Washington State Opportunity Scholarship

The College Success Foundation has announced the online application for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship is available beginning Monday, Jan. 7, 2013.

The scholarship helps low- and middle-income Washington State residents earn first bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and health care. The application period is Jan. 7, 2013, through Feb. 18, 2013.

For more information see the flyer.

Click here to apply now.

Update on Flipped Classrooms

The idea of the”Flipped Classroom” is gathering momentum in the Puget Sound. Do take time to read the article about the Tacoma Teacher who is turning learning upside down in his classroom.

The flipped classroom is a concept that improves active learning; students learn from viewing a prerecorded lecture and the teacher uses the class time to help students grapple with the more challenging concepts.

I have also learned a few tips on best practices for the flipped classroom from edutopia. I have crafted a simple term for this as this relates to flipping.

TEAR ( technology, engagement, access and reflection)

1. Need to Know: Ensure that there is a clear reason for students to know the content- relevance.

2. Engaging Models:  Use a pedagogical model that demands it such as: Project-Based Learning (PBL).

3. Technology: Ask yourself- Do you have the technology to support a flipped classroom?  a variety of technologies (smart phones, DVD, USB, videos, online) ensure access of materials to all students.

4. Reflection: Build in reflective activities for students to think about what they have learned ( discussions, authentic projects,  presentations)

5. Time & Place: Keep flipped content brief (8-10 mins).  Provide a place where content is available for students both inside and outside your classrooms.


Washington STEM highlights MESA’s 9th Grade Bridge program

students work together at computers
Washington STEM has posted a great feature article on MESA’s 9th Grade Bridge program. The program uses summer tutoring (Summer Math Scholars), year-round mentoring, and Saturday field trips to boost academic success and exposure to STEM careers.

Support from Washington STEM has allowed Washington MESA to expand Summer Math Scholars to MESA Centers across the state and begin scaling up the whole 9th Grade Bridge program. Read the article on the Washington STEM website (includes slide show).

Tips for setting up project-based learning in your classrooms

Six Essentials for PBL
1. Create teams of students (3-4) to work on an in-depth project for three to eight weeks.
2. Introduce a complex entry question that establishes a student’s need to know,
3. Scaffold the project with activities and new information that deepens the work.
4. Calendar the project through plans, drafts, timely benchmarks,
5. Have the teams make presentations to an outside panel of experts drawn from parents and the
6. Provide timely assessments and/or feedback on the projects for content, oral and written communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and other important skills.

Original Source: Edutopia-Project-based learning teaches kids the collaborative and critical-thinking abilities they’ll need to compete
Author: Bob Pearlman

Project-based Learning

Why Teach with Project-Based Learning?: Providing Students With a Well-Rounded Classroom Experience

Project-based learning helps students apply what they learn to real-life experiences and provides an all-around enriching education. Read More

Culture and Neuroscience

Your brain on culture

The bur­geon­ing field of cul­tural neu­ro­science is find­ing that cul­ture influ­ences brain devel­op­ment, and per­haps vice versa.

When an Amer­i­can thinks about whether he is hon­est, his brain activ­ity looks very dif­fer­ent than when he thinks about whether another per­son is hon­est, even a close rel­a­tive. That’s not true for Chi­nese peo­ple. When a Chi­nese man eval­u­ates whether he is hon­est, his brain activ­ity looks almost iden­ti­cal to when he is think­ing about whether his mother is hon­est.

Read More