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Technology-Enhanced Item (TEI) for Grade 1

When I was executive editor of Weekly Reader, I was often struck by how challenging it was to put together a weekly magazine for the lowest grades. Now, we faced similar challenges in developing a technology enhanced item (TEI) for first graders. They may be digital natives, but they are still 6 years old. If you have been following…

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Games in Education to Assess Career Readiness

Using games in education may be the best way to assess career readiness. That may seem ironic, given that games are inherently based in fantasy. The video below shows the blended approach we used with EconLab, a game-like simulation. While the EconLab is instructional, the bulk of the learning takes place within the Economics and Personal Finance…

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Inflation is not that entertaining

You will find that a billion dollars is not what it used to be. I like old movies, songs, and books. Sometimes they reference amounts of money that are puzzling. If they were made long ago, or take place long ago, how much money are they talking about? The problem is even more compounded if…

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What Science and History Can Tell Us About COVID-19

The internet is a wonderful tool, when wielded correctly. But when people follow it blindly they can be misled or come to believe things that are simply not true. Here are some science and history facts you may want to know about before reading any more opinions about COVID-19 on social media. Science Evolves In…

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Victory Productions fills the gaps in at-home learning

Students, parents and guardians, teachers, and school administrators are struggling to get used to the new “normal” of at-home learning. While parents and guardians worry about their child’s mental health after being stuck in isolation for so long, educators are finding teaching remotely to be very different from what they were used to. Victory Productions…

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Will the reading wars never end? Part II

Finding the balance in balanced literacy An uneasy peace has settled over the land regarding phonics instruction and its critical contribution to reading competency. Since the heyday of whole language, phonics has returned to classrooms as part of a “balanced literacy” approach to reading. Shouldn’t this put an end to the reading wars? Not so…

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Reading aloud instills kids’ love of books

Reading aloud at home is a great learning activity that will help keep your child learning and be a critical thinker! When I first taught kindergarten, I read aloud The Very Hungry Caterpillar every day for two weeks: It was my first time teaching. . The kids in my class loved it and we spent hours discussing…

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Examining the Coronavirus through the S.I.R. model

When they asked the editors to write something for this blog, I thought, “Wasn’t that a sci-fi movie with Steve McQueen?” But we are going to look at a different menace called the coronavirus, and in particular an S.I.R. model, which relates three variables that describe the three groups that a population is divided into…

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Child reading a book

Will the reading wars never end?

According to a preponderance of scientific evidence, phonics instruction — early and systematic — is critical to teaching most children to read. This beachhead, secured after decades of resistance from proponents of the whole-language approach to reading, should signal an end to the reading wars. But the path from settled science to practice in schools…

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Understanding and Interpreting Data

  Two California physicians recently used data they collected in their private urgent-care facilities to extrapolate COVID-19 illness and mortality rates for the state. A number of news outlets reported these new “findings” as fact, simply because they didn’t understand the data or how to interpret them. This is problematic for a number of reasons,…

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