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Resources to Support Wellness for Students + Teachers 

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Explore a variety of Discovery Education resources offering evidence-based content and strategies to build empathy and collective care in any learning environment. 

While life’s adversities create obstacles that can disrupt teaching and learning, overcoming obstacles together strengthens the student-teacher relationship like nothing else. Creating a safe space in class to support mental health is a simple yet powerful way to reinforce students’ resilience, develop problem-solving skills, and cultivate collaboration. 

Discovery Education offers a regularly updated selection of instructional resources and professional learning tools supporting mental wellness for students and educators. Explore the many long-term rewards of ongoing mental wellness support in schools using standards-aligned, interdisciplinary resources designed to engage every student: 

  • The Social-Emotional Learning Center 
    Find effective ways to incorporate social-emotional learning into any classroom using this one-stop digital hub, featuring curated resource collections covering professional development, SEL integration into classrooms, and student-facing digital content for all grades. 
  • Ask, Listen, Learn, a program of Responsibility.org
    Empower students to set goals for themselves and avoid peer pressure by discovering the real consequences of unhealthy decisions on both physical and emotional wellness. Check out student activities that reinforce mental wellness through prevention: Cause & Effect, My Future Me, and Making Decisions. 
  • Dose of Knowledge 
    Show students that mental health is a key component of overall health, review strategies to support their mental health, and explore the effects stress, anxiety, and depression can have on the brain and body. Students will learn about the role prescription medications can play in the treatment of anxiety and depression and review the risks associated with misusing prescription medications or other substances.
  • Amazing Me 
    Give students a foundation of self-esteem to navigate adversity with uplifting resources addressing body confidence and bullying in and out of the classroom. The “A Plan to Stay Positive” activity motivates families to recognize each other’s positive traits and consciously celebrate these traits on a regular basis. 
  • Soar with Wings 
    Show students how inner strength gives them the power to make the right choices in life. Explore the concept of responsible decision-making through the lens of grit with the “Inner Strength” digital lesson, which brings social-emotional concepts to life for elementary students. 
  • Teaching with Testimony 
    Discover powerful historical insights into important mental wellness topics through one girl’s incredible story of survival, resilience, and triumph. The Willesden Project resources immerse students in an incredible true story to learn how we all possess the ability to overcome hate. 
  • Ready, Set, RISE! 
    Cultivate?trauma-informed educational strategies in schools with evidence-based professional learning resources that provide tools to address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Check out the “Cultural Humility & Equity” e-Learning Module for compassionate ways to see into every students’ inner world. 

Resources to support wellness can also be found in the Discovery Education K-12 learning platform on the Wellness Channel.

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A Virtual Field Trip Inspiring Student STEM Curiosity

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By guest blogger Ann Byrdie Bullock, M.Ed., Middle School Science Teacher, Independence Non-Traditional School in Virginia

As a middle school educator, I know the critical importance of engaging my students in STEM. Research shows that this is the age kids, especially girls, opt out of STEM pursuits.

In a continued effort to inspire my students to explore the engaging world of STEM, my middle school classes joined the  Tech for Global Good Virtual Field Trip (VFT). Offered at no cost, the VFT is part of Tech for Tomorrow, a program from The Tech Interactive and Discovery Education that introduces students to today’s cutting-edge technology and inspires them to create enduring innovations for the future.

During the 30-minute experience, my students went behind-the-scenes at The Tech’s family-friendly science and technology center in the heart of downtown San Jose and met a diverse group of individuals who are using data to change the world for the better. In addition, my students discovered how the United Nations is using data to help solve health crises, how information systems are used to find solutions to homelessness, the ways technology is being used to address economic inequality, and how new smart devices are saving cattle.

The 2020 Tech for Global Good Laureates featured in the VFT also demonstrated how STEM can solve the world’s biggest challenges. Since 2001, more than 300 Laureates have been honored. These innovators are incredibly diverse, not just in their backgrounds, where they live, and what they do, but also in the types of technology they use. Through their stories, students are motivated to become problem-solvers in their own area by applying their natural curiosity to create innovative solutions.

Technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, and data science are all being used to solve global problems. Spark curiosity and keep your classroom connected to the real world in exciting ways by including the VFT in your next lesson plan. The accompanying educator guide provides important topic tips, tricks, and guidance for how to make the power of STEM learning come to life before, during, and after the virtual experience. The students walk away with the ability to:

  • Draw conclusions about the characteristics of a successful innovation.

  • Communicate important information concisely.

  • Advocate for action towards social good.

  • Participate in the innovative iteration process.

  • Consider data gathering and analysis when problem-solving.

So, discover how to make good opportunities come to life through STEM today by streaming the new Tech for Tomorrow Virtual Field Trip now available on-demand. Find this experience and so much more on TechForTomorrow.com. Users of the Discovery Education K-12 Learning Platform  can take learning even further in the Tech for Tomorrow channel.

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1 Million Kids Head Back To School In New York City As Vaccine Rules Take Effect

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Students have returned to in-person classes in the largest U.S. school district. The city also began enforcing vaccine mandates for indoor activities and required city workers to return to the office.

(Image credit: Mark Lennihan/AP)

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Books I read in August 2021

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Restoration, Carol BergBooks I finished reading (or rereading) in August 2021…

Hope you’re reading something fun too!

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Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education Award Five Schools in the 2021 Possibility Grant Sweepstakes

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The following is a new blog post related to education and teaching and relevant to our website visitors. The blog post is not based on the opinions or values of our company but is related to education and teaching, so we wanted to share it with YOU! If you ever have any questions please let us know. Now… on to the post!

Explore more than 150 hands-on STEM activities from Siemens STEM Day!

Five schools across the United States were selected this year to receive a $5,000 grant each for STEM technology through the 2021 Possibility Grant Sweepstakes. Created by the Siemens Foundation–a leader in advancing STEM workforce development and education initiatives–in partnership with Discovery Education, the Possibility Grant Sweepstakes inspires the next generation of STEM leaders by providing critical resources and support to schools. Through its partnership with Discovery Education, the Siemens Foundations is providing no-cost standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

Now in the sixth year, the 2021 Possibility Grant Sweepstakes continues to enhance the availability of STEM supplies and technology. The 2021 grant now expands efforts to further equity and inclusion in education and impact more students by offering a total of $25,000 to five under-resourced schools, building upon the traditional single $10,000 grant. Out of more than 12,000 submissions, the five 2021 Sweepstakes recipients are:

  • Deer Park Middle School, Charleston County School District in Charleston, SC
  • Breckenridge Elementary School, Breckenridge Independent School District 846 in Breckenridge, MN
  • Spring View Elementary School, Keya Paha County School District in Springview, NE
  • Santa Teresa High School, Gadsden Independent Schools in Santa Teresa, NM
  • Level Up Academy, Enterprise City School District in White Bear Lake, MN

“This grant directly supports the educators of Breckenridge Elementary School in their work to provide inspiring STEM opportunities in any learning environment,” said Principal Corinna Erickson of Breckenridge Elementary School. “With this support, our students can reach their maximum potential.”

Previous winning schools include Sugar Hill Elementary School of Hall County School District in Gainesville, GA; Fort White Elementary School of Columbia County School District in Fort White, FL; Lithonia High School of DeKalb County School District in Lithonia, GA; and Roseland Montessori School of the Tangipahou Parish School System in Roseland, Louisiana. Learn more about the winners and sweepstakes here.

“The Siemens Foundation promotes equity in education by empowering K-12 STEM leaders, particularly those in underserved communities,” said David Etzwiler, CEO, Siemens Foundation. “We are thrilled to offer the Possibility Grant Sweepstakes to support STEM education programs that lead to a more inclusive and equitable society.”

The Sweepstakes builds upon Siemens STEM Day—programing that provides more than 180 no-cost, hands-on STEM activities aligned to national teaching standards to help innovate curriculum. Learn more about the Possibility Grant Sweepstakes and Siemens STEM Day at SiemensSTEMDay.com and within Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform on the Siemens STEM Day channel.

 

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Biden Brushes Off The GOP Threats To Sue Over Vaccine Mandates

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President Biden tours Brookland Middle School in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Biden has encouraged school districts to promote vaccines to protect students as they return to school amid a coronavirus resurgence.

President Biden said he was saddened that some GOP governors are threatening to sue over the new mandates. To them, he said, "Have at it."

(Image credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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Hurricane Ida's Impact On Students Could Be Worse Than Katrina, Expert Says

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Hurricane Ida has closed schools for more than 250,000 students across Louisiana.

Many New Orleans area students had re-enrolled in other schools within two weeks after Hurricane Katrina. This time, one expert predicts "five or six weeks of essentially no learning happening."

(Image credit: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

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Leadership for Deeper Learning: Excerpt 02

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Leadership for Deeper Learning[To celebrate our upcoming book, Leadership for Deeper Learning, I am publishing an excerpt each day for a week before its release. We interviewed leaders at 30 different ‘deeper learning’ schools around the world in 2019 and 2020. We then followed up those interviews with site visits, observations, on-site photographs and videos, and additional conversations. Our goal was to try and parse out What do leaders at innovative schools do that is different from their counterparts in more traditional schools? As you might imagine, we saw some fantastic leading, teaching, and learning. We describe what we saw in detail in the new book and, in Chapter 7, articulate a Profile of a Deeper Learning Leader that’s based on empirical research, not just anecdotes. We think that this book makes a unique contribution to what we know about leadership in deeper learning schools. The book is written for a practitioner audience and is full of concrete, specific examples to get folks thinking about possibilities. Also, every main chapter concludes with Key Leadership Behaviors and Support Structures. If you order it, let me know what you think!]

Excerpt 02

Innovation is iterative, of course. Leaders and schools don’t just launch new initiatives and then coast. One Stone is a prime example of iterative innovation, where each subsequent cycle broke away from the previous norm just a little bit more. One Stone started as an after-school, experiential service program that was serving around 200 students from 15 different schools. The leaders realized that kids were leaving school, coming to One Stone, and staying up until 10:00pm every night working on projects. During those early years, students would say things like, “Why can’t we just do this all day?” and “Why can’t this be learning? I do more learning here than I do at school.”

In true student-driven form, the leaders of One Stone kicked off a 24-hour ‘think challenge’ at an indoor arena at Boise State University. The event drew 150 students and also included a number of professionals from the worlds of education, research, and business entrepreneurship. The group spent 24 hours together focusing on how education could be reimagined. Smaller think tanks within the group each worked on the concept of “How might we reimagine education?” Through this process, everyone came to realize that the education students experienced in more traditional schools was not relevant to them, both in the present and in regard to where they wanted to go. Students struggled to connect their learning at their local high schools with what they needed out in the real world.

This notion of creating a new school based on relevance and purpose led to One Stone’s guiding principles, which the school affectionately calls ‘the Blob,’ or Bold Learning OBjectives. When discussing One Stone’s curriculum, the leaders described how they don’t necessarily have one. What they do have, however, are learning objectives that focus on mindset, creativity, knowledge, and skills. A crucial aspect of the Blob is the idea of failing forward. Chad, the director of research and design, talked to us about how getting students to fail forward is a huge challenge because students have been in the performance zone for the first eight or so years of their lives: “Everything students do [in traditional schools] counts as a score. Students are constantly being evaluated. Students are not necessarily challenged to take risks intellectually, academically, whatever it might be.”

Leadership for Deeper Learning, Chapter 2

 

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Superhero capes

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During the pandemic we donned our superhero capes and finally put computers and Internet access in the hands of our students. Then most of us took our capes off and gave kids digital worksheets.

During the pandemic we donned our superhero capes and finally put computers and Internet access in the hands of our students.

Then most of us took our capes off and gave kids digital worksheets.

Time To Teach reviews each blog post by our contributors but if you feel this is a blog post better suited for another page please let us know. Teachers and Educators are our heroes. We want to thank you for the work you do! Yours In Education! Time To Teach

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Elementary School COVID Outbreak Shows Why Layers Of Safety Precautions Are Necessary

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A COVID outbreak in a California elementary school has highlighted how formidable a foe delta is in classrooms. That's why experts say it's vital schools deploy multiple strategies to curb cases.

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