Katrina Schwartz

Four Pillars of a Meaningful Life That Could Be Part of Every Learning Community

When Emily Esfahani Smith went to college and embarked on her adult life she thought the key to a happy life was success. She was looking for the perfect job, boyfriend and apartment. But the longer she chased the things she thought would make her happy, the more anxious and adrift she felt. So she decided to go to graduate school to study positive psychology and figure out once and for all what makes people happy. But what she learned was that many people feel hopeless, depressed and alone.

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Why Debate May Be the Best Way to Save Constructive Disagreement

Julia Dhar claims: “My mission in life is to help people disagree productively, to find ways to bring truth to light, to bring ideas to life.” And as a former debate star, she thinks the skills she learned debating could be the key to help everyone find some common ground.

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Dropping Out and Coming Back: Stories of Persevering for a Diploma

On a sunny day in early June, 12 young people received their high school diplomas at a moving ceremony at the Oakland Museum of California. Graduations are always full of emotion and excitement, but this one was a little different because these young people dropped out of high school, but came back to get their diplomas. The friends and loved ones gathered to celebrate their achievement knew exactly how hard they had worked for this moment and the obstacles they’d overcome.

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A Grading Strategy That Puts the Focus on Learning From Mistakes

Teachers know that students learn a tremendous amount from scrutinizing their mistakes, but getting them to take the time to stop and reflect is a challenge. Some teachers have stopped giving grades altogether to try to refocus class on learning instead of on grades. For others, that’s too extreme.

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Helping Families Ask Questions Could Be Your Most Powerful Engagement Tool

Fifth-grade teacher Deirdre Brotherson has been teaching long enough that she knows how parent-teacher conferences will likely go. Parents will come in feeling uncomfortable and a little ill at ease; she’ll have a general conversation with them for 15-20 minutes; and they’ll leave. Neither party will get much useful information about the student out of the conference, although it’s a good relationship builder either way. She knew this precious face-to-face time with parents could be so much more.

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The American Academy Of Pediatrics On Spanking Children: Don’t Do It, Ever.

Twenty years after urging caution among parents who choose to discipline their children with spankings, the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its stance. Now, its overwhelming consensus for parents: Do not do it.

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Should Childhood Trauma Be Treated As A Public Health Crisis?

When public health officials get wind of an outbreak of Hepatitis A or influenza, they spring into action with public awareness campaigns, monitoring and outreach. But should they be acting with equal urgency when it comes to childhood trauma?

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How Teachers Designed a School Centered On Caring Relationships

Roberto Vega has taught at schools all over Los Angeles, but when he came to Social Justice Humanitas Academy he knew he’d found something special. Everything about how the school is structured and run is done with the best interests of students in mind. He liked it so much he decided to pull his son out of a popular high school located on a college campus and send him to Humanitas.

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Two Riddles To Get Students Practicing Problem Solving Tricks

Riddles are a great way to get kids thinking logically, testing predictions, using math and even collaborating. They’re fun and often quite challenging. Many riddles often sound confusing at first, forcing students to think about ways to isolate information or simplify a problem. These are useful skills for all problem solving. TED-Ed and its educator contributors have put together great animated riddles that make the presentation of the riddle fun and walk through the solutions once kids have tried to solve them.
Seven Planets Riddle:

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What Does Improvement Science Look Like In Real Classrooms?

Monique Maynard has been teaching for 17 years and prides herself on creating a dynamic classroom culture where students work together in groups. She teaches at West Warwick High School in Rhode Island. When she taught precalculus she spent very little time at the front of the room, preferring to give students tasks to work on together and then circulating to listen and help.

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