Have you ever noticed all the flags you and your students see every day? From national, state, and municipal flags, to university flags, business flags, athletic flags, and flags that champion social causes, you can learn a lot about communities by studying the flags they create and choose to display.
2016 has been an election year like no other. As election rhetoric intensifies and anticipation builds, how can we engage students thoughtfully? One way is by teaching students issues at the center of the election in an unbiased manner. Another is to put student voice at the center of instruction. PenPal Schools’ Decision 2016 course does both by connecting students from across the country to share perspectives on these important national issues!
We are all connected by our environment. We depend on natural resources for the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the energy we use. The great diversity and possibility of Earth is truly awe-inspiring! Ideally every student would have the opportunity to experience the similarities and differences of our planet’s ecosystems first hand: to visit the Great Barrier Reef or hike alongside rhino’s in their South African habitat, for example. This may not be possible for every student, but thanks to technology, students and their peers around the world students can now learn together about Earth and our shared challenge of protecting it.
They’re back! Students all around the world are returning to school and classroom decor is being hung. We’ve been hard at work over the summer learning from teachers around the world and making PenPal Schools better than ever! Whether you’re returning to enroll in another course or connecting your students with PenPals for the first time, here’s the latest and greatest.
The emphasis on aligning classroom instruction to academic standards is growing not only in the United States but in countries around the world. But academic standards are more than simply stated expectations that teachers and students must meet during a given school day or year. Academic standards are important guidelines that identify content, skills, and processes that students have already been exposed to, as well as the topics and skills that students will be expected to develop in the future.
At PenPal Schools, we have studied a number of different academic standards to ensure that teachers and students can confidently use PenPal Schools to help young scholars learn the information and skills required to succeed in both their primary and secondary education, and in their future careers.
In our Academic Standards Alignment resource, we have identified reading, writing, language, and technology standards that can guide teachers towards targeted learning outcomes while using PenPal Schools.
To most effectively align PenPal Schools to academic standards, consider the following questions:
We're excited to announce that PenPal Schools is partnering with South African publisher Via Afrika on a new course to help students understand the struggles people have overcome against discrimination and prejudice. Over six-weeks the course, titled Walking To Freedom, will introduce students to the historic challenges posed by prejudice, discrimination and racism. Together with a pen pal from another part of the world, students will learn about civic leaders and social activists who have dedicated their lives to freedom, justice, and equality.
We're turning the Presidential election into a learning opportunity with our latest newest course: Decision 2016. This free course helps K12 students of all abilities study and share issues at the center of the upcoming presidential election. Each week, students watch original videos, read nonpartisan articles and share their thoughts with a PenPal from across the country!
PenPal Schools connects over 100,000 students in 170 countries to learn together.