Preparing for Back to School

Back to School can be a chaotic time, it seems like an oxymoron but in the midst of the chaos it is important to manage time, stresses and plan ahead.

Establishing routines early and being organized ahead of time help students (and all of us) rest, find peace and be able to focus.

Planning out the calendar, connecting all the aspects of life in one place.

Managing the big shift back to school can lead to some anxiety, taking time to prepare your student might be the key.

Staying Healthy! Make sure you eat well, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep!

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April Pingel
Education Without Silos!

I once had a student complain after I explained that they needed to cite their sources.  “This is not English class!” he proclaimed.  I politely requested that he refrained from speaking then, as he was using his vocabulary to construct sentences, which was clearly a skill he picked up in an English class.  It seems ridiculous to think that we could teach science in the absence of English Language Arts (ELA) and math.  Yet, the formal education system has constructed silos that we call subjects and licensed educators accordingly.  In this fourth blog post in the series on the 5 innovation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), we will explore how ELA and math are intentionally integrated into the standards, as well as how educators can take their instruction to a new level and tear down the silos! 

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Wait . . . What? . . . A Virtual Academy?!?

Isn’t it exciting when you get a package delivered in the mail?  Well, that’s how I felt last month when my I got my copy of Ambitious Science Teaching. I read an overview of this book and it sounded like it was just the thing to do as a professional development book study during the summer. I’m almost finished with the book and I can’t wait to use it for discussion and reflection during this summer’s STEM-PLC Virtual Academy.  We are always looking for the best way to do things here at Einstein, so why not try an online, webinar-formatted, ongoing professional book study?

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Adherence to Coherence!

Science education of the past was a passing down of the discoveries made by the great minds of centuries gone by.  A student of science was to learn the intricacies of theories and attribute them to the scientists that brought them to our understanding.  Technical vocabulary, formulas, and minute details were to be memorized and regurgitated as the only path to success in the classroom.  At the same time this ensured that science was out of reach for many learners. Thankfully our understanding of how students learn, tells us that this outdated mode of instruction fails to work with the curiosity of the students.  

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A Reflective Blog

As spring weather starts to peek out from behind the gray clouds, we love to see the return of our feathery friends. These amazingly sleek birds, Sandhill Cranes, showcase their vibrant colored heads and dramatic long legs to our staff throughout the spring and summer.  We believe they nest in the long grasses of the marshy area around our building. It is a joy to see their natural beauty, but in all fairness, we need to startle them away from our front doors by making loud noises because they are causing damage to our property.

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April Pingel
That’s Phenomenal! Helping Students to Make Sense of the World

Not all phenomena are so phenomenal.  As a matter of fact very few are. The movement of the Earth, sun and moon are observed by all of us daily.  These mundane experiences are often overlooked, but represent a path of discovery navigated by our ancestors.  We come to understand the rules by which the universe operates by experiencing them, questioning them, and testing them.  We call it science. 

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What will 2018 Einstein Academy look like this summer?

As a classroom teacher I always looked forward to summer vacation almost as much as my students did.  It was time for me to totally check-out of school for a much-needed mental and emotional break from working with students on a daily basis.  I’d spend the first week or so sleeping in late, weeding my gardens, and picking up a delicious fiction book. This year I’m really looking forward to summer, but for a totally different reason.  This is the summer when the Einstein Project is going to roll-out a whole new venue of professional development that is going to be (wait for it) EPIC!

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Working on Diversity in STEM Education

The Einstein Project has teamed up with administrators and educators from Green Bay Area Public Schools and the School District of South Milwaukee to tackle the issue of underrepresentation in STEM education.  Our team was selected by the Smithsonian Science Education Center to attend a Teacher Leadership Summit at Howard University in Washington, DC on February 23-25, 2018. 

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Are You Ready for 3D Science? Exploring the 5 Innovations of NGSS

Across the country K-12 science education is getting a make-over. We have known for many years that students need hands-on experiences to pique their interest and re-enforce conceptual development. Yet, since the publication of the Framework for K-12 Science Education in 2012, and the subsequent release of the Next Generation Science Standards in 2013, teachers across the nation have begun a massive endeavor to transform science learning.

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Teacher Mindset

What if we looked at Professional Development differently in 2018?  Rather than seeing it as something you have to do, what about reframing it as something you want to do?  These very questions are at the heart of some of the changes we are implementing at the Einstein Project...

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