a semicircle of desks. "Well don't worry, this app can help." Ceron and her peers were among a half-dozen groups of high school students feverishly preparing to present their ideas for mobile phone applications designed to help students stay organized, prepare for exams, or make clothing and food choices. Together, the 29 students are enrolled in New York City's Generation Technology, a fledgling summer program that teaches city high school students how to design and market apps that solve common educational problems. Over two weeks this August, the students — who range from native New Yorkers with experience building digital tools to recent immigrants — are receiving a crash course in digital entrepreneurship, funded by the city's Economic Development Corporation. The program represents one prong of the Bloomberg administration's recent push to remake New York City into a technology hub to rival California's Silicon Valley. Like the computer engineering-themed school that's set to open next month, Generation Tech aims to seed technology talent locally by investing in city students. During the day-long classes, the students review a manual on entrepreneurship, calculate the costs and benefits of various business models, and listen to lectures from the founders of local technology start-ups such as Kickstarter. The class is fast-paced and packed with group presentations and discussion questions designed to get students thinking creatively about business: What is the lifetime value of a New York Times subscriber to the company? How would you help a rapper promote a show in Queens? To be eligible, students must come from a low-income family or attend a school where at least half of students come from low-income families. Only a few of the participants had experience creating mobile apps before this summer, and many said the program also marked their first time practicing public speaking.
August 2, 2012
Educators use the summer to bolster math and science skills
Jose Luis Vilson attended a science and math workshop at the Kennedy Space Center. (Courtesy of the GE Foundation) Some teachers use the summer break to unwind from a busy school year, refine their lesson plans for the fall, or take a short-term second job. Others seek out new knowledge in the subjects they teach. "If you're teaching science, you should be learning about science," said Nate Finney, a Manhattan teacher who is spending the summer working in a physics laboratory. GothamSchools spoke to a handful of city public school teachers who sought out seminars, workshops, and classes to help them learn more about their fields. Today, we're looking at teachers who decided they wanted to know more about math and science. Jose Luis Vilson, I.S. 52, Manhattan In sunny Orlando, Jose Luis Vilson got the chance to live out a childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. Vilson arrived at Florida's Kennedy Space Center in mid-July to take part in a weeklong course created and funded by the GE Foundation. The course focused on integrating math and science instruction and anchoring both in new learning standards that call for more critical thinking. "They're working with NASA to try to approach and integrate Common Core standards with current pedagogy," said Vilson, who teaches eighth-grade math in Washington Heights and maintains a popular blog about teaching.
June 27, 2012
Teachers use final days of this school year to prep for the next
Kindergarten teachers at P.S. 11 plan their curriculum for the coming school year. Principal Bob Bender wanted to make sure his teachers started planning for September before they left for summer vacation. So P.S. 11 joined more than 600 schools in scrapping classes on Monday and Tuesday in favor of adding prep time for teachers. Department of Education officials extended the option, which parents were supposed to approve, to all schools late this spring. Many schools took the time to give teachers a crash course in new learning standards known as the Common Core. The Common Core emphasizes "deeper" thinking and problem-solving skills. Next year's state tests will be based on the new standards. P.S. 11 routinely earns A's on its city progress reports, and Bender said he is not worried about its performance next year because his staff has been thinking hard about the instructional shifts they will have to make. "It's not going to be asking 'What is 8 times 5?' It's going to be 'I have 8 bookshelves, and 40 books, so how many books go on each shelf?'" he said. "We spend a lot of time on problem-solving, giving kids strategies to solve problems." This year, the city asked schools to practice with the new standards in one math unit and one literacy unit, and next year, they'll be expected to roll out two Common Core-aligned units in each subject. But at P.S. 11, Bender asked his teachers to plan their curriculums in teams made up of teachers at each grade level — and align every one of their units to the Common Core.
May 22, 2012
Editor's blog: End-of-the-year classroom parties
Phew! We're almost there, folks. It's the end of another school year. Scratching your head about what to bring or plan for your child's end-of-the-year party? Look no further. And share your own ideas. I've also included some ideas for kids with food allergies.
May 16, 2012
Ask an Expert: Reading and creativity over the summer
Already worried about how much knowledge your child could lose this summer? The long break doesn't have to be all fun and games. There are lots of ways to keep their young brains fired up. Get some tips from the experts.
July 18, 2011
Encourage summer learning before the bell rings
It's hard to believe, but the end of of summer is in view. Looking for fun and rewarding activities for your children that also boost brain cells? Check out these tips, courtesy of the National PTA.
June 27, 2011
Editor's blog: Are your kids bored? Make a board game!
Is your child bored this summer? Make a board game! This editor can attest that this activity kept her 8-year-old daughter happy and engaged for hours. (Never mind the quick rule change when her mother won too many times in a row).
June 20, 2011
Ask an Expert: Curbing summer brain drain.
Worried about how much knowledge will drain from your child's brain this summer? Fret no more. This expert offers some excellent - and free - ways to keep your child engaged in learning every day.
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