In this interview from Chalkbeat, a Colorado teacher explains how she uses video game design as a way to address problem solving and mathematical critical thinking. Especially in this era when math should be one conduit to enhance our students' problem solving and critical thinking skills, it's definitely worth considering what lessons we might be able to take back to our own math classrooms.
NPR's education portal has a great article today about the things happening inside a child's brain when reading/being read a picture book. This article looks at new research which shows there is a "Goldilocks" zone for cognitive activity when they engage with the narrative and illustrations of picture books. There are important implications in this article for how we approach text with our youngest students and children, and the need for text-rich instructional environments.
Recently, a representative from Cypress Education reached out to introduce a new social media platform for teachers that they would like more teachers to test. The platform is currently in beta testing and is looking for participants to try out the platform and provide feedback. Please see the following information from Cypress and contact Dr. Andrew Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in connecting about Cypress.
"1. What pain points are we solving for teachers?
Before building our product, we talked to teachers in Boston and led focus groups and market research nationally to deeply understand the root of teachers' pain points to ensure we are solving teachers' most significant needs. Cypress uses machine learning to support K-12 teachers, who are siloed in classrooms throughout the day and spend on aggregate 43 million hours a week searching online for resources and $2 billion a year out-of-pocket. We do this by helping teachers find what they are looking for efficiently by providing a support network and delivering quality, tailored content. Cypress supports teachers through every step of their career by helping them grow their teaching practice while saving teacher's time and money. At the core of our vision is building a product that is teacher driven, teacher developed, and teacher serving.
2. How do we do this?
Cypress has built a secure online platform exclusively for K-12 educators that enables teachers to collaborate efficiently and share knowledge. We use machine learning to learn about each teacher's unique needs to deliver personalized, quality resources, alongside data-driven insights into themselves and teaching practice. Ultimately, we want to be the destination for K-12 educators to collaborate, grow, and succeed. K-12 educators use Cypress' trusted platform to:
3. What do we mean by using machine learning to help teachers?
We can look at how our teachers are interacting with the platform:
4. Where are we in this process and what are we looking for?
We started working on Cypress five months ago and are currently in invite-only, private Beta. We are focused on a select cohort of amazing educators in New England, so we can deliver a quality experience to educators. Given we are in the position where we can do things that do not scale, we can tailor the content and support we provide specifically to each school or beta teacher's individual needs. And ultimately, we'll systematize and automate that approach with our algorithms. We are looking to partner with select Archdiocesan collaborative communities as well as seeking individual teachers within the community to beta test our platform this summer (end of May through end of August). Ideally, these teachers are already spending time looking for resources or are earlier on in their teaching careers and could benefit from the collaborative, educator network, teacher resources, and career support offered."
For all teachers of literature and reading, PBS is preparing a series called The Great American Read that will give us a sense of the books that Americans young and old love. There are a lot of great, reading-oriented images that you can peruse with your class on the website. You can also participate in the series by having your class vote for their favorite books from the list starting May 22. This is a great way to encourage independent and in-depth reading of great works.
News and Resources
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